ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Jam or Jelly, What is the Difference?

Updated on February 4, 2016

Jam/Jelly doughnut/donut

Jelly/Jam donut
Jelly/Jam donut | Source

Growing up in the UK fruit preserve was commonly called Jam. Spread on toast or spread between layers of cake in a Victoria sponge, jam comes in a wide variety of fruit flavors and with or without seeds. Jelly on the other hand is an American staple for sandwiches or the inside a donut.

To complicate this further, Brits use the word Jelly to describe a type of dessert made by the Jello company in the US.

So what is the difference between Jam and Jelly?

Jam V's Jelly

The main difference between Jam and Jelly is the ingredients. Jam is made from chopped up or mashed fruit where Jelly is generally made from fruit juice.

American Jelly is visually clear and spreads easily. Jam is more of a lumpy thick pulp and may contain seeds.

Boiling Fruit and Sugar to Make Jam

Jam preparation
Jam preparation | Source


Jam is made by mixing fruits or berries with sugar then heating the mixture until a thick syrup is formed. Jams usually do not need as much sugar added as jellys because whole fruits contain more natural sugars than the fruit juices used to make jelly.

Jam Recipe by Mary Berry - (BBC Food)

1kg/2lb 4oz fresh strawberries, washed, hulled and dried
If the strawberries are large, cut them in half. Put the strawberries and lemon juice into a large pan. Heat for a few minutes to soften, add the sugar and stir over a low heat until the sugar has dissolved.
1 lemon juice only
Once the sugar has dissolved and the liquid is clear, boil steadily for about six minutes, or until at setting point. To test if the jam is at setting point, spoon a little onto a cold plate, leave for a minute and then push the jam with your finger. If the jam crinkles and separates without flooding back, setting point has been reached.
1kg/2lb 4oz jam sugar
Set aside to cool for ten minutes. Spoon into sterilised jars, label and seal with wax paper and a lid.

Video - Mary Berry Strawberry Jam video

Jelly on Sale at a Farmers Market

Jars of Jelly
Jars of Jelly | Source


Jelly is made from only the juices of fruit, and contains no seeds or pulp. They have a higher volume of sugar added because the juice of a fruit does not contain as much sugar as chopped or pulped fruit. Another difference is the addition of pectin. Pectin is a cell tissue of fruit that acts as a thickening agent. As juices do not contain as much pectin thickeners are needed in the production of Jelly.

Lemon Jelly Recipe - Better homes and Gardens

4 Lemons
Finely shred enough lemon peel to make 1 tablespoon. Squeeze juice from lemons to make 3/4 cup. Combine peel, juice, and water; set stand 10 minutes. Strain to remove any pulp and peel; measure 2 cups juice mixture.
1 1/2 cups water
In a Dutch oven, combine the 2 cups lemon juice mixture and the sugar. Cook over high heat, stirring constantly, until mixture comes to a full rolling boil that cannot be stirred down. Quickly stir in pectin. Return to a full rolling boil; boil for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Quickly skim off foam with a metal spoon.
4 1/4 cups of sugar
Ladle into hot, sterilized half-pint canning jars, leaving a 1/4-inch headspace. Wipe jar rims; adjust lids. Process in a boiling-water canner for 5 minutes (start timing when water returns to boil). Remove jars; cool on a wire rack. Makes 4 half-pints.

Blackberry Preserve


Other Types of Preserves

Marmalade - a type of jam made with citrus fruits.

Chutneys - a type of jam with added spices anda balance of sweet and savory ingredients.

Fruit Butters - can be described as both a jelly or a jam. Made with mashed fruit that is blended to have a jelly like consistancy.

Conserve - can contain fruits and nuts.

Homemade Jam

Homemade jam - lumpy texture
Homemade jam - lumpy texture | Source

Origins of Jelly and Jam Making

The origins of jam making in Europe can be traced back to the middle ages. It is thought that the practice of preserving fruit in sugar was brough back by Crusaders from countries where cane sugar was naturally grown.In the US early settlers preserved fruits with several types of sugar including honey and maple.

In 1940 the Food and Drug Administration established Standards of Identity for what constitutes jam and jelly. The types of fruits, volumes, ingredients and methods of producing are all identified in the Standards.


Submit a Comment
  • Ruthbro profile imageAUTHOR


    3 years ago from USA

    Jodah I know exactly what you mean!

  • Jodah profile image

    John Hansen 

    3 years ago from Queensland Australia

    Interesting hub. Growing up in Australia there was always the conflict of the difference between what we knew as jelly here in Australia as opposed to what we saw on to from US shows. I could never imagine how anyone could eat "peanut butter and jelly" sandwiches. I eventually realised that our "jelly" was their "jello" and their "jelly" was our "jam." If any of that makes sense. I prefer chutney.

  • Ruthbro profile imageAUTHOR


    3 years ago from USA

    Thanks vocal coach! Nothing beats homemade jam and jelly!

  • vocalcoach profile image

    Audrey Hunt 

    3 years ago from Idyllwild Ca.

    What a great hub! So well presented. I'll share this for sure. Will be making both jam and jelly when strawberry season comes around.

  • Ruthbro profile imageAUTHOR


    3 years ago from USA

    Me too!

  • peachpurple profile image


    3 years ago from Home Sweet Home

    i prefer homemade jams


This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

Show Details
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)