Jams and Jellies from North Dakota Fruits Imagine this:

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FN-590 (Revised)
From the Garden or Orchard to the Table:
Jams and
from North Dakota Fruits
Ron Smith, Horticulture Specialist
Julie Garden-Robinson, Food and Nutrition Specialist
Imagine this: a thick slice of homemade
bread with homemade jam or jelly. It makes
your mouth water, doesn’t it? You can enjoy
the delicious goodness of North Dakota fruits
even in the dead of winter with homemade
What kinds of fruit can be successfully grown
in North Dakota? What are some tested and
tasty recipes for making the preserves? That’s
what this circular is all about — growing and
preserving the fruits of summer!
North Dakota State University
August 2011
Garden Fruits to Consider
The delicious, nutritious flavor of locally grown or
area strawberries is universally loved. Key to good
strawberry production is the selection of the site for
planting: It should get as much direct sunshine as
possible, the soil should be well-drained, and the
site possess good air circulation for quick drying
of the leaves to prevent disease problems. Many
gardeners have had great success with raised-bed
plantings of strawberries. This accomplishes two
things: the blossoms are less vulnerable to low frost
pockets in the spring, and the berry crop is much
easier to pick.
Strawberry production is usually highest on first-year
plants, that is, plants that have gone through just
one winter. Here is how to get the highest fruit
production: In the early spring, select a desirable
cultivar to plant (refer to Table 1). Remove the
blossoms that appear during the first growing
season. This will produce stocky plants that will be
doubly productive in year two. After harvest in the
second year, mow the tops down after a hard
frost or two. During the spring of the third season,
clear out a two- to three-foot wide patch or path
(depending on how you’ve organized the planting)
with a tiller and leave another path or patch alone.
The result will look like either a checkerboard or a
runway system through the jungle. While it is clear,
prepare the bared soil areas with mulch.
Over the summer, the remaining plants will send
out new runners to the bare spots and become
established. Don’t worry about the poor fruit
production from those new plantlets, but be prepared for a bountiful fruit set the following year!
Then, of course, remember to clear out the adjacent
patches or rows that had been cleared the previous
spring. This action results in a continuous supply of
robust plants producing plump, big and juicy berries!
Typical strawberry plantings go through a gradual
decline in productivity and plant quality. This is due
to a number of factors — viruses, insect activity
(especially the lygus or Tarnished plant bug), and in
some cases, root knot nematodes.
If your strawberries never seem to get off to a good
start, it could be a result of what was grown previously on that particular site. Crops in the tomato
family (Solanaceae), including potatoes, peppers
and eggplant, or members of the melon family, could
harbor Verticillium fungus which could be having a
negative impact on the strawberry planting.
Selecting strawberry cultivars to grow in your garden
is a lot like trying to select a new car; all have some
desirable features, but no one is absolutely perfect
for all situations. Consequently, some experimentation is needed on your part, but only select those
cultivars that are listed as resistant to diseases like
red stele, verticillium wilt and fruit rot. The cultivars
listed in Table 1 reflect those that possess these
resistance characteristics.
Table 1. Strawberry cultivars
showing disease resistance.
In favorite fruit polls, fresh raspberries top the list for
desirability. In addition to simply tasting scrumptious,
they are high in fiber and vitamin C. Brightly colored
fruits like strawberries and raspberries are high in
a natural substance called ellagic acid, a compound
which may help lower risk for cancer. In growing
raspberries for making preserves, the toughest
chore is to make sure they are not immediately
eaten! Consumed fresh, they can be used on
cereal, over ice cream, in pies, in tarts and in fruit
smoothies. The remaining fruits make outstanding
jams which can be enjoyed mostly through the
winter months, teasing taste buds for another fresh
crop of fruit in the upcoming growing season.
Raspberries need about the same physical conditions as strawberries: well-drained soil, full sunlight,
free airflow and soil rich in organic matter. To be
productive, raspberries need to have their fertility
level maintained, as nutrient-starved plants are poor
producers. Consequently, about five to eight pounds
of a 10-10-10 fertilizer per 1,000 square feet need
to be worked into the soil prior to planting of the
brambles. At the onset of new growth, scatter about
1/4 cup of the same material in a circle 10-12 inches
from each plant. Fertilizer applications should continue each year the crop is being managed: fertilize
in April/May as new growth is just beginning, and
again after harvest. With the right cultivar selection
and proper care, the home gardener can expect up
to 1,500 pounds from a half-acre of plants, or about
two quarts per plant.
Good management efforts will keep the raspberries
productive for five to eight years before viruses take
the plants out completely, or reduce production to
a level that isn’t worth picking. Productivity can be
maintained by continually replacing those plants
that show a decline or viral symptoms, and replacing them with new offshoots from plants displaying
vigorous growth and ample fruit production. Plants
grown mostly on a north-facing slope will stay
dormant longer in the spring and spread their
bearing period out a little longer than those grown
mostly on a south-facing slope. They also will be
less subject to late spring frosts due to better cold
air drainage.
While this is true for the red and purple summerbearing raspberries, fall-bearing cultivars are better
planted on a south-facing slope to allow for faster
maturation and greater assurance of having a
harvest. Refer to Table 2 for cultivar selections.
Table 2. Raspberry cultivars hardy
for cold climates (Zone 3).
Summer Bearing
Fall Bearing
Fall Red
* Trial in ND only; tested in WI and MN
Raspberries grow and produce fruit in a rather
unique manner. They are actually biennially growing
canes on perennial root systems. This means that
the first year, the canes (called primocanes) do not
produce fruit, but form flower buds along the canes
and their branches. The following season, these
canes (called floricanes) produce flowers — and
fruit — and then die.
Being shallow-rooted plants (70 percent of the root
system is in the upper 10 inches of soil), raspberries
would typically need supplemental irrigation to be
consistently productive in most areas of the Upper
Midwest. It is an extra expense, but well worth it for
the extra quality and quantity that is evident in the
developing fruit.
Inquiries often come in about raspberry canes
producing fruit in August or September from the
same plants that produced fruits in early July.
While they might be the same plants, they are not
the same canes; the fall fruit production is actually coming from primocanes that would normally
bear the following season. What happens is that the
primocanes grow and produce a certain number of
nodes. The growing tip then changes from a vegetative state to a reproductive one. Will those same
canes produce the next season? Yes, just not from
the same area on the cane. The fruit borne on the
upper cane will be small; the fruit borne the following
season in the mid-section of the cane will be much
bigger and sweeter.
Other Fruits for Jelly or Jam Making
While not a commercial apple production state,
North Dakota is none-the-less a good bet for growing some of the hardiest apples in home landscape
settings. The biggest disadvantage of growing
apples is the long wait — five to seven years —
before enough fruit is produced to warrant harvesting. Apple trees should be purchased from local
garden centers that handle cultivars having good
hardiness, or from mail-order nurseries that grow
cultivars hardy to Zone 3. The advantage of making
a local purchase is that the money stays locally,
and you get to select the tree, not someone else
on a production line.
Apple trees need to be planted where cold air
pockets cannot collect, so avoid planting them in
low areas on the property. While they need free
airflow, they need to be protected from the direct
prairie winds, which could not only damage the
trees physically, but keep the pollinating insects
from doing their work at critical time. In much of the
prairie region, apple trees, especially young ones,
need protection from rabbits, mice and deer. Their
damage can easily misshape a tree, and if the bark
is girdled on the trunk, cause its death. There are
several repellents on the market for this, so don’t
overlook this autumn chore, even as the trees
mature to bearing age.
With home-grown apples, the trees need careful
annual pruning. While impossible to give complete
instructions on apple tree pruning in this circular, try
to prune with two objectives in mind: to be able to
reach the fruit for harvest without having to get an
extension ladder, and to allow for as much sunlight
and air circulation as possible to pass through the
canopy. This will greatly reduce the incidence of
disease and breakage. For more detailed information, check out the publication, “Pruning Trees and
Shrubs” (H1036) or contact your local extension
service office.
Table 3 lists some of the hardiest cultivars of apples
that can be grown in the northern prairie region.
Table 3. Apple cultivars hardy in
North Dakota.
Haralson and Haralred
Prairie Spy
Sweet Sixteen
Dolgo Crabapple
There are other apples that can be grown in North
Dakota, but the intent in this publication is to use
selections that are good for making sauces and
preserves. All of the above make excellent
applesauce. While some cultivars claim to be selffruitful, fruit set is always better with two different
cultivars planted in the landscape.
Grapes need full sunlight and high temperatures to
ripen, so like the autumn-bearing raspberries, it is a
good practice to plant them on south-facing slopes,
the south side of a shelter belt or the south sides of
buildings or fences. Like the other fruits, they thrive
best in rich, loamy, well-drained soil. If more than
one vine is to be planted, space them six to eight
feet apart. After planting, remove all but the strongest cane, and shorten it to two strong buds. Each
bud will develop into a cane.
Fruit production is best if the vines are not allowed
to sprawl over the ground, training them instead to
what is known as a four-arm Kniffen system (see
Figure 1). This system is for grape cultivars listed
in this circular that produce vines hardy enough to
survive winters above ground. If marginal or tender
cultivars are selected, their canes must be buried
each fall before the arrival of winter. Grapes will
benefit from annual applications of fertilizer (10-1010 or something similar) at a rate of about one cup
spread out in a circle at 10-12 inches from the base
of the plant.
Proper timing of harvest isn’t as easy as one might
expect. Since grapes change color long before they
are fully mature, it is possible to pick clusters before
they have reached their peak of sugar content,
size or flavor. The taste test is the only sure way
for homeowners to know the right time for picking.
If sweet enough, then harvest; if not, wait another
week. Grapes do not “mellow” into a sweeter taste
after harvesting, which is true of all the other fruits
described in this circular.
Table 4 lists some of the hardy grape cultivars
that can be grown in North Dakota. All will make
excellent grape jelly.
Table 4. Hardy grapes.
Bluebell (southern half of state)
Swenson Red (southern half of state)
Cherries and Plums
Many cultivars of cherries and plums can be
successfully grown in North Dakota and nicely
processed into tasty jellies and jams. Unfortunately,
the Prunus spp. has some drawbacks that one
should consider before growing these fruits for
edible purposes. A fungal disease known as black
knot has become quite widespread, especially with
chokecherries, a common ornamental with edible
fruit that is grown throughout our region. In addition, many of the species will sucker which could
cause frustration with homeowners who attempt
to keep everything in place in the landscape. That
said, for some folks these disadvantages are worth
the strugge to enjoy the tart, tasty fruit. Like apples,
these plant species need full sunlight, well-drained
soil, and, with two different cultivars, will set more
Hardy plums, sandcherry-plum hybrids, apricots,
and Nanking and Korean cherries will produce crops
on relatively young growth. In comparison to apples,
these species will need more severe pruning to keep
them highly productive.
Renewal spur
Figure 1. A vine before pruning (top) which has
been trained to the Four-Arm Kniffin System. The
same vine (bottom) after pruning.
Table 5 lists some members of Prunus group to
consider for jellies and jams.
It should be noted that apricots most likely will not
bear on an annual basis, but perhaps once every
three to four years. The sour cherries should be
Table 5.
Alderman Plum
Pembina Plum
Underwood Plum
Waneta Plum
Toka Plum
Bali Sour Cherry
North Star Sour Cherry
Meteor Sour Cherry
Nanking Cherry
Moongold Apricot
Sungold Apricot
planted with the graft union about four inches below
the soil to prevent killing from low temperatures.
A three- to four-inch application of mulch over the
root system would aid in the survival of these two
Juneberries, the “poor man’s blueberry,” can be
treated from a growing perspective much like any
other fruit discussed so far. Soil with good drainage, such as a sandy loam, will provide higher
success with this crop than heavy clay soils. Plants
can begin to produce a crop two to four years after
planting, and can get to be quite large in size as a
multi-stemmed shrub. Birds are a big problem with
Juneberries; they will eat them slightly under-ripe
for our picking objectives. One or two shrubs in a
home landscape can be a 100 percent contribution
to the robins that have returned after winter unless
extensive protective measures are taken to keep
them at bay with netting. To keep them productive,
selective pruning should take place annually.
Remove the oldest branches every three to five
years, and pinch or nip back the vigorous shoots
that appear the following growing season.
Eaten fresh, the fruits are tasty and may also be
used for wine, pies, jams and fruit rolls. They can
also be canned or frozen. To get to this fruit, keep
the shrubs within reach of either a step stool or
small folding ladder. Heights of eight to nine feet are
suggested. Do the pruning in late winter or early
spring before new growth begins.
There are many cultivars available on the market,
with a fairly wide variation in fruit size, seed density
and flavor. Commercial growers look for ‘Moonlake’
or ‘Northline’ because the seed size and weight are
lower and the fruit is of a desirable flavor. Lacking
the availability of either of these, the cultivars
‘Pembina’, ‘Honeywood’ and ‘Smoky’ are usually
available on the homeowner market and are of
excellent quality.
Rhubarb is legally considered a fruit, even though
it is grown as a vegetable. The reason for this is
its end uses: sauces, pies and in combination with
other fruits and in jams. Rhubarb can be harvested
in early spring, the stalks diced and utilized in pies,
or frozen for winter use. Two to three plants are
usually enough for the average family’s use. While
the stalks are edible, the leaves never are, under
any preparation regimen.
The soil for rhubarb should be fertile loam, welldrained and enriched with compost. Recommended
cultivars to consider are ‘Valentine’, ‘McDonald’,
‘Canadian Red’, and ‘Sunrise’.
Currants and Gooseberries
Currants and Gooseberries, both native plants to the
Great Plains, are commonly grown as ornamental
shrubs in the sub-canopy shade of larger landscape
trees. Of the same genus (Ribes), these plants are
known for sweet-tasting fruits that make excellent
jellies and jams — provided the right ones are
selected. The Clove, or Buffalo Currant (Ribes
odoratum), is grown for it’s edible fruit and very
fragrant yellow flowers preceding the fruit. Keep
in mind that this species is dioecious (meaning
separate sexes), and that in order to have fruit,
one must have the female of the species. The major
difference between currants and gooseberries is the
size of the fruit; currants are about pea size, while
gooseberries are about cherry size.
Both the gooseberry and currant can be grown as
either individual specimen plants or in hedge form.
They will do well in our calcareous soil, in full sun
or partial shade.
Jams and Jellies
Many sun-ripened fresh fruits taste delicious by themselves or topping
a bowl of ice cream, but why not preserve your summer bounty?
Making jellies, jams and syrups is a way to enjoy the fruits of the season when summertime is just a memory. At about 50 calories, 14 grams
carbohydrate and no fat per tablespoon serving, jellies and jams provide
lots of flavor without lots of calories.
Making jams, jellies and syrups successfully depends on having the right proportion of the main
ingredients: fruit, acid, sugar and pectin, the gelling
agent. Measuring carefully will help ensure success.
Fruit provides color and flavor to jams, jellies and
syrups, along with at least part of the acid and
pectin needed for gelling to occur. Start with highquality fruit, discarding spoiled or damaged fruit.
Your end product is only as good as your starting
ingredients. Fresh, frozen, canned or dried fruit
may be used to make jams. Commercially frozen or
canned fruit will require the addition of pectin. For a
more uniform end product, use canned fruit without
added sugar. If dried fruit is used in
jams, it must be cooked in water
until tender before using in jams.
Acid provides flavor and aids in gelling. It’s best to
follow a research-tested recipe. Acid is naturally
present in fruits, but sometimes bottled lemon juice
is needed for proper gelling. As a ballpark estimate
of acid content taste can be used — it’s “acidic
enough” if it’s comparable in tartness to a good tart
apple or a mixture of 3 tablespoons water, 1 teaspoon bottled lemon juice and 1/2 teaspoon sugar.
If the juice isn’t this tart, add two teaspoons to one
tablespoon of bottled lemon juice OR 1/8 teaspoon
citric acid per cup of fruit juice.
Sugar contributes flavor, helps preserve jams
and jellies, and it interacts with pectin to make
a gel. Do not alter the amount of sugar or other
ingredients called for in a jelly or jam recipe,
because syrup could result, which
probably isn’t the desired outcome.
Sugar sources include granulated “table”
sugar, light corn syrup or mild honey. Strongly
flavored sweeteners such as brown sugar or
molasses are not recommended. Granulated
sugar provides the most consistent product.
Flavorful fruit spreads can be made with less sugar
and fewer calories than regular jams and jellies by
following specially formulated recipes and using
specialized pectin products such as low-methoxyl
pectin. Sugar substitutes, or artificial sweeteners,
should only be used in recipes specially formulated
to include them. For example, sweeteners such as
Equal® or Nutrasweet® lose their sweetness when
heated. Sucralose®, sold as Spenda®, is a heatstable, non-caloric sweetener that can be used with
modified pectin in low- or no-sugar recipes.
Pectin, a carbohydrate naturally present in many
fruits, acts as a gelling agent in jams and jellies. In
general, the riper the fruit, the less pectin it contains.
As a rule of thumb, use a mixture of about 3/4 ripe
and 1/4 under-ripe fruit when making jelly without
added pectin. Not all fruit has adequate pectin to
form a gel, so many jam and jelly recipes call for
added commercial pectin. Liquid and powdered
pectin products are available; however, they are not
interchangeable. They must be used as directed in
order to produce a satisfactory product. Liquid pectin
is added to the hot, cooked fruit-sugar mixture, while
powdered pectin is mixed with unheated fruit or
juice. For best quality, check the box of pectin for
the “use by” date.
In some jam and jelly recipes, gelatin is used in
place of pectin. Most gelatin-containing recipes
should not be water-bath processed or stored
at room temperature unless they have been
research-tested for stability and safety. Most gelatincontaining recipes must be refrigerated and used
within three to four weeks.
Testing for Pectin Content in Fruit: Place 1
tablespoon cooked, cooled fruit juice in a dish and
add 1 tablespoon grain- or denatured alcohol. Stir
slightly to mix. Juices rich in pectin will form a solid
jelly-like mass. Juices low in pectin will form small
particles of a jelly-like material. NOTE: Dispose of
this mixture without tasting. If the test indicates the
juice is rich in pectin, use 1 cup sugar for each cup
of juice. If the product is low in pectin, a commercial
product must be used to help ensure proper gel
Assemble needed equipment before you begin
making jam or jelly. Following is a list of the usual
equipment needed to extract juice and make jams
and jellies:
• Heavy metal pan(s) with cover(s)
• Jelly bags or closely woven cheesecloth
and colander
• Knives
• Bowls
• Measuring cups, spoons and/or scale
• Mixing spoons
• Thermometer
• Timer
• Canning jars and lids (pint or half-pint)
• Funnel
• Ladle
• Rubber spatula (heat-tolerant)
• Jar lifter
• Pot holders
• Boiling water bath canner (or deep cooking
pot with tight lid)
• Rack
• Towels
• Labeling supplies
Preparing Jars and Lids
Important Tip
Make only one recipe at a
time, using 6 to 8 cups juice.
Doubled recipes usually don’t gel
Half-pint jars are generally recommended. Before
beginning, carefully check jars for cracks or chips.
Jars with defects may prevent adequate seals.
Wash jars, lids and bands in hot, soapy water and
rinse carefully. Sterilize jars in boiling water for
10 minutes. Keep the jars in hot water, removing
excess water just before filling to prevent cracking or
breaking when hot fruit mixture is added. Follow the
manufacturer’s directions for heat treating the lids.
Processing Jellies and Jams
Extracting Juice for
Making Jelly
The method for extracting juice depends on the type
and firmness of the fruit. Wash fruit but do not pare
or core (to preserve pectin), then cut in small pieces.
Wash berries and carefully remove stems.
Firm fruit like apples usually requires some cooking
and a small amount of water (about one cup water
per pound apples). To extract juice from berries,
add only enough water to prevent scorching. After
adding water, bring to a boil and stir constantly.
Apples, for example, should be cooked for about 20
minutes, while grapes require only about 10 minutes
of cooking. Reduce heat and pour contents into a
damp jelly bag or let juice drip through a double
layer of cheesecloth. Excessive pressing or squeezing of cooked fruit will cause cloudy jelly.
Juice can be stored for about one week in the
refrigerator if it will not be used right away. Juice
can also be frozen for several months in containers,
leaving 1½-inch headspace.
Jams, jellies and syrups that will be stored at room
temperature are processed in a water bath canner
to help prevent mold growth. Pour the jelly, jam or
syrup into hot, sterilized jars, leaving ¼-inch headspace. Remove bubbles with bubble freer or spatula,
clean rims and jar threads carefully before applying
lid and ring. Do not over-tighten lids, which may lead
to buckling and a poor seal. Consult manufacturer’s
directions; most recommend “finger tight.”
Place jars in canner filled with simmering water.
The water should be one to two inches over the tops
of the jars. Begin timing when the water is boiling
gently. At the end of the recommended processing
time, remove jars carefully with a jar lifter and place
on a rack or protected surface away from drafts. Do
not disturb the jars for at least 12 hours. Sealed lids
will be concave. You may hear them “pop.”
Using paraffin is NOT recommended as a way to
seal jellies and jams. Turning jars upside down to
seal also is not recommended. USDA recommends
processing jams, jellies and syrups in a boiling water
bath canner to inactivate molds that may be present.
Unsterilized jars may be used if the jelly or jam is
processed for 10 minutes.
Making Jams
Wash and remove hulls and stems. Place fruit in
water to cover, and cook until fruit mixture is tender.
Mash through a sieve. Measure pulp. Add sugar in
the proportions listed in tested recipes. Continue
to cook slowly until thick.
Table 6. Recommended water bath process time
for jams and jellies in a boiling water bath canner.
Style of
Jar Size
0-1,000 ft.
1,0016,000 ft.
6,000 ft.
or pints
5 min.
10 min.
15 min.
Remaking Soft Jellies
Sometimes jellies turn out softer than desired. They
can be remade following these steps, but it’s generally a good idea to make a smaller test batch:
Store preserves in a cool, dark place and for best
quality, use within one year.
To Remake Jellies with Powdered Pectin:
For each quart of jelly, mix ¼ cup sugar, ½ cup
water, 2 tablespoons bottled lemon juice and 4
teaspoons powdered pectin. Bring to a boil while
stirring. Add jelly and bring to a rolling boil over high
heat, stirring constantly. Boil hard ½ minute. Remove
from heat, quickly skim foam off jelly, and fill sterile
jars, leaving ¼-inch headspace. Adjust new lids
and process as recommended.
To Remake Jellies with Liquid Pectin:
For each quart of jelly, measure ¾ cup sugar, 2
tablespoons bottled lemon juice, and 2 tablespoons
liquid pectin. Bring jelly only to boil over high heat,
while stirring. Remove from heat and quickly add
the sugar, lemon juice and pectin. Bring to a full
rolling boil, stirring constantly. Boil hard for 1 minute.
Quickly skim off foam and fill sterile jars, leaving
¼-inch headspace. Adjust new lids and process
as recommended.
To Remake Jellies
without Added Pectin:
For each quart of jelly, add
2 tablespoons bottled lemon
juice. Heat to boiling and
boil for 3 to 4 minutes. Remove
from heat, quickly skim off foam,
and fill sterile jars, leaving ¼-inch
headspace. Adjust new
lids and process as
Important Tip
Use the jar size specified in the
recipe. Use of larger jars may result
in excessively soft products, and
the processing time may not be long
enough, leading to spoilage.
The altitude in North Dakota varies from 800 feet
above sea level in the east to 3,000 feet in the
west. The map above shows the approximate
altitude of areas in North Dakota.
The following recipes are from a variety of sources
including the USDA Complete Guide to Home Canning
and Cooperative Extension Services in Minnesota,
Wisconsin and Washington. The yields may vary
depending on the degree of cooking/thickness of the
product. For this reason, it is suggested to sterilize
extra jars “just in case” of higher yields.
Apple or Crabapple Jelly
4 cups crabapple juice (about 3 pounds
crabapples and 3 cups water)
4 cups sugar
To prepare juice, select firm, crisp crabapples,
about 1/4 firm-ripe and 3/4 fully ripe. Sort, wash
and remove stem and blossom ends; do not pare or
core. Cut crabapples into small pieces. Add water,
cover and bring to boil on high heat. Reduce heat
and simmer for 20 to 25 minutes, or until crabapples
are soft. Extract juice and pour into jelly bag. To
make jelly, sterilize canning jars and measure juice
into saucepot. Add sugar and stir well. Boil over high
heat to 8 degrees Fahrenheit above the boiling point
of water (approximately 220° F depending on the
altitude where you live), or until jelly mixture sheets
from spoon. Remove from heat; skim off foam
quickly. Pour jelly immediately into hot canning jars,
leaving ¼-inch headspace. Wipe jar rims and adjust
lids. Adjust lids and process in a boiling water bath
canner for 5 minutes for pints at altitudes from
0 to 1,000 feet or for 10 minutes from 1,001
to 6,000 feet.
Apple Spread
(Refrigerated and reduced-sugar)
2 tablespoons unflavored gelatin powder
1 quart bottle unsweetened apple juice
2 tablespoons bottled lemon juice
2 tablespoons liquid, low-calorie sweetener
Food coloring, if desired
In a saucepan, soften the gelatin in the apple and
lemon juices. To dissolve gelatin, bring to a full
rolling boil and boil 2 minutes. Remove from heat.
Stir in sweetener and food coloring, if desired. Fill
jars, leaving ¼-inch headspace. Adjust lids. Do not
process or freeze. CAUTION: Store in refrigerator
and use within 4 weeks.
Optional: For spiced apple jelly, add 2 sticks of
cinnamon and 4 whole cloves to mixture before
boiling. Remove both spices before adding the
sweetener and food coloring.
Approximate yield: 4 to 5 half-pints
Approximate yield: 4 to 5 half-pints
Blackberry-Huckleberry Jam
6 cups wild blackberries
¼ cup water
7 cups sugar
1 cup huckleberries (half underripe)
½ bottle liquid pectin
Wash blackberries, crush, and combine with water
in saucepan. Bring to a boil and simmer, covered,
5 minutes. Force mixture through coarse sieve or
food mill to remove most of the seeds. Measure.
Add water to give 3 cups of blackberry pulp. Combine pulp, huckleberries and sugar in large (8 quart)
kettle, mixing well. Heat to a full rolling boil; boil hard
1 minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat; stir
in pectin; skim. Pour into hot, sterilized jars. Adjust
lids and process in a boiling water bath canner for
5 minutes at altitudes from 0 to 1,000 feet or for 10
minutes from 1,001 to 6,000 feet.
Approximate yield: 9 to 10 half-pints
Jelly with Liquid Pectin
To extract the juice, wash all fruits thoroughly before
cooking. Add enough water to cover the washed
fruit and cook 15 minutes or until fruit is soft. Do not
crush or grind the seeds which contain a cyanideforming compound that can be toxic. When fruit is
tender, press lightly through a colander. Then, let
juice drip through a double layer of cheesecloth or
a jelly bag. Excessive pressing or squeezing of
cooked fruit will cause cloudy jelly. One pound of
fruit should yield at least 1 cup of clear juice.
3 cups chokecherry juice
6 ½ cups sugar
2 pouches liquid pectin
¼ teaspoon almond extract (optional)
Wild Plum Jam (Freezer Jam)
3 cups wild plums (finely mashed or sieved)
6 cups sugar
1 box powdered pectin
1 cup water
Combine fruit and sugar. Let stand about 20
minutes, stirring occasionally. Boil powdered pectin
and water rapidly for 1 minute, stirring constantly.
Remove from heat. Add the fruit and stir about
2 minutes. Pour into jars; tighten lids. Let stand at
room temperature for 24 hours until set.
Store in freezer or refrigerator.
Approximate yield:
7 to 9 half-pints.
Pour juice into large heavy kettle. Add sugar and
stir to mix. Place over high heat. Bring to a boil,
stirring constantly. Stir in pectin. Bring to a full rolling
boil and boil hard for 1 minute, stirring constantly.
Remove from heat. Stir and skim 5 minutes. Add
almond extract if desired. Pour into hot, sterilized
half-pint jars, leaving ¼ inch headspace. Adjust lids
and process in a boiling water bath canner for
5 minutes at altitudes from 0 to 1,000 feet or for
10 minutes from 1,001 to 6,000 feet.
Approximate yield: 5 to 6 half-pints
Wild Grape Jelly
Chokecherry Jelly with
Powdered Pectin
(Extract juice as in previous chokecherry jelly
3½ cups chokecherry juice
4 cups sugar
1 box powdered pectin
Stir pectin into juice. Bring mixture to a full rolling
boil over high heat, stirring constantly. Quickly add
sugar to juice mixture. Bring to a full rolling boil and
boil 1 minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat.
Skim off any foam. Pour into hot, sterilized half-pint
jars leaving ¼-inch headspace. Cover with two-piece
lids. Adjust lids and process in a boiling water bath
canner for 5 minutes at altitudes from 0 to 1,000 feet
or for 10 minutes from 1,001 to 6,000 feet.
Juice of 1 lemon or 2 Tbsp. bottled juice
6 cups wild grape juice
1 package powdered fruit pectin
7½ cups sugar
To extract the juice, use 1 cup water per 1 pound
fruit. Cool for 5-10 minutes in covered pot. Continue
extraction as directed in chokecherry jelly recipe.
Add the strained lemon juice to the grape juice; heat
to boiling. Add the pectin and again bring to a boil.
Stir in the sugar. Bring to a rolling boil; boil hard for
1 minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat;
skim. Pour into hot sterilized jars and seal with twopiece self-sealing lids. Adjust lids and process
in a boiling water bath canner for 5 minutes
at altitudes from 0 to 1,000
feet or for 10 minutes from
1,001 to 6,000 feet.
Approximate yield:
9 to 10 half-pints.
Approximate yield: 5 to 6 half-pints
Grape Plum Jelly
Gooseberry Jam
6 cups gooseberries (3/4 ripe{red},
1/4 underripe{green})
1½ cups water
4 cups sugar
Wash berries, place in saucepan with added water
and bring to boiling. Reduce heat and simmer until
gooseberries are soft, approximately 15 minutes.
Remove from heat and measure pulp (about
4 cups). Add sugar and boil about 7-9 minutes.
Remove from heat, skim, and pour into hot,
sterilized jars. Adjust lids and process in a boiling
water bath canner for 5 minutes at altitudes from
0 to 1,000 feet or for 10 minutes from 1,001 to
6,000 feet.
Approximate yield: 7 to 9 half-pints
3½ pounds ripe plums
3 pounds ripe Concord grapes
1 cup water
½ teaspoon butter or margarine
(optional ingredient to reduce foaming)
8½ cups sugar
1 box (1¾ oz) powdered pectin
Wash grapes. Wash and pit plums; do not peel.
Thoroughly crush plums and grapes, one layer at
a time, in a saucepan. Add water. Bring to a boil,
cover, and simmer 10 minutes. Strain juice through
a jelly bag or double layer of cheesecloth. Measure
sugar and set aside. Combine 6½ cups of juice with
butter and pectin in a large saucepan. Bring to a
hard boil over heat, stirring constantly. Add the sugar
and return to a full rolling boil. Boil hard for 1 minute,
stirring constantly. Remove from heat, skim off foam,
and quickly fill into sterile half-pint jars, leaving
¼-inch headspace. Adjust lids and process in a
boiling water bath canner for 5 minutes at altitudes
from 0 to 1,000 feet or for 10 minutes from 1,001 to
6,000 feet.
Approximate yield: 10 half-pints
Strawberry Jam – Low Sugar
6 cups crushed strawberries
4 cups sugar
1 box low-sugar pectin
Juneberry Jam
Wash berries and put through coarse food chopper.
Measure 4 cups pulp, and add water just to cover in
large pan. Boil gently. Add:
Juice of 2 lemons or 2 tablespoons bottled
2 oranges — first grated and then cut up
into small pieces
3 cups sugar
Boil about 20 minutes. Pour into hot sterilized jars
and seal with two-piece self-sealing lids. Adjust lids
and process in a boiling water bath canner for
5 minutes at altitudes from 0 to 1,000 feet or for
10 minutes at altitudes from 1,001 to 6,000 feet.
Sort, wash, remove stems and crush berries.
Measure strawberries into a large saucepan. Whisk
no-sugar pectin into prepared fruit to avoid lumps.
Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Boil 1 minute,
stirring constantly. Remove from heat and skim foam
if needed. Ladle into hot, sterilized half-pint jars,
leaving ¼-inch headspace. Adjust lids and process
in a boiling water bath canner for 5 minutes at
altitudes from 0 to 1,000 feet or for 10 minutes
from 1,001 to 6,000 feet.
Approximate yield:
7 to 9 half-pints.
Approximate yield: 5 to 6 half-pints
Raspberry Jam
4 cups crushed raspberries (about 2 quarts)
6½ cups sugar
1 pouch liquid pectin
Place fruit in a pan, and add sugar. Bring to a full
rolling boil, stirring constantly. Boil for one minute.
Add liquid pectin and boil for the time stated on
package. Remove from heat and skim foam. Stir for
5 minutes. Ladle into prepared half-pint jars, leaving ¼-inch headspace. Remove bubbles by running
a spatula or bubble freer between the jam and the
side of the jar. Adjust lids and process in a boiling
water bath canner for 5 minutes at altitudes from
0 to 1,000 feet or for 10 minutes from 1,001 to
6,000 feet.
Approximate yield: 7 to 9 half-pints
Rhubarb-Strawberry Jam
With Pectin
1 cup cooked red-stalked rhubarb
(about 1 pound rhubarb and ¼ cup water)
2½ cups crushed strawberries
(about 1½ quart boxes)
6½ cups sugar
1 pouch liquid pectin
Wash rhubarb and slice thin or chop; do not peel.
Add water, cover and simmer until rhubarb is tender
(about one minute). Sort and wash fully ripe strawberries: remove stems and caps. Crush berries.
Measure prepared rhubarb and strawberries into a
kettle. Add sugar and stir well. Place on high heat
and, stirring constantly, quickly bring to a full boil
with bubbles over the entire surface. Boil hard for
one minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat
and stir in pectin. Skim. Fill hot jam immediately into
hot, sterile jars, leaving ¼-inch head space. Wipe
rims of jars with a dampened clean paper towel;
adjust the lids and process the jars as described in
Table 3.
Approximate yield: About 7 or 8 half-pints
General Recipe:
Syrups Made with Juice
4 cups juice
4 cups sugar
¼ cup bottled lemon juice (if desired)
½ package or less powdered pectin (if desired)
Mix juice, sugar, lemon juice and pectin. Bring to
boil and boil 2 minutes. Remove from heat, skim
off foam, and pour into ½ pint or 1 pint canning jars
to within ½-inch of top. Adjust lids and process in
boiling water bath canner for 10 minutes. Remove
from canner and cool. Check lids, label, and store
in cook, dry place.
Approximate yield:
8 half-pints or 4 pints
Blackberry Syrup
4 cups blackberry juice
4 cups sugar
¼ cup bottled lemon juice
Mix all ingredients and simmer until dissolved.
Pour into clean, hot jars. Adjust lids and process
for 10 minutes in boiling water bath canner.
Approximate yield: 8 half-pints or 4 pints
Blueberry Syrup
2 quarts blueberries
4 cups sugar
¾ cup cold water
Mash fruit, sprinkle with sugar, cover and let stand
overnight in refrigerator. Add water, bring to a boil
and cook 20 minutes. Strain through cheesecloth.
Heat to boiling point, pour into hot, clean jars.
Process 10 minutes in boiling water bath canner.
Approximate yield: 8 half-pints or 4 pints
For more information,
contact your county office of the
NDSU Extension Service or visit these Web sites:
Horticulture: www.ag.ndsu.nodak.edu/horticulture.htm
Food Preservation: www.ag.ndsu.nodak.edu/food.htm
National Center for Home Food Preservation: www.uga.edu/nchfp/
The NDSU Extension Service does not endorse commercial products or companies even though reference may be made
to tradenames, trademarks or service names.
NDSU encourages you to use and share this content, but please do so under the conditions of our Creative Commons
license. You may copy, distribute, transmit and adapt this work as long as you give full attribution, don’t use the work for
commercial purposes and share your resulting work similarly. For more information, visit www.ag.ndsu.edu/agcomm/
County commissions, North Dakota State University and U.S. Department of Agriculture cooperating. North Dakota State University does not discriminate on
the basis of age, color, disability, gender expression/identity, genetic information, marital status, national origin, public assistance status, sex, sexual orientation,
status as a U.S. veteran, race or religion. Direct inquiries to the Vice President for Equity, Diversity and Global Outreach, 205 Old Main, (701) 231-7708. This
publication will be made available in alternative formats for people with disabilities upon request, (701) 231-7881.
1M-4-03, 2M-8-03, 1M-7-04, 1M-7-05, 1M-8-06, 2M-5-11

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