No-pectin jam (sometimes called freezer jam) whips up in a flash, with only a few ingredients you already have on hand, and can be stored for months in your fridge! You won't buy jam again when you can make it yourself so easily!
Do you hear the words homemade and jam in the same sentence and want to run for the hills? I understand. It wasn't until a few years ago that I understood that it really was easy to make jam. Homemade jam without pectin, that is. Not easy in the way that people who have baked all their lives and understand what a double broiler is mean easy. No, it is truly easy. In the way you put frozen fruit and sugar together and let it do magic. That kind of easy.
The most basic homemade jam without pectin is a combo of fruit and sugar cooked down into a syrupy, thick pile of deliciousness.
What kind of fruit works best for freezer jam?
Generally, berries and old-fashioned fruits such as peaches and strawberries do best. When you start getting to different fruits such as kiwi, pineapple, or mango you might want to do a quick Google search to see if there needs to be a variant applied. Those fruits' sugar contents tend to be a bit different.
Always keep in mind the sweetness of the fruit you are using when you determine how much sugar to add. I tend to add a bit more sugar to sour fruits such as cranberries or blackberries and a bit less for sweeter fruits such as peaches or strawberries.
The basic Homemade Jam without pectin recipe is this:
- 1 pound of frozen fruit (cut into small pieces)
- 1 cup of sugar
Put the ingredients together and bring to a low boil in a heavy saucepan on medium heat. Gently boil for about 7 minutes. Simmer for another 45 minutes or until the desired texture is achieved. Pour into clean mason jars. Keep in the fridge for up to 1 month.
How long does homemade jam last without pectin?
Using the hot jar and towel method (check the instructions below) after putting in the jam will bring their storage time to 2 months in a the fridge until opened (then 1 month after opened) and 4 months in the freezer.
Without using the hot jars and hot towels plan on about 1 month in the fridge and 3 months in the freezer
One thing to note is that if you have a blender or food processor then you can get the fruit smooth and without chunks, if that is your preference! After the fruit has thawed in the pan, pour the whole thing (sugar and all) into the blender and give it a few shots to chop up that fruit. When it reaches the consistency you prefer, pour it back into the pan and keep going.
Of course, I have been known to simply use a potato masher or back of a wooden spoon to mash the fruit up in the pot itself.
I want you to stir your jam often as it simmers, but there is no need to babysit it. Feel free to wash dishes or do other things.
Can jam be made without sugar?
If you are trying to watch your sugar content I would strongly recommend trying no-sugar fruit pectin. Pectin is not hard to use. At all! It is easily found by the mason jars, jello (in the baking section), and often by the fruit (in the produce section). There is a no-sugar version which allows you to sub out honey, your favorite sweetener, or simply use less sugar for the traditional sugar in homemade jams. It is a fantastic option that I use often (and will probably soon have a how-to for it) and recommend you check out, as well.
Hack for traditional hot-bath canning method:
I often keep my jars in hot water up until the time they are being filled. Once they are filled I tightly close them and flip them upside down. I often set a hot, damp towel over the top of them. About 75% will seal nicely (you'll hear them pop their tops) with this process.
Not as great as the traditional hot bath. But, it works great for gifting purposes. I feel more than comfortable knowing they could be out of the fridge for days on end over the course of the holiday season. I always include a note to please keep them in the fridge. Give this method a try if you are scared of the hot-bath method (I am!).
The homemade jam without pectin you see above is Blueberry Pomegranate, Cran-Apple, and Peach. Most often, however, I make a simple strawberry jam which I've included the recipe for below...
- 1 quart strawberries, hulled frozen is fine but give a bit more time to get to the right consistency
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 2 tablespoon lemon juice optional but an acid is highly recommended!
- Put all ingredients in medium size heavy saucepan.
- Bring to a low boil on medium heat.
- Boil gently for 7 minutes.
- If needed, blend into smaller bits (or...use a potato masher)
- Simmer on low for 45 minutes or until desired consistency.
- Pour into hot, clean unused mason jars.
- Flip the jars over and cover with a hot towel. Let cool and don't move until you hear the top pop.
- Store in fridge for up to 2 months. (once opened use within 1 month)
These jams would go perfectly with our homemade bread.
I would love to see or hear about your homemade jam without pectin recipes, attempts, or fails! Leave us a comment and tell us all about it!