Follow these four steps for almost every jam you make
- Choose your fruit. Wash and crush
- Boil the fruit in a little water until soft.
- When it is soft and cooked, add the sugar and pectin, mixed. Then add lemon juice or cream of tartar
- Quickly boil to 104 ° C (220 ° F) and it’s done. (about 20 minutes)
A generic jam recipe
1 kg of clean crushed fruit 2.2 lb + 125 g of water (1/2 cup)
1 kg of sugar 2.2 lb
30 g lime juice, lemon juice (OR 2 teaspoons cream of tartar)
10 g of powdered pectin (2 teaspoons)
Frequently asked questions
What is the difference between jam and jelly?
Jam is chunky fruit or thick fruit puree that has been “curdled” by boiling it with sugar. Gelatin is a clear fruit juice that has been “hardened” by boiling it with sugar.
Why is the jam set?
When the fruit is boiled with water, it collapses and any pectin in the fruit is released. When sugar and an acid (such as lemon juice) are cooked with fruit, it reacts with the pectin in the fruit to form a jelly. Most jams are naturally high in pectin. If you use a fruit without a lot of natural pectin, you should add apple seeds, orange peel, or pectin extract to get the same result.
Why did my runny jam come out?
Undercooked (not 104-105 ° C). Not enough pectin, not enough acid, or not enough sugar. Fruit does not gel easily (eg, Pineapple)
Why is my jam too thick?
Overcooked or with too much pectin
What kind of pot do I need?
Bigger is better. Use a wide bottom pot with a heavy bottom that has an even heat distribution.
The 4 things you need to make jam
About the fruit
Some fruits contain a lot of pectin and are easily made into jam. Pectin is a natural substance. Apples and citrus fruits are very rich in pectin. If the fruit you are using has a lot of pectin, you don’t need to add more pectin. If the fruit you are using is low in pectin, you should add powdered pectin OR add a high pectin fruit such as apple, apple seeds, or citrus peel.
Jam is high in sugar. Expect an average amount of around 50% fruit and 50% sugar. Sugar and acid preserve the fruit and give it texture. It is possible to make low-sugar jams and sugar-free jams. Do a Google search for those recipes.
Pectin is a natural ‘polysaccharide’. When boiled with sugar and an acid like lemon juice, it forms a ‘gel’. Many fruits naturally contain a lot of pectin. The fruit has more pectin when it is not ripe and less when it is fully ripe. Powdered pectin extract is commercially available. These are made from orange and lemon peel or apple seeds.
Lemon juice, lime juice, or cream of tartar (tartaric acid) are the usual options. The pectin must be cooked with sugar and acid to form a jam or gel.
A quick list of high pectin fruits:
- Orange peel, lemon peel, grapefruit peel, lime peel.
- Raspberries, gooseberries, blackberries, blueberries
- Apples, grapes, plums
When using the high pectin fruits mentioned above, no added pectin is needed. They have enough naturally.