Cut fruit leftovers? Summer fruit ripening too fast? Here's a stove-top jam anyone can make using things you probably already have.
All you need is:
- 1 1/2 cup of fruit
- 1/2 a lemon
- 1/4 - 1/2 cup of sugar, depending on the sweetness level of your fruit and your preferences.
- A small mason jar (recommended)
- Small pot
- Lemon juicer (recommended)
Step 1: Get Your Ingredients Ready
If using frozen fruit, give it a quick bath in lukewarm water, then drain.
Wash, then cut your lemon in half and juice it. If you can't juice it, you'll have to squeeze it into the pot and remove the seeds.
Cut the leftover lemon rind into large chunks. You will cook this to leech the pectin* out of the rind.
Put all of the fruit and the sugar into your pot and turn it on medium-high. Let everything heat up and stir together.
*Pectin is a naturally occurring polysaccharide - a long-chain carbohydrate that helps with structural support - found in fruit. When heated together with sugar, it causes the thickening characteristic of jams and jellies.
Step 2: Let's Cook!
Continue stirring as the fruit comes to a low boil. The consistency will become saucy and you will need to mash up the chunks to your preferred chunkiness.
Agitate, but do not to destroy the lemon rind since you will remove it before you finish.
Once the fruit has reached the ideal sauciness, lower the temperature to simmer and reduce the jam for 20-30 minutes. Take a spoonful to taste and add sugar if needed. After a while the jam will thicken and gel, however since it is hot, it's difficult to observe. You can try rapidly cooling a small spoon of the jam. I skipped this step, however, and it turned out well.
Remove from heat and let cool slightly. Meanwhile, sterilize your mason jar with boiling water. Then pour the jam into the mason jar, seal it and refrigerate.
I don't know how long this will keep, since I put it in the fridge and use it within a few weeks.