Making Jam: The Role of Sugar

Sugar does a lot more than just sweeten your jams. Its main function is to work with the pectin and fruit acids to form the gel structure we call jam. Sugar acts as a preservative that helps maintain the beautiful colour of the fruit and inhibits mould growth.

Always use the exact amount of sugar called for in the recipe. Reducing the amount of sugar will upset the balance of fruit, sugar and pectin needed to ensure the jam or jelly sets.

Sugar should be spooned into a dry measuring cup, then leveled off with a knife to achieve the exact measurement.

Lighten Up

If you prefer a less sweet jam, try using Certo Light Pectin Crystals - for jams with less sugar and more fruit. Fruit mixtures without sugar are called "spreads". Certo Light Pectin Crystals offers no sugar added recipes as well as the low sugar recipes. No sugar recipes are included in packages of Certo Light Pectin Crystals.

Other Sweeteners

You can substitute honey for part of the sugar in a jam recipe. Replace no more than 1/4 of the sugar with honey because it can overpower the delicate fruit flavour and too much will produce a very soft set.

Insert recipes, remake directions and tips are available for the following Certo products: