This small batch pineapple Jam recipe takes only 2 essential ingredients– pineapple and sugar. What is more, it is ready in under 30 minutes.
Small batch jams are meant to be made and eaten within a few weeks. These don’t take a lot of time to cook and don’t need any specialized equipment. Look at this recipe it needs only 2 ingredients – pineapple and sugar. I add two more ingredients – a spice and acid, for taste and consistency.
Making small batch jams
Making jams were an easy away to preserve fruit. Well made and preserved jams and jellies can stay fresh for a year or so in the pantry , no refrigeration required. But this jam making process also requires careful preparation and monitoring.
Small batch jams are not meant to be preserved for a long time. Instead, these are meant to be consumed within a few weeks and kept refrigerated. This means that one does not have to worry about vacuum sealing or adding preservatives. You would still want to use clean (preferably sterilized) and dry jars that can be closed tightly.
Here are a few reasons to love making pineapple jam
- No specialized equipment
- No Pectin
- No fancy ingredients not found in a regular pantry
- Takes less than 30 minutes to make
- You get the consistency you want (my pet peeve, more on that later)
- Many many ways to use it – from cakes to glazes to ice cream topping
So what do I need to make this jam
As I mentioned earlier there are only 2 essential ingredients to make this jam – pineapple and sugar. I usually add 2 optional ingredients – a spice and an acid like lemon juice. Here is a more in depth look at the ingredietns.
Pineapple is a low pectin fruit, which means it does not tend to jell when cooked and cooled. This is the reason that many pineapple jam recipes include pectin. If you are looking to make pineapple jelly pectin is a definite requirement, but for a more easy to spread jam pectin is not needed.
Usually, when I make jams it is because I have more with overripe fruit than I can use. In the case of pineapple jam underripe fruit works well or even better as it will have more pectin content. The recipe is written with ripe sweet pineapple in mind. So you might want to adjust the sugar if using unripened fruit.
More Pineapple Recipes
My rule is to use about 2:1 ratio of pineapple puree to sugar by volume. This yields a sweet jam that is not too sweet. The pineapple puree itself is sweet. If your fruit is overly sweet or underripe adjust sugar a little accordingly.
Before cutting down sugar way low remember this – sugar is also a preservative. It helps absorb the moisture thus preventing mold formation.
I like to add a few whole cloves or a piece of cinnamon to the jam as it begins to boil. This infuses the jam with light flavors. The whole spices can be taken out and discarded easily. My favorite is cloves, but cinnamon and ginger are other lovely spices to add. My recommendation here is to choose only one spice as the idea here is to complement the pineapple flavor not overshadow it.
When the jam has reached the desired consistency add a little bit of acid. Acid is essential to proper gel formatiom (pectin chains for the nerds). As I had mentioned already pineapple is naturally low in pectin and there is not added pectin in this recipe. The acid creats the right environment for the pectin to create a gel structure.
In other words, it helps the jam thicken the right amount!
How to make
Peel and core the pineapple (#1)and pulse into a coarse puree. If you are making Jam the traditional way core will be included as the long cooking time breaks it down better. If you are worried about food waste then use the core as well – but make sure to puree it fine separately.
Add the sugar and cook down till it thickens to the right consistency. when you begin to cook the mox frothes (#2)and begins to boil. Stir occasionally to prevent it from boiling over and sticking to the bottom of the pan. As it cooks and thickens you will have to stir more often.
The form will subside after a few minutes and the liquid will turn a clear golden yellow (#3). Keep cooking, stirring often. As it thickens and start falling in drops when scooped in a ladle do a thickness test.
For thickness test adda drop of jam in a bowl or small plate with cold water. When it holds its shape and does not spread out (#4) the jam os ready. At this point the jam will still be runny and easily spreadable. If you like it thicker keep on cooking for another minute or two Mix in the lemon juice and cook for another minute.
Add the lemon juice and cook for 1 minute. turn off the heat and cool a few minutes before transferring to dry, clean jars.
Wasn’t that easy!
I use a deep pan when making these as there are fewer spills. Whichever pan you choose make sure that it is deep enough to contain at least 3 times the volume of ingredients.
- 1 Ripe Pineapple
- 2 C Granulated Sugar
- 1 Lemon
- 6 Cloves or 2 in Cinnamon Stick Optional
- Clean and dry the jam containers
- Peel and core the pineapple. Chop into small pieces and process in a food processor or blender until a coarse puree is made. Do not puree till smooth.
- Measure 4 C of pineapple puree.
- Take a thick bottomed pan and add the pineapple puree into it along with 2 C sugar.
- Over medium heat bring to a boil, stirring a few times in between. If using whole spices add them at this point. Keep cooking on medium heat for about 15 minutes until the jam thickens.
- In a small bowl or plate take a little ice-cold water and add a drop of jam. If it stays solid and does not mix into the water it is time to stop cooking.
- Add the lemon juice, stir and cook for another minute. Turn off the heat and let it rest for 5 to 10 minutes. Transfer to the bottles.
- Cover lightly with the lid and let cool. Keep at room temperature for a day before transferring to the fridge.
If you want to use the core puree it separately until smooth and add.
If preserving for longer process in a water bath and follow standard canning guidelines.
The jam stays fresh for up to 3 months when refrigerated. Once opened try to use it within a we
For detailed information on home canning guidelines visit https://nchfp.uga.edu/publications/publications_usda.html