Looking for a way to make great, fresh jam at home without all the fuss, in a small quantity? This recipe calls for lower amounts of fruit and sugar and makes 1-1/2 cups. It is cooked in a wide pan to speed up the gelling process. No pectin needed. The finished jam is full of fruit flavor and has a bright color….just right for spooning on toast or muffins as you enjoy breakfast this summer. This recipe can also be made with raspberries and blackberries.
3 cups fresh strawberries, sliced (about 1½ pint baskets or 4 cups whole berries or 1 pound)
1 cup sugar
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
Option: Add a tablespoon or two of diced candied ginger
Chill a small plate or bowl in the freezer.
Using a 10 or 12-inch wide skillet, add the fruit, sugar, and lemon juice. Set the stove on medium-high heat and bring it to a boil, stirring occasionally.
Reduce heat to medium and cook, stirring constantly. Skim off the foam as necessary. Cook until mixture begins to look syrupy and thickens slightly, about 8-10 minutes.
Spoon ½ teaspoon of the hot fruit onto the cold plate and let it rest for 30 seconds. Tip the plate to one side; jam should be a soft gel that moves slightly. If mixture is thin and runs down side of plate, the gel is too soft. Return skillet to heat and cook jam 1 to 2 minutes longer, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and repeat test.
Cool jam to room temperature before serving. Because a minimum amount of sugar is used, the jam needs to be refrigerated to prevent mold from forming. Refrigerate and use within 2-3 weeks.
If you need to store the jam longer, freeze or process hot jam in a boiling water canner for 10 minutes.**
**Option: If jars are sterilized (heated in boiling water for 10 minutes) it’s possible to use the inverted method to preserve jam: Pour hot jam into hot sterile jar leaving 1/8 inch head space. Wipe rim and apply prepared lid and ring. Screw ring on firmly. Invert jar and leave for 5 minutes. Turn jar right side up and let cool 12-24 hours. The heat from the jam will destroy mold spores. This method is not foolproof, so if you are preparing a lot of jam, process the jam in a boiling water canner.
Looking for the written recipe? Download it here.
Making bigger batches and need a canner? Check it out here.
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