When I was a little kid I remember that whenever we visited a friend's house my mother would make sure to bring something for our hosts: a dessert, something to drink or just a little detail in appreciation for welcoming us.
Being an adult now I'm use to always ask my hosts if there is something that I can bring for our gathering and I usually get a very simple request such as cups, sodas or an appetizer.
The other day I was watching a video blog where they were giving some amazing ideas for those visiting other people's homes, specially when meeting for dinner, they said that it would be great if you could bring something to give your hosts that could improve their next day breakfast.
Their proposals were as simple as fruit and yogurt, crepes and some tea bags, pancake mix, etc and everything was intended to be packed in a nice basket; one of the ideas I liked the most included croissants and a couple of jam's jars.
I'm a sucker for croissants but I was hesitating on the jam part, I usually avoid buying jam in the supermarket because they have a lot of sugar added and I've become very conscious on what I eat (and also in what I give away)
With that in mind I though that there might be a way to make a less harmful jam so I started looking for recipes everywhere, it turned out that making jam is one of the easiest things in the world and now I'm here happy to share the how-to with you.
DIY Home-made Jam
Difficulty: Extremely easy
Time required: 40 minutes
- Your favorite fruit
- Sugar or Splenda
- Glass jar with lid
- Cooking pot
- Cooking Spoon
- Optional: Lemon juice
Let's do this:
1) Chop chop chop
Chop your fruit in little pieces, if you select a fruit with a hard center (like apple or pineapple) remove it.
|Sorry for the blurry image, this is what happens when you try to hold something while taking a picture|
Blend your fruit for some seconds to get a puree, if you want your jam to have large pieces of fruit you can reserve a part and blend the rest.
2) Let's cook it
Put your puree on your cooking pot (I used a pan because it was best for the pictures) and use your spoon to stir it, if you selected a fruit that oxidizes like the apple, add some drops of lemon juice.
Once you see your puree getting thicker add the sugar/splenda to the mix.
In most recipes the relation fruit-sugar is: 1 kilogram of fruit for half kilogram of sugar, but that was too much sugar for me, I also found some recipes where they didn't add sugar at all and the jam was just fine so it really depends on your sweet teeth.
I cooked mine for 30 minutes on medium heat.
Spicy Option: If you want to add an unexpected gourmet touch chop a chili and add it to your jam once it was removed from the stove, you won't regret it, this mix is incredible good on a cracker with a spread of cream cheese.
3) Let's finish this
Pour the jam on your glass jar and you are done now!
Wait..... If you want to preserve your jam for several months there is an additional step to follow:
Close your jar and put it on a cooking pot with enough boiling watter to cover 1 inch above the jar lid, leave it inside for 5 minutes and your jam will be "pasteurized", this will prolong the life of your jam for a year.
If you plan to eat all your jam in less than 2 months you can skip this step.
And there you have it, your delicious home made jam.
I don't think I'd buying jam ever again , it was incredibly fast and I only regret not knowing this recipe during summer where there were mangoes everywhere, I'd be eating mango's jam non stop.
This can be a really nice present for holidays and you can also try mixing fruits to get an unforgettable jam.
Hope you liked today's project, and if you can, try the crackers + cream cheese + jam combination and you'll be hooked for life.