This Easy Refrigerator Jam Makes for a Great Food Gift

refrigerator jam Forget the idea that making jam is a complicated, all-day process. This recipe from our class The From-Scratch Kitchen is three-steps easy. Plus, it’s a prime candidate for gifting. Strawberry Pinot Jam — who wouldn’t love that?!

Refrigerator Jam

Yield: 1½ to 2 cups


  • 1 pound prepared fresh or frozen fruit
  • 2-4 tablespoons water
  • ¼ cup – ½ cup sugar
  • ½ teaspoon fresh lemon juice, or more to taste
  • Herbs, spices and other flavor additions (see ideas below)


1. Simmer the Fruit

In a heavy-bottomed pot, combine the fruit and water over medium heat. Bring to a low boil, cover and reduce the heat to medium-low. Cook, stirring and mashing every few minutes, until the fruit breaks up and starts to liquefy, about 10–15 minutes.

2. Sweeten and Thicken

Stir in the sugar. Raise the heat to medium and continue to cook, uncovered, until the sauce thickens. This could take anywhere from 5–20 minutes, depending on the type of fruit you use and how juicy it is. Stir often to prevent burning.

3. Season It Up

Remove from heat and stir in the lemon juice. Taste and adjust the sweetness if necessary. Allow the jam to cool and transfer to a jar.


Mix up the flavor profile of your jams by making any of these adjustments to your base.

Minted Blueberry

  • Add a cinnamon stick with the sugar
  • Add 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest with the lemon juice
  • Add 1 teaspoon finely chopped mint after the sugar

Blackberry Vanilla

  • Add the seeds of a vanilla bean with the sugar
  • Add 1 teaspoon rose water instead of lemon juice

Royal Raspberry

  • Add a splash of kirsch or Grand Marnier with the lemon juice

Vanilla Almond

  • Add vanilla bean seeds with the sugar
  • Add ½ teaspoon almond extract with lemon juice

Plum Spice

  • Peel and grate a 2″ piece of fresh ginger; add it to the fruit as it cooks
  • Add a star anise, cinnamon stick and grated nutmeg to the fruit as it cooks

Bourbon Peach

  • Add a splash of bourbon with the fruit
  • Add a cinnamon stick to the fruit as it cooks
  • Sweeten the fruit with honey instead of sugar

Strawberry Pinot Noir

  • Add vanilla bean seeds to the jam as it cooks
  • Add three tablespoons of pinot noir after the sugar

Rhubarb Rose

  • Peel a 2″ piece of fresh ginger and mince; add to the fruit as it cooks.
  • Replace ¼ of the water with rose water

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3 Responses to “This Easy Refrigerator Jam Makes for a Great Food Gift”

  1. Kimberly Munro

    What can I use to replace the sugar?

  2. Katrina

    Can you make lemon or range marmalade this way?

  3. Eileen

    Do the jars require refrigeration? And how long will they last before they spoil? Thanks.