With soft fruit such as gooseberries, strawberries, raspberries and currants just starting to come into season, we’ve picked out our top ten favourite preserving products to get your jam-making off to a flying start.
1. Worktop saver, Laura Ashley
We do love making jam – but everything from preparing the fruit to cooking it makes a mess! The messiest part of all can be filling the jars, especially if you don’t have a jam funnel, so this generously sized work top saver, £15 from Laura Ashley, will come in useful and even features a recipe for blackberry jam. For more information and stockists, visit the Laura Ashley website.
2. Jam-making set, Mrs Allsorts
Homemade jams and jellies make an ideal gift, and these pretty old-fashioned jars will make your present even nicer. The set contains four jars, covers, lids, tie strings and labels, in a gift box. Available from Mrs Allsorts, priced at £10.
3. Cottage Flower preserve starter set, Katie Alice
This kit from Katie Alice contains all you need to get started with jam-making except a preserving pan. With six jam jars, a jam funnel, a sugar thermometer, and 24 decorative covers, wax sealing discs and rubber bands, it’s an ideal starter pack for yourself or a gift for a country-minded friend. Priced at £27, available from Louis Potts.
4. Lidded jam pot, Sophie Allport
Show off your delicious preserves in style by presenting them in this cute bone china pot at the breakfast table. Available in several designs including bees, strawberries, butterflies and roses, the pot retails at £12 and is available from Sophie Allport.
5. Strawberry and marmalade pots, Tesco
For a budget option, these ceramic marmalade or strawberry jam pots are just the job to go with your breakfast toast. They come with a matching soon, and cost £5 each. For more information, visit the Tesco website.
6. Chalkboard jars, nkuku
These chunky glass jars are something a bit different, sturdy enough to be sterlised for jam making and attractive enough to leave out on display on a shelf. The little integral chalkboard means you can label the contents clearly, and they’d make lovely gift jars too. Available in two different sizes, prices start at £16.95 from nkuku.
7. Wedding favour jam labels, Wildflower Favour
Here’s a very sweet idea. Give your wedding guests a wedding favour they’ll really appreciate with miniature jars of homemade jam, themed for the time of year, then add a set of personalised labels with your wedding details and jam variety. The set comes as a pack of 18 self-adhesive recycled Kraft manilla labels and 18 recycled tags printed with the jam/chutney variety, comes complete with twine for tying and costs £6.99 from Wildflower Favours.
8. Moustache chalkboard stickers, Ginger Ray
We simply can’t resist these labels. Made to look like novelty moustaches, they’re reusable, come with a stick of chalk and are perfect for labelling jam jars so they won’t get lost on the breakfast or tea table. £3.99 for a set of 12 from Ginger Ray.
9. Jam jar tongs, Kilner
These tongs may look like they belong in a laboratory, but they’re actually for lifting jam jars out of boiling water after they’ve been sterilised. A brilliant, simple idea that will save you from getting scalded or splashed, they’re also perfect for moving the hot, filled jars out of the way once they’re sealed and finished. £4, available from John Lewis.
10. Personalised label stamp, Stomp Stamps
Make sure everyone knows who to thank when you give a pot of jam away, by labelling it with a homemade label made from your own personalised stamp. £29.95, available from John Lewis as before.
by Sara Walker