When it comes to jam making, one of my favorite tricks is a maceration period. This is the step in which you clean and chop your fruit, mix it with sugar and pop it in the fridge until that moment (within 72 hours, ideally) when you have the time to cook it into jam. It breaks up the work and means that you can fit your preserving into your schedule instead of feeling at the mercy of the fruit.
One thing to know about macerating your fruit is that you don’t have to add the full amount of sugar the recipe calls for in order for it to work. This is particularly useful if you’ve funneled your fruit into a smallish container and only have room to add a cup or so of sugar.
There is just one problem here (at least if you’re me). You have to remember exactly how much sugar you included to the fruit so that when it comes time to cook, you know how much to add to round out the recipe. And here I say, make sure to label that sucker.
For years, I didn’t leave myself these little notes, always assuming that I’d remember how much sugar I added. Then I’d return to my macerating fruit and have to wonder, “did I add two cups of sugar? Or was it three?” A roll of duct tape and a Sharpie do the labeling job and make my life so much easier.
I know it sounds like a simplistic reminder, but it took me years to realize how useful these little notes can be.