I have a recipe for a really quick and easy healthy jam recipe using chia seeds if you're interested in making a healthier jam recipe with your kids! It's really easy to make and you can use any berries you like. My recipe uses 1 quart strawberries, 2 tbsp honey and 2 tbsp chia seeds. Directions are on my blog if you're interested! http://www.hellawholesome.com/home/quick-easy-strawberry-chia-jam
The easiest jam I remember is a refrigerator strawberry jam. Cannot remember if the recipe was here on food52, or elsewhere on line, but I found it by googling Refrigerator Strawberry Jam. There's no need to boil the jars to seal them, you just screw on the lids and store it in the fridge. It is delicious. And your kids won't have to wait very long to taste what they made.
my mom always used the recipe on the sure-jell fruit pectin insert! and we always loved it.
How old are the kids and will they be involved in the cooking? Jelly is more finicky to make and maybe less interesting than jam to kids tastes.
In addition to ChefJune rec for fridge jam, and Cariline Lange family recipe, there are freezer jam recipes in pectin package inserts.
Also, make a variety of flavors in VERY small batches, then larger batches when you see what you all prefer.
Last, chutney can be interesting with more texture than jam, even at a young age, with peppers omitted or toned down. Then there are things like picked walnuts, preserved lemons, et. Etc.
oops! meant to refer to all previous posts, including Pnina on jam with chia seed. Also spelling gremlin should know it's "Caroline"
I like to make quick fig jam with agave syrup.
Never lasts long!
I remember from when I was young: volume of berries: sugar = 2:1. Clean and hull berries, add to the pot with sugar, cook until berries is very mushed. Add ~ 1 tsp- 1 tbsp lemon juice. Add more sugar/lemon after tasting for adjustment. Keep in fridge for ~4-5 days.
* is very mushed and boils down.
This small-batch method from Russ Parsons in the LA Times is the way I like to make jam: http://articles.latimes...
Really helpful article, thanks! I'm new to jam making - just canned for the first time recently. This would be a great way to easily experiment with flavors/ingredients, before committing to the whole canning process.
For those interested in small-batch jam-making and preserving, the Food in Jars website is a great resource. Lots of good recipes and tips.
I'd recommend apple or plum butter is an easy and rewarding project for the small-batch preserver, particularly since it's coming into apple season.