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Fruit Butter Vs. Jam: What’s The Difference?

A jar of fruit jam is an essential to have in your fridge or your pantry.

In addition to being used as spreads for toast, pancakes, and waffles these fruit-flavored condiments pastries could also be used as a filling for homemade pastries.

Some homemade fruit butter could also be used as a spread or filling.

But what’s even the difference between fruit butter and fruit jam?

Jam is made up of a mixture of pureed fruits, sugar, and pectin that is heated until it reaches a temperature point known as a gelling point where it solidifies.

Fruit butter isn’t cooked to a gelling point as fruit jam but it is continually stirred as water evaporates and thickens to a spreadable consistency.

In this post, we are going to look at how fruit jam and fruits butter and highlight more of their difference.

How is fruit jam made?

Fruit jams are made from crushed fruits.

A gelling agent which is can be pectin or gelatin is used to give it its thick consistency.  Sweeteners such as honey or sugar could be added as well as citric acid.

Pectin is a polysaccharide that allows jams and jelly to gel.

It can be found naturally in the cell wall of fruits. It is also extracted from these fruits and made commercially available in a powdered form.

Some fruits have a high level of pectin. For fruits that do not have enough pectin, the powdered pectin can be added to the mixture.

Since unripe fruits have a higher level of pectin, they are often used together with the ripe fruits to produce jam.

The mixture is heated until it reaches a gelling point or a setting point which is up to 8 degrees above the boiling point

At the gelling point temperature, the mixture turns semi-solid and becomes a thick gel.

The jam can be packaged into jars and used for Spreads for toast, fillings for pastries, or they could be stored.

Jams and jellies are made using the same technique

However, jelly is made with fruit juice and not the crushed fruits. This makes jelly more transparent than jams.

Fruit juices also lack pectin, and therefore more pectin has to be added when making jelly.

There are some fruit jams which are not produced by heating. These jams are known as refrigerator jams, and they make use of substitute agar or gelatin as their gelling agent.

How is fruit butter made?

Fruit butter is also made from pureed fruits. A couple of the fruit butters you might know include apple butter and plum butter.

Sweeteners could be added to the mixture when making fruit butter.

The fruit butter mixture is cooked for a long time and stirred frequently to prevent it from burning until it becomes thick.

The mixture used to make Fruit butter thickens as water evaporates.

Fruit butter doesn’t reach that gelling point and can be packaged in jars to be used for spread.

When used as a spread, you would realize that it is smoother than jam.

Difference between jam and fruit butter

Jams are produced by heating the mixture to a gelling point which produces a semi-solid gel. Fruit butter does not gel like jam but is slow-cooked until the water evaporates leaving behind a thick paste.

You can tell that fruit butter is thinner and smoother than jam when you use both of them as spreads.

Jams are also thicker than fruit butter.

Jams preserve flavor and acidity of your fruits could be kept over long periods of time and they last longer than fruit butter

In conclusion

Apart from being used as spreads for toast these condiments can also be used as fillings for other food products.

Jams are a great way to add the flavor and color of these fruits to recipes that need them and can be used to store flavors over long periods of time.

Fruit butter and jams are also very good ways to store your fruits or make us efficient use of the leftovers ones.