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There's nothing like a row of colourful 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.
Use the freezer test. At the beginning of cooking, put two or three small plates or bowls in the freezer. As you begin to approach the end of cooking, pull one out and put a small dollop of jam into the middle of the dish. Tuck it back into the freezer for two or three minutes (take your jam off the heat during this time, because if it the test tells you it’s done, you will have just spent three minutes overcooking your jam).When the time is up, pull the dish out of the freezer and gently nudge the dollop of jam with the tip of your finger. If it has formed a skin on top that wrinkles a bit when pushed, it is done. If it is still quite liquid and your finger runs right through it, it’s not done yet.
There are a lot of you that are really great at Jam making, please share your recipes tips and ideas here with us, so we can all enjoy and even try them.
Last Edited By: Joyfulcook Aug 1 15 10:19 PM. Edited 1 time