Ridiculously Easy Refrigerator Jam

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Forget the idea that making jam is a complicated, all-day process. This recipe, taken from The From-Scratch Kitchen , is three-steps easy. Plus it's a prime candidate for fancy variations (Strawberry Pinot Noir? All the yes).

Refrigerator Jam

Yield: 1½ to 2 cups

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound prepared fresh or frozen fruit
  • 2-4 tablespoons water
  • ¼ cup - ½ cup sugar
  • ½ teaspoon fresh lemon juice, or more to taste
  • Herbs, spices and other flavor additions (check out ideas below!)

1. Simmer the fruit

In a heavy-bottomed pot, combine the fruit and water over medium heat. Bring to a low boil, cover and reduce the heat to medium-low.

Cook, stirring and mashing every few minutes, until the fruit breaks up and starts to liquefy. This should take about 10-15 minutes.

2. Sweeten and thicken

Stir in the sugar. Raise the heat to medium and continue to cook, uncovered, until the sauce thickens. This could take anywhere from 5 to 20 minutes depending on the type of fruit you use and how juicy it is. Stir often to prevent burning.

3. Season it up

Remove from heat and stir in the lemon juice. Taste and adjust the sweetness if necessary. Allow the jam to cool and transfer to a jar.

Feeling fancy? Rock your jam!

Minted Blueberry

  • Add a cinnamon stick with the sugar.
  • Add 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest with the lemon juice.
  • Add 1 teaspoon finely chopped mint after the sugar.

Blackberry Vanilla

  • Add the seeds of a vanilla bean with the sugar.
  • Add 1 teaspoon rose water instead of lemon juice.

Royal Raspberry

  • Add a splash of kirsch or Grand Marnier with the lemon juice.

Vanilla Almond

  • Add vanilla bean seeds with the sugar.
  • Add ½ teaspoon almond extract with lemon juice.

Plum Spice

  • Peel and grate a 2-inch piece of fresh ginger. Add it to the fruit as it cooks.
  • Add a star anise, a cinnamon stick and grated nutmeg to the fruit as it cooks.

Bourbon Peach

  • Add a splash of bourbon with the fruit.
  • Add a cinnamon stick to the fruit as it cooks.
  • Sweeten the fruit with honey instead of sugar.

Strawberry Pinot Noir

  • Add vanilla bean seeds to the jam as it cooks.
  • Add three tablespoons of pinot noir after the sugar.

Rhubarb Rose

  • Peel a 2-inch piece of fresh ginger and mince. Add to the fruit as it cooks.
  • Replace ¼ of the water with rose water.
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