Checklist for Jams & Marmalades

For perfectly set, delicious jams and marmalades follow our useful checklist.

1. Use fresh ingredients

1. Use fresh ingredients

Always use fresh, dry and slightly under ripe fruit, only wash it if necessary and if you do have to wash make sure to dry it thoroughly.

2. Simmer the fruit before adding the sugar

2. Simmer the fruit before adding the sugar

At the start of your recipe we recommend to always simmer the fruit on its own before adding any sugar or other ingredients, this will draw out the pectin and allows the fruit to soften. If you are working with hard fruits then always add a little water to the pan during stewing, this will help to soften the fruit and skin. It is important to do this before adding sugar because once sugar is added the fruit/skins will not soften any further.

3. Add a knob of butter

3. Add a knob of butter

To prevent scum forming on the top of your jam add a knob of butter to your fruit at the same time as you add the sugar, we recommend 20 grams per 1 kilogram of fruit.

Note: Scum is nothing sinister it is only air bubbles that are created during the cooking process, they will not ruin your jam/marmalade if they form. If you have chosen not to add butter to your preserve to prevent scum from forming, then you can remove it by either stirring the jam in the same direction continuously until it has dispersed or using a slotted spoon skim the jam to remove the scum.

4. Allow to warm before boiling

4. Allow to warm before boiling

To help keep the fruit in your jam/marmalade whole or in chunky pieces allow the sugar and fruit mixture to warm up gently before bringing it to the boil.

5. Do not stir once mixture is boiling

5. Do not stir once mixture is boiling

When cooking your jam/marmalade once it has reached a rapid rolling boil do not stir it. This will alter the temperature of the jam/marmalade meaning it will take longer to reach the setting point.

6. Once setting point has been reached allow the pan to rest

6. Once setting point has been reached allow the pan to rest

To help make sure that the fruit is evenly distributed throughout your jam or marmalade allow the pan to rest for 10 minutes after setting point has been reached. This will give the mixture time to thicken a little bit more which should help to hold the fruit in its place. If the fruit rises to the surface during this time then stir the preserve to re-distribute it and pot immediately.

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