Amazing, Easy Lemon Jam Recipe (Not Marmalade, Lemon Jam!)

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Homemade lemon jam is packed with bright citrus flavor but none of the bitterness or texture of marmalade.  And lemon jam only has two ingredients and is easy to make!

Jar of homemade lemon jam next to a white plate with a biscuit split in half and topped with a dollop of lemon jam.

That's right, you don't even need pectin to make lemon jam!  There's enough pectin in the fruit of the lemons, evenw ithout including the skin and pith.

Homemade lemon jam in a mason jar surrounded by whole lemons

The lemon jam turns more of an orange color when it cooks to the right temperature, but it's all lemon.  I was inspired to make lemon jam by this recipe for clementine jam, so I know you can use other citrus fruits with this basic technique.  

Fresh lemons in a clear glass bowl, surrounded by more lemons on a white marble surface.

I have a lemon tree in my backyard, so I'm always looking for good ways to use and preserve this delicious bounty for the parts of the year when I can't just go out to my tree and pick whatever lemons I need.  This lemon jam is my new favorite!

Easy lemon jam recipe ingredients:  just sugar and fresh lemons.

Lemon Jam Ingredients:

  • 2 cups lemon puree (just the fruit part, not the skin or pith)
  • 2 cups sugar

Lemons with the skin and pith cut from the fruit on a wooden cutting board.

Use a sharp knife to remove the skin and pith from the lemons.  This is lemon jam, not marmalade.  No citrus peel in this recipe.

Of course, if you don't want to waste all that lovely lemon peel, you can always use it to make homemade limoncello.  If you decide to make limoncello, remove the lemon peel before you remove the fruit from the lemon, because you don't want to use the pith in limncello, either.  And it would be a HUGE pain to remove the lemon peel from the pith after it had been removed from the fruit.

The fruit of the lemon in a food processor bowl.

Remove seeds from the lemon and puree.  I first tried pureeing the fruit in my food processor, and I made a juicy, sticky mess.  I clearly tried to do too much at once.

Fruit of lemons being blended in a blendtec blender for making lemon jam.

I decided to switch to my blendtec blender instead.  And not only could I puree all the fruit at one time without making a huge, sticky mess, but the blender also did a much better job pureeing the fruit.  Man, I LOVE this blender!

Homemade lemon jam being cooked in a pot on the stovetop.

Cook the sugar and pureed lemon together in a saucepan over medium heat.  If there's too much foam, you can skim it off with a fine mesh strainer.

Cook, stirring frequently, until the mixture reaches 222 degrees Fahrenheit.  I use an instant-read thermometer to check the temperature as I'm cooking.  

Cook it to a lower temperature, and the jam will still be delicious, but more runny.  Cook it to a higher temperature, and it will be thicker.  Play around with the temperature and recipe and decide what you like.  I found 222 to be the perfect Goldilocks, not-too-thin-not-too-thick texture for me.

Homemade lemon jam in a mason jar, surrounded by whole lemons.

Follow proper canning procedures if you want to keep this jam stored on a shelf.  I just made a single jar, so kept mine in the fridge to use.

Homemade lemon jam dolloped on a fresh biscuit on a white plate.

I made some fresh biscuits as soon as I finished this jam so I'd have something truly worthy of it.  But it would make just about anything taste delicious!

Nicole Wills, creator of Tikkido

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