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Whether you are preparing a large or small batch, my Easy Homemade Jam recipe is for you!  Three ingredients and no water canning method needed to keep your pantry stocked with jam all year round!

John.e loves jam on his toast, and, from time to time, I like to indulge with homemade jam and a freshly baked scone.  But, unfortunately, store-bought jam is full of preservatives and tonnes of SUGAR!  And, really, who has the time to make homemade jam?  Well, with my Easy Homemade Jam recipe, you do!!!

This recipe is so simple and easy; and needs very little of your attention.  Canning is something I love, but storage is always an issue.  Most of the jam recipes that I found online yielded 6-8 500ml jars.  In most cases, I need to make just one or two jars.  The recipe you see below, will yield two cups of jam.

I like to place that jam into two separate jars, because we don’t consume jam very quickly.  Usually, it’s just on the weekends with a freshly baked scone.  Sometimes, during the week in the summer months, a little dollop of jam can be stirred into some good vanilla ice cream, but usually that’s the extend of our jam consumption.  Which, Dear Reader, is why I need small batch recipes – like this one!

For any jam flavour you want to make – YES, ANY FLAVOUR – this will work with all fruit and fruit combinations.  Depending on the fruit you use, the cooking process will vary.  For example, I found that the blueberry jam was ready to be packed in jars in less than two hours of cook time.

The blackberry jam, however, took a little longer.  Closer to three hours to get to the consistency that I wanted.  This, of course, is due to the amount of water in each different type of fruit.  I assume it would also depend on how much natural sugar there is in the fruit as well.

As mentioned previously, you do not need to process the jars in a water bath.  Under no circumstances am I asking you to not do it, in fact, if you are making a very large batch – say 8 jars or more – than I would do the water bath canning method to ensure the jam would not spoil.  I think the longer you store the jam, the more risk you have the jam going bad.

For small batch jams though, you do not need to apply any canning methods at all.  I have made up to four jars of jam at the same time with this recipe.  I have not used the water bath method, but simply made sure the jam was piping hot.  I also made sure that my jars where super clean and that I was using new sealing rings.

Pour the hot jam into the sterile jars, place on the sealing ring and screw on the cap.  Let the jam jars sit – completely undisturbed! – for at least twelve hours.  After the first 30-60 minutes, you’ll hear little pops coming from your kitchen.  This occurs when the temperature of the jam beings to cool, which condenses the air in the jar, which in turn, creates a vacuum, and pulls the lid down.  The popping or dinging sound is the sound of your sealing rings telling you that your jam is secured and safe.

Once completely cooled, be sure to store your jam jars in a safe, dry, cool place.  I keep mine right in the back of the cupboard where it’s always dark.  Using this exact method, you can be sure your jam will keep for up to six months.  I have made jam this way for years and have never used a canner or the water bath method.

If, however, you are nervous about it, by all means, please go ahead and process your jars.  You can find my water bath method instructions here in my Dad’s Canned Picked Beets recipe.  Lastly, in the photos, you will see that I have prepared Raspberry Jam, Blueberry Jam, Blackberry Jam, and Strawberry Rhubarb Jam, all of which used the same method and ingredient measurements.

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Easy Homemade Jam

Course: Breakfast, Brunch, Dessert
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 2 hours
Total Time: 2 hours 20 minutes
Servings: 32 servings
Calories: 28kcal
Author: Lord Byron's Kitchen
Whether you are preparing a large or small batch, my Easy Homemade Jam recipe is for you!  Three ingredients and no water canning method needed to keep your pantry stocked with jam all year round!
Print Recipe

Ingredients

  • 4 cups fruit, roughly chopped
  • 1 whole lemon, juiced
  • 1/2 cup sugar

Instructions

  • Toss all ingredients in a medium-sized, deep sauce pan and turn the heat to medium until the mixture begins to bubble.  Then, reduce the heat to simmer and stir.
  • Allow mixture to cook and the fruit/berries to naturally break down.  Be sure to stir every 20 minutes or so, even more frequently when the jam begins to thicken.
  • When the jam has reached the consistency you desire, carefully pour hot jam into clean and sterile mason jars.
  • Being sure the rim of the jar is clean and jam-free, wipe the lid with a damp cloth, place on the seal and tighten the lid until a slight resistance is met.
  • Carefully place the jar on a kitchen towel where the jar will not be disturbed for twelve hours.
  • Once the jam begins to cool, the seal will create a popping sound, assuring you that the jar is sealed.
  • Refrigerate for immediate use or store in a cool dry place for up to six months.

Notes

It is very important to use a clean and sterile jar if you plan to preserve this jam for future consumption.
One tablespoon equals one serving.

Nutrition

Serving: 0g | Calories: 28kcal | Carbohydrates: 7g | Protein: 0g | Fat: 0g | Saturated Fat: 0g | Cholesterol: 0mg | Sodium: 1mg | Potassium: 26mg | Fiber: 0g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 1.8% | Vitamin C: 0.8% | Calcium: 0.1% | Iron: 0.5%

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This Post Has 42 Comments

  1. This post came just in time as soon we will be able to take the kids to various farms to pick our own fruit. Did you mix any fruit together? What combinations would you recommend?
    1. Yes, you can certainly mix fruits together! Strawberries and rhubarb works very well, so does blueberries and raspberries, or even peaches and apricots!
    1. Yes, you most certainly can! In fact, I have used frozen fruit in the past and I have not thawed it in advance. Just know, that with frozen fruit, the water content is higher, so you might need to simmer just a little longer to get the desired thickness for your jam. :)
    1. Oh, yes, of course! I'd most certainly do a water bath if I was making more than one jar, or if I wanted to store the jar for a period of time.
    1. If you're going to store them for a longer period of time, I would highly suggest adding a water bath canning method to your preserving process. I store my jars in a cool, dark cabinet for no longer than two months. They usually don't last that long in my home! :) The purpose of this recipe is to showcase how one can make smaller batches, so there's really no need for storage and preserving instructions. If you're planning on making larger batches, I can certainly point you in the right direction for more info.
        1. Hi Michelle, I've never used a recipe like this for larger batches. The recipe has been tested for small batches only. With that being said, I don't see an issue with just doubling or tripling the ingredient list. Good luck!
    1. Hi Chantal! Yes, you most certainly can! I did it a few times, because I needed to fill a smaller mason jar to accompany my scones. I like to bring homemade scones and homemade jam to brunch parties. :)
    1. Hi Chantal, It depends on the fruit and the water content in the fruit. For example, a strawberry will take more time to cook off the water content than would a blueberry, because there's more water in a strawberry. You don't need to really concern yourself with 'cooking' the fruit, but more with slowly evaporating the water so that they fruit breaks down and becomes thick.
    1. Hi Lesa, I'm not an expert on water bath canning, but whenever I can anything, I always refer to Pick Your Own for resources. You can read about the water bath canning method that I use on their website. Here's the link: http://www.pickyourown.org/water_bath_canning_directions.php
  2. This looks fantastic. Do you think stevia could be subsituted in place of the sugar to make a little lower in carbs?
    1. I use stevia every day in my coffee, but I've never baked or cooked with it. Some jams hold up well to splenda, but I'm completely unsure of stevia. I wish I could be of more help. Sorry. :(
  3. I tried this jams with combination of peaches and pears.. with what I had in the house. It is cooking right now. I will inform you of the results . Thanks for sharing.
  4. With lemons being so different in sizes and things like that, is there a tablespoon amount for about how much lemon juice should go in?
    1. Hi Nikki - that's a great question! You should be able to squeeze about a 1/4 cup of lemon juice from each lemon. I hope that helps. :)
  5. I have been wanting to make fresh jam all summer but have not had the time. So this weekend i will have my 11 year old grand-daughter and we together are going to be making jam. She loves to cook so will be easy and fun to do together. Thanks for the info. Happy jamming! Felicia
  6. How many jars does this recipe make? One? My 4 year old son asked if we could make our own jelly so I was excited to find your simple recipe?
    1. Hi Drohrma. I've never used lemon juice from a bottle, but I'm sure if you look at the ingredients on the bottle to be sure it's just plain lemon juice, I don't see why not. :)
  7. Have you or anyone tried using something like coconut palm sugar? I think it's an equal exchange ratio, but curious to know what y'all think. TIA!
  8. Is there something that can be used aside from lemon or any citrus fruit? I'm allergic, but love jam. It took 21 years to figure out what I was allergic to because it's in so many foods.
  9. This is great! I was actually searching for someone who sells them online. We have designed this app where people can post their homemade jams and the neighbors can place a request to the jam preparer. check out bit.ly/chachisfood
  10. For jam or preserves, to thicken without pectin, it just depends on how much pectin is naturally in that particular fruit or berry. And, be sure and have your jam REALLY hot (about 180-190 degrees) if canning with this method. The USDA recommends the water bath method with a two-piece lid. If you had a commercial, one piece lid, with the button in the center, you could get away without doing the water bath method. However, I would highly recommend refrigerating this jam, after it's completely cooled, if not water bathing.
    1. Hi Jessica - love your blog, by the way! Just to be clear, I am not promoting or suggesting that one avoids the water bath method completely. I'm just stating that in my case, I've never used any canning method with this recipe other then the method described in the post. I first made this jam 6 years ago, and I use the same procedure every summer without any issues. I only refrigerate the jam after it's been opened and the seal has been broken.
    1. Hi Evelyn! I have never prepared this particular recipe with cane sugar, but I'm sure it would work well. Cane sugar may change the colour of the jam, and of course it will change the flavour slightly, but it will still taste great.
  11. This is one of the best jams I have made. Not overly sweet and not masses of jars to last years. I used fresh strawberries and I love the tartness that the lemon juice provides. I've NEVER used a water bath when making jam. I use empty Bon Maman jars and even when making 8 jars at a time there's never been a problem. I also store my jams in a cool dark cupboard. Thank you for sharing this lovely recipe. My next batch will be cherries :)
    1. Thank you, Alma. I never water bath jam either. The added sugar, plus the natural sugar, along with the added lemon juice is enough to keep the jam from spoiling. I made anywhere from 4-8 jars at a time and they are always fine.

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