Looking at the ingredients list of store-bought jams can be a little disheartening. They often contain more sugar than fruit, and many also include artificial flavours, artificial colours and preservatives. Making your own jam is a great way to be able to control what goes into the food you and your children eat, and to make sure that it’s delicious and healthy.
While fresh berries can be expensive and may only be available when in season, using frozen berries is a more economical option that is on hand at any time of the year. The money saved on the fruit can be used to upgrade to organic produce if you wish, and the fruit is already ripe and sweet, so there’s no need to add lots of extra sugar. What’s more, you don’t need any special equipment — just a saucepan and a couple of clean jam jars. This recipe is really quick and simple. So if you have a bag of frozen berries in your freezer, why not try making your own jam today?
- 3 cups frozen berries (e.g. strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, blueberries, or mixed berries)
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
1. Put a freezer-proof, preferably ceramic plate in the freezer.
2. Place two clean glass jars and their lids in a saucepan. Cover with water, then bring to the boil to sterilise.
3. Add the berries, sugar and lemon juice to another saucepan. (There’s no need to thaw the berries first.)
4. Bring the jam mixture to a boil while stirring, then turn down the heat to a gentle boil, stirring frequently with a wooden spoon. Be sure to keep kids at a safe distance from bursting jam bubbles as boiling jam can burn.
5. Cook the jam mixture uncovered until it reaches the setting point — usually around 20 minutes.
6. Test the jam has reached the setting point. Take the plate out of the freezer. Place a teaspoon of the jam on the plate. Wait a second or two, then tip the plate. If the jam easily runs down the plate, it is not yet at setting point. If it doesn’t seem too loose, run your finger through the jam on the plate. If it leaves a clean line, it is ready. If not, put the plate back in the freezer and try again every couple of minutes.
Not yet set
7. Once the jam is ready, carefully remove the jars from the hot water using tongs.
8. Pour the hot jam into the jars, then add the lids.
9. Leave the jars to cool, then store in a cool, dark place.
This recipe makes a lovely, not-too-sweet jam that is beautifully vibrant in colour and rich in flavour. It is perfect simply spread on toast, or served on these easy and delicious 2 Ingredient Scones.