Thursday, 20 April 2017 17:14

    Thinking about summer...my guide to good jam making

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    It will soon be time to think about jam making with summer fruit. My tips are from my 'Food for Keeps' course and will help you make perfect jam every time. Try making this delicious Fresh Apricot Jam.

    • Never make more than 10lb (10 standard jars) at any time. The less time spent in cooking the jam, the better the final colour and flavour.
    • Choose firmly ripe, fresh fruit, picked dry. Wet fruit will affect the set and flavour of the jam.
    • Prepare the fruit removing any stalks and bruised flesh, only wash if necessary.
    • Use a large, heavy based saucepan. The pan should never be more than half full.
    • Add water only of the recipe says so.
    • Bring fruit to the boil, then simmer gently to break down any skin and to extract the pectin.
    • Pectin is a substance in fruit that reacts with acid when heated, creating the setting agent. Fruits vary in their pectin and acid content.
    • Jam sugar has added pectin and is ideal for fruits that are low in pectin helping jam to set.
    • Do not cover the pan as water evaporation is essential.
    • Underboiling causes jam to be too runny and overboiling makes it sticky.
    • Test the set by dropping a spoonful of jam onto a refrigerated saucer and seeing if the top crinkles when you run your finger or a spoon across it.
    • Warming the sugar in a low oven (110C) will shorten the cooking time. Preserving sugar consists of large crystals of sugar which dissolve evenly producing less froth when boiling.
    • Remove any scum with a slotted spoon once the jam is ready to pot. A nut sized piece of butter at the end of the cooking will help reduce the scum.
    • Cool the jam for 5 to 10 mins before potting, then stir again to help evenly distribute the fruit and stop it from rising to the top of the jars.
    • Always warm jars in a low oven to sterilise and prevent cracking from the hot jam.
    Read 857 times Last modified on Thursday, 04 May 2017 20:26

    1 comment

    • Comment Link Jasmine Thursday, 04 May 2017 10:59 posted by Jasmine

      This is really helpful. I never really understood the difference between jam and preserving sugar before. Thank you!

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