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Jam and Jelly......HOW do you do it....really?

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default Jam and Jelly......HOW do you do it....really?

Post by snoopy55 on 2nd December 2010, 7:05 am

The wife and I decided to make a jam or jelly out of a bag of frozen blueberries that we received from the food house. Being in a little town in central Illinois I figured the library would be overflowing with books on the subject Very Happy 4 Sad . And while they have recipes, they have no detailed explanations of the process.

We prefer using pectin. 8 paragraphs in a 238 page book. And that only describes it and says 'follow the recipe'.

But what if you do not have a recipe for what you want to use? Another thing we recieved was little 6 oz cups of chopped strawberries and sugar, 4 cups total. We warmed it up, added 6 cups of sugar, heated it up to near boil, added the 1.75 oz packet of pectin, brought it to a rolling boil (~225 degrees) for 1 minute and shut it down. we got a 'gel' so we canned it and tested it the next day. No-go. we redid it, added some more pectin and redid it. It took us 4 tries, but it finally set.

A second batch started out with apple juice (100% reconstituted), with a little cinnamon powder added. THAT turned out great!

While shopping I came across apple cider in packets. bigthink Bought two boxes (9 cups after mixed, they goofed) and THAT worked out after two tries.

We did Strawberry-Bannana from juice and today we picked up Cherry juice (with other juices mixed in)

We borrowed a Ball Blue Book and found another mention to pectin. While mentioning the dry form, they only give instructions for adding the liquid form. "Put kettle of juice and sugar on high heat. Quickly bring to a full rolling boil - one that cannot be stirred down - stirring constantly. Boil for one minute. Remove kettle from heat. Following pectin manufacturer's directions, immediately stir in pectin." At this point, after a few steps, you fill the jars. The liquid pectin packet say follow the recipe. Catch-22. facepalm

So, How do you do it? (seems I've heard that on a TV show) When and how do you add the powdered pectin. One of the books we have is 'Canning and Preserving for Dummies' I guess I'm asking under the title of Jam and Jelly Making for Beginner Morons"
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Post by Lottie on 2nd December 2010, 10:20 am

Hi Snoopy Very Happy

I am the biggest novice known to mankind re jam making... Cool Laughing

I've only ever managed crab apple jelly, and backberry jelly... Embarassed
But! I did find this site which I really liked... Very Happy

http://www.allbritishfood.com/british%20jam%20recipes.php

I'm sure they'll be some proper growed up jam makers along soon, they're dead good here, you know... Bet Billy has a Pig jam recipe... Laughing Wink

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Post by Adrian on 2nd December 2010, 10:29 am

Good morning Snoopy and welsome to the forum

Just got up here and still nursing a mug of coffee and still q way before first breakfast, will come back and post properly in a couple of hours

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Post by Adrian on 2nd December 2010, 11:27 am

This is my favourite blueberry jam recipe

you can adjust for proportions

Ingredients

8 8cups cups (2 L) blueberry
2-1/2 cups (625 mL) granulated sugar
1 pkg (49 g) light fruit pectin

Preparation:
In large Dutch oven and using potato masher, mash blueberries to make 5 cups (1.25 L). Add 1 cup (250 mL) water.

Mix pectin with 1/4 cup (50 mL) of the sugar; stir into blueberries. Bring to full rolling boil over high heat, stirring occasionally. Stir in remaining sugar and return to full rolling boil; boil hard, stirring, for 1 minute. Remove from heat; skim off foam.

Using funnel, fill hot 1-cup (250 mL) canning jars, leaving 1/4-inch (5 mm) headspace. Cover with prepared lids. Screw on bands until resistance is met; increase to fingertip tight. Boil in boiling water canner for 10 minutes.


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Post by Guest on 2nd December 2010, 5:23 pm

The "follow manufactures instructions" is really because they can be quite different. The sachet I can get here contains citric acid and other stuff as well as the pectin. One sachet is added to 1.1 - 1.7kg of fruit so it is larger than the one in Badgers recipe. The sachets come with a book of instruction though!

It does seem usual to mix the powder into a small amount (1/2 cup) of sugar before add to the boiling fruit and then the rest of the sugar.

How long you cook it should be on the packet. Mine is 3mins.

If your pectin doesn't contain acid you may have to add some as this works with the pectin to make the set.

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Post by Sparhawk on 4th December 2010, 8:20 am

Do you do a pectin test first, hope this helps:



Pectin:

Forms a gel when boiled with sugar and acid, and on cooling sets to give jam its characteristic soft, spreading consistency. Pectin is found in the skin, flesh and seeds of fruit to varying degrees. Some fruits are naturally richer in pectin and acid while others are low or have none at all and need the addition of pectin containing fruit. Testing for pectin – see Sugar below.

Acid:

Helps to extract pectin from fruit, improves the flavour and colour of a jam and helps prevent crystallization. If low, acid can be supplemented with the addition of lemon juice or by combining fruits together.

Lemon/ lime juice adds pectin and acid, prevents fruit from turning brown and enhances flavour and colour. Citric acid is sold as fine white crystals and can be used instead of lemon juice in preserves.

Fruit with good balance of pectin/acid:

:Crab apples
:Cooking/sour apples
:Cranberries
:Currants: Red/white/Black
:Grapes
:Lemons/limes/ grapefruit/ sour oranges
:Sour cherries
:Sour damsons
:Sour gooseberries
:Sour plums
:Quinces

Fruit high in pectin/ low in acid:

: Eating apples
: Sweet guavas
: Sweet quinces

Add 2 tablespoons of lemon juice to each 1kg of fruit to increase acid content

Fruit with low pectin/ high acid:

: Apricots
: Blackberries [early]
: Rhubarb
: sour peaches
: Sweet citrus fruit eg nectarines

Add 2 tablespoons of lemon juice to each 1kg of fruit to increase pectin content.

Fruit with low pectin/ low acid:

: Most berries inc late blackberries
: Pears
: Sweet peaches
: Sweet cherries
: Melons
: Sweet plums
: Strawberries

Not suitable without additional fruits/ juices to increase acid/ pectin content

Sugar:

Is not just a sweetener but is vital to its setting and keeping qualities. Too little and a jam will ferment; too much and it will crystallise. When used in high concentrations, sugar is a preservative which inhibits the development and growth of micro organisms.
To reach a high enough concentration, ¾ to 1 cup [250 gms] of sugar must be used per 1 cup of fruit mixture [ie sugar content needs to be between 60%-70% of total weight].
Guide to quantities:
Higher pectin fruits – 1 cup of sugar to 1 cup of fruit liquid.
Lower pectin fruits – ¾ cup of sugar to 1 cup of fruit liquid.

Testing for pectin:

Place 1 teaspoon of strained fruit liquid in a glass; add 3 teaspoons of methylated spirits and stir the mixture gently with a teaspoon.
1] mixture forms a fairly solid single jelly like clot – the fruit mixture is high in pectin. Use 1 cup of sugar per cup of fruit mixture
2] mixture forms 2-6 clots of jelly – moderate in pectin. Use ¾ cup of sugar to 1 cup of fruit mixture
3] no clots or a mass of tiny clots – very little pectin so needs additional pectin added. Add 2 tablespoons of strained lemon juice to each kg of fruit used; add this after the sugar has been added. Depending on which fruit used then choose whether to add a cup or ¾ cup of sugar. [If the fruit mixture looks “watery”, you can try simmering the mixture longer to concentrate the juice by evaporation and test again. However be careful not to overcook the fruit]


Personally I like the seat of the pants stuff & only test for setting point (using 2 methods) & if it didnt work I would add lemon juice or some high pectin fruit (& of course grrrrrowl a little...) Laughing

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Post by snoopy55 on 8th December 2010, 7:51 pm

Useful information there!
Well, the wife is wanting to go all out in this, which is fine, but she's in a hurry to do a lot.  Not good to me, save the fun so it lasts a few days.
We've gotten 29 pints done, plus the leftovers which go into the fridge for our immediate use.  So far we've done these:

Blueberry Jam (I call it that because it did not jell well)
Strawberry Jelly (from the strawberry cups we received from the food house)
Apple Cider Jelly (a bit stiff, I was to eager for it to jell)
Apple Cinnamon Jelly (just shook a little cinnamon powder into the pan)
Cherry Jelly
Cherry Apple Jelly
Strawberry Banana Jelly

The last four were made from 100% juice that you can buy at the store.  We are going to do an Apple Jelly from some juice next, my mother prefers it without the cinnamon.  I'm guessing that you could use the frozen juices also, haven't tried that yet.  We do have something in mind........

Has anyone tried making Orange Jelly or Jam?  We were thinking of trying it from the frozen orange juice we have in the freezer.
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Post by Guest on 8th December 2010, 8:01 pm

Sounds like a roaring start! :bigclap:

Sweet orange is probably difficult to set. Marmalade is made from sour oranges. So you will have to add apple or lemon juice depending on the flavour you want.

I make apple jelly (from my own apples) with added bits:
cinnamon and lemon;
lime and ginger;
and
orange and clove.

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Post by snoopy55 on 8th December 2010, 8:28 pm

Thank-you.  The only problems I have with it is the long standing I do and the three miniature Dachshunds running into the kitchen to see what is cooking!  I keep threatening to pop them into the boiling water to have wieny dogs for dinner! 
So, if we want to try the 100% orange juice, we have to add apple juice or lemon juice along with the pectin. (or 'perceetin' as the wife keeps calling it!).  Oh well, if it doesn't work I'll let you people know.  If it does work, I'll also let you know and hopefully we'll enjoy both the making and eating!

Also, we found a way to test the jelly.  We take a tablespoonfull and place it into the freezer to cool it.  Then, if it gets a film on top and we have to get it off of our finger with our teeth, it is good.  5 cups juice, 7 cups sugar, lemon juice if I think it's needed (added it to the Cherry Jelly) and ~1 1/4 packs of pectin.  I only use the thermometer to get the juice up to  ~150 before adding the first 1/4 cup sugar and pectin, then ~180 before adding the remaining sugar.  Then I pull it and get it up to the rolling cloudy boil.  1 minute of that, kill the fire and stir it down till the cloudiness is gone. Skim the foam and get it into the jars.
Let's hope this won't be another "Been there, done that, what's next?" for me. 
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Post by bbaybe on 29th January 2011, 1:48 am

It's been a while since I made jelly. Thanks for the refresher if nothing else!

Has anybody tried dandelion jelly? I mean the flower, not the person, lol! lol!
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Post by Kristy lee on 29th January 2011, 2:11 am

some good advice here

Just need to ask what is the difference between jam and jelly in america?
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Post by mr_sfstk8d on 29th January 2011, 1:16 pm

In US, preserves are whole fruits with liquid infill.
Jams are puree of fruits.
Jelly is juice, no solids.

Of course, add the sugar (high fructose corn syrup, hodrogenated vegetable oils, MSG, whatever, bleh), water if needed and pectin.

There are USDA guidelines for what fruit content is labeled as what category of product. Fillers are anybody's guess though. I think jams are on my to do list this year, besides just canning veggies.
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Post by Kristy lee on 29th January 2011, 1:25 pm

so do you still set the jelly?

Do you eat the jelly as a dessert?
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Post by mr_sfstk8d on 29th January 2011, 9:50 pm

Yes, the jellies are set firm. They're only runny if they're warm. Spreadable firm, usually. Sometimes the consistency of butter, sometimes like a firm gellatain pudding.

Jellies aren't often eaten as a dessert in US. More often a topping, like for toast or a peanut butter & jelly sandwich. Or as an ingredient in something else, like in a glaze or a sauce. But then I don't know how many american kitchens make their own sauces from scratch anymore either, rather than a jar already from the grocer, sigh....
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Post by Compostwoman on 29th January 2011, 11:38 pm

In the UK jelly can mean a dessert, made with some sort of thickening like Beef/pig gelatine OR veggetarian Jelly from Carrageen ( seaweed)

OR a clear preserve made from the fruit juices and sugar...bottled and something which will keep for several years in jars

Jam contains fruit and sugar, so is lumpy again will keep for several years in jars

Preserves are usually cooked fruit with sugar syrup added. Again will keep for a year or maybe more in jars

Not hot water bottling btw! Jamming ie fruit, sugar, boiling, sterile hot jars, lids, plus cool down causes a vacumn seal and the sugar and vacumn and sterile stuff to start with is the preserving..................

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