The process of making small batch refrigerator jam is incredibly easy, quick, and versatile for any fruit or flavor combination. Use this base recipe to make strawberry, raspberry, blueberry, blackberry, peach, or numerous other flavor combinations of jam!
Refrigerator Jam Overview
Skill Level: Beginner
This basic recipe for refrigerator jam is a template to use for any favorite fruit jam combination! This recipe works well with both fresh or frozen fruit and makes a small batch meant to be stored in the refrigerator or freezer.
Quick jam is essentially fool proof. Add any kind of spices, herbs, or zests you like to create your own unique creation! Create a new small batch jam every few weeks to keep your toast interesting!
Quick Jam Flavor Ideas
- Blueberry + Ginger
- Strawberry + Basil + Lemon
- Raspberry + Mint
- Blackberry + Cinnamon
- Peach + Blueberry
Basic Refrigerator Jam, Small Batch
- 1 lb (448 gr) fresh or frozen fruit (strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, blueberries, cranberries, or peaches all work well)
- 1/4 cup (2 fl oz, 59 ml) water
- 1 cup (7 oz, 196 gr) sugar (*see recipe notes for reducing)
- large pinch salt
- 1 TBSP lemon juice
- Prep the fruit by washing it and removing any stems or peels if applicable. Roughly chop the fruit up into large chunks. Raspberries, blackberries, and blueberries can all remain whole.
- In a saucepan (at least 2 quarts in size) combine all of the ingredients and heat over medium heat. Mash the fruit and sugar with a potato masher or a fork. It does not need to be completely mashed, depending on how chunky you like your jam.
- Bring the mixture to a boil and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, for about 20 minutes, or until the juices thicken. It will become much more thick as the jam cools. If this is your first time making this and you are a little unsure if your jam is cooked enough to set, spoon a little bit of jam onto a saucer and place it in the freezer for about 2 minutes, or until it is cold. Touch the jam and if it has a gelatinous jammy consistency it is ready. If not, continue cooking.
- Cool completely then store in an airtight container or jar in the refrigerator for up to 3 weeks or in the freezer for up to 4 months. When freezing, be sure to leave enough room at the top of the container to allow the jam to expand when frozen.
- The amount of sugar can be reduced by up to 1/2 cup (3.5 oz, 98 gr) depending on your preferences for sweet. Note that reducing the sugar will require the jam to be cooked slightly longer in order to thicken.
Tips, Tricks, and Techniques
- Be careful not to overcook the fruit during this process. The mixture will seem too thin, but will thicken up as it cools.
- Boiling sugar is incredibly hot. Use caution when stirring to not splatter the mixture.
- If you want to add some fresh herbs into your jam, such as basil, mint, or thyme, do it during the last few minutes of the cooking process to retain their bright flavor.
- Sugar: The sugar and the liquid from the fruit are coming together to make a syrup. As the fruit cooks, the moisture begins to evaporate the sugar syrup will thicken.
- Lemon Juice: In addition to adding some flavor, the acidity of lemon juice helps the pectin naturally released from the fruit to set. This gives it the jam consistency.