What kind of jams are you making? It's jam time!

Discussion in 'Food & Cooking' started by chrisbelgium, Sep 3, 2013.

  1. chrisbelgium

    chrisbelgium

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    It's jam time! Bit of work but you get so much back in return. Here's one I just finished, using rose-hips. I collected around 4 kilos of hips from "rosa rugosa" plants, they now carry hundreds of ripe hips. Other rose varieties may work perfectly too.

    Rose-hip jam

    1. Start by washing them a few times. Mother Pollution isn't all that clean and flies may have left their business cards behind.


    2. I know it's quite a job, but break all those crowns off, one by one. It's a good idea to switch to zen-mode before proceeding.


    3. Put them in a large pot and submerge with water. Cut a sheet of baking paper into a "cartouche" and also put the lid on. Gently simmer for an hour or so.


    4. Let cool a little and pass fruit + cooking water through a foodmill, a few large spoonfuls at a time. Do stay in zen-mode, aaarrrggghhh!!


    5. It was all worth it. You now have a giant heap of seeds and a thick juice. Say goodbye to the seeds. At this point the juice goes in my cellar for a night's rest. Zen-mode off, have a few beers.


    6. Day 2. Boil the juice with sugar, normal ratio is 1/1 sugar/fruit. I use pectin sugar which allows me to reduce the sugar content and shorten the cooking time. Ratio with pectin sugar; 800 sugar on 1000 fruit. Cooking time; exactly 4 minutes hard boiling and stop immediately. Fill the pots, close and turn upside down to hermetically close them. Let cool.

    Time for a taste; it was indeed all worth it!!!


    7. Labeled and ready to store in the cellar. Now exactly 7,650 kilograms of heavenly rose-hip jam.


    Next will probably be elder berries, also very much ready to pick...

    What's on your program?
     
    Last edited: Sep 3, 2013
  2. ishbel

    ishbel

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    Raspberry, gooseberry and greengage jams made. :D

    January for marmalades, as required for lemon or tangerine curd.

    Starting on chutnies soon. :D

    That rosehip jelly looks great.
     
  3. chefbuba

    chefbuba

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    Made peach jam & butter a couple of weeks ago, blueberry jam last week and mixed berry (blueberry, blackberry & raspberry) yesterday. All made with stevia as I' diabetic.
     
  4. berndy

    berndy

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    I am waiting for fresh Italian Plums, also known as fresh Prunes to show up at my local store to make a dozen jars of fresh Prune Jam as I do every year. Last year I missed it since fresh Prunes are usually only available for about  3 weeks and you never know ahead of time when they show up in the store. 
     
  5. chefbuba

    chefbuba

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    We have them here now, also was given about 10 lbs of an unknown variety of plums from a local back yard tree, they made good jam, but only got about six half pints.
     
  6. chrisbelgium

    chrisbelgium

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    Thanks all for jumping in.

    @Chefbuba; so, you use stevia instead of regular sugar. I found stevia in a specialized shop and wasn't sure to try it out. Do you need to add  a setting agent too, like pectin?
     
  7. chefbuba

    chefbuba

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    Chris, I use a pectin for low or no sugar added recipes. Also, you should be able to find the stevia in your markets, it's everywhere here.
     
  8. dobzre

    dobzre

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    I make Bacon Jam, Strawberry/Rosemary, Fig/Ginger in regular rotation. Serious cash cow!
     
  9. chefross

    chefross

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    This year my cherry trees had a bumper crop.

    I made quart jars of pie filling from some and cherry/mint jelly as well.

    The blackberry bushes are still filled with thousands of rip berries.

    When I'm out there if I shake the bush to hard the berries fall to the ground, they are that ripe.

    I made a mixed berry jam from these plus blueberries and raspberries.

    I am making apple butter this year and am waiting for the grapes to ripen later this month.
     
  10. chrisbelgium

    chrisbelgium

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    Elderberry jam

    Yesterday I picked these elderberries that are nicely ripened now. Today the temperatures in this country will be around 32°C, the highest September temperatures since 51 years; maybe stay inside. I found a faster method to remove the berries from their cluster. Other years I used a fork to "scrape" the berries off but then I got a lot of green unripe ones too, which are... poisonous. This time, I put the clusters all in a large bucket filled with water and gently rubbed the clusters between my hands under water, as if washing my hands. All ripe berries simply fell off and sank to the bottom, the green ones stayed on the clusters or came floating on the water surface. Half an hour work this time instead of hours picking the green ones out!

    Elder trees have always had a very strong connotation with witchcraft and so. I use the blossoms in spring to infuse in vinegar for making a stunning floral vinegar to be used in vinaigrettes, in couscous etc. The berries are known as a good wintery remedy against influenza and what not. You can make syrup from them or jam like I did.

    Good to know is that the wood of the elder tree is used in augury to make those divining-rods, maybe magic wands are made of the same material?



    This time the berries are cooked first on medium fire, without adding water. Then I use the food mill again to remove the seeds. The preparation goes in the cellar to rest for a night.

    I used pectin sugar again, also a ratio 8/10 sugar/fruit. And a little taste of course. If you have elder trees in your neighborhood, please try to make this stunning jam!


    I had a good 2 kilo net weight of fruit to start with. Now it has gone into nearly 4 kilos of jam.

     
  11. chrisbelgium

    chrisbelgium

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    I can find a lot of jam-, cheese-, wine-, and beer making products in a specialized store. They buy natural pectin in bulk, pack and sell it in simple small plastic bags. They also have stevia that I tasted there too. It's an acquired taste but I can imagine it is very welcome for people having problems with sugar. The same place is also the place to be for excellent "Bourbon" vanilla beans from Madagascar. And I don't mention the hardware; bottles, jars, liquid extractors, stoneware for fermenting choucroute aka sauerkraut etc., etc.
    It would be interesting to know what other combinations people use. I hear fig/ginger is indeed fantastic; btw, maybe time to add your recipe to the fig thread?

    I always rest my fruit a night after cleaning, boiling and mixing it. The next day I boil the fruit with sugar. It's nothing more than a habit. But, this resting time gives me the opportunity to macerate herbs in the concoction without boiling the herbs and risking the herbs going bitter. I have two absolute favorites; strawberries and fresh mint but also pine-apple and mint. In both cases I add a number of mint stalks, tied together, to the still hot resting mixture and leave that in overnight. The next day I remove the herbs and boil the fruit with sugar as already mentioned. So good!

    Another one that I might make again, is apple jelly in which I macerate 1 stick of cinnamon, around 10 whole Szechuan pepper corns, 4 green cardamom pods slightly cracked... The apples are firstly quartered, submerged and cooked with water, then rested with those spices overnight. The next day I let this mass drip out in cheesecloth and proceed with sugar to make the jelly.

    I made mango jam a few times to which I added the zest of an orange and cooked the fruit with the fresh orange juice added... in-cre-di-ble!!!
    If I found blackberries I would make tons of jam from them! Also such a good addition in sauces.
     
    Last edited: Sep 5, 2013
  12. kaneohegirlinaz

    kaneohegirlinaz

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    @chefbuba  sorry guy, I missed this thread back when, I think we were traveling back in Sept...

    When you say you use stevia, which product did you use?

    When I was looking for a recipe for sugar free marmalade, I found this canning site that was saying that the only 'shelf safe' product is Splenda.

    Now, we don't use Splenda in our house we use a stevia product, Truvia (less chemicals and chemical taste AND cheaper ) so I went out and bought a box of Splenda strictly for mom's sugar free Meyer Lemon Marmalade.  As I am going to make another batch for her soon, I wanted to get the straight scoops from someone who's already done this.... MIA (mahalos in advance)
     
  13. chefbuba

    chefbuba

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    I used the Truvia baking blend.
     
  14. chrisbelgium

    chrisbelgium

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    Quince jelly

    I know it's februari,... who on earth makes jelly in winter? Well I do and I have a good reason. Many years ago, every farm over here had at least one quince tree. They are gone. The only place where I can get good quince, is in winter where I have to look in my ethnic food store to get really good ones, grown in Spain. North-Africans seem to like quince to put in their tajines! Like many older people I love to make quince jelly. It's uncomparable with anything else, except maybe to a very fragrant honey.

    I always start by exposing the fruits -which are nor apples nor pears but family of the roses- in my living room. the smell they produce is absolutely heaven and fills the whole space!

    This jam was made with 4 quince. It results in approx. 5 kg of jelly.

    1. Day one; cut the fruit in small chunks, including peel and core. Quince are very rich in pectin, especially in the core, so we need that for the jellification. Cover with water. I leave it like that overnight so the water can already absorb the flavors and whatever stuff from the fruit.


    2. Day two;

    Step one; Cover the preparation with parchment paper, cut a hole in the middle. You may recognize this as a "cartouche". Gently bring to a boil and let the fruit get soft; in this case it took around an hour. Simply test by tasting a chunk; not the best taste without sugar, but hey, it's for a good cause.


    Step two; cover a colander with a cheese cloth or a clean kitchen towel and pour the juice through it in another recipient. Tie the pulp in the cloth and let the rest of the juice drip out, without using any pressure. If you squeeze on the that pulp bag, your jelly will be cloudy!!!! 

     
    Step two; add sugar in a ratio of 8/10 juice/sugar... I know, it's a lot of sugar. Add the juice of approx. 1 to 1,5  lemon per kilo of fruit. Bring to a boil while stirring continuously. Once boiling vividly, stop stirring. Let the preparation boil for 75-90 minutes. It needs to boil, not simmer! Test from 60 minutes on how it turns out by putting a tbsp. of the jelly on a cold plate; when cooled it needs to jellify a little. Don't worry if it all seems a bit too runny after 90 minutes. The jelly will get somewhat more solid when completely cooled.

    You can use pectin sugar. In that case, you will need much less sugar and much less cooking time. The downside is that your jelly will be somewhat cloudy, not completely transparent.

    Step three; fill the pots and label. You now should have a rusty red concoction of utterly delicious quince jelly. If you did not squeeze the pulp you should end up with a totally transparent jelly.


    In ancient times and even now, quince jelly was and still is seen as a medicinal product! Have a soar throat or a bad cough? Eat some quince jelly, it will soon disappear. Excellent remedy to be used by your kids too!
     
  15. kaneohegirlinaz

    kaneohegirlinaz

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    @ChrisBelgium  I've never tasted quince, but I see it all the time at my specialty green grocer.

    If quince smells like roses, does it taste like that too?  I've never had that before,

    I see quince paste in the International Market


    I made another batch of Meyer Lemon Marmalade,

    this time using caster sugar rather than an

    artificial sweetener

    on this go-around, I sliced the fruit a bit thicker


    this was our afternoon snack yesterday,

    following my friend @durangojo  's lead

    TJ's Brie bites, pita crackers, apple slices,

    salted almonds and that lovely jam

    WOW!   sweet, tart, salty, crunchy, savory

    oh, and a glass of white wine

    that hit all the notes for a women, all but the

    chocolate component
     
  16. ishbel

    ishbel

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    My neighbour uses my quinces to make jelly and 'pays' me with jars of jelly!

    Love it with cheeses. ;):D
     
  17. chrisbelgium

    chrisbelgium

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    Oh no, I didn't mean to say that quince smell like roses, I meant that quince are not family of the apples or pears, but they are family of the roses. However, the smell that this fruit produces is very distinctly the one of... quince, which is very sweet and floral. Quince is virtually impossible to eat raw, it's a very tough fruit that needs to be cooked. Once turned into a jelly, it tastes more or less like a very floral honey.

    When you make sort of a jam with the whole fruit and sugar, you will end up with a paste. I now have pushed the remaining pulp from my jelly production through a fine foodmill. This will go in my freezer in portions and be used -after adding sugar of course- as a delicious compote that goes incredibly well with roasted chicken, pork etc.
    You have have quince trees? Lucky you! Indeed, quince goes so well with cheeses. In Spain there's often a bit of "membrillo" (quince paste) served with a portion of queso Manchego.
     
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2014
  18. ishbel

    ishbel

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    Yes, I have two quinces, but my friend makes the jelly and pays me in kind!

    When I lived in Wiltshire, we had three or four quince and four medlar trees, too. A neighbour used to tale all the fruits from both and give me a share of the processed fruits. I've forgotten the French name for medlars, but the common name in Wiltshire was'dogs bum'!
     
  19. abaff410

    abaff410

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    Love the rose hip jam idea. I'll try that once they're in season here! I love making husk cherry jam in the fall. Goes great with a salty cheese.
     
  20. kaneohegirlinaz

    kaneohegirlinaz

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    I was looking back at some of my photos in the Galleries and I noticed that @Nicko

    asked me to share how I made my Meyer Lemon Marmalade


    half the fruit; remove and reserve all of the pips, I used a bamboo skewer


    now quarter the fruit


    and slice as thinly as possible, I used my 'slicer' knife, that worked best for me


    add the sliced fruit, juices and reserved pips in some sort of cheesecloth or tea ball or a spice bag as I did here, add just enough water; cover and let stand at room temp for 24 hours.  The smell the next day is AMAZING!


    For the sugar free version for my mother, who knew it would take 90 Splenda packettes


    Finished product, Sugar Free Meyer Lemon Marmalade for my mom, it looks so creamy, doesn't it?


    yum, my mom got eight of these in total, I made up cute little labels (not pictured) too


    I kept one jar for our house to try, on a hot-out-of-the-oven biscuit with some butter, MAN!


    This is my latest Meyer Lemon Marmalade made with caster sugar for moi and hubby!

    This the last batch, made the other day, mostly due to the fact that my green grocer told me that they will no longer have the fruits available, so I guess their done for the season here at least.
     
    nicko likes this.