the art of making jam and marriage

A few months after we were married we went to a family party where I scared my great-aunt by telling her I’d worked out the difference between being married and not. I’m not sure if she was more surprised or relieved when I told her it was that we now made jam! jars of grape jelly

So having made a few batches of different types of jam here are my top tips:

  • Almost all fruits can be made into jam;
  • Yes, it really does need that amount of sugar;
  • If it won’t set add a jar of Certo for more pectin;
  • Boiling it twice is only following family tradition;
  • Having people who are willing to give you piles of fruit when they have grown too much is good if you don’t have the space to grow enough for making a sensible amount;
  • Knowing people who also make jam is great as then you can swap so you don’t end up with a cupboard full of jars of the same type of jam;
  • Homemade jam is much tastier than shop-bought.

Photo of our most recent jam adventure – grape jelly thanks to K&A for the fruit!


  1. Clari have you used the special pectin sugar – it’s very popular here in Germany (and cheap too) and only requires cooking the fruit for 3 minutes leaving you with a delicious fresh tasting jam. I highly recommend it! Glad to see fellow country girls going back to our roots and making jam – I’ve just made a batch of plum jam with plums I foraged on the way home from work! xx

    • Hmm, plum jam – sounds tasty Jo!
      Yes we have used pectin sugar, but on this occasion had so much fruit we didn’t have enough and used granulated as the little shop near us didn’t stock fancy sugars for jam making (shocking I know).

  2. Actually, you don’t need *that* much sugar. You can definitely get away with less than 50% sugar, 50% fruit, and if you do, you can taste the fruit more. The tricky bit is to know what you can get away with.

    • It’s still a lot of sugar though, even if you cut it down some. We shall have to experiment with amounts to see what works I think.

  3. I’ve been married for nearly 11 years now, and still haven’t got round to making jam… but that’s something I must start now. Gonna go Google it!

    • I would definitely recommend having a go at it! Lots of websites are American and recommend doing complicated things to seal the jars that you won’t find suggested in UK recipe books, so do bear that in mind.

  4. I was told when offering my jam for sale at a WI type market, that jam had to be 65% sugar!! Not sure why, I only use 50/50%.
    My new flavour this year is strawberry and gooseberry – strawberry flavour comes out on top, though I say it myself it is gorgeous.
    Well done for making it, isn’t it so satisfying even better than cake making I find. x

    • Hmm, strawberry & gooseberry jam sounds tasty Jan!
      Homemade jam certainly lasts longer than cakes do! At the moment I’m not making cakes as it’s too upsetting not to be able to lick the bowl out 😦

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