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. 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.
I want you to have easy in your life. And real food. Real food that YOU made. There is just something wonderful about making the food that goes in your belly. It seems to taste better. Okay yes, it may be a mind thing. But I’ll take that mind thing any day! Hello Homemade Jam yumminess!
Today I want to teach you the basics of homemade jam so that you can create your own flavors that YOU love, or the person you are giving this to will love. And then at the bottom of this post I’ll have the recipes for the specific flavors I created. Again, they are just different fruit combos, nothing special. But sometimes we need to have all that in writing to know what to do. It makes us more comfy. And some of us are more than willing to wing it without written instruction. Whichever you like…you’ll find it here today!
The most basic homemade jam is a combo of fruit and sugar cooked down into a syrupy, thick pile of deliciousness. 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. And 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 to sour fruits such as cranberries or blackberries and a bit less for sweeter fruits such as peach or strawberries.
The basic Homemade Jam 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. Giving the jars a hot bath after putting in the jam will bring their storage time to 1 month in a cupboard until opened (then 1 month after opened) and 3 months in the fridge. Keep reading for tips, tricks, and good info!
One thing to note is that if you have a blender or food processor then you can get the fruit cut up nicely in no time! 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 to mash the fruit up in the pot itself. I think I did that in these jams that are photographed. Does that mean it’s technically preserves? I can never remember when I should refer to them as jams or preserves.
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.
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.
A note about the hot-bath and canning: 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 you see above are Blueberry Pomegranate, Cran-Apple, and Peach. I’ve included the recipes below…
- 10 oz pkg frozen cranberries
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 apple peeled and finely diced
- 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 clean jars.
- Store in fridge for up to 2 months. (once opened use within 1 month)
Recipe Notes( I use a greater sugar content for this jam because of how sour cranberries are)
I would love to see or hear about your homemade jam recipes, attempts, or fails! Leave us a comment and tell us all about it!