Cooking Basics: The Differences Between Fruit Spreads

When you’re learning to cook , understanding the differences between certain products that are seemingly similar will help you make the right choices in your recipes. With a variety of soft fruit spreads available in stores today, it may be difficult to keep them all straight. For this basic cooking lesson, take a look at what sets each apart:

Jelly combines fruit juice, sugar, pectin and acid into a clear spread that will hold its shape, even out of the jar. Jelly has a translucent color.

Jam is a thicker mixture than jelly and contains fruit in its natural state, as well as pectin and sugar. Despite the soft chunks of fruit, jam will spread easily and is great to use in pastry fillings.

Marmalade is primarily a citrus spread that uses the peel and pulp of the fruit, but no pectin. It is cooked for a long time, and when finished, you will be able to distinguish the different parts and textures of the fruit in the spread.

Fruit butter
Fruit butter is made by slow-cooking a mix of fruit and sugar until it is opaque, smooth and spreadable. Fruit butters are very sweet and have rich fruit flavor.

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