Jam is a long-used method of preserving fruit while it’s in season and storing it for use months later. While preserving jam for this long requires canning equipment, you can use up a batch of fresh fruit easily using this refrigerator jam recipe. This recipe uses less sugar than safe canning practices suggest, but since it’s not being preserved, that’s okay. This recipe will work for any fruit, and with any flavoring! Store it in the fridge and it will stay good for at least a week.
Preserve the flavors of summer with this simple refrigerator jam recipe!
1 lb ripe fruit, cored, peeled, pitted, and diced
½ cup sugar
2 tablespoons preferred liquid (see note below)
Optional: Seasonings, to taste (see note below)
Optional: Dash of salt
Add 1 lb of fruit (pitted and chopped, if necessary) to a medium saucepan. Add sugar and stir together. Let sit for one hour (up to 24 hours).
Place the saucepan over medium heat. Add seasonings and 2 tablespoons of preferred liquid.
Stir, mashing the fruit a bit as it heats and breaks down. Bring the mixture to a gentle boil, nearly a simmer. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the mixture is thick. About 15-30 minutes, depending on the water content of the fruit used.
Test for doneness by placing a dollop of mixture onto a frozen plate. If, after a minute or two the jam isn’t running, it’s done. If using a candy thermometer, the jam will gel together when it reaches 217°-220° F. Jam will thicken more as it cools.
Add to your jar, cool completely, and refrigerate. Jam will keep for at least a week.
Fruit/Seasoning/Liquid Combinations To Try:
1 lb blueberries or mixed berries or strawberries, lemon juice.
1 lb strawberries, a few fresh basil leaves, lemon juice.
1 lb peaches, a few fresh mint leaves, 1 tbsp water, 1 tbsp lemon juice.
1 lb blueberries, honey in place of sugar, lemon juice.
1 lb black currants, lemon juice.
1 lb grapes, vinegar.
1 lb raspberries, a few basil leaves, lime juice.
1 lb blackberries, honey in place of sugar, lavender buds, water (remember to strain lavender out).
1 lb mixed berries, orange zest, orange juice.
1 lb apricots, orange zest, orange juice.
1 lb strawberries, balsamic vinegar.
Use ripe fruit: The point of preserving fruit is to preserve it at its best, so use good fruit — not overripe, not underripe and sour, but just right for optimal taste.
Test often: To avoid burning, test your jam for doneness early and often.
Michaela Keil is the Editor of Bluedot Living Brooklyn, and the Managing Editor, Special Projects, for the Brooklyn Eagle. When she's not writing, you can either find her outside — in the rain, shine, snow, or cold — or inside baking bread. Find her on twitter @mkeil16.