The jam has a childhood flavor, because it evokes a comfort in the morning, a gourmet break to taste, extra soul in a natural yogurt. And we feel real pride when our blackcurrant jelly or apricot jam is homemade! So we start with the right explanations.
And that’s good because making jams and jellies yourself is very easy! Above all, you need good fruit, not necessarily beautiful but ripe and seasonal. At worst, you can use frozen fruits.
Follow us, we explain all the tricks, rules of thumb and recipes to get you started!
The utensils I need to make jam
The list seems long, but you can use most of these utensils daily.
Among the essential tools, you will need:
– a kitchen scale (the quantities of fruit and sugar must be precise)
– a bowl of stainless steel jam (copper distributes better heat, but is not recommended for maceration) or a big casserole
– a skimmer and a ladle made of metal (the plastic is not heat-resistant)
– glass jars that are very clean and close
– a big wooden spoon to stir the jam (the prolonged contact of the metal with the fruits can cause oxidation)
You can then equip yourself with a vegetable grinder if you want to make jellies or a blender. But a good food processor will do the trick.
The basis: sugar, the essential ingredient
In vain we dream of the jam with lower calories, but a jam without sugar, it does not exist (it is in this case fruit desserts that do not have the right to bear the name “jam”, a whole nuance). Because sugar is indispensable! He is the curator.
The more you reduce the sugar, the more you reduce the shelf life.
That’s why a jam must contain 60% total sugar. Yes, I know, this number is scary, but it’s so good …
Among the sugars available, the most recommended are crystallized sugar (cane or beet ), cane blond sugar (more fragrant), or sugar jam specialties, which contain pectin for better gelation (the best known are Gelissuc © and Confisuc ©).
An ideal texture thanks to the gelling agents
To avoid ending up with a jam that is too liquid or a jelly with little gel, the ideal solution is the addition of the gelling agent.
The most popular is pectin, a natural substance contained in some fruits. The jam sugars already contain it, so a supplement is not necessary.
For users of white or blond sugar, you can buy your pectin in the supermarket pastry department (Alsa Vitpris ©) or in a pharmacy. Another possibility, more tedious, you can make your own pectin, boiling apple peel or orange peel …
Among the other gelling agents, the trend is agar-agar, a natural gelling agent that is very effective. Ideal to catch a jam too liquid, count 1 to 2 g of agar-agar powder for 1 kg of fruits.
Be aware, however, that this alga must be incorporated cold, then heated and then gel upon cooling. You must first make your jam, let it cool, add the agar-agar, bring everything to a simmer, let simmer 3-4 min, and finally potted.
Finally, always think of adding the juice of a lemon to cooking: your colors will be nicer and the texture will be firmer.
In case of jam too liquid, add the juice of 2 lemons and anneal the whole 5 min: your jam or jelly should be saved.
Cooking jams, super easy!
Unlike a stubborn legend, the jam should not cook for hours. Most of the time, 30 minutes is enough!
Stir your jam all the way through the cooking to prevent it from sticking, but there is no need to skim your preparation constantly: skim the fat one at a time, and repeat the operation only if this you seem indispensable.
Precautions for a jam at the top
Fruits are fragile foods, even when cooked.
For jams and jellies, impeccable sterilization is essential> Clean your utensils carefully. Wash the pots and boil them for 5 to 10 minutes.
For lids, we advise you to opt for screw covers that have a seal that expands under the effect of heat, thus blocking any air intake. Be aware that a cover already used is less effective than a new one.
Grandma’s tip: to really blow the air out of your pots, pour the hot jam, close and put your pots upside down.
If your jams are properly sterilized, you can keep them for several years (yes, if!). But know that a jam is better in the 6 months after its manufacture. Beyond that, it loses its flavor. Keep your pots in a closet, away from light and moisture.
And think about labeling your pots: mentions of the date of manufacture and flavor are essential (and yes, not easy to distinguish strawberry jam and raspberry jam with the naked eye …).
Once started, keep your pot in the fridge.
Golden Rule to know if a jam is edible: no apparent mold, and this little sound at the opening of the pot, the “plop” that indicates that your pot remained airtight.
New flavors and decor ideas for super jams
Today, the trend is to mix and mix of flavors.
To add in your jams:
- Of herbs and spices: rosemary or thyme for apricot, mint or lemon balm to strawberry, ginger, and cinnamon for citrus, vanilla melon or chestnut …
- Also delicious, dried fruits: nuts, hazelnuts, almonds, dried fruits (figs, apricots …).
- Finally, be aware that flowers and vegetables invite themselves to the range of jams: jelly rose petals, elderberry, violet, hibiscus flower … tomato jam, carrot, pumpkin, chutney d ‘onion…
Everything is possible!
Because what is beautiful is even better, take care of the decor of your jams:
– make pretty labels
– for a retro effect, decorate your pots with gingham fabric and ribbons
– slip a stick of cinnamon or a star of star anise in your pots
– put a sprig of rosemary or whole flower petals in your jellies
– jams and jellies of citrus will be nicer decorated with pieces of candied peel
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