Jam Making Tips

A few jam making tips shared with us by Chef Kathy Casey.

Fruit pectins are not interchangeable in recipes. I used MCP, which is available in the West–it is my favorite and I have always had very good luck with it.

Always use fruit that is firm and ripe but not overripe or moldy. Fruit that is overripe will produce a too-soft set.

Always measure ingredients exactly. Leaving ingredients out or cutting back on, for instance, the sugar could result in jam that doesn’t set.

Mother Nature produces fruit, so sometimes, depending upon your fruit’s sweetness, jam just doesn’t set as much as we’d like it to. If this happens, just go with the flow and enjoy it over ice cream!

Always use new flat canning jar lids for processing. (Rings are reusable.)

Always wash and sterilize jars.

Never double jam recipes–sometimes it just doesn’t set if you do.

Read through the recipe before starting to make jam, and be sure you won’t be distracted during the process.


Blackberry: fresh lemon zest, nutmeg
Blueberry: allspice & ground clove, orange zest, dried cranberries
Italian Plum: fresh ginger, star anise, cinnamon, orange zest
Strawberry: dried blueberries, cinnamon, nutmeg, fresh chopped mint
Strawberry: rhubarb, walnuts, nutmeg, poppy seeds, lemon
Raspberry: rose flower water, chopped fresh lemon balm
Peach or Nectarine: currants, nutmeg, ginger, toasted pecan pieces
Apricot: ginger, pineapple, coconut, mace
Dark Cherry: orange or lemon zest, sliced almonds, clove, dried sour cherries

Copyright 2009 by Kathy Casey – Blogging at Dishing with Kathy Casey

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