my obsession: fruit jams


I have become obsessed with jam.

Now I am spooning strawberry jam on top of a stack of pancakes and eating it with yogurt. Technically, I called this a strawberry jam after the recipe, but it lacked the consistency of commercial jams. So is it a jam or a preserve?

Whatever! It was fun and easy to make, so when Andy bought some red seedless grapes instead of eating it all, I made grape jam. I know red grapes aren’t the type of grape used to make jam, but I wanted to try it anyway. I used the same recipe for the strawberry jam from The Kitchn.

Red Grape Refrigerator/Freezer Jam
Makes 1 1/2 cups
Fills 2 Weck Tulip (7.4 oz) jars

3 cups red seedless grapes, quartered
1/4 – 1/2 cup sugar, plus more to sweeten to taste
pinch of salt

Boil a kettle of water. Wash and dry two Weck tulip jars (each 7.4 oz). Fill with boiling water and set aside. Fill a small bowl with hot water and soak the lid and rubber sealing rings. Set aside.

Taste the grapes to see how sweet it is and adjust the sugar accordingly. In a medium size pot add the grapes, salt, and sugar. Cut a 2 inch piece of lemon from the end. Squeeze the juice into the pot and drop in the rind. Mash grapes, being careful not to mash the lemon piece. Put 3 metal tablespoons in the freezer.

Cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, until mixture comes to a boil. When it bubbles, cook for another 8 minutes, stirring frequently. It should start to deepen in color to an eggplant purple and begin to thicken.

Take a spoon out of the freezer and dribble a few drops of jam on the spoon. Make a track in the jam—if it doesn’t run back together it is set. If it does, cook a bit longer and test again.

Taste the jam on the spoon. If it isn’t sweet enough, add more sugar to taste. Cook for a few minutes more, stirring, to dissolve the sugar.

When the jam is set, remove the lemon rind and discard. Pour the jam into a clean 2-cup measure. Drain the jars and carefully pour the jam in each jar, evenly dividing the jam between each. Leave 1/2 inch headspace. Cover. Refrigerate to eat now or freeze to eat later.