I don’t make jam. If I did, I’d just have to eat it and I really don’t need that much sugar. Besides, I am very very lucky in that I live in a place where there is some fruit in season pretty well any time of the year, and making not-jam is so much easier. Mulberry not jam, followed by strawberry, then peach and nectarine and plum, then mango, then guava and fig and passionfruit, then feijoa and persimmon then tangelo and mandarin. The sugar in jam is mainly to preserve it. If you are eating it fresh, there’s no need.
Not-jam is just fruit roughly chopped and cooked down a little to intensify the flavours and make it spreadable. The cooking destroys a bit of the Vitamin C but it’s still way better than commercial jams. With ripe fruit, you really don’t need the sugar in jam for the flavour – it’s just for the preserving – the real fruit flavours come through much better unmasked. Fruit comes in it’s own biodegradable packaging, and if you grow your own or buy local and in season, there’s none of the money and environmental cost of carting bottles and cans of things half way round the world then through the chain that gets them to supermarket shelves then home to your fridge.
Mango and ginger not-jam is one of my favourites. We are getting near the end of the mango season now and I really wanted to share this before they all run out. It’s just a mango, chopped, add a tiny knob of butter, a little ginger (actually, I like quite a bit of ginger) and just a tiny splash of water to start it off. Cook for less than 5 minutes, then spread on toast. You can add as much or as little ginger as you like, and you can crush it in with a garlic crusher, or just add a few big slices then fish them out before spreading.
It lasts for a few days in the fridge, but its so easy to just make when you want it, why would you waste fridge space?