This recipe makes about 2 cups of jam. The best part is that you can make it on the fly because there is no need for added pectin! And the second best part is that it’s so easy, kids can do it with little guidance. Ok, maybe that’s the first best part and the no-pectin needed is the second best. I’m not sure.
Old Fashioned Berry Jam
2 1/2 C berries — any type. I used the frozen mixed berries from Costco. No need to thaw. You can just toss them in frozen.
1 C pears or apples, diced. The less ripe, the better. Pears and apples are great sources of pectin and this is what makes your jam gel. You won’t taste these in the end product.
1 C water
1 C sugar
Heat the water and sugar on the stove until boiling and the sugar is dissolved. Add the berries and diced pears or apples. Bring back to a boil and then turn to low. It will look like this to start:
Stir occasionally while it boils down. You’ll know it’s done when it gets to the consistency of whole fruit jam. Stick a metal spoon in and if it coats the spoon, it’s ready. It will look like this:
I use my potato masher at this point and mush up any fruit left unmushed before ladling it into jars. Some people like the larger chunks of fruit left. It’s all up to you.
This makes a great homemade gift. Even without going through the canning process, it will keep up to a month in the fridge or even longer in the freezer. Just be sure you let your gift recipients know to keep it refrigerated. Or let them get food poisoning. Your call.
I always feel so virtuous when I make homemade jam. Not sure why—it really isn’t that difficult. You’re right–great gift idea! I would try to skip the food poisoning.
Yum! Maybe I’ll try this with the pears from my pear tree. We haven’t eaten a single one, ’cause you know, they are hard as a rock when we pick them, then we do the cold storage. Then, they take forever to ripen, and they start to get dry and wrinkly before they actually get soft. If anyone has any tips on what to do about that, I’d sure appreciate it! But if I can use them to make jam when they’re hard, that would be great!