No-Pectin Jam

No-Pectin Jam

No-Pectin Jam

Whether you are trying to use up extra fruit or you’re thinking about a way to save money on extra-special homemade gifts, making your own jam can be quick and easy — something even the most harried mom (or dad) can do.

The foundation for this recipe appealed to me because it was the first I could find which didn’t mention something called “pectin,” which was not in my pantry and I didn’t feel like going out to buy. It claimed that the juice of a fresh lemon could substitute and still gelify the jam, so that was more in my comfort zone.

By dumbing down an already pretty simple procedure, I found that I could make quite good jam in about 15 minutes by doing the following:

  1. Pit cherries or peaches (OK add in some extra time for this). If you are using something pitless like blueberries you can thankfully skip this step.
  2. Put in sauce pan over medium heat and add the juice of one lemon. If you have more than say a pound of fruit, add more lemon. I was probably working with 4 cups of fruit so one lemon was fine.
  3. Stir that bubbling pot a lot. After maybe 15 minutes add in some sugar. The recipe I was going from said you needed to use a lot of sugar to keep the jam from spoiling. But I planned to use my jam up in a couple of days and I really didn’t want to add loads of sugar. I used about 1/3 cup and it turned out very sweet.
  4. Keep stirring over heat. It will miraculously become jam-like and you will know it when you see it. Shouldn’t take more than another 5 or 10 minutes – you don’t want to cook it too long or the sugar will caramelize and make everything taste funky.
  5. Take off heat, put in a jar, and let cool and refrigerate.
  6. If unopened, the jam can be stored in the fridge for a few months.  After it’s been opened you can store jam in the fridge as long as you’d keep ordinary opened jam – maybe a few days?

 

My preschooler likes nothing, but he loved this. And added to my homemade bread I could feel like the ultimate urban homesteader. Now if I only had a cow so I could churn my own butter…

 

Paige Wolf

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Paige Wolf is a publicist, author, and green living expert who uses her media savvy and personal moxie to promote manageable eco-chic living.

 

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