This Lemon Jam Recipe comes straight from the pages of Nana Ling’s handwritten WWII era recipe book.
It relies on a traditional jam-making process, however don’t let that scare you away. It worked for me on my first attempt and I’ve added step-by-step instructions to help you find success too.
It does require you to soak the lemon slices overnight, but with a little planning it’s an easy-to-follow recipe that produces an absolutely lovely Lemon Jam.
What you’ll need to make Lemon Jam
This recipe produces about 1,250ml of jam, so sterilise enough jars to hold this amount of jam.
If you have a dishwasher, you can simply wash the jars on the hottest cycle to sterilise.
Next, the ingredients. You’ll need:
- 3 medium lemons
- 1 kg sugar
- bicarb soda.
You’ll also be using water during a soaking process and one litre of water will be added during the actual jam-making process.
The precise ingredients and measurements can all be found at the bottom of the post, so continue scrolling through to the end to get those details.
Making the jam
The first step of the process involves washing the lemons and then slicing them thinly.
The lemon slices are then soaked in water overnight.
The next day, the liquid is strained off and then the lemon slices are covered in fresh water in a saucepan. The mixture is heated on the stove and once it boils, the bicarb soda is added. The mixture is boiled for 15 minutes and then the liquid is again strained away.
Once the lemons are cool again, one litre of water is added and the lemons are boiled, uncovered for 15-20 minutes.
Now add half the sugar and bring to a steady simmer. Simmer uncovered for 50-60 minutes, stirring from time to time.
Finally, add the remaining sugar and boil for 5-10 minutes or until the mixture reaches setting point.
How do you tell if your Lemon Jam is at setting point?
At first, the jam is a watery consistency. When it’s ready to take off the stove, it will be a little thicker and more “bubbly” as it boils. It will stick to the pan very slightly as you stir the mixture.
For more guidance on the method, check out this post on “How to tell when jam is set” and continue reading through to the recipe card at the end of this post.
Enjoying your Lemon Jam in the weeks and months ahead
Once your jam is ready, pour the hot mixture straight into the sterilised jars and seal with the lid.
Take care when working with the hot jam mixture.
Allow to cool and then store in the pantry or fridge.
In terms of the length of time your jam will last unopened in the pantry, this depends on the jars you’ve used, the climate, the fruit and other factors.
Sugar is a preservative and if you use a hot water bath and jars with a good seal, jams can last up to 12 months in a cool, dark storage place.
I prefer to store homemade jams only a month or so in the pantry, or a few months in the fridge.
You can also try freezing your jam for up to six months.
Please always use your own judgment and senses in working out whether the jam is still okay to eat!
And now for the best part: enjoying your jam.
Scones, croissants, toast – what’s your favourite way to enjoy this lovely Lemon Jam?
Nana Ling’s original Lemon Jam Recipe
Keep scrolling to the recipe card at the bottom of this post for the tested and tweaked version of this recipe.
- 3 medium lemons
- 1 kg castor sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon bicarb soda
- 1 litre water
- water (additional water for soaking lemons)
- Wash lemons and cut off the very top and bottom ends of the lemon.
- Slice lemons thinly (removing any seeds as you go), cover with enough cold water to completely immerse the lemons and leave overnight.
- The next day, strain off the liquid and place lemons in a large saucepan. Cover with enough cold water to completely immerse the lemons and bring to the boil. Add the bicarb soda and boil for 15 minutes.
- Allow to cool a little and then strain off the liquid again. Leave lemons to cool completely.
- Add the one litre of water to the lemons and boil uncovered for 15-20 minutes.
- Add half of the sugar, stir over low-medium to dissolve the sugar. Bring to a steady simmer and simmer for 50-60 minutes, stirring from time to time.
- Add the other half of the sugar and bring to the boil. Continue to stir every couple of minutes for 5-10 minutes or until the mixture reaches setting point.
- Pour hot mixture into sterilised jars. Allow to cool a little and then secure lid.