Jelly Vs. Jam and other Fruit Spreads

Jelly, Jam, Marmalade, Preserves, Fruit Butters

Often times people can get jelly and jam confused for the same thing. Is there a difference between jelly and jam? There certainly is.

Let’s take a look at jelly vs jam and other fruit spreads.

canning and jelly making supplies

Jelly is a clear fruit spread made from cooked fruit juice and sugar, and usually pectin, which reacts with the sugar under heat to create a thicker spreadable consistency. Jelly is generally strained to remove any solids, traditionally through a jelly bag or similar media.

Jam starts out the same as Jelly but is not strained as jelly is, the fruit pulp remains in the mixture. It is a thick spread made from fruit juice, chopped, crushed, or pureed fruit, and sugar. Pectin may also be added to help it gel but not always. Jams are usually looser than jelly but contain bits of fruit pulp.

Marmalade’s are generally made from citrus fruits. they are essentially soft jellies containing small pieces of fruit and/or peel.

Preserves are made from small, whole fruits or uniform-size pieces in a clear, thick, slightly jellied syrup.

Conserves are jams made from a mixture of fruits, nuts, raisins, coconut and so forth.

Chutney Contains chopped or crushed fruit as well as vegetables. It sometimes melds with the art of pickling in that it also contains vinegar and spices, in addition to sugars.

Curd  is a creamy spread, used frequently by our ancestors but no so much in Modern times. Egg yolks, fruit juices and sugar, and zest or peels are cooked into a smooth paste/spread.

Fruit butters are similar to jelly as it is strained to remove any pulp. Pectin and other additives are sometimes blended in. Apple Butter for instance is Apple sauce in a more concentrated form. It is made by slowly cooking apples with water and cider as well as assorted spices to a point where the natural sugar found in the apples caramelizes. The concentrated sugar gives apple butter a much longer shelf life as opposed to apple sauce.

See: How to Make Lingonberry Jam