For The Best Homemade Jams, Don't Overcomplicate Your Recipe

If you love enjoying biscuits dripping with jam, you've probably always wanted to learn how to make your very own strawberry spread right at home. And once you finally figure out the differences between water bath and pressure canning and handpick some of summer's freshest fruit, your next step is to find the perfect blackberry jam recipe. However, while most jam how-tos call for nothing more than fruit, sugar, acid, and pectin (per The University of Minnesota), you may find some fruit preservation methods have a lot more pep in their step when it comes to ingredients. 

For example, according to Taste of Home you can combine different-tasting fruits like oranges and pears for a surprisingly sweet and citrus-like jam. And Nitty Gritty Life reports you can even add flower power to your snack time spread by whipping up a jar of strawberry and elderflower preserves. However, while you may be tempted to try these multi-ingredient jam recipes — or even experiment with your own extra add-ins — MBG Lifestyle wants you to remember not to get caught up in all the new-age canning excitement. Here's why the outlet believes the simplest recipes make for the better-tasting homemade jam.

A simple recipe allows your jam's flavor to shine

In today's canning world, you can put a twist on a classic jam recipe in more ways than you can imagine. But while MBG Lifestyle reports that these extra spice and fruit-infused jams can make for a multi-flavored treat, complicated jam recipes can leave you forgetting the star of your jam's show — the fruit preserves. As the outlet states, jam is all about getting the most out of the bright taste of perfectly ripe fruit. And too many ingredients mixed into your preserves can leave you with a muted blackberry jam for some less-than-satisfying jelly donuts. Not to mention, adding in extra fruit, has been known to cause jam recipes to go from perfectly gel-like to terribly runny.

However, that isn't to say that you should never put any additional ingredients in your jam. If you enjoy the idea of a bit of extra flavor in your toast's spread, Northwest Edible Life says go for it, just be sure you're not going overboard. You want to make sure that the flavor of your mix-ins will positively interact with the taste of your jam. And, above all else, if you're deciding how much cinnamon or clove you should drop into your fig preserves, you should keep in mind MGB Lifestyle's words of wisdom, "you can always add an ingredient, but you can't take it out."