Jelly vs Jam Comparison – What’s the Difference?

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jelly vs jam

After spreading some peanut butter on your bread, you look for something to pair it with. But will it be jam or jelly? What’s the difference between the two and which one tastes better?

Jelly vs Jam Difference? Jam and jelly are both delicious. They are spreads made for all occasions and while sweet ingredients are more popular, there are savory options available. Jam is made with fruit as its base, while jelly is made with fruit juice. The difference in taste isn’t much, but there is a difference in texture. Jelly is smoother and often translucent. Jam is thicker and chunkier, usually having pieces of fruit or seeds in it. Both can be spread on your favorite bread, crackers, or even pancakes.

Are jam and jelly the same thing?

are jam and jelly the same

While jam and jelly start from the same source, fruit, they are processed differently. Jam is made from pureed fruit or crushed fruit while jelly is made from fruit juice.

However, both jam and jelly add sugar to the fruit base, resulting in a sweet spread.

What’s the difference between jelly and jam?

difference between jelly and jam

Ingredients

There are three main ingredients in both jelly and jam. Sugar is needed for sweetness and to solidify the mixture. Pectin, which is a natural fruit starch, is used to enhance the solidification of both.

The difference is in the final ingredient. Jelly uses fruit juice while jam uses whole fruit.

With jam, however, you can choose what the ratio is between pieces of fruit and fruit juice. For example, you can choose to include raspberry seeds in raspberry jam, or use cheesecloth to sift out the seeds for a smoother consistency.

There are many types of jams and jellies, although berry varieties are the favorites. They have pulp that cooks well. You can also combine citrus fruits with berries to offset their sweetness.

How it is made (method)

To make jelly, you need to start with juice. This can either be store bought or homemade.

If you are making your own fruit juice, crush the fruit you’ve selected. Place the fruit pulp on top of a few layers of cheesecloth that has been set over a bowl.

Let gravity do its work as the juice drips through the cloth and into the bowl. This can take a while, and many people leave the fruit in the fridge overnight.

Once you have your juice, pour it into a large pot. Add sugar, pectin, and water, according to your recipe.

Bring to a boil. You can test to see if the jelly has been set by placing a spoon in the mixture. If the jelly coats the spoon, it is ready.

You can enjoy jelly right away. However, if you want it to last more than a week, you will need to preserve it by canning it.

Making jam is relatively the same process except for the first step. Select your fruit and cut it into small pieces.

Place the pieces of fruit in a large pan. Then, like jelly, add sugar, pectin, and water.

You may want to skim off the foam that has formed in the boiling process.

Nutrients

You might think that jam and jelly are healthy, given the fact that their primary ingredient is fruit. However, the fact that so much sugar is added ends up negating any nutritional benefits.

Both jam and jelly should be considered a sugary treat rather than a serving of fruit.

Physical form or (consistency/viscosity)

Jam and jelly are great fruit spreads. They have a thick texture, and won’t stand on their own.

Because fruit juice is used with jelly, it will have a clearer consistency. Depending on the type of fruit used, you may be able to see through jelly.

On the other hand, the jam will have a much darker consistency. It may be smooth but it also may have fruit chunks and seeds.

Uses

Jam and jelly are quite interchangeable and it all comes down to personal preference when deciding between the two. Both are delicious with peanut butter.

If you’re looking for a more savory option, jellies pair better with these flavors. Red pepper jelly is quite popular but you wouldn’t find a red pepper jam.  

Popularity

Jam has a slight edge over jelly when it comes to popularity. However, both are widely available. What has changed is the available flavors.

Home canning is coming back in style and with it, a chance to be creative with your flavors. There’s an endless possibility of ingredients for jam, jellies, and preserves.

Shelf-Life

Jams and jellies need to be preserved properly to last. You can eat fresh jam and jelly, but it won’t keep more than a week.

If you are making homemade jam or jelly, you will need to can it. This involves heating a large pot of water to boil.

Measure the jam or jelly into canning jars and then place lids on them. Check your recipe, but you should boil your jars for at least 10 minutes. They will last for one year.

For store bought jam or jelly, check the expiration date, which is usually about one to two years.

Storage

Store your unopened jar of jelly or jam in a cool, dry place, such as a pantry. Once opened, place the jar in the fridge.

Homemade jam or jelly can last for one month in the fridge after being opened. Store bought jam or jelly can last two to four months in the fridge.

Which is better jam or jelly?

jelly vs jam which is better

This is an age-old question and there is no easy answer. When deciding between jam and jelly, it’s all about personal taste.

Some people prefer the smoother texture or jelly while others like seeds and chunks in their jam. If you’re not sure which one is best, it’s recommended you start taste testing to figure it out.

Conclusion

When it comes to deciding between jam and jelly, it’s all about personal preference. While jelly uses fruit juice and jam uses fruit pieces, both use sugar to complete their recipes.

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