10 Tips for making Jam

  1. Sterilise your jars. To do this, wash them in very hot, soapy water. Rinse well and place on a baking tray in the oven to dry completely.
  2. Choose ripe but not soft fruit. Use fruit when it is at the height of its season. It will be at its best as well as its cheapest.
  3. Cook the fruit until its soft before adding the sugar.
  4. Ensure you use the right sugar; jam/preserving/granulated sugar.
  5. Using a temperature probe may provide a more accurate reading than a sugar thermometer.
  6. Have four or five saucers in the freezer or fridge, ready to perform multiple saucer tests at regular intervals when you think your jam is nearly ready.
  7. Saucer test for a good set: When the jam is boiling rapidly and you think it is ready to pot, take a saucer out of the freezer and drop a small spoonful onto it. Allow to cool for a minute then push your finger through the jam - if it wrinkles it's ready; if not boil for a few more minutes. Continue testing until a set is reached.
  8. When recycling jam jars, it is possible to re-use a lid as long as it fits well and does not have the remnants or taint of its previous contents.
  9. Don’t put the labels on until the jam is cold – the heat will prevent them from sticking properly.
  10. If things go wrong: if the jam hasn’t set after cooling and potting, tip it all back into the pan and boil again, adding the juice of a small lemon or a sachet of pectin.

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