It’s a common question posed by many a shopper at the supermarket—what’s the difference between jam and jelly? While these products may appear nearly identical at first glance, there is one key difference that helps explain the difference.
Both our homemade jams and Amish jellies use fresh quality fruit to achieve their robust flavor—but the way in which that fruit is used varies significantly between these two products. Amish jellies and jams take fresh fruit and crush or mash it to release the juices and flavor. In jams, the mashed pieces are left in the mix, which makes the spread more thick. In a jelly, however, the fruit pieces are strained out so that only the juice is used.
This affects both the texture and the remaining ingredients used when making homemade jams and jellies. Because they use only the juice from the fruit, jellies typically require a bit more pectin to solidify and maintain a solid consistency. The end result is sometimes compared to smooth peanut butter, whereas jams, with their fruit pieces, are more like chunky peanut butter.
Ultimately, whether you prefer jam or jelly comes down to personal preference, but hopefully, understanding this basic difference will make it a bit easier the next time you’re trying to decide between Amish jellies and jams.