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This time of the year is the perfect time to begin making jams, pickles, syrups and chutney! So, as the cold weather is setting in, we have a few tips to share with you.
-Use fresh, dry, slightly under-ripe fruit
-Pectin, which is naturally found in fruits, is vital to your jam setting Top tips for fruit leather and cheeses:
Keep your leathers in the oven until they are completely dry making it easier to peel them off the parchment paper
For liqueurs, syrups, and cordials:
-Use perfectly ripe fruit and poke with a needle to help the juices flow
For pickles and chutneys:
-Remove air pockets by lightly tapping the jars
-Seal with vinegar proof twist on lids
-Place a small saucer and heavy weight on top of the fruit pulp to speed on
the process of straining juice
With many fruits now ripe and flavorsome, it’s time to get preserving to ensure a tasty supply for the winter. Bottled sunshine if you like. Pam Corbin (also known as Pam the Jam) used to run her own preserving company and has written a book on preserving. She now runs courses with fellow preserver Liz Neville at Tresillian House in Cornwall. Pam agreed to share her top tips for preserving jams, jellies and beyond…
There’s nothing like a row of colorful summer jams to brighten cold winter days. Now is the time to think ahead and get jamming. To qualify as proper jam, the finished product should contain 60% sugar, including the sugars in the fruit.
– Use fresh, dry, slightly under-ripe fruit. Strawberries and raspberries are best layered with the sugar and left for a couple of hours before cooking. Plums, currants, gooseberries, cherries etc… need to be lightly poached before sugar is added.
– Pectin, naturally found in fruit is vital to make your jam set. With low pectin fruits like strawberries, help them along by either mixing with pectin rich fruits like gooseberries or by using jam sugar (with added pectin and citric acid).
– Setting point is 104.5°C. You can tell when your jam is reaching setting point as the fast, frothy rolling boil will reduce to a slower more relaxed boil. The tiny air bubbles will disappear, the surface will look glossy and the mixture will feel thicker. Undercook rather than overcook – runny jam can be cooked up again.
– To get rid of scum (which is just trapped air) at the end of cooking, stir in the same direction until reduced.
– When potting up, fill your jars to brimful when the jam is still over 85°C. If using twist-on metal lids there’s no need to use waxed discs.
Read the full article here.