Home > Eating & Drinking > Making Fruit Jam

Making Fruit Jam

By: Anna Hinds BA (hons) - Updated: 23 Dec 2010 | comments*Discuss
 
Making Jam Jam For Beginners Strawberry

Making jam is a brilliant way to use up a fruit glut. Use your best fruit and you’ll be rewarded with glowing jars of jam, with a genuinely fruity taste, that will last for ages. .

Jam Making for Beginners

Jam contains two essential ingredients: fruit – which provides pectin – and sugar – which preserves the fruit. Pectin is important to the jam’s set: low-pectin fruits like strawberries need extra pectin (in the form of lemon juice or pectin-enriched sugar) to reach a spreadable consistency. When choosing fruit, select pieces that are perfectly ripe and unblemished – they’ll have the best levels of pectin and the finest flavour. If the fruit needs washing, make sure you dry it thoroughly using kitchen towels, because excess water can prevent the jam from setting or cause mould on the finished jam. .

What You Will Need

Jars – plenty of these! You can use a variety of methods to seal your jars. This is important because it keeps bacteria out of your jam, preventing mould from forming. One option is to buy traditional Kilner jars, which come with a rubber seal. You can also buy ordinary jam jars with metal lids – you don’t need a wax paper seal for these, as they shut tightly. The third option is to buy waxed paper and cellophane covers. When placed directly onto the surface of the warm jam, the paper creates an airtight seal – a plastic or pretty fabric cover will be fine over the top of the jar. You will also need a large pan for boiling up fruit, a wooden spoon, and some muslin or a jelly-bag if you want to strain your jam. .

How to Test and Bottle Your Jam

When you’ve followed a recipe, and your fruit is simmering nicely in the pan, it will ask you to test for set. There are a number of ways to do this, but the simplest is by using a cold saucer and teaspoon. When you begin the recipe, put a couple of small saucers into your freezer. At the moment you want to start testing, remove a saucer and use a teaspoon to put a small amount of jam onto it. Leave it for a few seconds and then push the jam with your little finger (be careful!). It will wrinkle on the surface when the jam is ready. If not, try again in a minute or two with a fresh saucer. When your jam is set, turn off the heat and prepare some sterilised jam jars. Wash them in soapy water and rinse thoroughly; then place your jars into a low oven for five minutes. Handling them carefully, pour the warm jam into the jars, and seal immediately. Cool the jars at room temperature before labelling. .

Beginners Raspberry Jam

You can make raspberry jam in an oven – in just 15 minutes! Nigella Lawson says that this method is the best introduction to jam-making, although you may be disappointed to find how easy it is... Of course, the compliments that you’ll receive when you bring out a jar of homemade jam will make up for it. Just don’t give away your secrets! .

450g raspberries, hulled450g caster sugar.

In a wide oven dish, spread out the sugar – then melt it in the oven on the lowest temperature setting. Bring it out of the oven, carefully, and stir in the raspberries. Mash them with a wooden spoon until everything is blended and now pour into sterilised jars. This jam needs to be kept in the fridge.

Strawberry and Gooseberry Jam

250g gooseberries, topped and tailed250g strawberries, hulled400g sugar1 lemon, juiced

Put the fruit and sugar into a large pan and put over a low heat until the sugar has melted (try not to stir until this happens, and make sure it’s all melted in, because you could get crystals in the jam). Add 2tbsp of the lemon juice and bring to simmering point, letting the fruit soften and thicken. After about 10 minutes, start testing for a set – when it’s ready, bottle as above.

You might also like...
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice..
Why not be the first to leave a comment for discussion, ask for advice or share your story...

If you'd like to ask a question one of our experts (workload permitting) or a helpful reader hopefully can help you... We also love comments and interesting stories

Title:
(never shown)
Firstname:
(never shown)
Surname:
(never shown)
Email:
(never shown)
Nickname:
(shown)
Comment:
Validate:
Enter word:
Topics
Latest Comments
  • Siphiwo
    Re: How to Make Fruit Liqueurs
    Thanks It's a great information i need to know more about diy brewing.
    23 May 2019
  • m man
    Re: Apple Trees
    my patio apple tree and pear tree produced blossom this year with several blooms on the apple tree but after the flowers died off they all seamed to…
    23 May 2019
  • Kit
    Re: Plum Trees
    Hi, A large number of the leaves on my plum tree have not developed properly. They are tiny and the leaves are bumpy. What has caused this? The tree has…
    23 May 2019
  • Muckymouse
    Re: Pear Trees
    I have a single self-pollinating pear tree which has blossomed beautifully for the past three years but no fruits. The tree is now 5-6years old. This year…
    22 May 2019
  • Julie
    Re: Plum Trees
    I have a patio plum tree and lots of plums but they have gone flat and shrivelled what can I do? Can I send picture?
    21 May 2019
  • caz
    Re: Pear Trees
    I have a 3yr old conference pear tree. It blossoms well. The leaves are healthy. But as soon as the fruit starts to set it drops every on. I have not had…
    20 May 2019
  • caz
    Re: Pear Trees
    I have a 3 year old conference pear tree. the leaves are health. it blossoms well. But as soon as the fruit begins to form it drops every one. Never…
    20 May 2019
  • Horace
    Re: Plum Trees
    Our Victoria plum tree has had lovely blossom and lots of plums but some of the tree hasn't many leaves,what could be the cause of this.
    18 May 2019
  • tracy
    Re: Plum Trees
    I have a young plum tree, last year we had a few plums. But this year there are quite a few but they are mishaped,flat and yellow Why has this happened,…
    13 May 2019
  • Gill
    Re: Controlling Pests and Weeds
    What's the best way to deter pigeons from biting off all the shoots , and of course cherries on our tree.? Last year we tried to…
    9 May 2019