An easy, small batch fresh pineapple jam recipe made with just three ingredients: fresh pineapple, lime juice and granulated sugar. Enjoy this vibrant golden, flavor packed homemade pineapple jam on toast or scones, as a filling in cake, or with your favorite pastries. Or eat it straight from the spoon while imagining yourself on a tropical island.
I recently made a recipe for Puerto Rican quesitos, which are cream cheese filled pastries made with flaky puff pastry. One of the variations on the traditional recipe called for the addition of pineapple jam, so I made my own easy, no pectin pineapple jam since it's not a common item in stores.
It's a basic, small batch pineapple jam recipe that requires only three ingredients. You can put it together in less than an hour and you'll end up with a pint jar (2 cups) of golden yellow jam that's packed with tropical pineapple flavor.
It's a versatile recipe that is just as easily spread onto toast as used as a filling in a layer cake. I imagine it's delightful with my brown sugar layer cake with creme fraiche frosting. You could sub the jam for the rhubarb compote. You can find an extensive list of recommended uses for the jam here.
- Fresh pineapple - This recipe uses a whole fresh pineapple of average size. When cut, mine ended up yielding 725 grams (about 4.5 cups) of chopped pineapple. Read here for tips on how to know if a pineapple is ripe.
- Granulated sugar - to add sweetness to the jam and help preserve it once cooked.
- Fresh lime juice - The lime juice isn't needed for acidity (pineapple is already acidic enough) but lime juice adds citrus flavor and helps cuts the sweetness a bit.
See recipe card for quantities.
How to make pineapple jam:
Step 1: Roughly chop the peeled and cored pineapple and place into the bowl of a food processor or blender.
Step 2: Pulse briefly, enough to chop the pineapple into medium-fine pieces, but not enough to puree it.
Step 3: Add pineapple to a 3 quart saucepan along with the sugar and lime juice. Stir to combine ingredients. Bring to a boil over medium high heat, then reduce to a simmer. It should simmer with purpose - a weak simmer will work but will extend the cooking time. Do not cover.
Step 4: Simmer, stirring frequently, for 30 - 40 minutes, or until jam has thickened and reduced significantly. When you draw a spoon through the jam, the trail should not cover with liquid. I reduced my jam significantly as I'll be using it in a cream cheese pastry recipe where I don't want extra moisture. At the end of cooking, my jam was beginning to make a light sizzling noise on the bottom of the pan. It will thicken a bit more as it cools.
Hint: Set a timer ever 5 minutes if needed so that you remember to stir your jam as it reduces.
- Canned pineapple - You can substitute canned pineapple for this recipe, but I much prefer fresh pineapple. Fresh pineapple has an excellent, robust flavor and a more vibrant color. Canned pineapple has a metallic taste and is much more one dimensional in flavor. It will also be much more pale in color. If you do use canned pineapple, make sure that it is canned in 100% juice rather than sugar syrup. Drain the juice and proceed with the recipe as written.
- Lemon Juice - If you don't have a lime on hand, substituting lemon juice is fine.
If you wish to try some variations on this pineapple jam recipe, consider the following:
- Spicy - for pineapple jalapeños jam, add 1 or 2 seeded and minced jalapeños with the other ingredients for some spicy kick. If you really like spice, you could substitute a habanero pepper for the jalapeños. Careful - they're about 76 times hotter than the average jalapeño.
- Spiked - stir in a tablespoon of rum when the jam is mostly cooked down to your preferred thickness.
The pan you use (along with the strength of your burner) will impact the total cooking time needed to reduce the jam to your preferred consistency. I use a thick bottomed 3 quart saucepan to help ensure that my jam doesn't burn while I'm cooking it.
Store this fresh pineapple freezer jam for up to 3 weeks in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
Alternatively, you can freeze the jam for up to 3 months.
Keep an eye on the jam as it reduces. There will be a fair amount of liquid from the pineapple juice at the beginning. However, as the water content evaporates, you will need to stir the mixture more frequently to prevent it from burning.
Jam vs Jelly
This is not pineapple jelly. Jelly has been strained to remove all pieces of fruit and contains just the juices, sweetener and a thickener such as pectin. It is usually transparent and has a smooth consistency.
Jam uses crushed or diced fruit and has a more rustic, chunky texture. It is slightly looser in consistency than jelly.
Preserves are basically a thicker version of jam that often use large pieces of fruit, or whole fruits. They have a very thick and chunky texture.
This pineapple recipe probably falls somewhere in the middle between jam and preserves, depending on how small you dice your pineapple.
There are endless ways to use this jam besides just putting it onto your toast!
- Add a teaspoon to the cream cheese filling in these Puerto Rican Quesitos (delicious puff pastry sweets!)
- Spread this jam onto scones, quickbreads or bagels
- Use as a filling for a layer cake or cupcakes
- Top a creamy cheesecake
- Try a nut butter and pineapple jam sandwich for a tropical variation on the classic peanut butter and jelly
- Spread some jam inside your grilled cheese sandwich
- Top a wheel of brie or some goat cheese with this jam
- Stir into cream cheese to make a pineapple spread
- Mix a few spoonfuls into a bowl of Greek yogurt
- Add a tablespoonful to your vinaigrette
- As a topping for chicken or pork
Pineapple JamPrint Recipe Pin Recipe
- 725 grams (4.5 cups) fresh pineapple, peeled and cored (1 large)
- 200 grams (1 cup) granulated sugar
- 2 Tablespoons lime juice, freshly squeezed (from 1 lime)
- Roughly chop the peeled and cored pineapple and place into the bowl of a food processor or blender. Pulse briefly, enough to chop the pineapple into medium-fine pieces, but not enough to puree it.725 grams (4.5 cups) fresh pineapple, peeled and cored (1 large)
- Add pineapple to a 3 quart saucepan along with the sugar and lime juice. Stir to combine ingredients. Bring to a boil over medium high heat, then reduce to a simmer. It should simmer with purpose - a weak simmer will work but will extend the cooking time. Do not cover.200 grams (1 cup) granulated sugar, 2 Tablespoons lime juice, freshly squeezed (from 1 lime)
- Simmer, stirring frequently, for 30 - 40 minutes, or until jam has thickened and reduced significantly. When you draw a spoon through the jam, the trail should not cover with liquid. I reduced my jam significantly as I'll be using it in a recipe where I don't want extra moisture. At the end of cooking, my jam was beginning to make a light sizzling noise on the bottom of the pan. It will thicken a bit more as it cools.
- Cool jam, and transfer to an airtight container such as a lidded glass jar. Store in the refrigerator or freezer.
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If you like this pineapple jam, you might also enjoy these other fruit-forward desserts!