How to Select the Best Fruit for Jam/Jellies

How to Select the Best Fruit for Jam/Jellies

It’s no secret that the best quality fruit will give you the most delicious jam and jellies. The best advice is to wait for local fruit to be in season rather than buying from afar. Strawberries from California may look delicious, but you’ll soon find out that they are hard, dry and low in acid.

A good jam needs firm, ripe fruit. A jam made from overripe fruit will result in a soft set due to the low levels of acid and pectin, whilst a jam made from under ripe fruit will have less juice and will therefore result in a poor, lack of flavour. Try tasting the fruit you plan on using first. If you think it produces a good flavour from taste alone, it’s more than likely to produce a jam with the same characteristics. Avoid making large batches of jam and wash and prepare fruit as you need it- fruit quality decreases rapidly once it has been prepared, even if it is put into the fridge.

Jams and jellies can be made from frozen fruit too, whether this has been bought from the supermarket or fresh fruit you have frozen yourself. The best way to freeze fruit is by placing berries or sliced fruit onto a tray and freezing. Once completely frozen, the fruit can be packaged in bags or sealed containers. When ready to use, thaw the fruit in a fridge and crush or chop it as you would for fresh fruit.

What Fruit is best?

Many fruits are delicious when made into jams and jellies.

Apples- use firm, tart and juicy apple varieties for jams and jellies.

Blueberries- there are two types of blueberries; low-bush and high-bush. Low-bush blueberries tend to have the best flavours for jams and jellies.

Grapes- jams and jellies made from grapes need to be firmly attached to the stem, which should be flexible but not brittle.

Peaches- peaches that are firm with smooth skins, sweet aromas and a clear peach colour are ideal for jams and jellies. Avoid skins that are beginning to wrinkle or have green tinges.

Pears- buy pears when they are green and allow them to ripen at home. They should have a yellow tinge with no bruising when used in jam and jellies.

Raspberries- one of the most popular jams and jellies, raspberries should be firm and dry with no juice or mildew. Rhubarb- outdoor rhubarbs have the best flavours for jams and jellies. Look for rhubarb with firm stalks that aren’t too large or rough.

Strawberries- the most popular and versatile fruit for jams and jellies. Strawberries need to be just ripe, completely red, shiny and firm with no green or white areas.

If you need some help on making jams and jellies, take a look at our how to guide. For more information on creating the perfect jams and jellies, we’d be happy to help. Get in touch with a member of the Vigo Presses team by visiting our contact page or giving us a call on 01404 890093..