Making jams, marmalades, preserves and conserves

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Today"s busy consumer has the option lớn preserve fresh fruits by using recipes for uncooked jams và jellies. Uncooked jams và jellies are different from regular jams & jellies in that they require no cooking of the fruit. Since no processing is required, these jams have to lớn be stored in the refrigerator or the freezer instead of on a shelf. They can be made from most fresh or frozen fruits or fruit juices. The secret of making successful no-cook jam is the fruit pectin. Pectin helps jam set khổng lồ the right consistency. Pectin will gel with certain proportions of fruit, acid and sugar even if the ingredients are combined when cold. Various brands of pectin, in both powdered and liquid forms, are available.

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Uncooked jams và jellies are appealing for the following reasons:

They are bright in color, characteristic of the fruit(s) from which they are made.The amount of ingredients called for is usually less than in cooked jams & jellies.They have a stronger fruit taste than cooked jams & jellies, unclouded by the caramelization flavors that result when cooking a high-sugar cửa nhà over direct heat.They require less equipment in the kitchen than cooked jams and jellies, less time to lớn prepare & less use of heat.

Jellied Products

Jams, jellies, preserves, conserves, marmalades and conserves are fruit products that are jelled and thickened. Each fruit product has its own individual characteristics based on the kind of fruit used & the way it is prepared, the ingredients và their proportions in the mixture, và the method of preparation.

Uncooked jams are thick, sweet spreads made by mixing crushed or chopped fruits with pectin and sugar. Although jams hold their shape, they are generally less firm than jellies.

Uncooked jellies are usually made by mixing fruit juice with sugar và pectin. A good product is clear & firm enough to hold its shape when taken out of the container.

Uncooked preserves are spreads containing small, whole fruit or uniformly sized pieces of fruit in a clear, slightly gelled syrup, which is created by mixing the fruit sugar & pectin. The fruit should be tender and plump.

Uncooked conserves are jamlike products made from a mixture of fruits. Conserves may also contain nuts, raisins or coconut.

Uncooked marmalades are soft fruit jellies containing small pieces of fruit or peel. Marmalades often contain citrus fruit.

Fruit butters are sweet spreads made by cooking fruit pulp with sugar to a thick consistency. Spices are often added. Because butters are not gelled, there is no uncooked equivalent of this product.

Essential Ingredients

A proper ratio of fruit, pectin, acid and sugar is needed for successful jellied products. Follow directions exactly.

Fruit

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For best color, flavor & consistency, choose ripe fruit (shape is irrelevant). You can also use unsweetened, canned or frozen fruit, or you can use fruit juice to lớn make jellied products. Because commercially canned or frozen products are made from fully ripe fruit (which is lower in pectin than under-ripe fruit), pectin must be added. If you preserve your own fruit or fruit juice, use some slightly under-ripe fruit (usually one-fourth slightly under-ripe & three-fourths fully ripe is recommended). Fruit lớn be used later for jam is best canned in its own juice. If adding sugar, note on each jar how much sugar the fruit contains. This will be needed to adjust recipes later.

Pectin

Pectin is the natural substance in fruit that causes the fruit juice to lớn gel. Some kinds of fruit have enough natural pectin to lớn make a firm gel; others require added pectin. The best type of pectin is found in just-ripe fruit. Pectin from under-ripe or overripe fruit will not size a gel. Commercially frozen và canned juices may be lower in natural pectin & make soft-textured spreads.

Fruits containing enough natural pectin to size a gel include crab apples, tart apples, sour blackberries, sour boysenberries, most plums, cranberries, lemons and wild grapes (Eastern Concord variety). Fruits low in pectin include sweet cherries, quince, ripe blackberries, sour cherries, grapefruit, grapes, melons & oranges. With these latter fruits, you wil usually need to add pectin. Fruits always requiring added pectin are peaches, pears, figs, apricots, elderberries, strawberries, raspberries, grapes (Western Concord variety), guava & pomegranates.

Commercial pectins are made from apples or citrus fruits and are available in both powdered và liquid forms. Be sure lớn follow the manufacturer"s directions when using commercial pectin. The powdered and liquid forms are not interchangeable in recipes. Commercial pectins may be used with any fruit. Unlike cooked jams và jellies, freezer jams và jellies can be made using only commercial pectin.

Acid

Acid aids in gel formation và enhances flavor. The acid nội dung varies among fruits and is higher in under-ripe fruits. When fruits are low in acid, showroom lemon juice or citric acid. Added acid is always required with some types of commercial pectins. Sometimes the acid is already combined with the commercial pectin. Kiểm tra the ingredients list.

Sugar & Artificial Sweeteners

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Sugar must be present in the proper proportions with pectin & acid khổng lồ make a good gel. Sugar also prevents the growth of microorganisms in the product and contributes to the taste. Never change the amount of sugar in a recipe.

Granulated white sugar (pure cane or beet) is usually used in homemade jellied fruit products. Sweeteners such as brown sugar, sorghum and molasses are not recommended because their flavors overpower the fruit & their sweetness varies.

You can replace part but not all of the sugar with light corn syrup or light, mild honey. For best results, use tested recipes that specify honey or corn syrup.

Artificial sweeteners cannot be substituted for sugar in regular recipes because gel formation specifically requires sugar. Jellied fruit products without added sugar must be made using special recipes or special gelling products. Approved recipes using artificial sweeteners are included in this fact sheet. Follow recipes exactly as they have been tested.

The University of Georgia has developed recipes for uncooked jams & jellies using artificial sweeteners. The recipes can be found online at nchfp.uga.edu/how/can_07/no_sugar_jelly.html.

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Some artificial sweeteners are heat-stable, but some people vì chưng notice an aftertaste in other products. Therefore, it"s possible that artificial sweetener might change in flavor a little over storage time. If you want to lớn make jam or jelly using artificial sweetener, it is important lớn follow the directions on the packaging or refer khổng lồ the specific manufacturer"s trang web for recipes.

Equipment and Containers

Basic equipment for making freezer jams và jellies includes a bowl large enough to hold the fruit & sugar combination (a 2- or 3-quart bowl), a small pan to lớn heat powdered pectin and water, measuring cups, & small and large mixing spoons.

If you will be extracting juice for jelly, you will also need a jelly bag or a suitable cloth. You can also use firm, unbleached muslin or cốt tông flannel with the napped side turned in, or you can use four thicknesses of closely woven cheesecloth. Jelly bags or cloths should be damp. Make sure the cheesecloth is not treated & is suitable for liên hệ with food.

Store your uncooked jams & jellies in glass canning jars specifically designed for the freezer or in food-grade plastic containers, with headroom lớn allow for expansion. All containers should be moisture-resistant and vapor-resistant.

Making Uncooked Jams and Jellies

Amount to Prepare

For best results, follow the directions that come with the commercial pectin. Vày not alter the recipe measurements.

Preparing the Containers

Wash your moisture- và vapor-resistant containers in warm water and detergent, then let them air dry. Sterilizing containers is not necessary. Lớn maximize the strength of the gel, vị not use jars larger than pint-size.

Storage

Uncooked jams & jellies must be stored in the refrigerator or freezer. Do not store them in the freezer until the gel has set. This could take up to lớn 24 hours. Placing them in the freezer too soon will prevent the jam or jelly from "setting."

Uncooked jams and jellies can be kept for up lớn three weeks in the refrigerator or for up to a year in the freezer. They are subject khổng lồ more syneresis ("weeping" or separation of liquid from the gel). Freezer storage is best for maintaining natural color as well as flavor. Room temperature is not recommended because uncooked jellied products will mold or ferment in a short time. Once the container is opened, the hàng hóa should be used within a few days.

Jellied Products Without Added Sugar

Jellied products without sugar or with reduced sugar cannot be made by leaving the sugar out of the regular freezer jam or jelly recipe. However, they can be made by the following methods:

Specially modified pectins: These pectins are not the same as regular pectin. They will say "light" or "less sugar" on the label. Follow the directions on the package. Some products are made with less sugar & some with artificial sweeteners.Regular pectin with special recipes: These special recipes have been formulated so that no added sugar is needed. However, each package of regular pectin does contain some sugar. Artificial sweetener is often added to lớn these special recipes.Recipes using gelatin: Some recipes use unflavored gelatin as the thickener for the jam or jelly. Artificial sweetener is often added. These products vì not freeze well. Treat them as refrigerator jams or jellies.

Follow the directions on the modified pectin box or in a no-sugar recipe exactly. Alterations in the recipe could result in sản phẩm failure. Because these products vì not have enough sugar to act as a preservative, they must be stored in the refrigerator during gel formation instead of on the counter. Freeze after 12–24 hours.

Directions for Using Juices for Uncooked Jellies

Use fresh or frozen fruits or fruit juices lớn make uncooked jams and jellies. If using commercially canned fruit juices, pectin will need lớn be added in order for the finished hàng hóa to gel.

Remaking Uncooked Jams và Jellies

With Liquid Pectin

Do not remake more than 4–6 cups at one time. In a bowl, combine measured jam or jelly, 3 tablespoons sugar and 1½ teaspoons lemon juice for each cup of jam or jelly. Stir well until sugar is dissolved (about 3 minutes). địa chỉ cửa hàng 1½ teaspoons liquid pectin per cup of jam or jelly and stir until well blended (about 3 minutes). Pour into clean containers. Cover with tight lids. Let stand in refrigerator until set, then store in refrigerator or freezer.

With Powdered Pectin

Do not remake more than 4–6 cups at once. In a bowl, combine measured jam or jelly and 2 tablespoons sugar for each cup of jam or jelly. Stir well until dissolved (about 3 minutes). Measure 1 tablespoon water and 1½ teaspoons powdered pectin for each cup of jam or jelly. Place in small saucepan and place over low heat, stirring until the powdered pectin is dissolved. địa chỉ to the sugar và fruit mixture and stir until thoroughly blended (about 2–3 minutes). Pour into clean containers. Cover with tight lids. Let stand in refrigerator until set, then store in refrigerator or freezer.

Recipes

Uncooked Artificially Sweetened Raspberry or Blackberry Jam With Pectin

Yields 2⅔ cups

1 quart cleaned raspberries or blackberries3–4 teaspoons liquid artificial sweetener1 package powdered pectin1 tablespoon lemon juice

Crush berries in saucepan. Stir in powdered fruit pectin and lemon juice. Bring lớn a boil, then boil for 1 minute. Remove from heat. địa chỉ cửa hàng the sweetener, then continue to lớn stir for 2 minutes. Pour into freezer containers, cover & freeze. Thaw before serving. Store in the refrigerator for up lớn 4 weeks.

Uncooked Berry Jam (using powdered pectin)

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Yields 5 or 6 half-pint jars

2 cups crushed strawberries or blackberries (about 1 quart whole)4 cups sugar1 package powdered pectin1 cup water

Sort & wash fully ripe berries. Drain. Remove caps and stems. Crush berries. Place prepared berries in a large mixing bowl. địa chỉ cửa hàng sugar, set well & let stand for trăng tròn minutes, stirring occasionally.

Dissolve pectin in water & boil for 1 minute. Showroom pectin solution to berry-and-sugar mixture, then stir for 2 minutes. Pour jam into freezer containers or canning jars, leaving one-half inch of headspace. Cover containers and let stand at room temperature for 24 hours or until jam sets. Label & freeze. Store up to 3 weeks in the refrigerator after opening or up lớn a year in the freezer. Once a container is opened, jam should be stored in the refrigerator and used within a few days.

Uncooked Grape Jelly2 cups lukewarm water1 box powdered pectin1 6-ounce can frozen grape juice concentrate3¼ cups sugar

Mix the pectin slowly into the lukewarm water in a 2-quart mixing bowl. Stir constantly until pectin is com-pletely dissolved. Let stand 45 minutes. Stir occasionally, but vì chưng not beat.

Thaw juice by placing can in cold water. When juice is thawed, pour into a 1-quart mixing bowl. địa chỉ cửa hàng 1¾ cups sugar. Mix thoroughly. All the sugar will not be dissolved. địa chỉ cửa hàng the remaining 1½ cups of sugar lớn the dissolved pectin mixture. Stir constantly until all sugar is dissolved. Phối the juice with the pectin mixture. Stir constantly until all the sugar is dissolved.

Pour into freezer containers, leaving one-half inch of headspace. Cover with a tight lid. Let stand at room temperature until mix (up khổng lồ 24 hours). Freeze or refrigerate.

References

Andress, E., and J. Harrison. So Easy to Preserve. 6th ed. Athens: University of Georgia Cooperative Extension Service, 2014.United States Department of Agriculture. Complete Guide to home Canning, Agriculture Information Bulletin No. 539. 2009.