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PostHeaderIcon Ball Jam and Jelly Maker: Apple Jelly #Recipe

Disclosure: This is a post written by me and any opinions expressed are my own. I may or may not have received compensation for my services.

Ball® Freshtech Automatic Jam & Jelly Maker

Ball Jam and Jelly Maker 2When I first started canning, I knew that I was going to run right to the Ball Fresh Preserving website in hopes to find some help. I wanted to make jam and jelly so, where else would I go? After all, the Ball brand is the most well known for all things canning!

I tried the making jelly on the stove and let’s just say it was a bit of a nightmare. This was probably due to the fact that I had kids trying to talk to me and I couldn’t give it my full attention. Such is mom life, right?

While poking around on the Ball website, I came across something called a Ball® Freshtech Automatic Jam & Jelly Maker. Say what?! Automatic you say? Shut up and take my money! I was so excited and went on to read more about it. There had to be some catch. I couldn’t be that easy and I need to know more before I spend $90 on it!

Here is what Ball says about this machine:

With the Ball® freshTECH; Automatic Jam and Jelly Maker, you can treat your family to delectable fresh fruit preserves and spreads at any time. The appliance provides an easy, fast process for making old-fashioned jam. You can choose to make a variety of spreads with fruit ingredients like blueberries, peaches or strawberries along with pectin, sugar and butter. You can even make a reduced-sugar recipe for low calorie jam.

The innovative Automatic Jam & Jelly Maker will make a fruit spread in just 30 minutes! Instead of the traditional time-consuming large batch canning method, the user-friendly Automatic Jam and Jelly Maker can make small batches. Now you can try-out fun new recipes and experiment with old recipes without the commitment of making a large batch. Add fruit, natural pectin, sugar and a touch of butter (to avoid foaming).

Once the jam-making process is complete, the Automatic Jam and Jelly Maker will emit a signal. With the Automatic Jam and Jelly Maker, you will no longer question if the recipe has cooked for the proper time. In addition, families can enjoy the fruit creation immediately, or you can continue the preservation process. If you decide to preserve the jam, just bottle the product in freezer-safe jars or finish canning by adding the jam-filled jars to a boiling water bath. The appliance can make about four (8 oz.) half pints of jam or jelly during each batch. The button section is clearly marked and easy to use with two settings, which are jam or jelly. Includes a recipe book and features a nonstick interior for easy cleanup. Homemade jam is the perfect holiday gift as it’s affordable and adds a personal touch. This one convenient appliance will help keep your kitchen stocked with fresh fruit preserves.

In addition, the appliance is a handy size for easy cabinet storage while it can be cleaned in a flash. The freshTECH Automatic Jam & Jelly Maker with SmartStir™ technology brings ease and convenience to homemade jams and jellies. The jam maker stirs the ingredients while it cooks so you don’t have to! Use your favorite fruits, fruit juices and even peppers to create delicious, natural jams and jellies in under 30 minutes. It is the perfect tool for both new and experienced canners, and a great way to incorporate fresh ingredients for healthier eating. The pot has a nonstick interior, making for easy clean up between batches. The pot, glass lid and stirring paddle are dishwasher safe. Creating your own great tasting jam has never been easier!

Enjoy 3 ways! Now: up to 3 weeks in refrigerator Freeze: up to 1 year Preserve & Store: follow preserving instructions included in recipe book

Seems amazing right!? Well, it is! I only encountered a few minor issues, which I would touch on. There are definitely a few pros and cons. Let’s begin!

PROS:

  • It absolutely does what it says it does!
  • It’s easy to use
  • Makes jam and jelly in less than 25 minutes
  • The kids can even use it but, be aware it gets hot. Adult supervision please!
  • Cleans up nicely.
  • It works with Juice or Fresh fruit

CONS:

  • You can not work in large batches. You can only make 4 or 5 – 8 oz jars at a time
  • Trying to double up a recipe is a nightmare. I intend to play with this a little more though
  • If you forget to add the butter, *cough*, it bubbles over and makes a mess
  • Unless you experiment with the machine, you can only use the recipes they provide. I found it very difficult to find additional recipes.

Would I recommend it? YES! However, I wouldn’t pay full price for it. When I decided to buy it, the website was running a sale. I believe I paid about $60 for it. I think it is a good product for the beginner that isn’t too picky about what kind they make… because of the limited recipes.

Ball Jam and Jelly Maker 1

Yesterday I was toying around with it, making jelly from juice. Now using processed store bought juice isn’t the healthiest way to go but, I would rather mess up with a $.99 bottle of juice than a $10 bundle of fresh fruit. Here is the recipe that I followed, with a few notes.

  1. Add 3 cups apple juice in a 4-cup or measuring cup. Gradually whisk pectin into juice until fully incorporated. The pectin may not be completely dissolved at this time and that’s okay! Pour juice mixture into the clean pot fitted with the stirrer. Add your butter/margarine to help reduce foaming. Don’t walk away. Sometimes it still has a mind of it’s own.
  2. Press the jelly button and the cook time will automatically default to 25 minutes. I personally added 2 minutes to my cooking time. Press enter.
  3. After 4 minutes, the appliance will beep 4 times. This is to let you know that it is time to add your sugar! Add sugar gradually while stirrer continues running. I pour it around in a circle slowly.
  4. It will continue to automatically stir your ingredients while it cooks.  WOOHOO! Stay nearby so when it beeps, to let you know it is done, you can press the cancel button and unplug it.
  5. Take the stirrer out, it will be hot! If you have any foam on top, you can skim it off. Some people like to leave it and some remove it. This is a personal preference. I skim it off.
  6. What you do with it after this is your preference as well. You can store it in the freezer, in freezer safe containers or can it. Ball does have both types of jars available on their website. You can also pick up Ball jars at just about any local store.

Ball Jam and Jelly Maker 3

NOTES:

1. APPLE JUICE: I couldn’t find any juice that specifically said “Unsweetened”. I did find “No Sugar Added”… same thing?

2. The brand of pectin you use can change the amount you need to put in. I originally started with Kroger Fruit Pectin Can-Jel because I found it at a great price. Since the recipe called for 4 tbsp of Ball Pectin, i just used the same amount of what I had. Well, it didn’t set properly. On the second batch, I used the entire box and it came out perfect. Make sure you read the packaging on your brand to determine how much you should use.

3. BUTTER BUTTER BUTTER! Do not skip this step. I am unsure how clear Ball makes this but, I personally recommend using unsalted BUTTER. Margarine and spread just didn’t work as well. I also “forgot” it on one batch and it bubbled over and made a mess on my counter.

All in all, I do think the Ball Jam & Jelly Maker this is a good start for anyone wanting to start making their own jams and jellies. I also tried it with other kinds of juice, following the exact same recipe and time. They all came out the same way, perfect.

Do you own one of these appliances? Drop a comment below and let me know what you think!

GIFT GIVING TIP: If you plan to can your jelly, and gift it, take a cupcake liner and put it on top of your Ball jar, then screw the ring on. It’s a cheap and cute way to dress up your jars. You can see mine in the photo above.

Disclosure: This is not a sponsored post and I am in no was affiliated with Ball Fresh Preserving. I was not provided with any product or monetary compensation. This post is written by me, for you.

 

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