Angela's 'flexible' jam recipe

Angela's 'flexible' jam recipe

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(61 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…

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  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)

dgorin's picture

Made this with wild blackberries, and it worked a treat. It is quite sweet, but the fruit was very ripe so I should have taken that into account.
For those who experienced burning - make sure the sugar is FULLY dissolved over a low heat before bringing the jam to the boil.

dgorin's picture

Made this with wild blackberries, and it worked a treat. It is quite sweet, but the fruit was very ripe so I should have taken that into account.
For those who experienced burning - make sure the sugar is FULLY dissolved over a low heat before bringing the jam to the boil.

salhumbie's picture

Used a lot of our summer fruit haul to make various jams using this recipe....plum and raspberry were particularly nice and the kids were impressed

ahobbs's picture

Wow. Almost a jam novice and this went great using wild blackberries. I took note of others' comments and reduced sugar to 2/3 - only used cheapo granulated too. Metal funnel a fab tip too. I went for the jam thermometer but try as I might couldn't quite get it to 105 so had to go off instinct a bit & it's set solid despite only reaching 103. Can't wait to get cracking next year with strawberries and raspberries.
Don't be put off by negative reviews

lucieflint's picture

First time I've ever made jam and this was surprisingly easy! Used the glut of blackberries in our garden - delicious

MakeCakeBake's picture

I used 750g of blackberries and 650g of sugar. I'd never made jam before! I would say the jam I made is a bit too sweet for my taste.Luckily no one else seems to mind! The blackberries were from a PYO place (£2!). Therefore the ones I picked were very ripe. Next time I will pick slightly less ripe ones in the hope that I get more blackberry tange to the jam and will also use less sugar. Did not burn - but I did gently stir twice. I also used a thick bottomed casserole dish so maybe this helps not to burn the blackberries and hold the heat so that it gets up to temperature quickly. Recipe was fine for me, just needs adapting to taste/fruit. Maybe not the best beginners reciepe because of this?

Fiddlydiddly's picture

Disaster. My jam is burnt and tastes far too sugary. Not stirring definitely does not work with plums.

gillysanders's picture

Used jam thermometer and new Maslin pan to attempt plum jam #epicfail
Took ages to get to 105 degrees, and jam 'caught' on the pan, so it's quite brown and am unsure about the taste. I do question not stirring - feel that this caused the burning, but not am expert, and would be pleased to know the reasoning behind it..
Still had to use the cold saucer test to be sure, in addition to thermometer. Scrubbing at the pan......hope I can get it clean.

dianeedencroft's picture

For me this recipe worked beautifully with plums. No burnt jam. I also used a sugar thermometer. It has been a while since I last made jam and this recipe restored my confidence.

gillysanders's picture

Would be interested in your method, given my recent disaster (see above). Thanks.

kerrymetcalfe's picture

Unimpressed. Reached 105 degrees within 4 minutes but as the ambiguous instructions said 10-12 minutes for brambles I left it boiling and ended up with burnt jam.

Have read the tips below about using cold crockery to test the jam so shall seek out a better instructed method for next time, assuming my pan is salvageable....

dianeedencroft's picture

I made plum jam using this recipe and it was excellent. I used granulated sugar as this is what I had at the time. I also had a jam thermometer and took the pan off the heat when it reached 105 degrees - it was perfectly set.

I always place two saucers in the fridge at the start ready to test the jam.

rosie'sspoon's picture

Made jam for the first time using this recipe. I used caster as that's what I had in and so its quite sweet though still lovely.

A tip to clean pans is to fill with water and bring to the boil stirring away any stuck on jam, this will dissolve the sugar and should work for burnt pans too!! Through away the water then wash as normal.

also I used the cold plate tip which worked well :)

mammafin's picture

Made blackberry jam for the first time using this recipe. The first batch I used the granulated golden sugar and in the second used white granulated . No real difference so go for the cheaper one. This recipe is so simple, I would definately recommend investing in a jam thermometer. I took the jam off the heat at 105c and both batches were perfect.

kisskisscakes's picture

I've used this recipe twice now with great success. I used mostly jam sugar with pectin this time as I was using overripe blackberries. The set was perfect - I took the pan off the heat at 105c but also did the saucer test. I did stir the pan once during boiling, very briefly. Last year I used regular sugar and did have to boil it a bit longer to get a good set; again that was with very ripe blackberries.

sugreen's picture

Made plum jam for the first time and this recipe proved an absolute success. It was a full rolling boil for about 20 mins rather than 10 mins, because it took that long for it to reach 105c. I didn't think it would set, but eventually it did. Perfect. P.S, I did stir it, however, which probably explains why it took so long to set, but I remember last year making some marrow and ginger jam and ended up burning the lot.

keelz2010's picture

I made mine in the slow cooker, and only added a third of the water and used golden cane sugar. I mixed it all in together and set the slow cooker on low but it was still very runny after a few hours. I took the temperature from low to high and left the lid off, which did the trick. I added a little lemon zest instead of lemon juice, and one pureed apple.

I stirred mine regularly after reading comments of burnt pans, and it seems fine!

email4halls's picture

Not quite sure what went wrong, followed the recipe but ended up with burnt jam and a pan which I might never get clean :( Avoid!

email4halls's picture

Followed this recipe using plums, didn't stir it as directed and ended up with a pan of burnt jam. Not sure I'll ever get my pan clean :( Avoid !

carolinejudd's picture

Worked really well with blackberries, but I did use jam sugar.


Questions (7)

hcatherwood's picture

Does anyone know if it works with damsons as I have been given a large bag

leannemeganholly's picture

Made the plum version of this last night, its set well in the jars, tasted some this morning and it is still far too sweet I cant taste the fruit, is there any way I can rescue the jam, possibly by putting it all back in the pan and adding lemon or something else? Thank you

goodfoodteam's picture

The sugar will vary based on the fruit used, so it would be advisable to stick to a recipe to ensure you get a good set, or experiment with trial and error, if the jam is too sweet it may be beause the plums were very ripe. It will be difficult to unsweeten it at this point now but you could try adding some lemon juice. If your jam is still runny you need to boil it more until it has reached setting point, you can test this on a cold plate.

mayan's picture

What do I do if I want to mix fruits? You give good instructions but the sugar amounts are different for each fruit. So can you brake it down for me? What if I want to mix oranges with plums, or peaches, can it be done? What fruits can and can not be mixed? Any recipes with mixed fruits and nuts or with exotic ingredients?

Thanks for your help

cosmic_seahorse's picture

Do you have to squash the berries first?

Ash1881's picture

Howdy, I have just made a Blackberry jam although... It's not quite jam! It's fairly runny, Can I fix this?

crystalchris's picture

I thought that at first but left it to cool 5 minutes then out into years on side, when I came to use it the jam had set :)

Tips (1)

lucieflint's picture

This works just as well with frozen fruit (well, blackberries anyway). We had a glut of blackberries in our garden and had frozen some of them. I used half and half fresh and frozen - the frozen ones I didn't defrost first I just put them in the pad frozen. So they defrosted while the fresh ones were softening.

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