Making Jam

Making Jam


  • Jam is a sugary food stuff which is applied on bread.
  • Jam is soft in nature, and is easily applied on bread as you apply Vaseline on the body.
  • Jam is made from different types of fruits e.g. mangoes, oranges, lemon, paw-paw, jack fruit, sweet bananas, avocado, tomatoes, pineapples, guavas etc.
  • Although we have stated that jam has a soft touch nature, it should not contain floating water or should not be runny or pouring, because it contains pectin which makes it to stay jelly like.
  • Good quality jam resembles the fruit from which it is made from e.g. jam of mangoes, pineapples, or tomatoes can never look or taste the same.
  • Jam made with the correct measurements of sugar, 60 parts in 100 parts of fruits will be able to stay for long without adding any preservative.


  1. Fruits:

Should be ripe enough, but not too ripe because the latter looses pectin which helps the jam to set.

  • The unripe fruits are not good because their pectin is still immature to help the jam set.
  • Ensure the fruits don’t have any rotten parts, because they may contain molds and yeast which will spoil the jam very fast after packing.
  1. Sugar:

Is added as a sweetener and preservative in jam. Although fruit have their own natural sugar, it is not enough to make jam.

  • Test the fruit sugar content first using a refractometer before adding any other sugar. (Only add if the content is below 60 parts in 100 parts of fruits)
  • The quantity of sugar added depends on the amount of natural sugar found in the fruit, e.g. if the fruit has 10 parts of sugar in 100 parts of fruits.
  • When sugar is well leveled with pectin the two helps jam to set properly after boiling.
  • Use industrial white sugar to avoid the black particles in jam which come along with the brown sugar.
  1. Citric Acid:

Is needed in jam but in small quantities and facilities/helps in the formation of gel to improve both the taste and appearance of the jam.

  • Jam with citric acid added not crystallize.
  • Citric acid acts as a preservative.
  • In the absence of citric acid, lemon juice can be used (30 – 50mls is estimated to be equivalent to 1 gram of citric acid depending on the concentration of the lemon juice)
  1. Pectin:

Some fruits have little pectin and in case of fruits with little pectin e.g. pineapples, add in pectin. Pectin can be bought or use boiled passion fruit peels, without the outer thin layer. As follows;

Boil the peels first in a separate source pan.

When ready the outer thin layer will peel off easily so remove it,

Add the rest in the boiling jam and continue to cook while pounding.

If you do not add pectin, the jam will remain runny and this can be tested by using a mingling stick.

  1. The flavor

Flavoring the jam is an optional issue, but in case you are interested, you can use the leaves of a lemon tree, ginger, cinnamon, and others.

Add flavor in fruits which have weak natural flavor example avocado, tomatoes, paw paw, etc. to improve their flavor.


Tables for peeling of fruits, slicing, and packing of finished jam.

Two buckets of washing fruit.

Knives should be very sharp and rust free.

Chopping boards.

Two or 3 medium sized sauce pans of 10 litre capacity.

A mingling stick with mingling and pounding sides.

If you have the money, then use a blender makes the pulping very easy.

Get a bigger sized charcoal stove which can stay burning for a long time, with a cooking source pan that feats on the stove well.

Get a refractometer to measure the amount of sugar if possible, but if you do not have it, start right with what you have.

A jug to get jam out of the sauce pans and to measure it.

Jam jars for packing the finished jam.

Dick rack for drying the washed tools and equipment.

PH meter this helps to find out how much citric acid exists and how much to add. (The ph. should be between 3-3.5 not bellow and not above).

A food thermometer, to determine the temperature of food while cooking and before packing.


  • Pack jam jars with tight covers, not to let in any air.
  • The jars are sometimes glass, or plastic.
  • In case you need the glass jars, you can find them in supermarkets, NOGAMU shop, Caritas Kampala offices or from the industrial area with the Metta group of companies.
  • But the second hand glass jars are also available at the Kiseka market.
  • As for the plastic jars, find them at afroplast Luzira.
  • Before making jam ensure that the jars are available and clean.
  • If the jars are new, rinse them with warm water with slat and after put them upside down on the rack to dry.
  • If they are old wash them with a soft detergent and soak them in a strong salty water for 30 minutes.
  • Rinse them in warm water and after put them upside down on a rack to dry.
  • Alternatively, wash the jars with a soft detergent, put them in a sauce pan, and pour on cold water until the jars are covered, put on fire and boil for 20 minutes.
  • After the 20 minutes, remove the sauce pan from fire and let the jars cool down while still in water. When cooled, put the jars on a rack upside down to dry before you pack.


  1. An illustration of jam processing.
  2. Explaining the process.
  • Wash the fruits, and if necessary peel them.
  • Don not leave any black spots on fruits while peeling, for example the pineapples normally have these prickly dark spots after pealing, and for example the pineapples normally have these pricky dark spots after pealing. Remove them with a knife.
  • Chop the fruit in smaller pieces and their after, pound or pulp them with a blender.
  • Measure the blended fruit, using a measuring jar and note it down.
  • If you have a refractometer, use it to measure the sugar content in the fruit, and know what to add. For example if the sugar content is 30 parts out of 100 parts pulp, and more 30 parts to get the required 60 parts of sugar in 100 parts of fruits.
  • In case you have no refractometer, you will go by estimation. For example the required is 60 parts of sugar in 100 parts of fruit which means 600 gms of sugar in every one kilo of fruits, or 6 kilos of sugar in 10 kilos of fruit.
  • But as mentioned earlier, fruits have some natural sugar, this means you can deduct 1 kg out of the 6, and instead add 5 kgs of sugar but together with the natural sugar in the fruit the jam will contain 60 parts of sugar.
  • Measure the sugar and keep it aside.
  • Smear the inside of the saucepan which will be used to cook the jam with blue band, before putting the jam ingredients into it, to prevent the ready jam to stick to the sides of the saucepan after cooking.
  • Put the blended fruit in the sauce pan, add citric acid. (1 gm. /kilo. Or 50mls of lemon juice /kilo.)
  • Boil the fruit pulp until it softens while Stirling.
  • Make sure to cover, in-between Stirling to prevent water from drying up very quickly before it is ready.
  • Start adding sugar gradually as you stir, while still on fire.
  • Continue to cook until the stuff becomes sticky. This can be tested by use of a mingling stick by scooping the jam and let it fall back. The ready jam will fall back in big thick drops, while the unready will pour off the spoon.
  • Add in pectin, or the boiled passion fruit peels after removing the outside thin layer and continue to cook.
  • If you have a food thermometer and measure the temperature it will be between 104 – 105 degrees centigrade. It is then fully cooked and ready.
  • If you want to add in a flavor, get a clean piece of cotton and put the flavor e.g. the cinnamon. And tie it well as in the diagram below.
  • Drop the cloth in the boiling jam. And continue cooking for 10 minutes while squeezing it with the mingling stick such that the flavor enters fully into the jam.
  • Prevent the cloth from untying while still in jam, because it can introduce and spread black particles in the jam.
  • After 10 minutes, squeeze the cloth content to remove any excess jam and then throw the cloth away.
  • Remove jam from fire, and wait it to cool until the temperature comes to 70 degrees Cecilius.
  • Scoop the jam out of the saucepan using a jug and fill it in jars. Make sure the jars are dry before feeling the jam. Fill while stirring to prevent crusting of the jam which is still in the sauce pan.
  • Put a cap on every well filled jar and thereafter put it upside down on a clean table.
  • After, put them in a sauce pan with clean cold water to enable jam to cool down fully.
  • Note: filling jam very fast into the jars, covering it immediately, and cooling it quickly helps it to set well and hence a long life span.
  • Before putting the filled jam jars in water, make sure the caps are well tightened and water is low level whereby it cannot reach up to the level of the caps.
  • After cooling the jam down, put on the labels.

Posted on Fri, Jan 5, 2018 7:46 AM By Manzede Benard

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