Peach Jam Question

Asked July 12, 2017, 7:02 PM EDT

I made the peach-bourbon jam recipe in the All New Ball Book of Canning (page 51). The recipe turned out ok but (and I've had this experience in the past making jam) there's not a lot of fruit in the jars. It's a small amount of fruit and lots of liquid. It jells fine. But, I'd like to have a more fruity jam. I looked up the Ball recipe for peach preserves and it's the same ratio sugar to fruit. Can I add more fruit to a jam recipe and not need to alter the base recipe? Is there a problem doing that? Thanks! Jill

Washington County Oregon food safety home food preservation

1 Response

Hello and thank you for submitting your question to Ask an Expert, a FREE service of Oregon State University Extension!

In jam and jelly recipes, the exact ratios of fruit, sugar, liquid, and pectin are important. If you start changing those up then it will likely result in a product that does not gel and will be runny. I looked at the Ball recipe you tried. It does have more liquid than other jam recipes because of the addition of bourbon which gives the jam a unique flavor (I'm sure its delicious). One thing you could try is to make sure the fruit in the recipe is chopped very finely or smashed with a potato masher. That would result in the fruit being more evenly dispersed in the liquid. Another choice would be to follow the instructions for making peach jam using a "No Sugar Needed" pectin. Those recipes have a lot less sugar, or no sugar at all, and will result in a product that has the fruit as the primary ingredient and will likely be a better fit for what you are wanting. Those recipes can also be found on the Ball Fresh Preserving website (, in the instructions on the No Sugar Needed pectin package, or you can check out our publication on reducing sugar in fruit spreads:

Happy Canning!