Making jam doesn’t have to be complicated or lengthy. Not if you only make enough to feed a small family for tomorrow’s breakfast. If you want to make many huge bottles of jam to give away and to store for the next few years, then you should go elsewhere and do a proper jam-making research. If not, as long as you know how to boil water, you can make jam.
I enjoy making jam. I used to make a lot of jam in my younger days. We were living in Michigan then and during fruit season, I would pick more fruits than we could eat. I enjoy picking fruits. Very much. Which explains why I had more than we could eat.
It’s difficult to get jam that is just pure fruit and sugar, without additives and preservatives. I think it’s easier and faster to make it than going to the stores to buy a bottle of good jam! And you really only need fresh fruits, sugar and a squeeze of lemon juice. Generally, my rule of thumb is equal parts of fruits to sugar. BUT! Since we plan to consume the jam almost immediately, we can cut down on the sugar. Amongst other things, sugar serves as a preservative. If I don’t make too much and don’t plan keep it beyond a couple of days, I don’t need it preserved. Right?
I have made many types of jam. Cherry jam, strawberry, peach, roselle, blueberries, grapes, mango, marmalade… All these make pretty tasty jam. But my favorite is grape jam. It’s nothing like grape jelly which you get from the supermarket. It has a deeper, more complex flavor. Like raisin jam, but yummier.
People think jam is made from overripe, leftover fruits. It’s not. That’s because slightly unripe fruits have more pectin and that is needed for the jam to gel up. Some fruits have more pectin (eg.lemon),some have less. But there’s no need to stress over pectin levels in fruits. I just add a bit of lemon juice for insurance.
250g Green grapes
1-2 tsp lemon juice
Wash the grapes and cut them up. Put all the ingredients into a pot. Bring to a boil and kind of mash it up along the way. Leave it to boil on low fire for about 25 min. To see if it is ready, scoop out a little and put a dab on a clean plate. Leave it to cool. When it cools, if it looks like jam, then it’s done. That’s it.
If you want to bottle it, sterilize a bottle by boiling it in water. Then pour hot boiling jam into the bottle and cap it immediately. Do not let it cool first.
If not, just do what I do -standby with your bread and butter.