It’s jamming season! The fruit is ripe for picking, ready for you to whizz up into all sorts of delicious preserves like jams, marmalades and chutneys. Here at Ampulla, we want to help you maximise the quality, taste and appearance of your jams, with this short guide of tips and tricks! We might even have a variety of cheap jam jars knocking around that could come in useful for you…
You might think that making jam is child’s play, I mean, all you have to do is boil up some fruit and sugar until it turns into a gooey mess then leave it to set right? However if you follow some easy steps, you can make sure that your jams are the best they can possibly be. Let us talk you through some.
Sterilise Your Jam Jars
It is very easy for bacteria to get into your jars, and the warm environment and sugars in your jam gives them the ideal space to start multiplying! You will need to sterilise your glass jam jars before use simply by washing them in hot soapy water, then baking them in the oven at 140 degrees celsius until they are completely dry. If you are using jars with rubber lined lids, you will need to remove the linings and boil them in hot water (as baking rubber seals will cause damage to them).
Use Commercial Pectin If Necessary
Simply put, pectin is a fibre that exists in the cells of fruits and vegetables that holds up the cell walls. It is the pectin that will thicken your jam and help it to set. However, some fruits have more pectin than others, meaning that some types of jam will set better than others. Cranberries, blueberries and gooseberries have high pectin levels, whilst strawberries have low pectin levels. Therefore if you are using fruits such as strawberries in your jam, we recommend adding a high pectin fruit into your recipe to increase the pectin levels or, if you do not want to alter the taste of your jam, you can also buy commercial pectin to add into your jam to thicken it. Don’t worry, this will not reduce the quality of your jam.
Use Jars With Twist-Off Metal Lids
When setting jam, a lot of jam-makers place wax discs over the top of their jars, which is intended to prevent any mould from forming on the top of your jam. However if you set your jams in jars that are compatible with twist-off metal lids, the wax discs won’t be necessary. This is because these lids are airtight, so once they are secured onto the jars it is impossible for any bacteria or mould to get in. Ampulla has a great range of twist-off metal lids that are compatible with our cheap jam jars, that come in a myriad of designs including gingham and floral patterns!
Don’t Label Hot Jars
Make sure that your jam is fully cooled in the jar before adding any branded labels or stickers. If you try to add them whilst the jar is warm, the heat will cause the labels to wrinkle and peel off.
Cheap Jam Jars
Choosing the right jam jar for your preserves is key to your brand. Are you serving up mini portions at hotel breakfast buffets or are you retailing to the mass market? Luckily for you, we have a variety of cheap jam jars available to suit your every need! Our jars range from 30ml sizes right up to 700ml, which you can browse by clicking here.
Our 30ml Mini Glass Jam Jars come with a choice of 3 different lid colours and are ideal for single servings of jam at buffets and posh afternoon teas! Meanwhile our 190ml Glass Jam Jar is perfect for packaging family sized portions to retail to the mass market.
If you’re working within a budget, we also have fantastic range of budget jars that are cost-effective but don’t skimp on quality.
Stuck for inspiration? Why not steal some ideas from these great recipes?
- Purple Fig & Pomegranate Jam from Diana Henry;
- Incredible Homemade Strawberry Jam from Jamie Oliver;
- White Peach & Raspberry Jam also from Diana Henry.
In conclusion, if you’re making jam, just follow our steps and you’ll be right as rain. P.S. Make sure to take a look at our cheap jam jars, we promise they won’t disappoint!
Liked this guide to cheap jam jars? Then you’ll love our 5 Unusual Marmalade Recipes.