David Lebovitz's Easy Ratio For Making Jam Without A Recipe

We know that toast and biscuits just wouldn't taste the same without jelly, but when it comes to the world of pastries, jam rules. Created from cooking smashed fruit, sugar, and pectin together, Baking Bites reports that jam is a favorite ingredient among bakers for two different reasons. The first has to do with its decadent flavor. The second, however, is because jam can be baked in an oven without losing its texture. But although several pastry chefs take making and baking jam seriously, few are as dedicated to the fruit preservative as David Lebovitz. 

On Lebovitz's website, you'll find the chef's culinary accolades. He worked at Chez Panisse — the same acclaimed restaurant Samin Nosrat got her start at — and has published 9 cookbooks. But you'll also find countless recipes that feature jam in their ingredient list. And after years of baking desserts of all kinds, Lebovitz has finally perfected a way to make jam without a recipe (per David Lebovitz).

David Lebovitz has a golden ratio for making scratch jam

According to Almanac, making jam is already relatively easy in comparison to making jelly because, since jam can be enjoyed thick or watery, it's almost impossible to mess up its consistency. But thanks to David Lebovitz, whipping up a batch of your favorite strawberry jam just got even simpler. As noted by the widely acclaimed chef's website, you can tear out the jam recipe from your favorite cookbook. You only need to memorize one ratio to make a perfect helping of any jam of your choice.

Lebovitz reports that the first step to making jam by the seat of your pants is to, of course, pick and cook as much of the fruit you want to preserve as your heart desires. After that comes the important part. You'll need to accurately measure the amount of fruit you're working with. As Lebovitz notes, the golden ratio to jam-making involves using "¾ of the amount of sugar" for the fruit you have. The chef provides an example, stating that if you have 4 cups of fruit then you'll need to throw in 3 cups of sugar to ensure your fruit is correctly preserved. And once you've memorized this simple rule, you'll never have to look at a jam recipe again.