Basic Jam


Basic Jam


Christopher Testani



Stir together fruit, sugar, and 1/4 teaspoon salt in a large heavy-bottomed pot. Bring to a boil, stirring until sugar is dissolved and mashing fruit with a potato masher. Add lemon juice; continue to boil, stirring frequently, until bubbles slow, chunks of fruit show at top, and mixture clings to a spoon but falls off in clumps, 10 to 12 minutes. Skim foam from top.


Ladle jam into clean containers, leaving 3/4 inch of headroom. Let cool completely. Cover, label, and refrigerate up to 1 month, or freeze up to 1 year.


The skins from stone fruit will contribute color and flavor to the jam. But for a smoother mixture, you can start by peeling peaches or nectarines: Carve an X in the bottom of each and plunge them into boiling water for 30 seconds, then transfer them to an ice-water bath to stop the cooking; the skins will slip off. For plums, just lift the skins out of the cooked jam with a fork. 


Base Recipe

  • 3 pounds fruit (see options, below), cut into 1-inch chunks if large, stone fruit pitted
  • 1 1⁄2 pounds sugar (3 1⁄3 cups) 
  • Coarse salt
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice


Mixed Berry:1 pound each raspberries, blackberries, and strawberries

Nectarine-Raspberry:2 1/4 pounds nectarines and 12 ounces raspberries

Peach:3 pounds white or yellow peaches, peeled (optional) 

Peach-Plum:1 1/2 pounds each peaches, peeled (optional), and plums

Plum:3 pounds plums

Raspberry:3 pounds raspberries