Basic Fruit Jam Recipe

Most jam recipes are essentially the same - equal weights fruit and sugar and the addition of lemon juice/and or pectin. We could get into the differences between jam, conserve, preserve, etc here, but I find that it’s better to just get on and make stuff.

Basic Fruit Jam


1kg of fruit (check the list here to see if you are using low or high pectin fruit)

1kg of sugar

400ml pectin if you are using a low pectin fruit or alternatively use jam sugar

juice of 1 lemon


6x clean and sterilised glass jars, about 500ml/1lb

large pan


  1. Wash your fruit. Make sure to leave some unripe fruit in with your mix if you can, these are rich in pectin.

  2. Place in your pan and begin to simmer on a low heat until the fruit starts to break down. Stir occasionally

  3. When it begins to boil, add the sugar, pectin (if required) and lemon and reduce the heat.

  4. Bring slowly up to a boil. Let it boil for approximately 7 minutes before testing for set (see below). If you have a jam thermometer, you are looking at reaching a temperature of 105c

  5. Once you have reached set, pour into your sterilised jars. Wipe the rims of the jars to be sure they are clean before putting the lids on. Seal tightly.

  6. Jam can take up to a week to set. Leave them somewhere where they won’t be disturbed until they have set.

Testing the Set

There are a number of methods you can use to test whether a jam has set. While a thermometer reading of 105c will tell you that it has reached setting temperature, it is still a good idea to make sure that the jam has set fully. You do this by placing a small plate in the refrigerator to cool. When it is time to test it, place a small drop of hot jam on the plate. Leave it too cool and then push the blob with your finger. If the surface wrinkles, it’s ready to go.

Kat GoldinComment