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What's the Difference Between Jelly and Jam?

Updated on February 5, 2018
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I love to share my favorite ideas from around the web for people out there who like making things as much as I do!

Jelly vs. Jam

Have you ever wondered, "What's the difference between jelly and jam?" The answer is simple, jelly is made from juice only. It has no fruit pulp, or seeds. Jam, on the otherhand, is made by cooking chopped, or whole, fruits. Jelly is also a bit thicker holding it's shape after it is removed from the jar. Jam is typically runnier and does not hold the shape of the jar. Finally, jelly usually has a crystal clear, translucent and shiny appearance. You can not see through jams at all. We won't stop there. What about butters, conserves, preserves and marmalades? These are all different fruit or berry spreads identified with a different name.

Pear Sauce
Pear Sauce


What is a Fruit Butter?

These are sauces, such as apple or pear sauce, that have been cooked longer to thicken them. Often spices are added. After cooking the sauce for a long time, over low heat they become the consistency that is right for spreading on toast, or bread.


What's a Conserve?

Conserves are jams that are made from more than one fruit. My favorite homemade jam is a blackberry and gooseberry combo. The gooseberries add just the right amount of natural pectin, which thickens it to the correct consistency without any additives. Technically, his is a conserve because I use two different fruits to make it. Conserves can also include nuts, which are added in the last few minutes of cooking.


What's a Preserve

Preserves are simple, they are jams.


What is a Marmalade?

Marmalades are basically jelly, because they are translucent and made from the juice, rather than whole fruits. However, bits of fruit and peel are added to the jelly for visual appeal, as marmalade usually has suspended peels, or very small bits of fruit.

Jam, Jelly and More

Now you know the difference between jam and jelly and a whole lot more. You're also probably getting hungry! To learn how to make these yummy fruit spreads visit my canning recipes:

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