Making Jelly & Jam

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One of the easiest and more popular ways to preserve fruit is as jellies or jams. Those sweet spreads can then be used all year long. There’s nothing finer in the deep of winter than a hot piece of toast, some melty butter and a fresh jar of jelly! They can fill a need for ‘sweetness’ without baking something and can be used in dishes and baked goods.

jelly
jelly

What’s the Difference Between Jelly and Jam?

When making jelly and jam you basically start out the same. You’re combining ripened fruit and sugar to turn the two into a preserved item that’s shelf stable. But there is a difference between jelly and jam.

Jellies are made from the JUICE of the fruit. Jams are made with juice AND fruit. Often times, so not to waste anything, jams get made first and when there’s nothing left but juice, then you make jelly. You can also make jelly out of opened fruit juice.

In other words, jellies are made by cooking the juice with sugar with a jelling agent like pectin (Apple peels have natural pectin.) Jams are made with fruit,juice and pectin.

First Time? Try a Freezer Jam

Not sure you want to invest in a water bath canner and jelly jars? Try making a freezer jam first! It’s an easy way and a quick ‘net’ search will provide a multitude of recipes to try.

There’s also a Ball AUTOMATIC jelly maker. No more watching the stove and stirring, stirring stirring.

Whatever you do, don’t waste the fruit! If you can’t eat it all…. put it up! (In the form of jellies and jams.)