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Gift Ideas Made Easy with the Ball FreshTech Jam Maker Plus a Giveaway – [Closed]

I love homemade gifts!  Call it crafty or from your kitchen, homemade is awesome.

If you’re still looking for homemade gift ideas, why not make a few batches of homemade jam or jelly this year?

Ball FreshTech Jam Maker and Supplies

Rachael and I tested out the Ball FreshTech Jam Maker and had a blast!   We tried new recipes and learned just how easy it is to have a delicious treat in less than 30 minutes.

Here’s what we did and some tips for your own homemade jam-making session.

Choose Your Recipes
The Ball FreshTech Jam Maker comes with a handy recipe book, all proportioned to work perfectly in the machine.  We made Vanilla Strawberry Jam, Strawberry Balsamic Jam, Pepper Jelly and Pomegranate Jelly.  Really, this is the hardest part.  We seriously considered making every single recipe in the book, just so we could taste test them all.

Strawberries and Vanilla Bean Pods

Gather Your Ingredients and Supplies
Use fresh produce for the best results.  Gather your 8-ounce jelly jars and lids and rings.  For hot water processing, you’ll also need a large pot with a rack and tongs.  A large spoon, spatula and wide-mouth funnel help with the transfer. Don’t forget the Ball RealFruit Classic Pectin.

Get Started
Rinse and chop your produce for jam.  Jellies typically just call for unsweetened juices like grape or pomegranate. Sprinkle the pectin in the pan.  Add the ingredients. Press a button.  About 4 minutes later, you’ll add the sugar and the machine does the rest!

We watched the first batch as the stirrer mixed the strawberries and pectin. Yes, all the sugar does get mixed in.  The sticky goodness gets heated and stirred until BEEP-BEEP! You have hot jam ready.

Enjoy!
Store your yummy jams or jellies in the freezer for up to a year.  Follow these canning instructions if you want to store your creations on a pantry shelf.  We opted for the obvious way to enjoy… eating and sampling all our efforts immediately.

Strawberry Jam on Toast

Tips
Read the instruction book and the recipes before you start.

Invite a friend over to help.  While one batch is cooking, you can be prepping the next recipes or warming up the jars. Since you don’t have to stand by the stove and stir, you actually have time to visit.

We noticed the balsamic vinegar made the recipe bubble up right to the edge.  Best not to step too far away if you’re using this recipe.

Be bold and try new things.  With a minimal investment of your time and the ingredients, you can afford to try new recipes.

Pepper Crusted Pork Roast with Strawberry Balsamic Jam Sauce

Uses
This Vanilla Strawberry Jam lasted less than 24 hours at my house.  Toast, pancakes, straight from the jar…the vanilla makes this sooo delicious!  Run to Costco and buy up vanilla beans. You can thank me later.

I warmed up the Strawberry Balsamic Jam to serve with a Pepper Pork Roast.  It’s still a sweet sauce, but not “dessert” sweet, a nice addition to the pepper rub on the pork.

Finally, I tried a couple of tablespoons of the Pomegranate Jelly whisked together with some almond oil, salt and pepper to make a dressing for a spinach salad with pears and pecans and pomegranate seeds.  On toast, it tastes similar to grape jelly but it’s not purple, said my oldest child.

If you’re in the jam-making mood, we want to help you get started.  One lucky reader will win a Ball FreshTECH Jam & Jelly Maker from TodaysMama and this gift pack of canning supplies from Ball!

Ball Canning Gift Pack

  • 1 signed copy of the Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving
  • 1 decorative Gallon jar, a bottle of Ball Classic Pectin
  • 5 cases of Ball canning jars
  • 1 Ball collapsible funnel
  • 1 package of Ball dis solvable labels

To enter, leave a comment below and tell us your favorite flavor of jam or jelly.

Giveaway ends Saturday, December 8th at 5 pm MST. Winner will be contacted by email and have 24 hours to respond.

Congratulations to Diana G from Texas, our Gift Pack winner!  Lucky for Diana’s neighbors, too! Thanks to all who commented.

More Posts
Home Canning Basics

Uses for Pomegranate

Making Homemade Applesauce

Note: We were provided with a Ball FreshTech Jam Maker to review. The delicious jam and jelly and opinions are all ours alone.  Okay, we did share some of our jam.

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Comments (18)

  1. Priyanka Garg 12/05/2012 at 10:49 am

    I simply love the mixed fruits Jam! Its yummy, it has pineapples, pears, peaches and cherries mixed with citrus juice.It is my alltime favorite.
    The other one i love is Orange Marmalade. Yummm!

  2. Martha C. 12/03/2012 at 11:13 pm

    I like plum jam the best!

  3. Paula McCurry 12/03/2012 at 7:41 pm

    Yum!! I love home canned products! I especially love peach and apricot jams. Jalapeno jelly is tasty, too. And have you ever tasted sand plum jelly? Oh wow! My great grandmother canned, my grandmother canned and my mother canned a little. But Me? I’m ashamed to say I can’t can at all. It’s on my bucket list for sure. I feel some of our “homemaking arts” are disappearing and we just can’t let that happen. I learned to be a quilt maker and I’m very proud of that. I’ve done a little gardening….but I’m not so great on the follow-through. I’ve always felt I would enjoy canning, but I’ve lost all of my relatives who could have taught me to can. Like everyone else, I would love to win….but I wish good luck to us all!

  4. Holly 12/03/2012 at 5:52 pm

    I love, love, love triple berry jam! (i.e. rasberry, blueberry, strawberry)

  5. Tenille Tsujimoto 12/03/2012 at 5:01 pm

    LOVE LOVE LOVE homemade jam. Favorite flavor to make is anything with peach. I’ve done strawberry peach, raspberry peach and both are super tasty!

  6. Diana G 12/03/2012 at 2:05 pm

    Delicious Strawberry!

  7. Julie Robertson 12/03/2012 at 1:15 pm

    My favorite is good ole’ strawberry! Thank you for the chance!

  8. Melissa 12/03/2012 at 1:01 pm

    STRAWBERRY!

  9. Emlyn 12/03/2012 at 12:18 pm

    Apricot! I love it on french toast. Yummmmm…

  10. Debbie Dunham 12/03/2012 at 12:08 pm

    I’m partial to grape jelly but do enjoy peach, wild plum and pepper jelly!

    Thanks for the opportunity!

  11. Amy Tong 12/03/2012 at 2:11 am

    What a wonderful prize pack. My favorite jam is strawberry. Can’t wait to make this recipe with the vanilla!
    amy (at) utry (dot) it

  12. Karen 12/01/2012 at 7:37 am

    My husband has a whole big tub of jelly making supplies and this would eliminate the big bulky pots and make it so much easier for him to make his famous jam and jelly! I would love the opportunity to give it to him for Christmas. Favorite flavor is beach plum jelly!

  13. Maria H. 11/30/2012 at 5:05 pm

    I’m simple and love my strawberry….but love to experiment with new flavors. The Jam Maker would make it a lot easier and fun to do with my daughter. :-)

  14. Michelle H 11/29/2012 at 11:32 pm

    Loganberry jam is the best! You all have gotta try it.

  15. Amy 11/29/2012 at 11:46 am

    Hi Sharon! Thanks for your comment! Just to clarify-the winner will receive the gift pack listed which does not include a jam maker, just all the supplies you’d need with or without the machine.

  16. Sharon Stone 11/29/2012 at 11:28 am

    I love to make homemade jam or jelly to give to my friends and family. so, a Ball Freshtech Jam Maker would be great to have sure hope I win!!!!

    • Amy Allen Johnson 12/03/2012 at 1:25 pm

      Hi again! We’ve decided to throw in the Jam Maker as part of the prize from Ball. Best of luck!

  17. LaVerne 11/29/2012 at 11:13 am

    OH, YUM! TODAY, my favorite is cranberry walnut jam, but I have other favorites on other days. I love jam making, and love to experiment with new flavors and combinations! Good luck, everybody!