Sep 9th

Frugalberry Jam

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IMG_20130920_155816I opened the fruit drawer today to find half a dozen pears that had obviously been buried under the apples. By the look of them the apples had been dropped into the drawer from an aeroplane and although the apples had been consumed there was nothing that was going to convince my kids to eat these smooshed and bruised pears. I hate throwing out food, and usually if fruit is bruised it ends up in a smoothy, the dogfood or made into jam (depending on its level of unappealing.

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When my kids were toddlers I used to have a bag in the freezer where I would store the slices of fruit that would be left over from their snack. When the bag was full it would get made into fruit sauce or jam. I called it “frugalberry” and my kids loved it. Now that they are bigger, we collect up those rejected apples that bounce home in the backpack and the fruit that gets forgotten in the fridge. That is how I ended up with a beautiful jar of ginger-pear jam that will be eaten with tomorrows breakfast.

Making jam can seem a little intimidating, but the recipe below is simple and since it’s for a small batch  you wont have to worry about the canning aspect. This is an old fashioned recipe from my great grandmother and it’s the real deal. I believe in eating traditional foods so if you are looking for stevia seaweed “faux” jam, this isn’t it.

Any fruit can be used for this (except bananas… don’t ask) and you can be dainty and peel it, or just chop it up like I did. Make sure you remove all the seeds, cores and stems or your jam will end up a little more rustic than you would like.


  • 2 Cups chopped fruit
  • 3/4 Cups white sugar
  • 1Tbs lemon juice
  • 1/2 ” slice of ginger (optional)
  • dash of cinnamon


  1. chop fruit and measure, make sure you don’t use any fruit that is spoiled or has mold on it!
  2. Place all the ingredients in a pot and cook on med-high untill fruit is soft.
  3. reduce to a simmer and mash fruit with a potato masher or you can leave it in chunks for a more chunky jam
  4. stir jam every 5 min or so to keep it from sticking to the bottom.
  5. test the jam periodically for doness. This is done my placing a spoonful on a plate to cool and then running your finger through it. When ready the jam should be translucent, shiny and the divided jam should stay separate when you run your finger through it (see the picture below.) It is ok for it to have a small amount of juice but most of the liquid should have evaporated
    Finished jam should hold its shape once cooled

    Finished jam should hold its shape

Mine took about 25 min on the stove to reach the right consistency but the cooking time varies depending on the amount and type of fruit used.

Finished jam can be stored in the fridge. Try it on fresh baked bread, pancakes or as a warm topping on vanilla ice cream!IMG_20130920_155804