Small batch, refrigerator jams give you the pleasure of jam making without all the fuss of canning. You can also play around in ways that are not 100% safe when you’re going for jars on a shelf. So, let the fruit do the talking and keep sugar to a minimum. Simmer away until it’s the thickness you like. Spoon into a pretty glass jar that will greet you every morning when you open the fridge. Delicious the usual ways, but try a dollop to sweeten your yogurt.
I received a copper jam pan from my husband a couple years ago, and at first I thought it would just be a pretty object for the kitchen. But the first time I used it, I discovered why they are so popular in France. The pan seemed to keep the heat “just right” and every time I’d stir with the long wooden spoon I toted back from Provence many years ago, the beauty of the fruit and the pan would make my mind wander. A simple and beautiful pleasure, that is what jam making can be.
Adjust for high altitude in Bozeman by cooking to about 10°F less on the temps (less air pressure, so water boils at a lower temp…around 200°F instead of the sea-level 212°F…so all those candy making temps need to come down by the delta).
adapted from David Lebovitz's Mirabelle Jam; makes one 8 oz. jar
- 1 pound plums halved and pitted
- 2/3 cup sugar
- 1 tsp fresh lemon juice
Add the plums, sugar, and lemon juice to your pot and add water to about 1/4-inch depth. Cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, until thickened. (You can eye-ball it, but you're going for about 218 - 220°F on a candy thermometer (adjust down about 10 degrees for 5000 ft. elevation).)
Recipe Notes / Tips
- Refrigerate. Keeps at least 2 weeks.
- Sour Cherry Jam: same proportion of fruit to sugar + lemon juice
- Try with figs, strawberries, or other fruits in season
- Optional: After cooking, add a spoon of balsamic vinegar or liqueur