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Jams, Jellies, Preserves, Fruit Spreads, Butters

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33 replies to this topic

#1 weinoo

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Posted 11 March 2011 - 07:52 AM

This morning for breakfast, I decided I was going to have toast (homemade whole wheat) with peanut butter and jelly; or PBJ, as it's known.

However, when I started pawing through my fridge, I found out I didn't have any jelly. Oh, I had preserves (lingonberry - thanks, IKEA) and I had jam (strawberry - Smucker's) and I had "fruit spread" (apricot - Hero) which sure as hell looks like jelly, but jelly? Nah. And I ended up with peanut butter and those lingonberry preserves.

But it got me thinking, which in and of itself at that hour of the morning is pretty interesting.

What's your favorite - jam, jelly, fruit spread (!) or preserves? And, what's your favorite flavor?
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#2 mkayahara

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Posted 11 March 2011 - 07:59 AM

My favourite is easily jam. Most of the jams/jellies/etc. I eat are homemade, and making jelly always seems so wasteful, because you end up throwing out so much of the fruit if you just let it free-drain. The only real reason I can think of to care about the clarity of your jelly is if you're going to put it in a sauce, and want it to look pristine. (I'm thinking of redcurrant jelly in some of the classic European sauces.) As far as preserves go, I don't like having big pieces of fruit on my toast, but I do love cherry preserves on ice cream or yogurt.

And flavour? Currently black currant with Gamay wine, from Christine Ferber's book Mes Confitures.
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#3 lancastermike

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Posted 11 March 2011 - 08:41 AM

I make jam every year and our all time favorites are sour cherry and peach. I like apricot too.

#4 MelissaH

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Posted 11 March 2011 - 09:28 AM

Guilty confession rant here: I love seedless raspberry jam. I love it because the texture is so perfectly smooth, and contrasts so nicely with extra-chunky PB. I most emphatically do not like having seeds left behind to get caught in my teeth. I will go so far as to strain out the seeds from otherwise perfectly good raspberry jam. I am not a big fan of most strawberry jam because I do not like the way the seeds crunch and leave behind a bitter flavor, and the chunks of fruit destroy the silky velvety smooth texture of the jam. If I want crunch or other texture in my PB&J sandwich, and most of the time I do, I will get it from the extra-chunky PB.

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#5 heidih

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Posted 11 March 2011 - 09:31 AM

I have some jammer friends and am routinely gifted with various jams. I do not care for jellies. My heart, however, belongs to orange marmalade.

#6 Darienne

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Posted 11 March 2011 - 09:39 AM

Guilty confession rant here: I love seedless raspberry jam.

MelissaH

Ditto. And it is so useful for sauces, cooking, ganache, etc.... :wub: :wub: :wub:
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#7 weinoo

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Posted 11 March 2011 - 09:39 AM

I have some jammer friends and am routinely gifted with various jams. I do not care for jellies. My heart, however, belongs to orange marmalade.

Shoot. I forgot marmalades!
Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"
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#8 mkayahara

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Posted 11 March 2011 - 11:42 AM

Oh, yes, marmalades are wonderful too. One of these days I'm going to get around to trying Meyer lemon marmalade, now that Meyer lemons are commonly available here.

And count me third on seedless raspberry jam. Same is true of blackcurrant: the first time I made it, I left the seeds in, and it was awful. Now I run the fruit puree through my food mill, with the finest disk, and that seems to do the trick. I wonder if I could do raspberry the same way?
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#9 TeakettleSlim

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Posted 11 March 2011 - 12:01 PM

I'm a bit if a jamming addict. Every time I make a new batch of something, I'm sure it's my new favorite. That said, I find myself jealously hoarding my remaining jars of two-apricot jam with vanilla and gewurtztraminer (from Ferber's book). Generally speaking, though, I think my heart too belongs to marmalade.

The food mill worked very nicely for me last year to de-seed some blackberries for cinnamon blackberry jam.
I'm hoarding the last jar of that, too.

#10 Darienne

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Posted 11 March 2011 - 12:08 PM

And count me third on seedless raspberry jam. Same is true of blackcurrant: the first time I made it, I left the seeds in, and it was awful. Now I run the fruit puree through my food mill, with the finest disk, and that seems to do the trick. I wonder if I could do raspberry the same way?

OH YES!!! Last year I put raspberries through my non-electric food mill and made the most incredible raspberry ice cream I have ever tasted.
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#11 PopsicleToze

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Posted 11 March 2011 - 12:10 PM

Mayhaw jelly is definitely my favorite, but it's strawberry season right now so I'm pretty sure strawberry preserves are in my near future. :raz:

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#12 Katie Meadow

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Posted 11 March 2011 - 01:43 PM

I have some jammer friends and am routinely gifted with various jams. I do not care for jellies. My heart, however, belongs to orange marmalade.


Marmalade, that's me too. Goes on every kind of toast I eat. But the one thing I don't use it on is a PB sandwich, although I don't know why not. Perhaps it's plain stinginess. Since we make our own marmalade it seems wasteful to use the quantity necessary for a PB sandwich. With the exception of one jar of homemade concord grape jelly I was gifted (good!) I don't think I've had jelly in 30 years. For PBJ I like any kind of tart jam or preserves--raspberry, sour cherry or plum, strawberry-rhubarb. I don't think delicate flavors like peach or apricot stand up to salty PB, and I find most straight strawberry products too sweet.

What is Mayhaw jelly?

#13 andiesenji

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Posted 11 March 2011 - 02:16 PM

My absolute favorite (for the past decade) has to be apricot preserves. Home made.

The balance of sweet and tart is perfect and there are no "chunks" to interrupt the enjoyment of preserves on biscuits (southern), toast, English muffins, split bran muffin tops, waffles and warm crusty bread. And not to forget, topping a portion of thick yogurt.


My second-place favorite is Rose's Lime Marmalade. I do make pretty fair lime marmalade but I have yet to achieve the brilliance of Rose's.

Edited by andiesenji, 11 March 2011 - 02:18 PM.

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#14 heidih

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Posted 11 March 2011 - 02:35 PM

Andie- I just looked the Rose's up and it appeals! Have you tried their lemon or orange? I may have to treat myself :rolleyes:

#15 andiesenji

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Posted 11 March 2011 - 03:41 PM

Andie- I just looked the Rose's up and it appeals! Have you tried their lemon or orange? I may have to treat myself :rolleyes:



I have tried them but they simply don't have the distinct flavor of the lime.

My favorite application is on toasted sourdough English muffins, with plenty of butter (if not my homemade, the salted Kerrygold that I buy at Trader Joe's.(cheaper there)

That combination of flavors is fantastic.


I also use it in cooking - sauteed carrots, glazed with the Rose's lime marmalade is a favorite dish and people who say they "cant stand cooked carrots" actually go back for seconds.

It is also good in marinades, salad dressings and etc.

Here's my (slightly dusty) stash of Rose's Lime Marmalade! (I buy a case once a year.)
HPIM3958.JPG

Edited by andiesenji, 11 March 2011 - 03:51 PM.

"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett
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#16 heidih

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Posted 11 March 2011 - 03:44 PM

My favorite application is on toasted sourdough English muffins, with plenty of butter (if not my homemade, the salted Kerrygold that I buy at Trader Joe's.(cheaper there)
That combination of flavors is fantastic.


My favorite with the orange marmalade is on a toasted sourdough as well.

#17 janeer

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Posted 11 March 2011 - 10:52 PM

Probably my spiced sour cherry preserves. Close second: tomato jam. in which I put vanilla. And yes, I too usually make a small batch of seedless raspberry each year.

#18 Genkinaonna

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Posted 11 March 2011 - 11:19 PM

My apricot jam, I make it every year, and every year it's gone about 3 months too early...I did some spiced peach last year that was pretty tasty too. For store bought, I like the Bonne Maman Peach preserves, but I think I would say jam in general would be my preference, preserves' large chunks don't appeal to me, I've never been a giant fan of citrus peel so marmalade is out, and jelly is just too fiddly to make. I do however make an exception for grape jelly on wonder bread with extra crunchy jiff peanut butter several times a year as a majorly guilty pleasure...
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#19 rooftop1000

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Posted 12 March 2011 - 07:22 AM

I currently have strawberry, blackberry, cherry and apricot, all commercial Preserves.

Strawberry goes on Peanut butter...that is the way it always was and will be. I once had a raspberry and peanut butter sandwich and it was just not quite right. :sad:

Blackberry and Cherry are for pan sauces for pork or duck and the Apricot is for cookies and salmon.

At a diner I prefer Grape Jelly on my toast.

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#20 Blether

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Posted 12 March 2011 - 07:52 AM

Raspberry jam takes the prize, on balance, I think. Blackcurrant has its moments; marmalade, of course. Recently I've been making some citrus curds - lemon curd that was going to be the sauce for a steamed sponge, but ended up displaced by yuzu curd after a well-timed gift; and finally a fruit sauce for a further steamed sponge that I made up out of the yuzu curd, juice & zest from a natsumikan, and some honey. It's hard to beat the flavour of a good homemade lemon curd.

I've been making my own marmalade for a few years, from natsumikan, but I credit Marguerite Patten's Basic basics: jams, preserves & chutneys for the fruit curd recipe. It covers everything from jams & jellies to fruit butters, cheeses & syrups.

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#21 YWalker

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Posted 12 March 2011 - 06:38 PM

My Dad has a Montmorency cherry tree, and it makes the most heavenly cherry jam. I used to make an orange and honey jelly that was really good, but I haven't made that in years.

When that's not available, I like blackberry or raspberry jam. (Seeded or seedless; I'm not choosy.) I really enjoy apple butter, too.

As for my jam/jelly vehicle: Cherry jam is wonderful on a nice, hot Bojangles biscuit. I also like toasted english muffins or sourdough bread beneath my jam/jelly.

#22 LaurieB

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Posted 12 March 2011 - 08:20 PM

For toast or bagels, my favorites are cherry or blackberry.

For an hors d'oeuvre, mix 3/4 quarter jar of blackberry jam; 1 T. strawberry jam; 2-3 T. raspberry jam (I use the 100% all-fruit spreads in 10 oz. jars). Blend these with 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice and hot red pepper flakes, to taste and desired hotness. Let this mix meld for 1 to 2 hours. Place a block of cream cheese on a serving platter and spoon the jam mix over (there will be jam mix left over). Serve with Wheatables.

#23 Broken English

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Posted 22 April 2013 - 05:37 PM

Don't know if this is the right topic or not, but I hope I'll get some form of logical answer anyway ...

I was helping a good friend with the food prep for his wedding a while back. A day before the wedding, I made a blueberry jam using 3% pectin and canned it to give out as gifts at the wedding. On the day we went to check it, and found it had not set, so we explained on the night that it was a blueberry sauce.

Fsst forward one week later and people are calling my friend saying the jam is amazing, and has the perfect set for spreading, and begging for the recipe.

SO my question is, why did the jam set after a week in jars? Why did it not set in the days prior? I haven't used pectin before, but surely this isn't normal.
James.

#24 Broken English

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Posted 24 April 2013 - 06:44 PM

Anyone?

This is driving me nuts.
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#25 curls

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Posted 24 April 2013 - 09:13 PM

Sometimes pectin can take a while to set up. I have had jam that was at just right when canned become very firmly set a few days later. <br /><br />I no longer add commercial pectins; I bought Ferber's book and use her methods. Great results every time.

#26 Broken English

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Posted 24 April 2013 - 11:03 PM

Sometimes pectin can take a while to set up. I have had jam that was at just right when canned become very firmly set a few days later. <br /><br />I no longer add commercial pectins; I bought Ferber's book and use her methods. Great results every time.

So it's not necessarily a temperature thing? That seems odd to me, I should look into that.

Whenever I've made jam in the past its been pectin free, but the recipe the groom wanted to use contained pectin. I know it was hydrated properly, there were no lumps and the jam was boiled solidly for about ten minutes with the pectin in. Upon passing it through a chinois it had clearly dissolved.

One for the research file.
James.

#27 mkayahara

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Posted 25 April 2013 - 06:45 AM

I don't know enough about pectin to answer your question, James, but you've got me intrigued. What kind of pectin did you use?


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#28 Broken English

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Posted 28 April 2013 - 10:09 PM

It was regular apple pectin. Can't recall the brand, but it's a common one from a dry goods supplier.
James.

#29 mkayahara

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Posted 29 April 2013 - 08:39 AM

Oddly, I was just talking to someone this weekend who has tried, unsuccessfully, to make pâte de fruit with blueberries. He said it didn't set up right away, but a few days later it was perfect. Clearly this bears further investigation.


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#30 Panaderia Canadiense

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Posted 29 April 2013 - 11:09 AM

Don't know if this is the right topic or not, but I hope I'll get some form of logical answer anyway ...

I was helping a good friend with the food prep for his wedding a while back. A day before the wedding, I made a blueberry jam using 3% pectin and canned it to give out as gifts at the wedding. On the day we went to check it, and found it had not set, so we explained on the night that it was a blueberry sauce.

Fsst forward one week later and people are calling my friend saying the jam is amazing, and has the perfect set for spreading, and begging for the recipe.

SO my question is, why did the jam set after a week in jars? Why did it not set in the days prior? I haven't used pectin before, but surely this isn't normal.

 

It might also be a blueberry thing.  My hands-down favourite jam is made with Mortiños, which are Ecuadorian-native highland blueberries.  They make a lovely sauce in the pot, regardless of how much pectin I add (I use Citric Pectin, since it's what's available, and boost it with shredded apples in the jam base itself).  However, by two or three weeks from jarring, it's a perfect thick consistency, just exactly as you're describing with your preserves.  So maybe the answer isn't more pectin or any other change, but just a bit more anticipation time?


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