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Kitchen Queries

Welcome to Kitchen Queries, where the nigella.com team will answer your cooking or food related questions.  We’d love you to submit some of your recipe problems, dilemmas or queries for us to get our teeth into!

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  • Marmalade - perserving vs jam sugar

    Hi Guys, I'm going to branch out from Nigella's lovely chutneys as Crimbo pressies into her suggested recipies for marmalades. I notice that the sugegsted sugar for these is preserving sugar not jam sugar. Is there much difference and can I get away with using the jam sugar i have in the cupboard or not? Thanks - fab new site by the way x

    From the nigella team:

    Preserving sugar is sugar with large crystals. The crystals of sugar are larger than normal and this means that they dissolve more slowly and evenly which has the advantage of the crystals not falling to the bottom of the pan (which can cause burning) and also as there is less surface area on the crystals there are less impurities you need to skim the surface of the pan less and also you get a clearer preserve (this is more important when you make jellies).

    jam sugar is sugar with added pectin. Pectin is one of the things that helps the jam to set. generally marmalade is made with more sour citrus fruits, such as seville oranges, lemons and grapefruits and these fruits are high in pectin so do not need the extra pectin in jam sugar to get a good set. Consequently it is not worth paying extra for jam sugar with added pectin - save this for making jam with a low pectin fruit such as strawberries. If you can't find preserving sugar then just use regular granulated sugar and skim any white froth off the surface of the marmalade once it has boiled and reached setting point and has been taken off the heat.

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