What to do after cooking jam

How to deal with, and store, the jam you make.
(Cody Long / Los Angeles Times)

This story is a component of the feature “Seasons of Preserves: Stone Fruit,” which is part of a four-part series on preserving fruit at home called “L.A. in a Jar.”

Don’t worry: Making jam does not equal having to can it. Once your jam is done, you can simply store it in the refrigerator for a long time and not worry about it spoiling. I pour it into small jars, cover them with lids and let them cool to room temperature. Once the jam cools, you’ll be able to see its final texture. If it’s too loose, you can always cook it more or simply refrigerate it, which will firm it too. If it’s too firm-set, you can loosen it with a spoonful of hot water until it’s the consistency you like. Jam-making, after all, is a controlled evaporation of water, so if you accidentally take too much out, you can always add a little back in.

If you don’t have jars or other glass containers, allow the jam to cool in the pot, then transfer it to an airtight container and store it in the fridge. As long as you don’t mix peanut butter into the container of jam while double dipping with your knife, which could contaminate the jam, it will last in the fridge for months, or at the very least, as long as it takes for you to eat it.