Raw jam is not only easy and quick – possibly the quickest jam you’ve ever made, but it also has a very deep and intense flavor you’ve probably never tasted before. It’s made entirely from dried fruit – no added sugar or pectin.
If you’ve ever read the label on a jar of store-bought jam, the sugar content will catch you by surprise. Store-bought jam is mostly made with corn syrup (or some other type of fructose-glucose syrup) and standard white sugar. Not to mention the amount of pectin used to thicken it up.
Jam made from dried fruit is the opposite of that. Since the fruit is dried, aka concentrated in natural sugar, there’s no need to add additional sugar. Also, dried fruit has very low water content – dried apricots, for instance, contain only about 22% water – and so there’s no need to add pectin or some other type of thickener.
Perhaps most importantly, when you dry fruit, its flavor magnifies, resulting in an intensely flavorful, delicious jam.
Tips for Making Raw Jam
- Dried fruit: the juicier the dried fruit, the better. I have made this raw jam using apricots, plums, cherries, and figs, and they all work great. As you might know, dried fruit is commonly treated with preservatives. The most common are sulfites, which not only prevent bacterial growth but also preserve the fruit color. Without preservatives, all dried fruit becomes dark-colored. The choice is yours. I try to purchase sulfite-free sun-dried fruit whenever possible. While it doesn’t have the prettiest color and perhaps spoils quicker, it’s chemical-free, which, in my opinion, is worth it.
- Maple syrup (optional): if you’re not working with particularly sweet fruit, you might want to add a liquid sweetener. It’s important to use liquid sweeteners because the liquid consistency helps with blending. You might have heard that liquid sweeteners are not ideal in jams because they don’t adequately react with the fruit to set it. Well, that’s not a problem for this recipe because we are not cooking the jam.
How to Make Raw Jam
Dried fruit jam is about as easy as it gets:
- Soak the fruit. Since dried fruit contains less water than fresh, you’ll want to rehydrate it first. Re-hydrating makes the fruit soft and easier to blend. So, add the fruit to a medium bowl, cover it with warm water, and let it soak for a few hours. Once soaked, strain the fruit and discard the soaking water.
- Blend the fruit. Transfer the soaked fruit to a high-speed blender and blend on high until puréed. If your blender is struggling, add a little bit of water, 1 Tbsp./15 ml at a time, until the fruit breaks down into a smooth purée. You can blend the dried fruit until it’s completely smooth, e.g., the apricot jam, or until the fruit has broken down but still has some texture, e.g., the cherry jam.
How to Serve Dried Fruit Jam
Just like fresh fruit jam, dried fruit jam is very versatile. You can use it instead of jelly on a classic PB&J sandwich, spread it on crepes, use it as a topping for flaxseed porridge or chia pudding, stir it into yogurt, or place small spoonfuls in your next batch of thumbprint cookies.
If you want some variation, add fresh ginger for some spice, lemon juice for tanginess, or a sprinkle of cinnamon for warmth. Experiment with what you like best, but go lightly on the quantities.
How to Store Dried Fruit Jam
- Refrigerating: transfer the jam to an airtight container and refrigerate it for up to 1 month.
- Freezing: transfer the jam to an airtight container and freeze it for up to 3 months.
More Jam Recipes
- Chia seed jam: chia jam is a great alternative to store-bought jam. It’s raw, made with fresh fruit only, and thickened with chia seeds.
If you try any of these recipes, please, leave a comment and rate the recipe below. It always means a lot when you do.
- 2 cups dried fruit, soaked*
- maple syrup (to taste)
- pinch sea salt
- Soak the dried fruit. Since dried fruit contains less water than fresh, you'll want to rehydrate it first. Re-hydrating makes the fruit soft and easier to blend. So, add the fruit to a bowl, cover it with warm water and let it soak for a few hours. Once soaked, strain the fruit and discard the soaking water.
- Blend. Transfer the soaked fruit to a high-speed blender and blend on high until pureed. If your blender is struggling, add a little bit of water, 1 Tbsp./15 ml at a time, until the fruit breaks down into a smooth puree. You can blend the dried fruit until it's completely smooth, e.g., the dried apricot jam - or until the fruit has broken down but still has some texture, e.g., the dried cherry jam.
- Store. Leftover jam keeps well in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 month. For longer-term storage, freeze in an airtight container for up to 3 months.
So far, I have tried making this jam with dried apricots, cherries, figs, and plums, and they all work great. Whenever possible, purchase unsulphured dried fruit: apricots, cherries, figs, and plums.