You can also cook this small batch of jam on the stove-top. Simmer gently over medium heat, stirring occasionally, for about 15 minutes or until it reaches a loose jam consistency.
- 2 to 3 cups berries or diced fruit
- 1/4 to 1/2 cup sugar, honey, or other sweetener
- 1 to 2 tablespoons lemon juice, to taste
1 Prepare the fruit: Remove all seeds, cores, pits, or other non-edible parts. Peels can be left or removed. Cut larger fruits like peaches and strawberries into small pieces. Berries can be left whole.
2 Macerate the fruit and sugar: Toss the prepared fruit with 1/4 to 1/2 cup of sugar or other sweetener and 1 to 2 tablespoons of lemon juice (to taste) in an 8-cup glass measuring cup or microwave-safe mixing bowl. If you're using berries, lightly mash them to release their juices. Let the fruit macerate for at least a half an hour, until the sugar is dissolved and the fruit looks syrupy.
3 Microwave for 10 minutes, stirring halfway: Microwave the fruit, uncovered, at full power for 5 minutes. The fruit juices will bubble up as the fruit cooks, quadrupling in volume. Carefully remove the bowl using oven mitts (the glass will be hot), and stir the fruit. It will look quite loose and liquidy at this point. Return to the microwave and cook another 5 minutes.
4 Stir the fruit again: Remove the fruit from the microwave with oven mitts and stir it again.The jam will probably still look fairly syrupy at this point. Mash the fruit against the sides of the bowl if you'd like a smoother texture, or leave it as is for a chunkier texture.
5 Continue to microwave in 2 to 3 minute intervals. Stir the jam between each interval and continue cooking until the liquid concentrates to a sticky syrup that coats the back of the spatula and falls in heavy drips back into the bowl. Don't worry if the jam still seems a little loose at this point; it will set more firmly as it cools. Total cooking time is usually around 15 minutes for most fruits.
If you're unsure whether the jam ready, it's best to err on the side of caution. Over-cooking can cause the jam to crystallize and harden. If the jam still seems loose after it cools, return it to the measuring cup and cook it a few more minutes.
6 Cool and store the jam: Transfer the jam to a canning jar or other storage container. Let it cool, uncovered, on the counter. Once cool, cover and store in the refrigerator for several weeks or freeze for up to 3 months.