Make a Small Batch of Jam

Does making jam or preserves conjure up long sessions at the stove with an even longer canning or freezing session to follow ?  If so, it does not always have to be that way.

For example I made a small batch of jam on the weekend in no time at all.

Yes it makes sense to go strawberry or blueberry picking and to spend a day or the entire weekend canning or freezing jams, preserves, or jelly from the fruit of your labors.  It saves money and the end result is far better tasting than any commercial product that you will find on the store shelves.

But it does not have to be all or nothing. On the weekend, I had four very ripe peaches and half of a small bag of cherries that I either needed to eat that very day or make a small batch of jam with, lest that fruit go to waste.  I was pretty sure that these would equal 3 cups of cut-up fruit and that is all that I needed for a small batch. ( plus 2 cups sugar and one lemon )

What is nice about small batches is that 1)  no need to can or freeze; just store it in the fridge and you’ll use it up quickly    2)  the project can be broken up into small increments of time because the cut up fruit + sugar can sit in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 24 hours or more until you are ready to cook the jam.

Peach & Cherry Jam :

  1.  Pit and cut up cherries to equal 1 cup.
  2.  Place 4-5 large peaches in boiling water for a few minutes until the skins come loose. Drain and cool.
  3. Peel skins, cut up peaches and toss the 3 cups of fruit with 2 cups sugar and put that into the fridge in a covered container.
  4. Place the fruit mixture into a pot, & start the heat underneath to bring to a boil.
  5. Cut 1 lemon in half and squeeze all of the juice into the pot.
  6. Stir your mixture as it boils.
  7. After about 5 minutes, scoop out half of the fruit to blend in a blender. I like to have some whole fruit chunks in the jam and this is why I only blend half. This is a matter of taste & preference. Return to the pot and stir.

Since this was a small batch it only needed to cook about 15 minutes or so…and while it is very hard to show a sheet test with only one person and no kitchen assistant, with steam rising like crazy and a phone, I think that I caught it though the picture is of poor quality.  The sheet test is how you know that your jam is done. The jam becomes thick and syrupy, and rather than drops quickly dripping off of a spoon, the drops run together into globules.


In the end, I had one full canning jar of jam and one plastic container to send home with someone. The next morning’s taste test of jam on rye toast was a success. It turned out great!

small batch jam collage


You might also enjoy Cut Flower Bouquets from the Garden‘  or ‘Simple Meals Using Fresh Ingredients‘ 

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15 Responses to Make a Small Batch of Jam

  1. I may want to try this. I buy a lot of fruit and when it gets ripe, I freeze it but making some jam sounds good, too!

  2. Joyce says:

    I’ve never made jam before, so a small batch like this might be the perfect way to find out if I’m as bad at canning as I am at gardening! Thanks for a great recipe and helpful pictures!

  3. Grandma Kc says:

    It does look super yummy! Peaches and cherries are my 2 favorite fruits but I’ve never had them in jam. May have to get really brave and try it!

  4. Great idea!

    We don’t really eat much jam so I just usually freeze fruit that is getting too ripe. Then I make fruit crisps when I have enough.

  5. Beth says:

    Great idea! I haven’t made jam since I was a teenager in 4-H; then it was grape freezer jam. Yours looks really good, Deb.

  6. What a great idea to prevent food waste with fruit. I wish I had seen this when I was looking for ways to use up the excess peaches in my fridge.

    I would love for you to link up your post to my Fabulously Frugal Thursday; it’s such a great tip.

  7. A small batch of jam sounds perfect. Thanks for sharing this with us at TTF.

  8. Jann Olson says:

    I will be making a small batch of peach jam tomorrow. I bought a box last week. We’ve eaten a lot and I made a yummy dessert, but now needing to use them up. Thanks for sharing with SYC.

  9. Mary says:

    Great post on making smaller batches!! I always wanted to make smaller batches just because of time for me and I’m always scared to change the recipe I use. I’m worried my jam wouldn’t come out So I end up making a ton later and give out to family. Thanks for sharing over at the Homeacre Hop! Join us again soon! :)

  10. Kathy says:

    This is marvelous – I do get a small batch of fruit from time to time. Instead of making cobbler or pie – jam would be delightful. I do appreciate you sharing with Home and Garden Thursday,

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  12. Axiesdad says:

    This sounds great! Does a three to two proportion of fruit to sugar work for most fruits? Can I double or halve the quantities? I want to try for a pear jam like I remember my mother making.

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