A breakfast spread without fruit jams is incomplete. It is the perfect accompaniment to a toast, freshly baked scones, even tarts and puff pastries. Kids especially love jams with almost everything. Though store-bought jams offer you a large variety of flavours, they are often loaded with sugar, artificial colours and preservatives. These ingredients are essentially added to prolong the shelf life of the product.
What if we tell you that you can make your very own delicious jam minus any artificial colour and preservatives? Homemade fruits jams taste fresher and more delicious. You have full control over how sweet you want the jam to be and most importantly, you have the taste of your favourite seasonal fruit all year long. Here is how you can make a fresh batch of your favourite fruit jam at home with some easy-to-follow instructions. All you need to make your very own fruit jam is 8 cups of fresh fruit (such as strawberries, blueberries or orange), sugar, lemon juice and butter.
1. Before you start preparing the jam, sterilise the jars that you are going to store the jams in. Sterilisation is a very important step that you should not skip. Whenever you’re making jams, preserves, chutneys, etc., ensure you sterlise your jars, it ensures that microorganisms such as bacteria, yeasts and fungi destroyed. This is a fail-safe method of protecting your jam from spoiling. Boil the jars and their lids in water for about 10 minutes and then place them upside down on a clean towel or tissue paper. Alternatively, you can also place clean jars in an oven for 20 minutes at 200⁰C.
2. Wash the fruits thoroughly under running water. Then, peel them, remove the pits and stems and chop the fruit up into small pieces. Before you put the cut fruit on heat, mash them with a wooden spoon to make them malleable for your jam. Toss them in a large saucepan on a medium heat, add a half teaspoon of butter, 1/4 cup of lemon juice and stir gently. Bring this mixture to a full boil and keep stirring constantly.
3. Now add sugar to the fruit mix and stir until it’s dissolved. The sugar to fruit ratio for a jam should be 1:2, but remember that it will vary as per the fruit that you choose. If you go for a sour fruit like orange, the ratio will change to 2:3.
4. After adding the sugar, let fruit mixture simmer for about 5 to 20 minutes on low heat. You will notice that gradually the runny mixture will turn thicker with a syrupy consistency. Continue stirring till you get your desired consistency. Turn off the heat and leave it to cool completely, the jam will thicken further when it cools down.
5. Use a ladle to pour the prepared jam into the sterilised jars, wipe the rim clean, screw the lid and place the jam jars into your refrigerator. You can also get creative and make different labels for the jars, homemade jams make for a wonderful gift.
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