All you need are three ingredients and a little patience! Enjoy making homemade jam by picking the fruit yourself at the peak of flavor.
TIPS FOR MAKING THE PERFECT JAM
Always use the freshest, driest and slightly under-ripe fruit possible. Fruit freshness affects how the finished product sets.
To extract maximum amount of juice and pectin, initially let the fruit layered with the sugar for a couple of hours or overnight before cooking.
If fruits are low in pectin, then fruits with a higher level or lemon juice need to be added. Strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, red currants, and Citrus fruit have high pectin levels. Soft fruits, such as peaches, have lower levels.
Some fruits such is plums, gooseberries etc. need to be lightly poached before sugar is added.
Always make sure the sugar is completely dissolved before bringing to a boil. If not, the result will be grainy.
Why to add naturally acid fruit juices
Naturally pectin - Generally, you can make fruits jam with just two ingredients: fruits and sugar. Fruits has natural acidity and pectin in abundance, but adding lemon juice helps the gelling process by interacting with the sugar.
The natural pectins in the lemon peel helped the jam set.
Another reason why lemon juice is added to jam, is for safe canning and to prevent the growth of bacteria.
Adding in naturally acidic fruit juices, like lemon juice, also helps stop the jam from ‘discolouring’ and can give an enhancement to both the flavour and colour of the jam.
Besides sweetening the flavor, sugar works with the pectin and fruit acids to create the gel texture that indicates a proper jam.
Pectin: The fruits contain different levels of pectin, but commercially produced pectin is sometimes added to jam when the fruit doesn’t contain enough natural pectin of its own.
Want to make jam with less sugar?
Traditional recipes use equal quantities of sugar and fruit (1:1). Lowering the amount of sugar affects properties of the preserve.
Using less sugar than the recipe dictates means you will not be able to keep the jam in storage for as long, and once opened it should be kept in the fridge to prevent the growth of mould.
The finished product should contain 60% sugar, including the sugars in the fruit.
If you desire, you can reduce the sugar, adding for every kilogram of fruit, 750 grams of sugar. I usually add 800g sugar per kilogram of fruit, depending of the sweetness of the fruits.
Cooking the jam
When setting point is reached, skim with a ladle any scum that rises to the surface.
To test for setting, place a small plate into the fridge for 15 minutes. Pour a spoonful of the hot jam onto the plate, and push the edges of the jam with your index finger. It's set when it's all wrinkly and crinkly.
Always test for setting point at the time the recipe suggests. If not set, continue to cook, checking every 5 minutes. Don’t overcook. If jam is overcooked, it will be too stiff and dark.
Prepare the jars
Always sterilize the jars and lids before potting the jam. Sterilize by either heating in an oven, heating in a microwave, immersing in boiling water, hot washing in a dish-washer and using sterilizing tablets dissolved in water.
I always rinse in clean in hot water, and then heat in an oven for ten minutes at 110C.
Jam has to be hot when it goes into its sterilized jar and sealed, otherwise it can become moldy. When potting make sure there are no air pockets or corners of the jar left unfilled.
Move freshly potted jars only when completely cool and set.
Here you can find delicious recipe for How to make Cherry Jam .
“The discovery of a new dish does more for the happiness of the human race than the discovery of a star." ― Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin