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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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The Many Wonderful Uses Of Glass Jars!

Think that jars are only for selling food in? Think again! The humble jar is a versatile object that, when you use your imagination, can be transformed into many wonderful things and have many fantastic uses! From presenting your food in unusual ways, to creating stunning household display items, we’ve got some great ideas on how you can use your empty glass jars in an eco-friendly way that you can enjoy.

Layered Salads

Let’s start with a twist on the traditional use of jars: food storage. Why not use your empty glass jars to store your lunches for work by creating delicious-looking, colourful, layered salad pots? They’re so simple to make, easy to store in your fridge and let’s face it, they just look great! As well as layered salads, why not make a impression at dinner parties by serving up your posh puddings in mason jars? They’re perfect for soft, layered desserts that are eaten with a spoon such as Eton Mess, chocolate mousse, jelly and tiramisu, just to name a few.

Or if you’re more of a traditionalist, you can always simply use glass jars to store all your homemade jams and preserves. Luckily, we’ve got plenty of yummy preserve recipes that you can try out at home!

Jazz Up Your Jam!

Mini Terrariums

With just a little soil, a little water, a little sunlight and a little love, you can create your own miniature garden! Whether you’re a keen gardener who doesn’t have the outdoor space or someone who wants to grow their own herbs in your kitchen, glass jars are a great place to start. If you grow small plants in your glass jars, they make fantastic display items for your mantelpieces and windowsills. If you use them to grow herbs such as basil, parsley and thyme in, then you’ll have plenty of fresh produce right on hand to use in your recipes (and you’ll save some money on your shopping bill)!

Find a handy tutorial on how to make a mini terrarium at Makezine.com.

Extra Storage

Putting food aside, a glass jar is an ideal storage solution for small items such as buttons, pins and paperclips, even batteries! Instead of having a traditional ‘man drawer’, full of odd bits and bobs, why not get organised and separate these items out into handy jars? They would be on display so you’d never have to root around a drawer and wonder where anything is ever again! We’re thinking sewing kits, jewellery and any other tricky little objects.

Candle Jars

Glass jars are the ideal vessel for displaying simple tea lights and posh candles to brighten up your living space. There’s nothing better than having some candles burning while you’re snuggled up on the sofa in autumn/winter time! You could even just grab some fairy lights instead of a candle, place the lights in your glass jar, close the lid (leaving the plug hanging out obviously) then turn on the switch. You’ll have a shining ball of light that isn’t a fire hazard! Our range of Le Parfait Jars are absolutely ideal for this and, with no minimum order, you can get as many or as little as you want!

Glass is a durable material that can be used for both indoor and outdoor lighting and can be reused time and time again! You could also use a stylish votive if a glass jar with a lid isn’t doing it for you.

Packaging Gifts And Favours

Looking for unique party or wedding favour? Give a personalised memento that your guests can treasure for a long time to come by filling a glass jar with little trinkets from the day. These could include table name cards, confetti, cufflinks, earrings and a photo-booth strip from the event. Get creative!

Feeling romantic? A great little gift idea for Christmas, birthdays and Valentine’s Day is to fill a jar full of post-it notes which each give a reason why you love the other person. They can take one note from the jar a day and, if you can get imaginative, you can keep this going for a full year!

Finally, you could use your glass jars for what they were originally designed for: jams and preserves. If you’ve made your own homemade jam, marmalade, chutney or relish, you can turn them into sweet little gifts for friends and family to enjoy. Just add a lovely personalised label and tie a fancy ribbon around the jar and voilà!

Liked our ideas on how to use your glass jars? Then we think you’ll also like our guide to glass candle jars (and how to make your own candles at home)!

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Jazz Up Your Jam!

Fed up of the same old strawberry jam on toast for breakfast? Well it’s currently jam-making season, so you can do something about it! The fruit is ripe for picking, ready to be turned into all sorts of tasty creations; whether it’s a fruit pie, crumble or jam. But why not veer away from the more traditional flavours such as strawberry and raspberry and go for something a little more unusual? You don’t even have to stick to making jam – there are plenty of other fantastic ways in which you can preserve your autumn fruit, such as as in relishes and curds!

The following recipes for jam, relish and curd make the most of the autumn season by using flavouring such as cinnamon and apple cider vinegar to enhance the natural flavour of the seasonal fruits. These are our favourites!

Jam Recipes

cherry jam preserves

Rhubarb & Vanilla Jam

Here in Britain, we don’t appreciate the humble rhubarb enough! We may use it in a crumble now and then, but let’s be honest – most of us associate rhubarb with the rhubarb and custard flavoured boiled sweet! Give this sweet vegetable the respect it deserves by turning it into a delicious jam that can be eaten on toast (and straight from the jar)! Rhubarb & Vanilla Jam is a perfect balance of sweet and tangy, making it incredibly tasty and keeping you coming back for more…

Find the full recipe at BBC Good Food.

Spiced Plum Jam

This plum jam recipe is great, as it can be used in so many different ways. Of course you can eat it on toast as is traditional with jam, but it is also suitable for use with savoury dishes! Serve it as a sauce on roast pork or duck dishes for a tasty, fruity twist.

Find the full recipe at Tesco Real Food.

Relish & Chutney Recipes

relish jam preserves

Autumn Relish

This relish celebrates everything great about the autumn season, using apples, blackberries and ground spices for this delicious accompaniment to savoury dishes such as cold cuts of meat and a variety of vegetarian meals. Whilst being a very traditional autumn recipe, we think that this relish would be ideal for making around the Christmas period where you will probably end up with a lot of extra meat that you’ll need to create dishes from!

Find the full recipe at Good To Know.

Spiced Pear Chutney

Another very traditional autumn recipe, using pear and sultanas with a kick of chilli heat! A fantastic addition to sandwiches, wraps and savoury dishes such as a Ploughman’s Lunch.

Find the full recipe at BBC Good Food.

Curd Recipes

lemon curd jam preserves

Lemon Curd

We don’t know about you, but when we think of lemon curd, we visualise jars and jars of the stuff on a stall at a village fete being sold by the local Women’s Institute… Break the stereotypes of lemon curd by making your own at home! There’s nothing nicer than a thick slab of lemon curd on warm, buttery toast with a lovely cup of tea on a Sunday morning.

Find the full recipe at Delia Online.

Clementine Curd

If you want to try something a little different, why not add some clementines to your curd? They break down the sharpness of traditional lemon curd and makes you look very posh! This spread not only tastes fantastic on toast, but can also be used to flavour cakes and desserts.

Find the full recipe at Jamie Oliver.

Complete The Look With Our Traditional Jam Jars

When ever you make a batch of fruit preserve, it is very unlikely that you are going to eat the whole lot by yourself and many of us end up giving a lot of the stuff away to friends and family. Why not make a proper gift out of it by presenting them your preserves in rustic, traditional jam jars!

Traditional Jam Jars

If you’re after the traditional look, then our range of glass jam jars are perfect for you. They are simple yet functional, with plenty of space for you to add labels to the flat, smooth body of the jars. They are very competitively priced and come in a massive range of sizes, from a tiny 30ml right up to 700ml!

jam jars

 

Unusual Glass Jars

If you want a slightly more unique jar, then we have plenty of options for you. From Square jars to posh Le Parfait jars, you’re sure to find the perfect jar for your tasty jams and preserves that will catch your customers’ eyes (if you’re a brand) or impress as homemade gift packaging for friends and family. We’ve got many different unusual shaped glass jam jars which include Hexagonal, Square, Orcio and Le Parfait.

unusual jam jars

Add A Lid

Once you’ve got the right jar for your preserves, you’re going to need to lock in all that yumminess with a twist off lid. Luckily, we have a wide selection of lid designs for you to choose from, so you can match it to your brand or just pick your favourite one! We have plain colours that include black, gold and silver, as well as patterned designs that include gingham and floral.

jam jar lids

You can find all our compatible twist off lids at the end of all our glass jar categories – just make sure to take note of your jar’s neck size so you get the right one. Alternatively, you can buy the jar and cap together when you choose one of our bundle options within the categories. For any questions about our products please don’t hesitate to give us a call on 0161 367 1414 or email us on [email protected]

Liked our jam recipes? Then you’ll love our guide to making sloe gin!