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Knowing the Difference Between Jellies, Jams, Preserves & More

A spoon is being taken out of a glass container of jam.  This article covers knowing the difference between jellies and jams.

Knowing the Difference Between Jellies, Jams, Preserves & More

Everyone loves topping the things they eat with sweet fruit flavors, but many can’t tell the difference between them. 

There’s a large assortment of toppings that can be made with fruit. All of them offer different perks and fallbacks. 

These are the top types you’ll find: and what the differences are between them.


Jellies are the most commonly known type of fruit topping! This fruit is made by mixing fruit, sugar, and often gelatin to thicken it. 

There are no fruit chunks in most jellies, which ensures that it’s easily spreadable and capable of being mixed into any recipe. 

This means they can be turned into things like pepper jelly dip or even combined to sweeten and crisp up meats that are being grilled.


Jams are similar to jelly, but the main difference is that jam keeps fruit chunks within it. This added texture makes it a favorite for some, while others say that they’re not huge fans for the same reason. 

It all depends on personal preference and often what you were raised eating. 

If you’re new to jams and want to make the most out of it, try some of your favorite fruits and then work out from there.


Fruit preserves are fruit preparations that use sugar and sometimes acid to ensure the fruit lasts longer. 

These have a thick and chunky texture since most of the fruit is chopped into smaller pieces instead of being mashed or blended. 

There are many ways to use this, and the thickness depends on which type of fruit you use.


Fruit compote is most often used as a topping for everything from yogurts to ice cream. This simple fruit sauce is made using only fresh or frozen fruit and sugar. 

Pour fruit and sugar into a saucepan, and allow the fruit and sugar to cook together until it reaches the thick syrup you want. 

If you’re having trouble with it becoming thick, you can add one tablespoon of cornstarch into a tablespoon and a half of cold water and then pour it into the compote as it cooks.

Macerated Fruit

The final topping on this list is macerated fruit! If you don’t have time to make or buy a jelly, macerated fruit is the perfect hands-off recipe to try.

Thoroughly wash and hull a quart of strawberries, and then cut them. 

It’s a good idea to stick to halves or quarters since they do lose their size as they macerate. Put in a large bowl and combine with a half cup of sugar, and stir thoroughly. 

Set in your fridge, and leave them alone for at least half an hour, up to two days. The result is a great topping.

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Whether you’re topping yogurt or spreading it on bread, sweet fruit sauces can completely change how something tastes. 

Each of these offers something fantastic that you won’t find elsewhere: so consider trying all of them before you decide which is your favorite! 

Even the same fruit can taste the difference between these different types of toppings.

Did you know the difference between jellies and jams?

Let me know, til then—cheers m’deres!

The name Nancy is shown as a signature.
A spoon is being taken out of a glass container of jam. This article covers knowing the difference between jellies and jams.

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