How to Make Jam in a Bread Maker
Using a bread maker to make jam is easier and quicker than other methods – see my step by step guide on how to make jam in a bread maker below.
About Making Jam
Preserving fruit in jam is a centuries old pastime. What is less known nowadays is that preserving fruit as jam retains a surprisingly large proportion of vitamin C and other goodies. In days before a freezer, it was an excellent way of ensuring that the goodness of summer fruit was available all year round.
Jam is typically 50% sugar and 50% fruit. Recipes may have slightly higher sugar for tart fruit like gooseberries, or less for particularly sweet strawberries. The high sugar content is essential for both preservation and setting.
Step By Step – How To Make Jam In A Bread Maker
Not all bread makers have a programme or setting for making jam. Having this setting on a bread maker provides a very convenient way of making jam, with only a few more steps compared to making bread.
- 700g of fruit
- 600-700g of caster sugar
- Depending on the fruit – up to 13g of pectin
This should make enough jam for 3 ordinary sized jam jars.
*Some bread makers come with recipe booklet for making bread, jams, and cakes.
Pectin helps jam set. Some fruit naturally contain high levels of pectin. These include:
- White currants
Other fruit does not, such as:
To be safe, add 3g of pectin per recipe even for fruit high in pectin. For fruit low in pectin, add up to 13g. This can be done in two ways:
- By using jam sugar (sugar already prepared with pectin)(available in nearly all major supermarkets)
- Buying pectin sachets
In my experience, the cheapest approach is to buy pectin sachets and add this to the sugar.
Step 1 – Preparing the fruit
The fruit needs to be clean. My method is to soak the fruit for about 10 minutes in cold water and then rinse thoroughly.
Some soft fruit like strawberries and raspberries can simply be chopped up thickly before cooking. The cooking process will naturally break up the chunks. Other fruit like gooseberries may need to be topped and tailed, or even smashed into a pulp, before cooking.
If you want to de-seed fruit – for example redcurrants or white currants, you can use a juicer to extract the juice. Alternatively, blanch for a minute or two in boiling water, remove the water, and then smash up the fruit. The mixture can then be sieved (or even better strained through muslin).
Step 2 – Cooking The Jam
If using a bread maker the process could hardly be simpler. Place all the ingredients in the bread baking tin, choose the correct settings, and that is it! About 100 minutes later your jam will be ready.
Step 3 – Sterilisation
The cooked jam will need to be placed in clean sterilised jars (and lids). I find the easiest way of doing this to be:
– Placing washed and rinsed jars in a preheated oven of 100-120 degrees for 20-30 minutes
– Putting the lids in boiling water for 5 -10 minutes
Ideally the jars and lids will be ready (i.e. still hot) at the same time as the jam. Be careful not to burn yourself!
Step 4 – Decanting The Jam Mixture
A bread maker helps control the jam making process, ensuring the fruit is cooked in the optimum conditions to help ensure a good ‘set’.
When the jam has finished cooking it should be decanted as quickly as possible into the sterilised jars and sealed with their lids. You should here the lids ‘pop’ after 10-20 minutes indicating an air tight seal as the mixture cools (this is the depression you see in jam jars lids).
Variations in sugar and pectin levels in fruit means that jam making is not an exact science, and even properly made jam will be runny when hot. The jam will thicken naturally as it cools down.
You may still want to test the cooked jam thickness by decanting a small portion of the boiling fruit mixture onto a prepared cold plate (i.e. one placed in a freezer draw). If the mixture thickens on contact the jam is ready. Otherwise, continue cooking the mixture for another few minutes in the breadmaker.
When cool, store your homemade jam in the fridge. It should last for many months. Good luck!
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