Your grandmother might have canned jam.  But so did Kate Moss—straight from the plums of her Cotswolds estate.

Making Jam has resurfaced in a big way, but while canning can be an intense process—there are so many steps and utensils—making jam without canning or pectin (the ingredient they add to supermarket jams that make it jell) is as easy as two simple ingredients.  Plus the pectin requires that you add more sugar which waters-down the natural flavor of your fruit jam of choice and drastically ups your carbohydrate-count.   

The rule of thumb is that for every 4-4 ½ cups of fruit, you add 4 cups of sugar.  Beyond that, the instructions and ingredients below are pretty straightforward. 

Apricot Jam


4 ½ cups Apricot

4 cups granulated sugar

2 teaspoons lemon juice


Wash and pit apricots.

Cut in halves and cover and cook in just enough water to prevent scorching.

When they are soft to touch, and then crush.

Add sugar and lemon juice.

Boil mixture until it’s done (use the freezer test below) and remember to stir consistently.

Pour into half-pint jar and leave ¼ inch at the top. Seal.

Place and process your jam in a boiling-water canner.

Now, the ingredients are simple, but making jam without canning requires that you do pay rather close attention, and there are a few key tricks that help ensure a good batch.

  • Wash fruit, but don’t soak it in water
  • Crush, but not puree
  • If you warm the sugar beforehand it ensures that the jam will boil evenly
  • You know it’s done if it gels when you place a small dollop in the freezer for a minute—this is often referred to as the “freezer test” or sometimes the “spoon test”

-Arianna Schioldager

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