These fresh fruit jams retain their just-picked taste because they aren't cooked to death, robbing them of their natural flavors. Sugar is usually what helps to set up a jam, but in low-added-sugar recipes such as these, the use of pectin for low-sugar or no sugar recipes is what does the trick. The beauty of these recipes is that they don't require processing in a water bath unless you want to store the jams at room temperature of 55 to 70 degrees for one year. If you do go this route,... make sure to follow this step-by-step guide from the Ball canning jars company.
Otherwise, these jams will keep refrigerated for up to three weeks and frozen for one year. They make great food gifts, especially when using seasonal fruit, and fillings for cookies and other pastries. Read more about jams here.
01 of 06
This is an unusual combination of ripe, juicy blackberries, blueberries, lime zest and lime juice. It requires only 10 minutes active cooking time, but I'd allow about 1 hour to make four (8-ounce) jars of jam. That's from start to finish.
02 of 06
This versatile spiced plum jam recipe can be made with the Damson plum variety much beloved of Eastern Europeans or red or black plums or even Italian prune plums. They only require pitting but no blanching and peeling of skin. It calls for only a fraction of the sugar regular jams call for (1 1/2 cups) to make four (8-ounce) jars. Vary the spices to suit your whim. I'm not a big fan of cardamom, but it would work nicely here. Canning isn't necessary if you go the refrigerating or... freezing route.
03 of 06
The almost cloying sweetness of fresh, juicy figs means very little additional sugar is added to this fig jam recipe -- 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons of honey, to be exact. This recipe gives instructions for canning but, it certainly can be kept in the refrigerator for up to three weeks or frozen for up to one year. Use this jam in pastry recipes or on crostini with blue cheese as an appetizer.
04 of 06I think this low-sugar cherry-rhubarb jam recipe is my hands-down jam favorite. The combination of ripe, juicy, sweet Bing cherries and the tang of rhubarb is a match made in heaven. The cherries are only roughly chopped so large pieces of succulent fruit remain in the finished product giving a luxurious mouth feel. The recipient of a jar of this jam will know it was homemade and with quality ingredients. What's amazing is how fast this comes together -- about 1 hour, especially if storing... in the refrigerator or freezer and not canning it.Continue to 5 of 6 below.
05 of 06
Low-Sugar Pumpkin-Apple-Orange Jam Recipe
When pumpkins aren't in season, frozen pumpkin can be used in this pumpkin-apple-orange jam recipe. Otherwise, substitute other squash to good effect. Only 14 ounces or about 1 3/4 cups sugar are used. This is such a nice hostess gift around the fall and winter holidays. Cranberries can be substituted for the apples or in addition to them. Dress the jar lid up with a circle of fabric and then tie it with raffia or ribbon.
06 of 06
As jams go, this blueberry-rhubarb jam is lower in sugar (3 cups vs. 4 cups) than most jam recipes. It's another unusual berry-rhubarb combination and the lime zest and juices in this recipe give it a certain pizzazz. Here's another great edible gift idea. Pair it with homemade bread and you'll be a star.