Both Jam and Jelly are forms of fruit products widely eaten as a food accompaniment. They differ in the ingredients, fruit’s physical form and also the way they’re made. Jelly refers to a type of clear fruit spread consisting of firm fruit (or vegetable) juice made with pectin. Jam refers to a product made with whole fruit, cut into pieces or crushed. While jams contain fruit pulp, jellies have the juice form of fruit.Our buttery morning toast wouldn’t be the same without a slather of sweet fruit spread on top. And what would a sandwich with peanut butter be without grape jelly? While cruising through the condiment aisle at the grocery store, you’ll find rows and rows of colorful fruit spreads labeled jam, jelly and marmalade, but what exactly is the difference between them? In general jam is produced by taking mashed or chopped fruit or vegetable pulp and boiling it with sugar and water. The proportion of sugar and fruit varies according to the type of fruit and its ripeness, but a rough starting point is equal weights of each. When the mixture reaches a temperature of 104 °C (219 °F), the acid and the pectin in the fruit react with the sugar and the jam will set on cooling. Jelly is generally made by cooking fruit juice and sugar with pectin as a jelling agent and lemon juice as an acid to maintain a consistent texture.To make jam, take fruit (whole, crushed or cut up), and combine it with water and sugar. Cook in a large pot over heat to reduce its liquid and activate its pectin, resulting in a thickened mixture. Once it reaches its setting point (220°F, when measured with a candy thermometer), it is ready and can be transferred to clean jars.
Jelly is the rigid cousin to jam, just as sweet, but firm, smooth and gelatinous. It’s often made from fruit juice that isn’t suitable for jam because it doesn’t contain enough natural pectin (the gelling ingredient), or it has seeds that are difficult to remove, such as those found in grapes. After the initial cooking, jelly is strained through a strainer or jelly bag to remove any solids. Powdered, commercially made pectin can be added to help the cooking process along, setting the mixture into a clear, jiggly texture. You can expect your jelly to last as long as jam, depending on the amount of sugar you added and the type of fruit. Once opened, it will last in the refrigerator for up to a month. For safe eating practices, store your opened jar of jelly in the refrigerator until consumed, and check for signs of spoilage before consuming. Jelly pairs perfectly with nut butters for jelly sandwiches, but can also shine in savory dishes alongside meats. Try lamb with a dollop of mint jelly or combining fruit jelly with bbq sauce to glaze your ribs.