Making Jam & Jelly at Home -Methods
General Method for Making Jam:
Some Jam Recipes
- Wash the fruit, drain well and remove the stalks and stones.
- Weigh the fruit and put in a preserving pan with the water and acid
- Simmer gently until the fruit is soft.
- Test for pectin content before the sugar is added to the cooked fruit
by taking 1 teaspoonful of juice from the fruit and putting it into a
glass and leaving to cool. Add 3 teaspoons of methylated spirit and stir.
- If a large clot forms in the juice, adequate pectin has been extracted
and the sugar may be added.
- If there is a medium amount of pectin, several small clots will form.
- If there is very little pectin content it will break into small pieces
and additional pectin will have to be added.
- Add the warmed sugar and stir away from the heat until the sugar has
- Bring to the boil and boil rapidly, stirring occasionally to prevent
the jam sticking to the bottom of the pan and burning.
- Remove the pan from the heat and test for setting point by one of the
- Put 1 teaspoon of jam onto a cold saucer and allow to cool for a
minute. Push the surface gently with your fingertip and, if the surface
wrinkles, setting point is reached.
- Dip a wooden spoon into the jam, remove it, and after a second or
two tilt the spoon so that the jam drips. If the jam is almost set
and the drops run together in large flakes, setting point has been
- Dip a sugar thermometer in hot water, stir the jam, then immerse
the thermometer into it. Do not allow the bulb to touch the bottom
of the pan as it may break. If the temperature is around 105°C (220°F)
setting point has been reached.
- Add a knob of butter or a few drops of glycerine to the jam, stir well
to remove the scum.
- Pour into clean, sterilized, hot dry jar at once, filling to within
¼ inch of the top of the jar.
- Put a waxed paper, waxed side down over the jar.
- Wipe the jars clean and cover.
- Leaved to cool and then label with contents and date.
- Store in a cool, dark place.
Small amounts of jam can be made in the microwave.
A large microwave bowl, two or three times as large as the volume of jam,
should be used and it is important to remember that when you add the sugar
to the boiled fruit, the bulk will double.
- Cook the fruit on full power for around 4 minutes until it is soft.
- Stir in the sugar until it has dissolved and then cook again on high power
for 3 minutes, before stirring thoroughly.
- Continue to do this until the jam has cooked for about 18 minutes, or
until the jam sets when a little is placed on a chilled saucer.
- Stir in a small knob of butter or a few drops of glycerine to get rid
of any scum.
- Leave to stand for 5 minutes and then pour into hot sterilized jars and
NEVER USE A SUGAR THERMOMETER IN THE MICROWAVE OVEN.
Microwave to Sterilise Jars
You can use a microwave to jam jars. Quarter fill the jar with cold water,
dip in your fingers and rub your dampened fingers completley around the jar.
If the jar has a lid, shake the water around with the lid on but don't leave
it on when you put it into the microwave.
Microwave the jar for 1 minute on full power and everywhere the moisture
has touched will be brought to boiling point and sterilised.
Pour out the water, taking care because the jar will
be hot, and use for
Jams with less than the usual amount of sugar can be made from fruits with
good setting qualities.
The proportions are 1½ lbs of sugar to 2 lbs of fruit (750g
to 1 kg).
The jam will keep for only a few weeks unless stored in airtight jars and,
once opened, will remain in good condition for only 10 to 14 days. The set
will be less firm than usual.
Making Jams, Jellies & Sweet Preserves Guides
There are recipes, methods and tips for jams, pickles, chutneys,
sauces, jellies and more in our book.
For more information about the book see
Easy Jams Chutneys & Preserves