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I’ve been making this for ages. 2 cups of fruit (strawberry or apricots), + 2/3 cup of sugar, + a bit of lemon juice. Large pyrex, nuke for 3 minutes till the sugar dissolves, stir and then 11 minutes (no need to stir). For the apricots, I like them chunky, so it’s less than 11 minutes. Delicious.
I generally use this recipe with raspberries and it is lovely. It is also great to use when you discover a bowl of raspberries in the fridge that you forgot about that are days old and looking a bit sorry for themselves. You can’t really use them for anything else but having nuked them in the microwave you know they are safe to eat and the jam is gorgeous.
Question: why does this recipe call for 1/4 – 1/2 cup sugar and Elise’s Spicy Fig Jam call for 1 1/2 cups of sugar? That’s a lot of difference in the amount of sugar called for.
Hi, Kate! It’s mostly just personal taste! The microwave jam recipe is meant to be made with berries and other juicy, sweet summer fruit, which don’t need as much sugar. Also this microwave jam isn’t intended to be canned, so you can just add sugar to taste rather than for preserving purposes (more sugar is usually required if you’re canning your jams).
This works with mangos as well– but I added some dried ginger (about 1/2 teaspoon) and a few red pepper flakes (maybe 1/4 teaspoon) to cut the sweet just a bit. Delicious with peanut butter on whole wheat toast!
I’m going to try it with Bittman’s (very good!) Tomato Jam which calls for 75 minutes cooking time. Now THAT will be great if this works. For those that wanted some heat, this one has it. Recipe is easy to find on line.
I’m curious to try this method with savory jams, as well! Please let us know how it turns out!
Hi Emma–I made the tomato jam yesterday and it worked beautifully. The only decent tomatoes I could get were cherry, so I made half of Bittman’s recipe (but a whole red jalapeno! I like it spicy)
Since there was much more tomato skin involved I put the cooled jam through a food mill which still left some texture.
I cooked it on high and stirred at these intervals: 5min+5+2+2+2, total 16 minutes. (I sent this comment to the wrong place weeks ago–sorry!)
This is so awesome! Thanks for letting us know how it turned out!
I had forgotten all about Elise’s fig jam. I made it years ago and it was to die for. I’m buying figs tomorrow.
Can you use sweeteners like splenda for the jams?
Judy, I would recommend using a minimal amount of sugar (1/4 cup) just so you’re sure to get a jammy consistency, but then sweeten to taste with a sweetener like Splenda. You might be able to get away with a sugar-free jam with softer, juicier fruits like raspberries and peaches, but I haven’t tried it myself. Since it’s only a few cups of fruit, why not give it a try?! Let us know how it turns out!
Splenda can be used and is likely fine for small batches like this. Sugar is used in preserves not only for sweetness but it is also a preservative. Splenda has no preservative ability so you can likely expect colour and flavour to fade faster. None of this should be problem with tiny batches. See http://extension.psu.edu/food/preservation/faq/splenda for more detailed information.
Is the lemon needed for chemistry purposes or just flavor? Every jam recipe I see has it listed. Sadly I cannot have citrus and I have always wondered if I could leave it out. I may just experiment since this recipe is easy and makes a small batch. Thanks
For this recipe, it’s just there for flavor and it’s totally fine to leave it out! In other recipes where the jam is actually processed and canned, it’s there to increase the acidity to safe levels for canning and long-term storage.
The acidity of the lemon helps brighten the flavors of the sweet fruit, so if you can’t use lemon, you might add a teaspoon of white vinegar. Acid also works with pectin and sugar to create a set. There’s no added pectin in what we are doing here, but there is some natural pectin in some fruit, so it’s possible that the acid of the lemon (or vinegar) may help thicken the jam. But who knows? Mostly I add it to intensify the fruit flavor.
Thank you both for this information, it was very helpful and will help me experiment with jam recipes.
Maybe this is a crazy question … But can I just cook this down in a pot on the stove? Would it take about 15 minutes there as well?
Yes, you totally can! And yes, I think the stovetop cooking time would be about the same — start checking it after 10 minutes and go from there. (I actually mean to add this stove-top alternative as a note in the recipe, so thanks for the reminder!)
Such a great idea to make in the microwave. Such a time saver!
How about adding a little heat, say sriracha to any jam? Have you tried it?
Yes! I think some heat would be great, especially with peach jam or blackberry jam. I haven’t tried it myself, but I see no reason why it wouldn’t work!
We love a good jar of jam and enjoy making them too.
Thanks for sharing this easy recipe! :)
Thank you for this!!!! I just can’t seem to make myself put up 64 cups of jam anymore! but I sure do miss the home made taste. I think I can handle this!!!!
Oh, gosh, I hear you on the huge batches of jam! If you try a microwave batch, let me know how it turns out! I can’t wait to try it with all sorts of other fruits, too.