How to Make Quick Berry Jam
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Quick jam, also sometimes called refrigerator jam, is basically an easy to make jam that can be made in small batches. Quick jam can be stored in the refrigerator for up to a few weeks, or in the freezer for a few months. Because it does not follow the process for canning, quick jam isn’t meant to be canned and stored long term (hence the name “refrigerator jam.”).
Quick jam is a delicious way to have jam in an instant, especially in the middle of the winter when you have frozen berries! It is equally good spread on toast or swirled into yogurt, and quick jam even makes a great ice cream topping!
About this Flexible Quick Jam Method
The method for making quick berry jam shared here is widely adaptable to almost any berry – you simply adjust the amount of sweetener you add based on how sweet the fruit is with which you are starting. For example, we made quick jam with currants which tend to be more on the tart side. We added 1/4 cup of maple syrup. If you were making quick jam with strawberries (which tend to be much sweeter), you might start with 2T maple syrup and see if that is sweet enough for you.
Quick jam can be made with a variety of sweeteners. We prefer maple syrup and honey because they are locally-sourced and easily meld with the berries to make a nice thick syrup. Syrup and honey also tend to be a little bit sweeter than sugar in the same quantities. So, as you test your jam or try different recipes you may find you need just a touch more white sugar as compared to these liquid alternatives.
Be sure to keep an eye on your jam as it simmers so that it doesn’t go past the perfect jam stage to a thick sticky stage, or even burn to your pan!
Quick Berry Jam Ingredients
The ingredients for quick jam are simple and few – you just need berries, a sweetener, lemon juice (optional), and water. The amounts listed below make about one jelly jar (1/2 pint) of finished jam. The recipe can easily be doubled or tripled if you have more berries.
- 250g (about 1 cup) berries (fresh or frozen) such as strawberries, blueberries, currants, or raspberries
- 1/4 cup (max) sweetener (can be maple syrup, honey, or white sugar); you may to use all of the sweetener with sweeter berries
- 1 tsp lemon juice
- 2 Tablespoons water
How to Make Quick Berry Jam
Step 1: Rinse your berries under cold water, then place them into a small saucepan. Use a potato masher or fork to mash the berries until most have lost their shape.
Step 2: Add water, sweetener, and lemon juice to your berries. If you are using more sour berries (like blueberries or currants) use all of the sweetener, but if your berries are already sweet (like raspberries or strawberries), start with half of the amount of sweetener.
Step 3: Place saucepan on a stove over medium-high heat and bring to a boil. Take a quick test taste (cool it down on a spoon first!) of your jam to see if it is sweet enough for you; if not, add more sweetener one tablespoon at a time.
Step 4: Reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes or until you reach a “jammy” consistency. The jam will look thin when hot but will stick to the back of a cold spoon and look thick.
Step 5: Serve warm in its saucy form or transfer the jam and allow to cool to spread easily on toast. Quick jam can be stored in a jar or plastic container with well-sealing lid. Quick jam keeps for a few weeks in the fridge or a few months if frozen (when freezing be sure to leave space between the top of the jam and the cover of the container to allow for potential expansion).