There’s nothing better than homemade fresh jam. Raspberry Strawberry, Blueberry, Cherry, Blackberry, Peach, Apricot Jams are some thing that is not difficult o make at home. It won’t take you even 1 hour to make your own jam, and it is 100% better that store-bought. No preservatives and you get to use fresh fruits (or frozen) that are in season.
Jam usages is so versatile nowadays, it is no longer limited to being spread for toast. When used in sauces or dressings, it gives a nice balance of sweet and salty taste to the dish. It can also be used as filling for cupcakes, muffins , truffles , or to fill layers of cake. Jams requires only few ingredients and can be made in few minutes.Home-made Jams are much better than store-bought ones as you can add more or less fruits and you can adjust the sweetness to your preference .Be careful though when adjusting the amount of sugar you use. Sugar in Jams is more than just to add sweetness. Since this recipe do not use any preservative, the sugar will act as the preservative and will also be responsible for the gelling or thickener of the Jam. Less sugar will mean more liquid consistency, less gel-like texture and shorter shelf life.
Difference Between Homemade Jam and Store-Bought Jam
I used to buy store-bought jams, convenient and easy, right? We cannot argue with that, but once you try making homemade jam you will be surprised how so much better it is than store-bought. To main thing I noticed was the consistency and texture. Store-bought jams have jelly like consistency, it is clearer (again like a jelly) and has more-sweeter taste and less than tartness. The jelly like texture is attributed to an ingredient called “Pectin” which helps thickens the jam to have a jelly like consistency. You can buy buy ‘Pectin’ and add in in your homemade jam, but I never add any in my homemade jams and they turned out just fine. If does not have the transparency and jelly like texture, but I seem to like it that way. I can taste the flavor of the fruit better, the tartness of the berry stands out more.
How to Thicken Homemade Jam without Pectin
If you are using a citrus fruit or berries to make the jam, these already have natural Pectin in them. Of course it is not as enhance as when you add more, but the natural Pectin is a good start.
- Powder Pectin – You can now buy a powered pectin is you really want to get as close as possible to store-bought jam. My personal preference, don’t bother. The other two option below are easier find and works great too.
- Cornstarch is an option to make the jam thicker. I like to add few teaspoons in my homemade, this plus the sugar helps thicken the sauce
- Chia Seed, is another great option to thicken the jam. In fact, adding chia seed gives the jam a jelly like consistency and texture. Bonus plus, chia seed is a good source of protein, a little goes a long way. I’ve added chia seed when I made my Strawberry Chia Seed Jam and it turned out amazing! Get the full recipe HERE.
- 250g Frozen or Fresh Raspberry
- 1/3 cup Granulated White Sugar
- 1 teaspoon Cornstarch
- 1 tablespoon Chia Seed
- Make the Raspberry Jam: Mix sugar, Raspberry, chia seed and cornstarch. Put over medium heat for about 20 minutes. Continue stirring to avoid burning and sticking to the pan. The sugar will start to melt and the Raspberry will start to breakdown. The consistency will be liquidy and watery for few minutes but when most of the water evaporates, the consistency will start to thicken. When the jam starts to look gooey and thick, it will start to coat the back of a spoon. The jam will get thicker as it cools.
- When making seedless Jam:
- In a separate bowl, strain the mixture to remove the seeds. Return the smooth Jam to the pan and bring to boil 3 more minutes. Stir continuously to avoid burning.
- When making seedless Jam:
- Let cool: Set aside and let it cool.
Note: Raspberry has a more tart and sour taste as compared to other berries. Taste the Raspberry, and adjust the amount of sugar as needed. If the Raspberry is quite sour, you may need more than 1/3 cup of sugar.
How to Store Homemade Jam
Transfer the jam in a clean sterilized jars. The process of jar storage differs depending on how long you intend to keep it. For long term storage (1 year, although some post says it could last up tin3 years!) you need to first sterilize the jars before using to make sure it is clean and free of contaminants. Once jarred, sealed it and submerge it how water for about 20 minutes. Let cool then store in the refrigerator. For shorter storage life, like when making small batch like this, the process is simpler. Simply transfer the cooked jam on a jar, seal and let cool. Of course you always have to start with a clean jar to begin with. A though homemade jam doesn’t have any preservatives, the sugar itself acts as one. Jam should be store in the refrigerator to lessen exposure to contaminants. Mine lasted for 1-2 months at least, which is not bad at all. I like making jams close to the end of Summer season so that I can still have it until Winter time.
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