Cooking jam: The best tips and tricks

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What is the difference between jam, marmalade and jelly?

Colloquially, the terms jam and marmalade are usually used synonymously and are actually defined only in the food law. The jam is accordingly a spreadable preparation of fruits of one or more types of fruit and sugar. The jam is a spreadable preparation made exclusively from citrus fruits and sugars. The jelly is the jellied juice of the fruits - unlike the other types of preparation it contains hardly any pulp.

Jam, marmalade and jelly

Everything the same but not - jam, jam and jelly are colloquially used, but in food law there are differences

Why is a gel sample important?

With a gel sample you are always on the safe side. It shows whether the prepared fruit mass gets the desired firmness during the cooling in the glasses, that is: "gelieren" can. For a gelling sample, place one to two teaspoons of the hot fruit mass on a small plate. If the plate was previously refrigerated, the gelling sample will go faster. If the fruit mass becomes thick or firm, the rest of your jam, marmalade or jelly in the jars will get the corresponding consistency.

Why should I foam a jam?

Canning berries dr. Oetker

Canning - fun for young and old

The natural foam that is sometimes created when cooking jams and jellies may affect the appearance and durability of the jam due to air pockets. Therefore, it should be skimmed from the fruit mass during cooking.

Video: Making raspberry jam yourself

The recipe for our raspberry jam is child's play and a base that can be changed at will and adapted to your taste.

Ingredients for the homemade raspberry jam:

  • 1 kg of washed raspberries
  • 1 kg gelling sugar

If you like to smear a slightly thicker layer of jam on your bread, you should reduce the amount of sugar to about 500 grams. So in total, less jam comes out, but it is fruity and contains just half of sugar. Optionally, the taste can be refined. For example, we recommend a vanilla pod. If you want to give some more spice to the jam, you can experiment with Amaretto, Rum or Calvados.

Recipe idea: raspberry jam

First, make sure you have enough preserving jars. These should be well cleaned. Ideally, add a pot of boiling water just before pouring. This will make sure that they are really sterile. In our case, the jam is consumed in a short time and we have therefore only pre-cleaned the glasses.

Put the raspberries and sugar in a large enough pot. With about two kilograms of raw ingredients it should be quite a 5-liter pot.

Now mix raspberries and sugar and add a little heat. Raspberries have the advantage that they almost completely dissolve in the cooking process without further use of blenders or the like.

Add sugar and raspberries to a liquid, add more heat and boil the mixture, stirring constantly.

Now turn down the temperature a little so that the jam is only slightly simmering and fill the preserving jars to the beginning of the screw cap.

After filling, set the jars aside for about ten to fifteen minutes with the lid down. The cooling jam thus ensures that a negative pressure is created and the glasses are hermetically sealed with a vacuum. When opening a glass for the first time, a good "pop" should confirm that the glass was properly closed.


  • Jam tends to form a frothy layer when boiling. This is not a problem if the jam is consumed in a short time. But if a longer storage is considered, we recommend to skim this layer, because the air bubbles could reduce the durability
  • If the raspberry kernels are a nuisance, the hot jam just passes through a sieve before filling
  • For other fruits with a harder consistency or shell such as plums, a blender should be used. So you have no unsightly peel residues in the jam

Video Board: How to make strawberry jam - Mary Berry Cooks: Episode 1 Preview - BBC Two.

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