Basic Jam


If you can boil water, you can make jam. Because it doesn’t call for pectin, this easy version may be thinner than the brands you buy—a good excuse to lick your fingers. Recipe can be halved or doubled.

  • 4Servings


  • 2 lb. fresh fruit such as blueberries, raspberries, peeled peach slices, quartered plums, etc.
  • 4 cups granulated sugar (2 lb.)
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice (2 lemons)


Mash fruit and sugar together in large, nonreactive bowl. Stir in lemon juice, and let stand 15 minutes. Place 1 or 2 small white saucers in freezer.

Transfer fruit to nonreactive sauce-pan. Simmer 5 to 15 minutes over medium-low heat, or until thickened, stirring often. As jam thickens, bubbles will get larger and slower to pop.

Remove 1 saucer from freezer. Test consistency by spooning some jam onto saucer, and returning it to freezer for 2 minutes. If dollop holds together and does not have a watery ring around edges, it’s ready to put in jars. If jam is still watery, cook 3 to 5 minutes longer. Repeat testing process if necessary.

Remove jam from heat. Ladle into 8-oz. jars, leaving 1/4-inch headroom. Wipe off any drips, then screw on tops. Invert jars 5 minutes, or immerse in boiling water bath 10 minutes.

Nutrition Information

  • Calories: 126
  • Carbohydrate Content: 32 g
  • Sodium Content: 2 mg
  • Sugar Content: 30 g