The goal: Jam that drops from a spoon but stays on a biscuit (at least until I eat it, which is usually less than T minus ten seconds).
As a jam maker from way back, I never really embraced commercial pectin. This had more to do with my end results than any preconceived notion of its application. Sometimes I’d end up with jam that resembled a giant jello shooter or a gum drop in a votive. I would call it slicing jam or fruit gel in a jar. When I spied my homemade gifts of jam from 1998, and 1999, lining the shelf of a friend’s post-millennium pantry, I had to admit that the only thing denser than my jam was my denial of its shortcomings.
Tip Two: Another way to help thicken your jam is to put the undercooked fruit jam in a fine mesh sieve and drain the liquid. Return the liquid to the preserving pot, simmer until syrup thick then add the cooked fruit mixture back, stir and bottle up.
Here’s a list of low and high pectin fruits:
High Pectin Fruits
- Apples (tart, under-ripe have more pectin)
- Blackberries (also more pectin if slightly under-ripe)
- Grapes (Eastern Concord)
Low Pectin Fruits
- Apples (overripe)
- Sweet and Sour Cherries
- Plums (Italian)