Thursday, 3 April 2014

Jam making

After last years dismal attempts at making jam, I think I finally have it sussed.  My plum jam was good.  The Quince and Feijoa jam that I have made this week are even better.
I haven't followed any particular recipe with either jam.  And I don't adhere to the lengthy business of straining the fruit overnight in a muslin cloth.  I'm too impatient. 
So below is a quick list of what I do and what I have found has worked for me.......
Feijoa jam
Would you look at that!  Have you ever seen a firmer jam?................No, me neither.

With both the quince and feijoa jams I roughly chopped the fruit and placed in a large stock pot along with a couple of chopped lemons for each batch.

Just barely cover with water.

For fruits like apricots and plums don't add water.  I did this with my apricots and the result was what can only be described at "apricot coulis".

When the fruit starts to soften I get in there with a potato masher to help things along a bit.

When the fruit is all nice and pulpy I strain through a sieve (with the help of my masher).

For every cup of liquid you get add 1 cup of sugar.  You can get jam setting sugar which helps with the setting process with its added pectin.

Always stir - I haven't in the past and at this stage have burnt the entire batch.

You need a continued rapid boil - even when stirring.  Previously I think I have taken it off the boil too soon as I was worried about burning it.

I pop a plate in the freezer to cool it and then at intervals of the boiling stage spoon some liquid onto the cold plate.  Slide your finger through it and you will be able to tell it if is ready.

When pouring into your sterilised jars it will be runny, but if you have done the plate test you know once the jam has cooled it will set firm.
Always make sure your jars have been well sterilised.  I wash mine in warm soapy water,  dry them and then pop them in the oven to heat up (100C conventional or 80C fan forced) they should be hot when you pour the jam in.
I found some small jars which are a great size for gifts or if you are like our household have lots of spreads on the go at once so you just want your jam in small quantities.

Quince jam
 I'm ready to tackle other fruits and start mixing flavours.  Do you have any favourite combinations?

Any jam tips you would like to share?
 Happy jam making!

Linking in with Sarah Jane over at Chantille-Fleur.



  1. I used to be a jam making queen - ha - until i had tonsils out kadt year and all jam taste gone! :( Sweet taste gone sadly - no jam, lollies, biscuits, cake, chips and chocolate.. I keep in trying chicolate most weeks... But nope. Sadly! Thank God for marmite BUT i have jars of strawberry, plum and marmalade jam sitting here... No- one else eats jam!
    Great tips though - i loved quince jam!

  2. And Briscoes - great for half price jam jars... We used to recycle but like screw on lids for chutneys.

  3. I love jam making but it's a few months way for me now. Unless I make Rhubarb jam but I've never fancied that. I stick my jars in the dishwasher while I am making jam I try & time it so when the dishwasher finishes the jam is ready to pour in.

  4. Your jam looks amazing - gorgeous colour! And I've never heard of Feijoa. What's it like ? Sounds like the name of a tropical island! I have only tried jam-making once, about 15 years ago. Total disaster. I kept thinking it wasn't done enough, despite doing the plate test. I finally decided it was finished, and poured it in my jars and left to cool. When it was cool enough to use it was really hard. I mean, you could hardly get a knife in it, and the flavour was super- intense and overpowering, and it would have dissoloved teeth I'm sure. I assume I overcooked it or something. Maybe this summer I'll have another go!

  5. Well done you for keeping going and trying again. It sounds as though you have got jam making down to a fine art now! You will be making all sorts now. Great tip on the smaller jars, whenever we are given home made jam it always seems to come in enormous jars and we cannot get through it fast enough as like your family we tend to have several things on the go at once. Small jars are much better in that respect. Happy jamming!! xx

  6. wow. that looks fantastic and now you are quite the expert! I have never made jam (an embarrassing confession) but will definitely attempt in the near future. Thanks for the tips xx

  7. I'm planning to try berry jam with apple added this summer. I need more firming than I seem to be able to get with commercial pectin. Interesting to see feijoas because I've only seen them on TV. I'm not sure if I can even buy them here but I'd love to try them someday.

  8. Great tea towel and fabulous jewel coloured jam - is that the qunce?

  9. Jam always looks beautiful in the glass jars and is such a homesteading, good thing to do, but it just doesn't appeal to me. We don't eat toast in our home, so not much use for jam.

  10. BEAUTIFUL! Just look at those jars glowing in the sun! A huge high five over the computer lady! We love jam here. My grandmother used to make homemade bread and homemade plum, apricot, strawberry....basically anything she could get her hands on to make jam. She would deliver it to our house in a pretty glass or we would eat it at her house for a nighttime snack over toast. The best memories ever and you are making those for your kids! Bravo! It looks amazing! Nicole xoxo

  11. What beautiful jam and oh I do love the magic of quinces when cooking

  12. Those jars look so good, all lined up like that. I am slowly, after a few years, getting a feel for which jams are easy and which will be tricky, and knowing when to add pectin or not. It's a fun learning curve. And nothing beats fresh bread, butter and homemade jam. x

  13. The little jars of quince jam look so good! Bet they taste delicious too and would certainly make great gifts

  14. I tried jam making once...I made a tiny test batch of Rosella jam, enough for one jar, to test out the recipe. It was perfect. So I harvested more Rosellas to make a big didn't turn out. I haven't really been brave enough to attempt jam making again :-)

    Yours looks lovely! Thanks so linking in :-)


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