The Easiest Way to Make Homemade Jam Without Canning

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The first step is to choose and chop your fruit. Different fruits contain different amounts of natural pectin, which means some will gel more easily than others. Most berries and cherries will take a little longer if you don’t add pectin; juicing low-pectin fruit lemons can help the process. Cut your fruit into manageable chunks and add a little sugar. A good rule of thumb is one cup of sugar to two cups of fruit, suggests the Washington Post. If your fruit is very ripe, you can use less sugar, but remember that sugar is essential to help the fruit cook, in addition to sweetening the spread.

Most canning experts recommend cooking jam quickly over high heat, SeedtoPantry notes, so it’s best to set it on the highest flame. A non-reactive pan like enameled cast iron or stainless steel is best, and something with a wide opening helps fruit cook faster and more evenly. Once boiling, lower the heat slightly to simmer and stir regularly with a heatproof spatula. The timing will depend on many factors, but according to The Washington Post, it should take between ten and thirty minutes. The easiest way to tell when the jam is done is to keep a spoonful in the freezer to test. Put some jam on it and poke your finger in the middle. If he makes a trail that doesn’t fill up in his wake, your jam is ready.

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