The jam will continue to thicken as it cools, so err on the side
of undercooking. Overcooked jam that is dark, thick, and smells
of caramelized sugar cannot be saved.
NOTE: Because of its reduced sugar amounts, this jam cannot be canned.
1 pound fresh strawberries or peeled apricots (washed and sliced
thin) about 3 cups
1 cup sugar
2 tablespoons lemon juice from 1 lemon
Set small bowl over larger bowl of ice water; set aside.
In 10- or 12-inch skillet, bring fruit, sugar, and lemon juice
to boil over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat
to medium and cook, stirring constantly and skimming foam as necessary,
until mixture begins to look syrupy and thickens slightly, about
5 minutes for strawberries and apricots and 8 to 9 minutes for plums,
peaches, and nectarines; remove from heat. Spoon 1/2 teaspoon fruit
mixture into bowl over ice water; allow to set for 30 seconds. Tip
bowl 45 degrees to one side; jam should be a soft gel that moves
slightly. If mixture is liquid and runs to side of bowl, return
skillet to heat and cook, stirring constantly, 1 to 2 minutes longer;
then repeat test. Cool jam to room temperature before serving. (It
will keep, covered and refrigerated, for up to two weeks.)
Recipe reprinted by permission of America's Test Kitchen. All rights