Foamy jam and how to remove it

Posted on 30 July 2011 at 10:44 in how to can.

While making a batch of fig jam this morning, I had a strange crossover between my love of making food and my love of drinking really good beer.

I have seen people dealing with an excessively foamy pint by… well, never mind what they did to kill the head, but the thought that struck me is that the foam on a pint is very similar to the foam on jams. It’s a froth of proteins, sugars, and other impurities.

Fat is the enemy of foam. It kills foam on a pint very handily. Many jam recipes say to add a tablespoon of butter to jam to kill the foam, but others then caution that the long term stability of dairy is questionable, as well as making your preserves non-veg*n friendly.

I added half a teaspoon of olive oil to my fig jam (7 jelly jars now cooling on a cookie rack) and it killed the foam while not adding any dairy to the recipe.

Amazing how knowledge from one area of your life can help out in another area!

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  1. Pressure Canners - 2011/08/01 at 09:17

    Great info, but did the olive oil change the flavor of the jam any? Or was it not noticeable?

  2. stuart - 2011/08/01 at 09:46

    As it was less than a teaspoon of oil there was zero noticeable effect on either the flavour or the texture. It just completely killed the foamy head!

  3. Kathleen - 2016/08/06 at 16:19

    Would coconut oil work?

  4. stuart - 2016/08/15 at 17:32

    I think any oil which is liquid at room temperature should do the job, especially as it is such a tiny amount.

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