There are loads of easy ways to give this jam a flavour spin. Instead of cinnamon and ginger, try adding a pinch of chilli flakes during cooking for some subtle heat, or throw in a couple of dried bay leaves for a warming hint of spice (remove before pouring the jam into jars). If you prefer something sweeter, split open a vanilla pod, scrape out the seeds and add the lot – pod and all – to the cooking pot (discard the pod before putting the jam into jars). Or add a few pieces of chopped stem ginger, instead.
Sterilising your jars is an essential step for ensuring the jam you fill them with stays fresh. Discard any jars that are damaged or cracked.
Fruits with tough skin, such as plums, cherries and pears, need to be simmered so they soften before the sugar is added. This prevents the sugar from hardening the fruit. Soft fruits, such as raspberries and strawberries, should be macerated in sugar first (overnight, if you've time) to strengthen them so they don't dissolve while cooking.
Pectin is a gelling agent that helps jam to set. It’s found naturally in fruit – lemons and quinces have a particularly high pectin content – but it’s often necessary to supplement it when making jam. Preserving and jam sugars contain added pectin to speed up the process
Dissolving the sugar fully before boiling results in a well- set jam that is not too sugary.
Leaving the jam to sit for 15 minutes after cooking allows the fruit to settle, preventing it from rising to the top in the jars.
Store your jam in a cool, dark place for up to three months.
See more Jam recipes