Angela's 'flexible' jam recipe

Angela's 'flexible' jam recipe

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(62 ratings)

Prep: 10 mins Cook: 50 mins


1.2 litres/4 jam jars
Make the most of fruit gluts and try making your own jam - delicious spread on homemade bread

Nutrition and extra info


  • kcal-
  • fat-
  • saturates-
  • carbs-
  • sugars-
  • fibre-
  • protein-
  • salt-
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  • 900g fruit (blackberries, plums, raspberries or strawberries), prepared weight
  • 900g golden granulated sugar
  • knob of butter



    Butter is made when lactic-acid producing bacteria are added to cream and churned to make an…


  1. Put the fruit into a preserving pan or large heavy-based saucepan. For blackberries, add 50ml of water and 1½ tbsp of lemon juice; for plums (halved and stoned), use 150ml of water; for strawberries, add 3 tbsp of lemon juice (no water); and for raspberries, add nothing. Bring to the boil.

  2. Lower the heat. For blackberries, simmer for 15 minutes; for plums, simmer for 30-40 minutes; for raspberries, simmer for 2 minutes; for strawberries, simmer for 5 minutes. The fruit should be soft.

  3. Tip in the sugar, stir over a very low heat until the sugar has completely dissolved. Raise the heat, bring to a full rolling boil, then rapidly boil blackberries for 10-12 minutes, plums for 10 minutes, raspberries for 5 minutes or strawberries for 20-25 minutes - don’t stir though – until the setting point of 105C is reached.

  4. Remove from the heat, skim off any excess scum, then stir a knob of butter across the surface (this helps to dissolve any remaining scum). Leave for about 15 mins so the fruit can settle. Pour into sterilised jars, label and seal.

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Comments (128)

bobakescakes's picture

First time I ever made this and I too ended up with a disgusting burnt bonfire rock of blackberries in a jar. Totally inedible. I did another batch today and only did the 'rapid boil' for three minutes and then did the plate test every minute or so, didn't boil on a full boil either, think the way the recipe is written encourages you to heat it too much for too long! A boil is needed, but not on the largest hob or for as long as stated, my advice is test every minute after three rapid minutes boiling and you can't go wrong! My blackberries took about 7 minutes once I had added the sugar. Made three full jam jars.

katckam's picture

Brilliant - first time ever made jam, given bag of plums and at a loss what to do and hate wasting anything. After a bit of research, read that adding a few apples helps jam set and I didn't have enough plums anyway. End weight was 600g and I used 400g sugar. Used the plate test as described above and also used a meat thermometer, though it only goes up to 95 degrees, waited till it was off the scale. Didn't think it had set but once in fridge was absolutely fine and its delicious. Filled a big mayo jar and a smaller sundried tomato jar. Did burn bottom of pan but its cleaned out fine.

hannahspruijt's picture

Easy to follow with good results. I've just tried making jam for the first time (with small yellow plums) and wish I'd trusted my sugar thermometer...when it got to the right temperature I took too long to 'double-check' by getting my plate out of the freezer and trying it on that too. It took a while to set on the plate, by which time it started to catch on the bottom of the pan. I took it straight off the heat, and have tried not to stir it too much; looks and tastes ok apart from a few darker bits. Next time I will definitely rely on my thermometer!!

falundafahao's picture

Great recipe which I slightly adapted, I made plum jam using 20% less sugar (jam sugar) 1 1/2 tbsp of lemon juice and a 2 cm cube of root ginger shredded. Used a thermometer and stainless steel pan. Came out superb! Many thanks.

glyniskenny62's picture

I have made this Jam as strawberry Jam which was lovely but a bit runny despite extra boiling time... next time i tried it I put juice of half a lemon in and left a whole apple in the pan while cooking to see if it helped the setting of the jam... whoppee! it worked.
I have also made a mixed fruit with blackberries, raspberries and strawberries which was equally as sucessful.. thanks!

minstrelmerymaker's picture

Brilliant recipe....I used Blackberries, perfectly set. will definitely be trying the other fruits, very handy having one recipe for several fruits

mpenhaligon's picture

Made this recipe wutg some frozen rhubarb that needed using up together with some stawberries that were on special offer. Absolutely delicious and not very expensive to make. The only problem is now the whole family want a pot!
Katie to clean your pan boil some water and bicarb of soda in it and the burnt bits should lift off easily

bubbles4's picture

Can I use frozen blackberries, would I have to leave out the water?

missaimee's picture

can you eat it straight aster you've made it or does it have to mature like chutney.

louisepownall's picture

Having never made jam before (and I should imagine never again) I followed this recipe to the letter... I ended up with something that was a cross between jam and gooey bonfire toffee! I assume it ended up being overcooked. I suggest anyone following this watches very carefully (if indeed you know what to look for?!)

sherdy16's picture

I have made a few chutneys and jams and have found if it doesn't set, if I re boil with a bit more sugar and a slice of lemon rind or apple it will then set.........good luck

jojojojo's picture

I have made this twice now with plums and strawberries. I only make one large jar each time as I am the only one in the family who eats it and this recipe has been great both times with only 400g fruit and 400g sugar.

mother_ship's picture

I have used this recipe for blackberries very successfully, see above. So I turned to it again, this time for plums but it didn't set :-( Thank goodness for the helpful comments above, I re-boiled with lemon juice, being careful that it didn't catch and I now have a good set, but 1 jar less of jam!

lilmssquirrel's picture

I made plum jam and started off with four lbs of a beautiful, fruity, just-off-red jam that wouldn't set, despite me having boiled it up to 105c. Then sought advice from my mum (an ex chef) and Delia about how to rescue it.

Reboiled it with the juice of half a lemon and tried the plate test. Couldn't get the wrinkle so left it boiling for another five minutes at which point it burnt and I only managed to salvage 1lb :o(

I used preserving sugar for my jam so maybe that made a difference? Will try again with granulated as I still have a whole load of plums to get through.

zuzzie's picture

Excellent recipe. This was my first go at jam, had no idea it was so easy!

ncsh556's picture

i did this with plums and it burnt too on the rapid b oil after adding the sugar. i have rescused what i can and will have to see if it tastes alright.
any tips on what i did wrong?

mother_ship's picture

Picked a load of blackberries this morning and used this recipe this afternoon, very pleased with the results! (I've never really got on with the freezer plate method so happy to have my sugar thermometer to take the guesswork out of it.) And the blackberry season has only just started, I'll be supplying the whole street with jam!

jose81's picture

A bit too sweet for our liking, and it didn't set properly. I couldn't really tell if it passed the freezer-plate test or not but it had been boiling for 25mins. Very tasty though as a compote with yoghurt, or a little on bread. I'll reduce the amount of sugar next time.

zetallgerman's picture

In Germany most people use special jam-sugar (with gelatine) to ensure the jam sets. I'm no fan of gelatine (and that type of sugar isn't available here) but found that it helps to add the juice of a lemon to your jam whilst it boils. The added pectin in the lemons makes it set better.
Oh, and also don't have a thermometer... the freezer-plate test works just fine for me every time.

bmorrison's picture

I made this jam with strawberries and it was excellent. I warmed the sugar in the oven for about six minutes before adding it to the strawberries. I also added jam setter to the strawberries and sugar.


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