Angela's 'flexible' jam recipe

Angela's 'flexible' jam recipe

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(70 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 (133)

daisydoo40's picture

Have just made this today with brambles picked last night. I followed advice on here and added a chopped apple and squeezed in juice of 2 lemons and one of the lemon skins I boiled with the jam.

Its delicious and reached set after 30mins. It made 4 jars jam. I will definately make this again, however will reduce the sugar content slightly, as with other ratings on here I have found it slightly too sweet.

eleanor210's picture

Been boiling plums for about 30mins and still not reached setting point. Added some lemon juice in desperation about 15 mins ago but still not set - any ideas?

lianeg's picture

Used the recipe to make plum jam - did as others suggested and added 1 and a half tbs lemon juice to the 900g plums. Left the skins on as I prefer it like that and used Victoria Plums. Did have a thermometer so that helped. Made the most delicious plum jam - slightly tart but that's how I prefer it. This recipe gave me 4 jam jars full. Has set perfectly and the kids love it too! May just put the heat slightly lower when boiling next time; as it was just starting to catch towards the end of thye cooking time.

Also made a mixture of raspberry and blackberry - again added some lemon juice. This jam also worked out well but very sweet - maybe a bit too sweet for me!

First time I have ever made jam and I am so pleased with the results!

sianlennon's picture

Similar to others, I made this as a kindly neighbour turned up with a huge bag of plums. Made about 4lbs but I scorched the bottom of the pan whilst boiling it (the first time I tested it - cold plate method - it was still a little runny) so the jam's a little darker than when others have given me homemade plum jam. Still tastes nice though!

batmanneliese's picture

Great - QUICK- recipe ^_^ I made mine with fresh raspberries and threw in a few frozen blueberries and it worked wonderfully. Used less sugar than the recipe stated -400g for 600g of fruit, and it was still a little too sweet.

This recipe also let me know that I need a better quality pan with a thicker bottom- mine burnt when I left it to simmer!

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!


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