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Jam Making: Normal sugar versus sugar for jam!

(24 Posts)
WhatTheFrack Wed 28-Jul-10 20:06:21

After having nicked acquired a load of plums from my neighbour's garden I'm going to try my hand at making some jam. The last time I did this was a long, long time ago at school and I used normal sugar. Now I see sugar for jam in the shops and in recipes, is there a difference? Should I buy the more expensive stuff or is the normal Silver Spoon good enough?

Many thanks

OP’s posts: |
Katisha Wed 28-Jul-10 20:08:16

Normal is fine.

the only time I used special jam sugar it went too solid.

I think with plums you won't need it.

allstarsprincess Wed 28-Jul-10 20:09:57

The jam sugar contains pectin which helps the jam to set. Personally I only use regular sugar and my jams are fab (even if I do say so myself.)

WhatTheFrack Wed 28-Jul-10 20:18:54

OK many thanks, am going to give it a go tomorrow. I hope mine turns out fab too, if I remember the one I made at school was a bit of a disaster grin

OP’s posts: |
Katisha Wed 28-Jul-10 20:21:47

THere's a lot of mystique about jam making but really it's pretty simple.
Make sure the sugar is dissolved before starting the fast boil and then keep a plate in the fridge and keep testing it until you reckon it's set.
I like a fairly runny jam, more like a conserve, so I stop it sooner rather than later.
You push the test bit on the plate with your finger and if it wrinkles then it's starting to set.

taffetacatski Wed 28-Jul-10 22:21:44

yy to normal sugar

you only need the added pectin with soft fruits like strawbs

I use preserving sugar for marmalade though as it sets clear

stressedHEmum Thu 29-Jul-10 08:00:38

I agree with everyone else. The only time that I use jam sugar is when I am using strawberries ' raspberries, courgettes or when I make jelly from a carton of grape juice. You won't need it for plums, especially if you do the whole simmering thing with the stones still in and the scoop them out with a slotted spoon.

Plum jam is nice if you flavour it with ginger. Have you tried plum chutney, as well? It rocks.

Taffeta, I use preserving sugar for marmalade, as well. It always looks much nicer.

MoonFaceMama Thu 29-Jul-10 11:49:33

you can tie the stones in a piece of muslin and dangle it in to simmer, then pull it out. Even low pectin fruits set with the addition of a cheeky apple or two ime! I've even chucked in the pre squeezed rinds of some lemon halves and then fished them out as the pith, rind and membranes are all pectintastic. you can buy liquid pectin which i think works out cheeper than the jam sugar.

WhatTheFrack Sat 31-Jul-10 14:11:29

Thanks everyone I used normal sugar and made my jam - it's fab and I can't believe how easy it was.

Have also made a loaf of bread to eat it with so have been very domesticated today.

I did the simmering thing with the stones still in and then scooped them out with the slotted spoon.

Am now eyeing up the blackberries in the lane and the apples on the trees in the garden - going on what others have said earlier it's advisable to use apples with the blackberries because they are a good source of pectin.

OP’s posts: |
MoonFaceMama Sat 31-Jul-10 18:03:19

glad it worked out for you! smile

ooh i'm just loving the jam making at the moment! We've done raspberry, spiced red current jelly (for with christmas dinner), all the berry leftovers jelly, a spiced goosegog chutney. And preserved lemons...not jam i know (neither is the raspberry vinegar)! Oh, and in the home brew department ribeerna! i love this time of year! Plenty more preserving to come though! Must do some cherry brandy before they all vanish!

Sorry for hijack!
<<hovers around hoping others will share their preserving plans>>

WhatTheFrack Sat 31-Jul-10 18:24:06

Can somebody tell me how to preserve - I'm going to have a load of peaches in a couple of weeks.

OP’s posts: |
Lilymaid Sat 31-Jul-10 18:57:39

Unless you have a jam making pan or very large thick based saucepan, you should only make small quantities. IME peach jam is less interesting than others like apricot and plum - the flavour of the peach can easily be lost.
Alternatively, try making peach chutney or use sliced peaches as part of a Rumtopf.
But this recipe looks good and the addition of vanilla and lemon should bring out the flavour. Just make sure that you have enough room in the pan so that the uncooked ingredients are no more than around 1/3rd way up the side of the pan, or it is likely to boil over.

OrmRenewed Sat 31-Jul-10 19:03:09

Depends on the fruit. With soft fruit like strawbs you need jam sugar or add some apple pulp. With stone fruit ordinary sugar is fine.

BTW I made strawberry jam in the microwave. Took about 20 mins in all. And is lovely.

Waswondering Sat 31-Jul-10 21:53:38

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Monty100 Sat 31-Jul-10 22:04:57

Oooo putting this on watch have harvested my plum tree today, thanks. smile

Does anybody know anything about mulberries. My tree is heavy and I don't know what to do with them.


Sorry for hijack.

BeenBeta Sat 31-Jul-10 22:08:26

Just made some fab jam in the microwave with this fantasticly simple MN method recipe.

Normal sugar worked fine. Left it to cool in the fridge.

Monty100 Sat 31-Jul-10 22:28:03

BB - that sounds great, except my microwave is crap weird.

MoonFaceMama Sun 01-Aug-10 00:55:24

whatthe i think the river cottage preserve book (which is ace btw...but then i am in love with hugh blush ) has a recipie for preserving peaches in brandy. But i'm away from home so can't check...back mon so can look then. What isn't better with the addition of booze? wink great christmas pressies too!

Waswondering have just made normal red current jelly, but when jarring stuck a cinnamon stick and few whole dried chillies in. Hoping they'll impart some spice action... Star anise (or anything else big enough to be noted and avoided) would be nice too. smile

Monty i think mullberries were mentioned on r4 today but don't remember owt other than it being a sticky business! Sorry...will say more attention in future! confused

Monty100 Sun 01-Aug-10 22:14:46

Moon - they are so messy to even pick.

Will see if I can catch R4 icatchupwhateveritscalled. lol.

Thanks. smile

Lilymaid Sun 01-Aug-10 22:35:54

Mulberries - yum - but how do you harvest them? You can make jam from them following any raspberry jam recipe.

Monty100 Sun 01-Aug-10 23:20:11

The tree is mahoosive! We planted it for dd's christening 17 years ago. grin

Sonnja1 Fri 21-Sep-18 06:19:46

Hi im making rosehip and apple jelly, the recipe calls for preserving sugar, can i use granulated,caster or sweetener instead?

RamblinRosie Mon 24-Sep-18 23:54:08

Hi Sonnja, caster sugar should be fine, you’ll have plenty of pectin in the apples.

PaulMorel Tue 25-Sep-18 09:27:26

I had made strawberry jam before and it's a fail. I will try it again since I learned a lot from the comments.

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