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The Best Homemade Jam Recipes

How Long Does Homemade Jam Last

Have you always fancied yourself as the type of person that makes jam at home? Or asked yourself “how long does homemade jam last?” Then read on… It’s jam season here in the UK! Between June and October every year, British fruit is at is ripest and most sweet, making it the perfect time for turning into jam.

How To Make Jam At Home

Sure you could head down to your local supermarket and pick up a pot of ready made jam, but where’s the fun in that? Making jam at home is fairly simple AND you can use your imagination to tailor your preserves to your own specific flavour palette. Like your jams more tangy and sour? Not a problem if you’re making them at home! The process of jam making is fairly similar no matter what fruit (or fruits) you end up using.

Step 1: Clean your jars. In order to create jam that is food safe, the jars that you use to store it must be totally clean in order to stop any bacteria from flourishing. This is especially true when storing jam, as bacteria loves to feed off the sugar! The easiest way to sterilise glass jars is to rinse them in hot soapy water and then put them upside down in the oven at 140 degrees Celsius until thy are dry. Make sure to remove any rubber linings that sit within the jar as these will melt or look misshapen once they emerge from the oven!

Step 2: Wash (and peel if necessary) your fruit and place it in a pan alongside jam sugar, in equal quantities. Keep it at a low heat and stir until all of the sugar has completely dissolved. If your fruit doesn’t have a lot of moisture, you may need to add some boiling water to loosen it. Keeping the mixture at a low temperature is very important, as you do not want the sugar to stick to the bottom of the pan and burn. Depending on what fruit you are using, you may need to add pectin (a thickening agent) to your mixture in order for your jam to have the right consistency to be able to set properly.

Step 3: Once all the sugar has dissolved, bring the mixture up to a rapid boil for 3-5 minutes until the jam reaches a stage where it can set. You will be able to know when to take it off the heat when you see the mixture thicken and boil more slowly.

Step 4: Test if your jam is ready to set. You can do this by taking the mixture off the heat and spooning a small bit of it onto a cold plate or saucer. Leave to cool for a few minutes and then push your finger into it. If the jam ‘wrinkles’, it’s ready to be put into jars to set! If it’s not quite there yet, just put it back onto the heat for slightly longer and keep testing it until it’s ready.

Step 5: Spoon your jam into your sterilised jars and place airtight lids on them whilst the jam is still hot. As the jam cools and sets, it will dip the seal of the jars to create a pressurised atmosphere inside. That’s why you get a distinctive ‘pop’ when you open a jam jar for the first time!

How Long Does Homemade Jam Last?

Homemade fruit preserves can last for up to year or even longer if it is unopened and stored in a cool, dry place, such as a pantry or kitchen cupboard. However the flavour and texture of your jam will start to deteriorate after around 6 months, even if you keep them tightly sealed. Once you’ve opened a jar of jam, then you will need to move it into the fridge and consume it all within 3 months ideally.

How To Make Your Jam Last Longer

  • Process your jars and jam in a hot water bath (known as canning) to reduce the risk of bacteria growing.
  • Use an equal amount of sugar to fruit in your recipe. Sugar is a preservative, so the more you use, the longer your jam will last!

It is difficult to give a definitive answer to this question, so you will have to use your best judgement and common sense when you’re deciding to eat your homemade jam. If the jam is discoloured, has visible mouldy patches or a strange smell, then it is best to leave it!

The Best Homemade Jam Recipes

The Vegetarian Society has a fantastic, comprehensive list of all the fruit and vegetables that are in season each month, if you’re undecided on which flavours to use in your jam. If you’re stuck for inspiration, why not take a look at 5 of the best, most luxurious homemade jam recipes we’ve found online?

1. Cherry & Cinnamon Jam

This would be a great jam to make now and keep for Christmas, as the cinnamon flavours are very evocative of the festive time of year! This jam would taste incredible if it was spread into a chocolate cake…

Ingredients: cherries, cinnamon sticks, lemon juice, sugar and pectin.

Find the full recipe at BBC Good Food.

2. Blackcurrant Jam

Blackcurrants are one of this country’s greatest fruits – so spare a thought for all the poor Americans that have never tasted them before (we didn’t find this out until recently – who knew?)! Blackcurrant jam tastes incredible when spread on a scone alongside clotted cream, or on a big slab of doorstep toast with lashings of butter.

Ingredients: blackcurrants and sugar.

Find the full recipe at Farmersgirl Kitchen.

3. Strawberry, Long Pepper & Lime Jam

Long Pepper (sometimes known as Indian Long Pepper or pippali) has a very similar to black pepper, but is more floral like cinnamon. It gives a good kick to this strawberry  and lime jam recipe! Spread it on your morning toast to wake you up on weekday mornings.

Ingredients: strawberries, jam sugar, salt, limes and long pepper.

Find the full recipe at Great British Chefs.

4. Fig Jam Scented With Earl Grey Tea & Star Anise

This is one to save for your poshest guests. The combination of these luxurious, rich ingredients makes this preserve ideal for serving alongside sandwiches and scones for afternoon tea. You could even give out pots of this jam to your friends and family, as it makes a thoughtful, yet inexpensive birthday or Christmas gift!

Ingredients: earl grey teabags, ripe figs, jam sugar, lemon juice and ground star anise.

Find the full recipe at Delicious Magazine.

5.  Plum & Mulled Wine Jam

This is another jam that will go down a treat at Christmas. This jam tastes lovely when used sparingly on toast or when it’s spread into a stacked sponge cake.

Ingredients: red plums, red wine, mulled wine spices, (cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, etc), orange zest and granulated sugar.

Find the full recipe at The Women’s Institute.

Glass Jam Jars For Home Bakers

Here at Ampulla, we specialise in providing high quality packaging for big businesses and individuals alike. Thanks to our flexible ordering system, you can order as little as one unit of each of our products! Our tired pricing means that regardless of the quantity you have ordered, you will be getting the best possible value for money. If you’re looking for glass jam jars, then you’ve come to the right place.

glass jam jars

Our range of glass jam jars encompasses capacities from 30ml up to 500ml, which all come with the option of adding colourful twist off lids. We’ve got jam jars in all shapes and sizes, that are perfect fro use by both home bakers and big businesses. Check out our full range today.

Liked our guide to jam making? Then we think that you would also like our guide to brewing your own cider!

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How To Reduce Plastic Waste At Work

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Whether your workplace is a factory, office or retail building, it is extremely likely that you will be generating a lot of plastic waste. Did you know that British companies have shipped more than 2.7 million tonnes of plastic waste to China and Hong Kong since 2012? As a large retailer of plastic packaging products, we are more than aware of the big environmental issue that plastic waste causes and want to use our voice to encourage manufacturers and individuals to dispose of plastic waste responsibly. In this short guide, we’ll explore the best ways to reduce plastic waste in the workplace. Office managers and CEO’s – listen up!

Find Out Where The Most Waste Is Originating 

In order to address the problem, you’ll need to identify the source! If you work in an office, chances are that your main source of plastic waste will be from food and drink packaging that employees have brought in for lunch. If 20 people are getting a meal deal every day, the amount of sandwich containers and plastic bottles can soon add up! However, sometimes the plastic waste that your company generates goes unseen. If you are a mass retailer that uses plastic packaging, then you won’t be the ones left to dispose of it. Even though it technically isn’t your problem any longer, you have still contributed towards the plastic waste. Plastic waste can also be a by-product of production processes in factories. Once you’ve identified the specific area in which you are generating the most waste, you can start to brainstorm solutions.

Organise Your Recycling Bins

One of the first things that you can do within your company is too make sure that you have an easy way for your employees to recycle their plastic. Instead of having a number of general waste bins dotted around your office, why not have a designated recycling station? This only has to consist of a maximum of 5 different bins: cardboard/paper waste, glass waste, plastic waste, food waste and general waste. By encouraging staff to make the effort by making it easy for them to comply, you will be making a big difference without making a big deal out of it!

recycling bins

Evaluate Your Packaging Materials

If you’re a producer of consumer goods, then it’s a great idea to see if there are any changes that you can make to the materials you use to create or package your items. Plastic drink bottles are a big contributor to plastic waste worldwide, yet it is difficult to see how this product can be made more eco-friendly without losing the clear benefits that plastic offers. But there are sustainable alternatives! Here at Ampulla, we have a small range of PLA Plastic Drink Bottles that are biodegradable! PLA Plastic is made using 100% plant material that can be broken down using industrial composters in around 6 months, thanks to the heat exposure that a huge amount of composting material gives you. However, the biodegradability of these bottles does not impact on their quality! They have the same look and feel as normal plastic bottles, with the only difference being that you cannot leave them in direct sunlight, as the plastic may begin to soften and lose it’s shape. If PLA isn’t for you, then you also have the option to switch to aluminium cans, which are more easily recycled or even glass bottles.

Other Handy Tips To Reduce Plastic Waste At Work

  • Request that your suppliers use less plastic;
  • Swap disposable plastic water cups for paper ones;
  • Encourage your staff to bring in their own reusable water bottles;
  • Remove any plastic cutlery from communal kitchens and replace with stainless steel;
  • Replace plastic bags with paper or compostable bags for customers.

These are just a few of the small ideas that can help you improve the carbon footprint of your business and show your customers that you’re making positive steps to become more sustainable.

If you’ve found our ideas on how to reduce plastic waste at work useful, then we think that you’d also enjoy our guide to identifying plastic recycling codes.

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How To Sterilise Glass Bottles

how to sterilise glass bottles

Knowing how to sterilise glass bottles is important for anyone in the business of selling food and drink. As well as getting the glass clean of any dirt or residue that could be leftover from warehousing or transportation, the sterilisation process also kills off any nasty bacteria that would not usually be removed by just giving the glass a quick rinse in water.

Why Is Sterilising So Important?

You must sterilise your glass before use in consumer products for the following reasons:

  • Customer safety. If your glass is not sterilised properly, there could be some nasty germs lingering inside that could make your customers ill when they eat your product.
  • Product integrity. Some types of food or drink could react negatively with any bacteria that has been left on your glass packaging, therefore causing the taste or texture of your products to change.
  • Increases shelf life. By removing the germs and bacteria from your glass bottles and jars, you are increasing the amount of time that your product can be stored and safe to eat.

So how can you sterilise glass at home?

How To Sterilise Glass Bottles: Step By Step

This short guide is perfect for home bakers or small food producers to follow, however if you are a large producer, then it is more efficient for you to use large machines that are specifically designed to sterilise on a mass scale.

Step 1

First of all, you need to take your glass bottles and wash them throughly with hot, soapy water. DO NOT dry them with a tea towel.

Step 2

Next, you need to heat your oven to 140 degrees celsius or higher, place a sheet of baking paper on a middle shelf, then lay your glass bottles and *lids on it. Make sure that they are not touching each other, then leave to bake for 20 minutes until they are dry.

*Do not bake any lids that have rubber seals in the oven, as they will melt or lose shape. Instead, you will need to boil them in hot water and leave to dry in a rack.

Step 3

Take your glass out from the oven and leave to cool. Do not attempt to fill your bottles when they are still hot, as adding cold liquids to hot glass can cause the glass to crack. Once your bottles are cool, you are then free to fill with them with whatever wonderful drinks you so desire!

It’s that easy.

Great Value Glass Bottles For Juice, Smoothies, Water, Beer & Wine!

Whether you’re a small manufacturer or a a giant global conglomerate, our tiered pricing structure means that you always get the best price for the amount of units that you order. Wine, beer, juice, milk… we’ve got all your drinks packaging needs covered. Check out a few of our favourites!

glass bottles for drinks

For Wine: 187ml Green Glass Bordeaux Bottle & Silver Screw Cap

  • 43p each or less when you buy in bulk!

For Beer: 500ml Clear Glass Beer Bottle & Gold Crown Cap

  • 34p each or less when you buy in bulk!

For Smoothies250ml ‘Costalata’ Swing Top Glass Bottle

  • £2.43 or less when you buy in bulk!

For Juice: 250ml Glass Farmers Juice Bottle & Gold Twist Cap

  • 33p each or less when you buy in bulk!
Liked our guide on how to sterilise glass bottles? Then we think that you’d also like our discussion as to why glass packaging is making a comeback in Europe.