How to Make Jam at Home Perfectly

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Making Jam is one of the things on my list to learn and I had the chance recently. It’s one of those pleasurable, creative activities you can do which ends up with something delicious.

Our workshop led by Mary Cadogan, former food director of BBC Good Food Magazine and today a purveyor of jams. She simplified the whole process of jam making for us and made it all very easy. Especially as we had the use of a Thermapen to make sure that we had cooked the jam to the right temperature and took the worry out of making sure our jam is set. That is how to make jam perfectly.

This new Thermapen MK4 digital thermometer works really quickly. In just 3 seconds, you can get an accurate reading of what you are cooking. It’s great for all your other recipes like making caramel, roasting meat or grilling steaks on the BBQ.

Scroll down to win a Thermapen (worth £100) and a fabulous book.

Mary Cadogan Making Jam
Mary Cadogan

Modern Way to Make Jam

According to Mary, Modern Jam making is making small batches of jam with a lot less fruit. You can make small batches of just 4 jars at a time. One to eat straight away, one to give away, one to keep for later and one to make cakes and pastries with.

You can use it on pretend toast like this one, made by Frances Quinn. (It’s actually a cake)

Making Jam - The pretend toast cake

Making Jam with seasonal fruits pomegranate and plums

From an abundance of seasonal fruits, we chose the ones we wanted to make our small batch jam with. Making Jam and preserving is seen as a very old-fashioned pursuit. Not anymore, read the Modern Preserver book and you’ll see a new modern ways to make jam with exciting flavour combinations.

We chose, figs, pomegranates and green gages. On the table, we had a lot of different fruits to choose from and the amount of creativity around the room was fascinating. There were peach, strawberry, rhubarb jams, with added spice, botanical and even booze. The results which we got to taste were delicious.

Once the fruit was chosen, it was just a matter of preparing the fruit. We cut all the fruit into small pieces as you don’t want large chunks in your finished product.

Then it was all added to a big pot with some sugar and brought to the boil. We had to watch this closely and when it started bubbling, we used our Thermapen to check that we reached the right temperature. Then using a wooden spoon, we checked the consistency of the jam.

Thermapen MK 4
Thermapen MK 4 – comes in other colours

All jam makers worry about their jam setting. Using the new Thermapen Mk4 to measure the exact temperature required, you don’t have to worry about that ever again.

Using the Thermapen, you can instantly see when the bubbling concoction in your pan has reached the right temperature. This will ensure that you have reached the point where your jam will set. You can check it visually by looking at the consistency on your wooden spoon too. 

You can see all the different colours of Thermapens on Amazon.

When it was all ready, we put them in pretty little jars, ready for gifting.

Amazingly, all this took less than an hour.



See the Master Jam Recipe here which will answer your questions on what sugar to use, which fruit has pectin and more.

Making Jam with Thermapen

Using the Thermapen Mk4 to check that our jam had reached the required 105 C.
Using the Thermapen Mk4 to check that our jam had reached the required 105 C.

Making Jam without Pectin

You don’t always have to use pectin or special pectin sugar to make jam. Some fruits naturally have a lot of pectin which will ensure that your jam sets. Just pick the right combination of fruits or use the Jam Making sugar.

GIVEAWAY- Win a copy of the Modern Preserver Book and a Thermapen Digital Thermometer.

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Terms of the Giveaway

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The Modern Preserver Book By Kylee Newton

The Modern Preserver Book By Kylee Newton

EatCookExplore was a guest of Thermapen.

Note; this post contains affiliate links.



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  1. I would make blackberry jam because I have so many foraged blackberries leftover from my summer walks!

  2. Jade Brookes says:

    I would love to try and make plum jam. Would me good to make use of our plum tree.

  3. Frances Sunshine Hopkins says:

    I’d have a ago at Jam

  4. Tracey Peach says:

    I love plumb jam so would have a go at making that

  5. Jo McPherson says:

    I’d make Blackberry and Apple jam, my favourite

  6. Anthony Harrington says:

    I have never been brave enough to make jam, but my Daughter would use this to make me a lovely blackberry jam

  7. Bit late in the year now, but blackcurrant next year – we have so many plants in our garden I find it hard to use them all!

  8. S Edwards says:

    as family we all love raspberry jam so it would be that i made

  9. Clair Nellany says:

    I would make crab apple (and maybe blackberry) jam as I have hundreds in my garden!

  10. I’ve also got a freezer full of hedgerow blackberries so I’d love to try making a bramble jelly!

  11. Suzanne Jackson says:

    Blackberry jam!

  12. John Forbes says:

    My wife made Bramble and Apple jam this year and it was dam good. Brambles and apples foraged for free.

  13. stuart hargreaves says:

    Blackberry jam – loads around here

  14. Charles Harvey says:

    I’d make sloe jam after we have soaked them in our gin for six weeks. . . we’ll give anything a go! such a shame to waste them 😉

  15. Suzanne Brzeski says:

    i’d make raspberry jam with the raspberries in my garden

  16. amy bondoc says:

    blueberry jam, its my favourite!

  17. Caroline H says:

    It would have to be blackberry jam – my favourite.

  18. Edward Guerreiro says:

    I’d like to try and make some Cherry jam.

  19. Rebecca Brown says:

    I love proper raspberry jam, so that’d be the first I made!

  20. laura banks says:

    blackcurrant as we grow them in our garden

  21. I would make plum and ginger jam. I have huge plum tree in my garden and so many go to waste.

  22. My favourite- bramble and apple!

  23. Helen Adams says:

    I’d make cherry and amaretto jam – delicious!

  24. Andrea Upton says:

    I would make mixed fruit jam, use up all the odds and ends in the freezer

  25. Harry Baker-Farmer says:

    Definitely raspberry!

  26. lyn Burgess says:

    We love damson jam, and mom makes a lovely mixed raspberry and strawberry jam so I’d have a go at that too

  27. Phil Darling says:

    My favorite has to be Plum and chilli Jam

  28. Lisa Parker says:

    I would make blackcurrant jam x

  29. Heather T says:

    I have a freezer full of blackcurrants, so it would be blackcurrant jam

  30. Sarah Rees says:

    I would make a lovely strawberry jam

  31. leanne weir says:

    I would make apricot jam

  32. helen tovell says:

    Apple and raspberry jam I would make

  33. melanie stirling says:

    I would make Damson jam.

  34. I would make strawberry jam when we do PYO at a farm nearby

  35. Alan Chung says:

    I would make a nice cherry jam

  36. I would make damson jam, as I have a bag full of them left in the freezer.

  37. Melissa Lee says:

    I’d go for a standard strawberry jam – still my favourite!

  38. Natalie Crossan says:

    I’d try my hand at some home made turkish delight

  39. Susan Hoggett says:

    I would a strawberry and vanilla jam

  40. Sheila Reeves says:

    I’d make some plum jam – and then some marmalade when the Seville oranges are around

  41. I think I’d make my new favourite of rhubarb and ginger, tangy and delicious!

  42. Rich Tyler says:

    Blueberry Jam! Yum 🙂

  43. Jo Carroll says:

    Blackcurrant is my fave…but I have to admit to loving marmalade 😉 x

  44. Lorraine Stone says:

    I would try a damson jam, also strawberry.

  45. Beky Austerberry says:

    Raspberry or rhubarb – my fave fruits!

  46. Carole Nott says:

    I have a plum tree in my garden so would love to use some of the fruit

  47. Karen Lloyd says:

    I would make blackcurrant jam.

  48. Chanette Kennedy says:

    I would make raspberry jam. My favourite!

  49. angela sandhu says:

    A strawberry jam would be the first thing i would make

  50. Jayne Kelsall says:

    I would have to make my homemade strawberry jam 🙂

  51. Raspberry with fruit picked from my garden

  52. Kat Allinson says:

    I would like to try Plum Jam

  53. ADEINNE TONNER says:

    I think it has to be strawberry jam for sure

  54. Sarah Wilson says:

    Raspberry – my favourite!

  55. francis lee says:

    Strawberry jam all the way. yummy

  56. CRAIG AUSTIN says:

    I’d do blackcurrant

  57. Jenny Rogers says:

    Plum jam first, but I would also like to try making carrot jam.

  58. I am addicted to raspberry jam on crusty toast

  59. Emma Davison says:

    Summer fruits – using homegrown berries

  60. Ian monck says:

    Love to have this plum jam

  61. Deborah Bird says:

    Hmmm, either strawberry or apricot, my two faves!

  62. Janice Mackin says:

    I would make Blackcurrant Jam.

  63. I would make a strawberry jam x

  64. paula cheadle says:

    I would love to make apricot jam

  65. We now have a few blueberry bushes so I would love to make blueberry jam

  66. We would do a mixed fruit jam as the children have already asked if they can make it

  67. Simone Griffin says:

    Blackberry and strawberry jams 🙂

  68. Claire Davies says:

    I would love to make blackcurrant jam – thank you very much 🙂

  69. Maria Jane Knight says:

    I would make plum jam! My fave!

  70. Michaela Jennings says:

    Raspberry because it’s my favourite

  71. I’d love to try making my own strawberry jam!

  72. Karen Sydney says:

    Strawberry as its a favourite in our household

  73. sheri Darby says:

    Plum jam – with our home grown plums

  74. Patricia Avery says:

    I would make rhubarb jam. Its delicious but tricky to set. A thermapen would hopefully solve the problem 🙂

  75. Ian Campbell says:

    Blackcurrant jelly, simply the best, can’t beat the flavour 🙂

  76. I’d like to try and make some Chilli Jam.

  77. Catherine L says:

    I would make a raspberry & strawberry jam! x

  78. Joanne Blunt says:

    A blackberry jam would be lovely

  79. Martina Deeley says:

    I’d make raspberry from my own raspberry canes 🙂

  80. I’d make raspberry jam with the Thermapen.

  81. I’d start with blueberry jam

  82. Tracy Gladman says:

    I would make a classic strawberry jam

  83. Elaine Packer says:

    I’d make apple, cinnamon and vanilla jam. Perfect for these wintry weeks!

  84. i would make raspberry jam my sons favourite jam

  85. Leanne perrett says:

    my husbands dad has a plum tree in the garden and we always get some plums when there ready and i always wanted to try making jam with them

  86. Jayne Townson says:

    If I won this, I would make some strawberry jam first, because my children like it best, Thanks for the lovely giveaway.

  87. Lynne OConnor says:

    With so many brambles around, it has to be blackberry

  88. Alisa Moore says:

    I’d make raspberry jam first I should think

  89. George Wright says:

    Blackberry & apple as we have loads right now!