Jam was invented to preserve fruit so that it can be eaten during the months when it is not in season. One of the things that attracts me to jam-making is the idea that it is an inherently local and sustainable practice. Rather than relying on fruit to be shipped from across the world, it encourages us to enjoy fruit that is ripe and nearby.
As a bookish jam maker to be, I did a bit of research to find out some of the essentials about jam making. One important thing to understand is the difference between jam, jelly and marmalade. Here is what I discovered:
- Jam is fruit that is cooked with sugar until it begins to dissolve.
- Jelly does not require full fruit. Instead, it includes extracted fruit juice that is boiled with sugar and lemon juice until it reaches a clear but solid consistency.
- Marmalade is basically jelly with bits of fruit in it.
Jam is actually the easiest of the three to make. We’ll start with jam and progress onto jellies and marmalades when we have had some practice.