It’s a myth that preserves need to be made in large batches – with a basket of berries on hand, or a few that are starting to get too squishy to eat on their own, you can mix up a single jar of jam to keep in the fridge and dip into for a few weeks. With a larger surface area, a skillet helps it cook more quickly – you can make a micro batch in minutes. Measurements are approximate – if you want to wing it, go for about a third as much sugar as you have mashed juicy fruit, and cook until it’s thick and jam-like.
3 cups (750 mL) fresh berries, hulled and trimmed if needed
3/4 cup (185 mL) sugar, or as needed
1 tbsp (15 mL) lemon or lime juice (optional)
Set a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the berries and cook, mashing with a fork, spoon or potato masher, until chunky. Add the sugar – you should have about a third as much as you have fruit – and cook, stirring with a wooden spoon or heatproof spatula, until the mixture bubbles and thickens.
Cook until the spoon leaves a trail on the bottom of the pan when you draw it through the jam. Set aside to cool and store in a jar in the fridge for up to two weeks. Makes about 1 1/2 cups.
31 calories, 0 g fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 7.9 g carbohydrate, 0.1 g protein, 0.6 g fibre.
Originally published in ParentsCanada magazine, Summer 2017.