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Tag: Jam

Tips to Prevent Jam from Separating

Fruits such as strawberries and peaches make tasty jam, but sometimes the pulp separates from the jellied portion. Here are tips to help prevent separation.

  • Always use ripe fruit.
  • Crush the fruit into very small pieces.
  • Cook the jam the recommended amount, do not undercook it.
  • When the jam is removed from the heat, gently stir, off and on, for about 5 minutes and then fill jars. It will still be very hot.
  • Process the jam in either a water bath canner or a steam canner. After processing, lift the jar rack, full of jars, above the water in the water bath canner and let them sit for 5 minutes before moving them to a cooling rack. After the processing time has been reached in a steam canner, take the lid of the canner partially off and let the jars sit for 5 minutes before cooling the jars on a rack.
  • Jars should seal fairly quickly after processing. If the jam starts to separate after the lids have sealed, gently turn the jars upside down. In an hour, gently turn them right-side up. Continue this process until it is evident that the jam will not separate.


Chia Seeds in Jam

Photo: University of Arizona Extension

Chia seeds are finding their way into may recipes such as baked goods, smoothies, or salad toppings. Because they form a gel when added to water, are they suitable for making fruit jam?

The structural component that makes chia seeds gelatinous is water-soluble fiber. This slimy material forms a gum that can be used to thicken or emulsify ingredients.

There are no recipes for using chia seeds when canning jam in a water bath canner. They only storage method for this type of product is to refrigerate it and use within a couple months.

The University of Arizona has a publication on chia seeds and includes a recipe to make a Fresh Berry Chia Seed Jam. Go to


Making Jam & Jelly with Frozen Fruit

The following tips will help create successful jams and jellies from frozen fruit or juice:

  • The best frozen fruits for jams or jellies are blueberries, red and black currants, gooseberries and rhubarb.
  • Before freezing fruit, measure the fruit and label the container. Many fruits collapse as they thaw and may create an inaccurate measure.
  • Jams and jellies from frozen fruit and juice are better if no sugar is added before freezing.
  • When freezing fruit for jelly or jams, use 1/4 under-ripe and 3/4 ripe fruit.
  • Thaw frozen fruit in the refrigerator until only a few ice crystals remain. Follow directions for the type of jam you are making and follow the recommended proportions of fruit (measured before freezing), pectin and sugar.

When making jelly from frozen juice, thaw frozen juice in the refrigerator overnight. Measure juice and use it immediately in recommended proportions with sugar and pectin.



Floating Fruit in Jam

After the work of preserving a favorite fruit jam, a common problem is fruit separating from the gel and floating to the top of the jar. There are several reasons this can happen:

  1. Using under ripe fruit allows excess air to remain trapped in the fruit.
  2. Fruit not crushed enough. Big pieces of fruit still contain excess air and float.
  3. Undercooking the jam. Follow good recipes for best results.

For tips on making jams and jellies, see:

For more causes and possible solutions to problems with jams and jellies, see: