Jellies and Jams Recipes from Your Bread Machine (2024)

Some people don’t know they can make jelly, jams and preserves in their bread machine. Here are some of the most popular recipes.

You may have noticed that your bread machine has a setting referred to as “Jam or Jelly.” This isn’t about making jelly rolls, it’s about making jams, jellies and preserves that you will ultimately pour into a jar for storage in your refrigerator or pantry.

The difference between a jelly, jam and preserve is simple. A jelly is usually made from the juice of a fruit with gelatin or pectin added along with sugar. A jam is made from whole fruit pureed to a juicy texture. A preserve is a jam that has also been made from the whole fruit, chopped and blended – but tends to have chunks of the fruit in the jam.

Storing Your Jams and Jellies

Storage in the refrigerator is the preferred way to store these homemade jellies because the low temperature gives the jam or jelly a firmer consistency. That’s one of the things you’ll notice about many jams and jellies made in your bread machine. They don’t always have the viscosity or thickness that jams made on the stovetop often have. This is because stovetop preparation causes some of the liquid to evaporate which thickens the consistency of the jam or jelly. Bread machines reach a high heat but little evaporation takes place, so you may find it to be a touch runny unless you refrigerate it.

If you intend to store your jams, jellies or preserves in a pantry make sure you process the jars first. You can do a basic processing by immersing the jars in boiling water for at least 10 minutes. This is important because the sugar in jams and jellies can encourage the growth of bacteria unless it has been processed in the boiling water bath.

Pay Attention to the Details

Jellies and Jams Recipes from Your Bread Machine (2)

Like many recipes related to baking, accurate and precise measurements are critical to success. One thing to keep in mind is that all measures for fruit are for coarsely chopped or diced fruit. Eventually you’ll mash the fruit a bit with a potato masher or in a food processor. This will reduce the total cups but that’s okay. Just make sure you stay true to the cup measures with chunks of fruit before you mash or process them.

All of the recipes call for the addition of sugar and some call for the addition of pectin or gelatin as well. Pectin is a thickening agent used for many jams, jellies and preserves. It’s best to find a low sugar or no sugar pectin. You’ll be adding sugar as part of the recipe and you don’t want too much sugar when making bread machine jellies.

Before You Start

It’s very important that you only make jam or jelly in a bread machine that has the specific and unique “Jam or Jelly” setting. The operation of the paddle and the temperature settings are unique for jams and jellies and it’s difficult to improvise with any other setting.

Equally important is the integrity of the bread pan. Bread machines with the jam and jelly feature have bread pans that have a unique bearing under the kneading paddle. This prevents any liquids from leaking through the paddle bearing and into the machine. You can ruin your machine or at least face an imposing cleanup task if a pan full of fruit juice and sugar leak into the bottom of your bread machine. You also could short it out if the liquids encounter any electrical connections.

Even if your bread machine has the “Jam and Jelly” setting you might want to test your bread pan. Simply pour a couple of cups of water in the pan and let it sit on the kitchen counter. After about 20 minutes lift the pan and see if any water has leaked onto the countertop. This can happen with older machines. We often get away with it because the kneading process usually starts within seconds after we put the pan into the machine, and the incorporation of the dry ingredients prevent any leakage.

This Stuff Can Be Hot, Hot, Hot!

A note of caution. Be very careful when handling the finished jam or jelly. In fact, you should probably let it rest in the machine for about 30 minutes with the lid open when the cycle is complete. If you’re nervous about any leakage remove the pan while wearing heavy duty kitchen gloves or pot-holders. Heated sugar is extremely hot and can cause 3rd degree burns. Generally, making jam or jelly in a bread machines is safer than making it on the stovetop, but always exercise caution when handling any hot, sugar liquid or syrup.

If you find your jam or jelly is still a bit runny after refrigeration you can try adding a little more pectin or reducing the amount of fruit or juice. You can also think of it as a unique syrup for waffles or pancakes.

Selecting the Right Fruit or Juice

The ripeness of any fruit is very important. You don’t want fruits that are not ripe or too ripe. They need to be “just right”. This is fairly simple with strawberries and other berries, but can be a challenge with mangoes, kiwi fruit and peaches. If the fruit you have on hand doesn’t feel ripe, consider making a different flavor or wait a few days and bake a loaf of bread instead. You also should only use fruit juice that is 100% juice. Too many fruit juices have added water and sugar. This can compromise your result so stick with 100% juice. Pectin or gelatin is also important when juice is the main ingredient. Pectin or gelatin are optional with many of the recipes listed below, but it’s typically required when you’re only using juice.

Preserve Your Jam or Jelly

Without sterilizing the jar – it will last up to 4 weeks in your fridge.
There are two ways to process canned or “jarred” foods in a hot water bath. One is simply immersing the jars in boiling water for a minimum of 10 minutes. The other involves immersing the jars in boiling water in a pressure cooker for 10 minutes or more. In the vernacular of food processing this is referred to as a “hot water bath.” This assumes the jars and lids are also sterilized in boiling water.

The reason there are two processing approaches has to do with the PH of the food. Fruits, tomatoes and other acidic foods can be processed in boiling water. Alkaline foods like meats, beans or potatoes require the added heat and pressure of a pressure cooker. I’ve processed canned foods for years and could easily write an article about it to accompany the jams and jelly recipes and articles if you’d like.

Want More?

You may look at the recipes that follow and think “I’d like to make more than just a jar of jelly.” Be careful out there. Typically you don’t want to exceed 3 to 4 cups of jam or jelly at a time when you’re using a bread machine for preparation. If you want to make a lot of jelly you should probably consider some traditional, stovetop methods. However, many of the bread machine recipes for jams, jellies and preserves are so simple you could certainly make multiple batches over the course of a day. Just don’t succumb to the temptation to overfill your pan and risk a spill into your machine, or a bad burn.


(All recipes make about 3 to 4 cups of finished jam, jelly or preserves)

Jellies and Jams Recipes from Your Bread Machine (2024)
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