About Jams, Jellies & Preserves
The less sugar you use the greater the flavor impact of the fruit.
If honey is used there will be a flavor change and the jellies/jams must
be cooked longer. If you use artificial sweeteners use only the
Cyclamate type to avoid bitterness and follow the manufacturer’s
instructions. Cooked down jellies in which the juice is extracted by
the open kettle method contain 60% fruit versus commercial products
[pressure cooked to extract more juice but pectin destroying] with
Jelly: has great clarity from dripping the cooked fruit through a
cloth before adding sugar and finishing.
Jams, Butter and Pastes: are whole fruit purees of increasing density.
Marmalades, Preserves and Conserves: are bits of fruit in a heavy
High Pectin Fruits: Apples, Crabapples, Quinces, Red Currants,
Gooseberries, Plums and Cranberries. These need no additional pectin.
If you get syrupy jelly you used too much sugar or did not cook the
juice long enough after adding the sugar.
Low Pectin Fruits: Strawberries, Blueberries, Peaches, Apricots,
Cherries, Pears, Blackberries, Raspberries, Grapes, Pineapple and
Rhubarb. These require combining with high pectin fruits or adding a
To Test Pectin Content: Put 1 tbl cooled fruit juice in a glass. Add
an equal amount of grain alcohol and shake gently. The alcohol will
bring the pectin together in a gel. If a large amount of pectin is
present it will appear in a single mass or clot when poured from the
glass. Use equal amounts of juice and sugar. If the pectin collects
in several small particles use have as much sugar as juice.
To sterilize jelly glasses: fill jars 3/4 full of water and place
them in a shallow pan partly filled with water. Simmer 15 min and
then keep hot until filled. If the lids are placed on the steaming
jars they will be sterilized simultaneously.