What is the difference between a jam / a preserve / a jelly / a cheese / a butter ?
- Jam: the fruit is cooked to a puree
- Preserve: the fruit is purposely kept whole, the syrup will generally not be set as firmly as in a jam
- Jelly: the fruit is cooked to a pulp and then passed through a jelly bag (muslim or calico) to produce a liquid which is then boiled with sugar to form a crystal clear jelly.
- Cheese: the fruit is pureed and then sieved before adding the sugar, this is particularly useful when using fruit where it is difficult to remove stones (pips).
- Butter: preparation is similar to cheese, but only half the amount of sugar is used, resulting in short keeping qualities.
The ingredients below are only a guideline. The pectin content of the fruit may mean that you will need to mix different fruits or add lemon juice or commercial pectin (or use preserving sugar) to help setting.
- Jam: 1kg of fruit : 1 kg of granulated sugar, the amount of water depends on the amount of water in the fruit.
- Preserve: the fruit is either gently poached in a bit of water or sugar is sprinkled on the fruit to soften it. 1kg of fruit : 1kg of sugar
- Jelly: a puree is made by gently boiling the whole fruit down to a pulp / puree, adding some water if necessary (mixture sticking to bottom of pan). The puree is then dripped through a jelly bag (or similar). 550ml of drained fruit juice : 400g granulated sugar
- Cheese: 550ml of puree (made by gently boiling the whole fruit down to a puree and then pushing it through a sieve) : 400g granulated sugar
- Butter: 550ml of puree (made as for cheese) : 200g granulated sugar
There are many tips when making jams which are useful to read before embarking on the process. I certainly can’t better Delia Smith’s tips.