Whether it’s in your breakfast, your snack, or even your desert, a good fruit jam or jelly can really hit the spot. But have you ever noticed that there actually is a slight distinction between jam and jelly? Have you ever wondered what the difference is? Although they are both fruit preserves, what’s the difference between jam and jelly?
How do you make jam?
Jam is made from crushed fruit. In order to make jam, you must start with your fresh fruit, which you should always hand pick for that home-made feel. You will then hull the fruit, taking out the central pit, before putting it in your pot. You will then leave your fruit covered with sugar for twelve hours, which will help it keep its color. You then take the crushed fruit, and cook it with sugar, pectin and acid. Once the jam has a consistency that is spreadable, it’s ready. Jam will often have small chunks of fruit in it, and will be much more organic in its texture.
How do you make jelly?
Jelly is much more transparent and gel-like (hence the name). To make jelly, you’ll need gelatine leaves, which gives it that gelatinous texture. Using whatever berries you choose, you must soak your gelatine leaves in water in order to use them. Mixing them with sugar, the idea is that you will then add your gelatine and sugar to your fruit, and then let the mixture sit in the refrigerator for about an hour. This will allow the gelatine to take effect, and your jelly will be ready.
So What’s the Difference Between Jam and Jelly?
In the end, you will see the difference between the two in their texture, taste and preparation. Jam will have chunks of fruit in it. It will also seem more natural. Jam only takes the fruit, and different forms of sugar. Jelly, on the other hand, might taste a little more artificial. It’s texture is much more smooth, as it is often strained though a jelly bag. Jelly will also set in its form, whereas jam won’t always stay in the same form.
Ultimately, the difference between jelly and jam is simply the texture, and the added gelatin. Ultimately, both are based in fruit and sugar, and have very similar tastes. In order to figure out which one you prefer, you simply have to do a little taste test.
+ Bonus Knowledge Nugget
On top of jelly and jam, there is also a common practice of making fruit preserves. Fruit preserves are the whole fruit, which are then kept in their own juices, jam, jelly, syrup or water. Fruit preserves, along with jam and jelly, can last up to two years. What affects the lifespan of an unopened fruit preserve is the sugar content: the more sugar, the longer it lasts!
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