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How To Preserve Jam

How To Preserve Jam

How To Preserve Jam Properly

A fresh homemade jam is free of preservatives and can be preserved for long in the refrigerator. Place your unopened or opened jars in the fridge, and they will last for 2 to 3 weeks. If you want to save it in the freezer, the jam will last for a year.

Sugar plays an important role in how food is stored and how long homemade jam lasts. When making homemade jam, sugar not only adds a bit of sweetness to tart fruits, but also acts as a preservative. When homemade jam is ready, the sugar acts as a barrier against any harmful bacteria that might want to multiply. The high sugar content causes the jam to keep for a very long time before opening the package and for a long time at room temperature after opening, since fruit jams usually have low water activity.

Making unsweetened jams and preserves can be a little tricky because sugar not only acts as a preservative, but it also gives the finished product that characteristic “jam” feel. Jams and jellies can be made very satisfying without the addition of sugar, but they are more like jelly desserts than real jams or jellies. Jams and jellies can be made without sugar, but they look more like fruit jelly desserts than real jams or jellies.

Jams and preserves are easier and less expensive than jellies because they are made from whole fruit, not just juice, and can be thick or slightly runny. Jams and preserves are fruit preparations prepared and gelled with pectin, but jellies are made from fruit juice without seeds or pulp, and jams and preserves are jelly fruits that may include seeds and pulp. The biggest difference between jelly, jam and jam is the amount of raw fruit used to make the jelly. Of the three preserves, most of the fruit is used, which are just small pieces of fruit mixed with sugar to keep them fresh and with syrup or jam to hold them.

Find out how to preserve jam

In jams, fruits are in the form of pieces in syrup or jam, and in jam – crushed fruit or vegetable pulp. Instead of hard pieces of fruit and seeds, jam contains most of the hard pieces of fruit, fiber, and seeds (provided, of course, that the seeds are small enough and safe to eat). Considered a jam by the USDA, jams contain both fruit juices and pieces of fruit (pulp, peel, and seeds) and are generally smaller than jams but still have ample texture.

Both can be used in sandwiches, but jam is easier to spread than jam, as the pieces of fruit are crushed into the jam and left whole in the jam. Due to its inclusion in real fruit jam instead of juice, jam may seem like the healthier option of the two. The texture of jam is usually softer and easier to spread than jelly, sometimes elements such as seeds or rinds appear (such as strawberry or blueberry jam).

Most are made from whole fruit and pectin, so expect a jam-like consistency and mouthfeel, depending on the sweetener used. Using commercially available pectin, you can use a variety of fruits, berries, and other ingredients to make good jams or jellies. You can definitely use other sweeteners as sugar substitutes when making homemade jam, or you can ditch them entirely and use unsweetened pectin to thicken the jam.

TypesFreezerRefrigerator
Jam12 months1 month
Homemade Jam6 months3 months
Canned Jam12 months1 month
Types of jams and their shelf life in the fridge and freezer.

An unopened jar of homemade sugar-based jam or jelly usually retains its highest quality when stored properly in a steamer for about two years. Homemade jam is canned without added sugar, canned in a bain-marie, stored in a cool dry place out of direct sunlight, and will last about half the time – about a year. Jams and jellies containing sugar as a sweetener, including the preparation of a boiling water bath, before opening in a cool, dark place and after storage in the refrigerator, should be kept for at least 2 years before opening and at least one year before opening. Years after opening the refrigerator. Low-sugar spreads and jellies can also be stored in the refrigerator for use within three to four weeks, or longer in the refrigerator.

The easiest way to store jams for personal consumption is to let the jars cool for a few hours before placing them in the refrigerator. If you plan to store jam in a pantry or donation jar, you should handle the hot jam jar in a steamer according to standard canning procedures to close the lid. Always use the two-piece self-closing canning jar and lid, and treat the jar with boiling water or atmospheric steam as described in Hot Water on page 1.

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When making jelly, you will need to remove the seeds and skin from the fruit using a colander or food grinder. Typically, jelly is made from fruits that contain seeds or skins that need to be filtered or do not decompose well when cooked, such as grape or apple jelly. It is preferable to use sterile jars, especially if the fruit is low in pectin, as an additional 5 minutes of process may result in a weaker gel. A typical fully sweetened fruit jam or jelly should be safe to eat as long as the jar lid remains intact and the product shows no visible signs of spoilage due to mold or yeast.

After all, sugar is the preservative in each of these mixtures, absorbing moisture from the fruit. According to the National Center for Home Food Preservation, the right combination of fruit, pectin, acid, and sugar causes the mixture to gel and help preserve the final product. Sugar not only adds sweetness, but also preserves fruit by keeping its bright color and preventing mold. When the mixture reaches a temperature of 104 degrees Celsius (219 degrees Fahrenheit), the acid and pectin in the fruit react with the sugar and the jam cools.

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Substituting syrup for plain water can reduce the calories in canned fruit by about 205, 280, or 375 calories per pint, assuming 2/3 cups of thin, medium, or heavy syrup are replaced by water, respectively.

Hopefully by now it can be said that the gelatin has the least amount of fruit left in the final product; while marmalade and chutney contain more cut or pureed fruit and jam, marmalade and compote contain the most fruit in the final product. Jam or jam will contain the most fruity parts, while the jelly flavor will be slightly muted by the jelly.

How long does homemade jam last in the fridge without canning?

You can store the homemade jam in the refrigerator at 40°F or lower for almost three weeks or you can freeze it for almost six months. Pectin-added, full-sugar–cooked jams are kept for one month in the refrigerator after opening. 

How do you preserve jam without sugar?

There are two varieties of modified pectin available for home usage. One gel contains one-third less sugar. The other is low-methoxyl pectin which requires a calcium supply to gel. Low-sugar jams and jellies should be processed in a boiling water-bath canner for longer than ordinary jams and jellies to prevent spoiling.

Can I use honey in jam instead of sugar?

Most jam and jelly recipes may use Ontario honey instead of sugar. Use 16 ounces of honey instead of 32 ounces of sugar in a recipe that asks for 32 ounces of sugar. Prepare the jam or jelly for slightly longer than the time specified in the instructions when using sugar. Use a commercial liquid or powdered pectin instead of honey.