Sugar – What Type To Use?

Much has been written about sugar in jams. Some say you should use only the coarse types, other insist that only preserving sugar with added pectin should be used, and then there are the people who feel that fine sugars are best.You can deduce from this that a lot of people are making jam successfully with almost every type of sugar available! 
 
Preserving sugar has pectin added to it- quite unnecessary if you make jam from high pectin fruits or add your own pectin stock to the mix, but it might sometimes make it easier to set a low pectin jam such as strawberry. 
 
Coarse grain sugars seem to produce a little less scum on the surface of the jam, but you will still have to skim off *some* scum, so you don’t really save much effort. 
 
Fine sugars are supposed to dissolve more rapidly and thus save time when making the jam, but I find the difference is hard to notice. 
 
The only very clear point about types of sugar is to use refined white sugar. Brown sugars add a dark colouring to jams, so unless you are making a marmalade or jam where you want a brown tint, stick with white sugar. 
 
Usually the cheapest and most readily available sugar is granulated white; it works fine. 
 
Whatever sugar you use, it’s a good idea to warm it before use – this speeds up the cooking and reduces the energy required to bring the jam to the boil. You will need to heat the oven to about 140 degrees C to sterilize the jam jars, so pop the sugar in there too for a few minutes before adding it to the fruit. 
 
Make sure the sugar is dissolved in the fruit juices before you reach boiling point or the jam may become crystallized and taste overly sweet. 

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