When fixing yourself a piece of toast do you reach for a jar of jam or preserves? And what about marmalade for that matter?
Jam, like jelly, contains both sugar and fruit. It differs, however, in that real, crushed fruit or fruit pulp is used instead of fruit juice. The crushed fruit is cooked down until the fruit loses its shape and consistency. Then sugar is added to the mixture. Once cooled, jam takes on a translucent quality. Light still passes through it, but visible bits of fruit are suspended throughout.
Preserves take things a step further than even jam, suspending fruit within the sugar-suryp-cooked fruit mixture before it has had time to chill. Though preserves are something of a catch-all term, true fruit preserves critically contain within them either whole fruits – think cherries, raspberries or black currants – or uniformly cut pieces of larger fruits like apricots, peaches or plum.
Marmalade may seem similar to preserves or jam, with the tiny pieces of suspended fruit present within, but it is actually more closely related to jelly. Marmalade is made by adding tiny pieces of fruit rind – most famously, orange – to a jelly mixture made from citrus juice, sugar and pectin. Citrus rind, remember, is rich in pectin. When preserved in marmalade, it provides both a tartness and texture unlike its canned cousins.