It’s hard to beat the sense of accomplishment you get when you open a jar of homemade hot pepper jelly or strawberry freezer jam. Learn how to make jam and how to make jelly, and you'll always have homemade edible gifts on hand—and something yummy for your own biscuits and scones! All of the recipes in our freezer jam collection include instructions on how to make jam, but the tips below will give you added confidence and know-how. When you’re ready to get started learning how to make jam or how to make jelly, pick the fruit (or veggie!) you want to begin with. (Our Seasonal Produce Guide can help you with that.) When you’re looking for recipes for how to make jam with a specific fruit, check out the fruit’s recipes, like our strawberry recipes and rhubarb recipes. You never know when one of them will call for jam or jelly—and you’ll have your own terrific store to use for it.
What's the difference between jam and jelly?
- Jelly is made with only fruit juice.
- Jam is made with juice and fruit puree or small pieces of fruit.
- Preserves are made with large fruit pieces or whole fruits.
What you need to make jam, jelly and preserves
- Jam and jelly recipes are typically made with fruit, sugar and pectin – a naturally occurring enzyme found in fruits that causes a gel to form when sugar is added
- Both SURE-JELL and CERTO are pectin products. CERTO is a ready-to-use liquid pectin, whereas SURE-JELL is a powdered pectin product that needs to be dissolved in water before using to make jam and jelly recipes.
- Always use fruit at its ripest to provide the best flavor in your jam and jelly recipes.
- Before making your jam and jelly recipes, ensure your containers are sanitized in boiling water and thoroughly dried prior to filling them.
- Use a potato masher to easily crush the fruit needed to make your favorite jam and jelly recipes.
- Consult the SURE-JELL or CERTO packages for recipes and methods depending on the type of fruit. Here are a few of our recommendations for making jam and jelly recipes using 1 pouch/box pectin:
|Fruit ||Sugar |
|2 cups grape juice ||4 cups |
|2 cups blackberries, raspberries or blueberries ||4 cups |
|2 cups grapefruit juice ||4-1/2 cups |
|2 cups strawberries ||4 cups |
|1-1/2 cups apricots ||3 cups |
|1-1/2 cups mangos ||3 cups |
|3 cups apple juice ||5 cups |
|2 cups cherries ||4-1/2 cups |
- Don’t know how to make jam? Just watch our How-to Make Jam video for step-by-step instructions on how to make Strawberry Freezer Jam in just 30 minutes.
- For best results when making jam and jelly recipes, do not double recipes. Instead, prepare each recipe as a separate batch.
- CERTO and SURE-JELL make canning easy! The following marmalade, jam and jelly recipes are ready to use in just 24 hours with no special jars or equipment. Store in refrigerator up to 3 weeks or freeze extra containers up to 1 year.
More tips for how to make jam, jelly and preserves
- If you are watching calories and sugar intake, try SURE-JELL for Less or No Sugar Needed Recipes – Red Raspberry Freezer Jam or No-Sugar-Needed Triple Berry Jam. On occasion, you may find that your jam does not set the way you expected. If your efforts resulted in a runny batch, try our Remake Directions to improve your finished jam. If your jam still doesn't set, you can always use it as a glaze or syrup.
- SURE-JELL and CERTO can also be used to make jam and jelly recipes in a traditional water bath canner. Try these recipes that show you how to make jam or how to make jelly in a water bath canner:
- Pectin isn’t just for jelly! Here are a few great ideas to use SURE.JELL or CERTO in other recipes: