My recipe for Berry and White Chocolate Jam brings together the bright and tangy flavors of sweet assorted berries.
And with just a few minutes of simmering, transforms them into a luscious, thick jam. Then we “gild the lily” for an even more heavenly concoction with the addition of hunks of smooth white chocolate. OMG!!!
Pectin is a water-soluble fiber that occurs naturally in most fruits, with the highest concentration in the peel or skin. When used in jelly and jam making, it gives them their spreadable consistency, and causes the mixture to set up properly.
Fully ripe fruit, while generally sweeter and more delicious, contains less pectin than slightly under-ripe fruit, whether in the high-pectin or low-pectin category.
This batch of Berry and White Chocolate Jam is made with a combination of raspberries, blueberries and blackberries.
Fruits low in pectin usually need to pair with high-pectin fruits to set up properly. You can also add commercial or homemade pectin to compensate for naturally low amounts or to speed the process.
Pectin, whether naturally occurring or added, requires heat, sugar, and acid to activate.
Some acidic fruits with high levels of pectin such as lemons gel easily without much coercing. Low-acid, low-pectin fruits such as strawberries require some finessing to turn them into a spreadable concoction.
Lemon juice provides the necessary acid in many berry jam recipes, while a traditional red currant-strawberry blend combines both low and high pectin fruits.
Combining fruits in different categories is the best way to give your jam real depth of flavor and ensure it will set up properly.
Homemade jams, jellies and preserves begin with fresh fruits, cooking them until they break down into a thick sauce-like consistency. The cooking process releases the pectin chains from the fruit, allowing them to collapse into a jammy thickness.
In order to make the fruit mash into a jam, the process requires the addition of sugar, which absorbs the excess moisture. The sugar molecules also help give the final mixture its viscous consistency.
Since pectin is a naturally occurring element in fruits, the amount differs from variety to variety. Here’s a list showing where each fruit ranks in their pectin content.
The basic ingredients for any berry jam include:
NAN’S TIP: DON’T WORRY WHEN THE FRUIT MIXTURE BEGINS TO FOAM, JUST SKIM IT OFF AND DISCARD IT AS THE JAM COOKS
Here’s a trick to test your jam for doneness once it has begun to thicken as it simmers:
THE RECIPE CARD IS AT THE BOTTOM OF THIS POST
These lovely Filled Almond Scones contain centers stuffed with addictive and decadent chunks of almond paste. They’re soft, slightly sweet, and oh-so fabulous when paired with my Berry and White Chocolate Jam! YUMMY!
Both recipes are featured in my Easter Brunch Buffet this year. I created the recipes and menu with the holiday hostess in mind, so it’s full of “make-ahead” items. Let’s check out the menu!
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If you'd like a smoother jam, use an immersion blender to break down the larger pieces of fruit in the jam.
Nutritional information should be considered an estimate only; please consult a registered dietician, nutritionist, or your physician for specific health-related questions. Please note that the recipe above is published using a recipe card plugin, with preexisting software which can auto-calculate metric measurements, as well as change the number of servings. Metric conversions and changes to the number of servings (resulting in different ingredient amounts) will only appear in the ingredient list, and are not changed within the step-by-step directions of the recipe.