You might think of making jam as something your grandmother did — it was an all-day affair that included boiling jars and hours in front of the stove. But making homemade jam doesn’t need to be an elaborate affair with fussy equipment followed by a messy kitchen — and if that sounds intriguing, this one-hour jam recipe will be “your jam.” Jam is a great way to use summer fruits you won’t be able to finish before they become too ripe, and it’s a terrific way to store summer flavors for when you need a bright pop of berries, peaches or cherries during those dark winter months. Plus, making your own quick jam means you’ll avoid the preservatives and additives in store-bought jams and jellies, most of which contain corn syrup and high-fructose corn syrup to sweeten them. If you’re new to homemade quick jam, there are a couple of things to keep in mind: The consistency won’t be chunky or thick, but rather more like a nice, spreadable fruit. The jam will keep up to three weeks in jars, but keep far longer in the freezer. If you intend to freeze your jam for safekeeping, do so in glass jars that don’t have a convex lid (the jam will expand as it freezes and you don’t want the jam “jamming” against the lid! READ MORE FROM LENTINE ALEXIS: 3 QUICK RECIPES FOR HOMEMADE ENERGY BARS FRESH HERBS FOUR WAYS QUICK & DELICIOUS ROASTED CARROT BUTTER The recipes below calls for blueberries and strawberries, but you could use any berries; just keep in mind that different berries have different water content — and you want to cook the jam until the pectin is set and the water has evaporated. To check if your jam is set, run a rubber spatula through the cooking jam, then run your finger through the hot jam. Does your finger leave a very clean streak through thick jam? If so, your jam is done. The recipe also suggests you pulse the berries in a food processor ahead of time, but you could use an immersion blender to pureé the berries in the saucepan after they’ve cooked a bit.
Ingredients for servings
Make a lavender tea with the buds by pouring 1/2 cup boiling water over them and allowing to steep for 10 minutes. Then, discard the buds and set the tea aside.
In a 2–4 quart saucepan, combine the chunky, pulsed blueberries, 1/2 cup sugar, vinegar and the lavender tea and whisk incorporate. Warm the mixture over medium heat until simmering.
In a small bowl, whisk the pectin with the second 1/2 cup of sugar, then whisk the pectin mixture into the blueberry mixture. Bring to boil, reduce the heat and simmer for 3–5 minutes to ensure the pectin is fully hydrated and that the consistency of the jam is to your liking. To check the consistency, dip a rubber spatula into the jam and then run your finger through the jam left on the spatula. Your finger should leave a clean trail on the spatula when the jam is ready.
Remove the jam from the heat and allow to cool. Then, portion into jars. Keep refrigerated and eat within three weeks. Alternately, freeze the jars to help the jam last longer. Recipe makes 32 servings at 1 tablespoon each