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Preserving Summer


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327 replies to this topic

#181 Eilen

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Posted 06 January 2007 - 02:58 PM

Yes! Sorry it took me so long.

5 cups huckleberries
1 1/2 tbs. lemon juice
1 box fruit pectin
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ginger
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
4 cups sugar

Mash the huckleberries and process on low speed until they're nicely crushed. Transfer to your pot, stir in lemon juice, pectin and spices. Bring to roiling boil, stirring. Add sugar and bring to rolling boil again, stirring, for one minute. Remove from heat, skim off foam, process as you like.

#182 In2Pastry

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Posted 08 January 2007 - 10:34 AM

Yes!  Sorry it took me so long.

5 cups huckleberries
1 1/2 tbs. lemon juice
1 box fruit pectin
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ginger
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
4 cups sugar

Mash the huckleberries and process on low speed until they're nicely crushed.  Transfer to your pot, stir in lemon juice, pectin and spices.  Bring to roiling boil, stirring.  Add sugar and bring to rolling boil again, stirring, for one minute.  Remove from heat, skim off foam, process as you like.

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Oh, Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!!! :wink: This sounds like what I've been looking for!
Thanks again!

#183 stolincuervo

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Posted 07 June 2007 - 05:44 PM

I love this thread as I watch my strawberries ripening and see how many wee little budding black and raspberries are growing in the yard.

:wub:

#184 gfron1

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Posted 07 June 2007 - 06:35 PM

I was just told of a secret stash of strawberries and raspberries out in the mountains near my house. I'll have to time it right to beat the bears, but then I'll be coming back to see what I can do with them.

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#185 MightyD

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Posted 26 June 2007 - 07:36 PM

i've recently been bitten by the make-your-own-jam bug but have a few questions ...

i've always used the cold-plate technique to test the gel on my jams but have on occasion overcooked the jam. then i read somewhere that it is really enough to simply bring the boiling jam mixture up to 104C (220F) - is it truly that simple??!!

also, i've recently purchased the christine ferber book that everyone is raving about - i tried her strawberry jam recipe but i thought it looked really runny, and didn't pass the cold-plate test so i kept boiling away until i thought it was done. lo and behold, when i refrigerated a portion of the jam, it turned into very sticky rubber. definitely not good. should i have just trusted the recipe and taken it off the heat when the mixture hit 220F?

#186 sanrensho

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Posted 26 June 2007 - 07:57 PM

should i have just trusted the recipe and taken it off the heat when the mixture hit 220F?

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I haven't tried that specific recipe, but I have tried other recipes from Mes Confitures and found that the jam did gel at 214F or so (as high as my lame stove will go).
Baker of "impaired" cakes...

#187 Sentiamo

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Posted 26 June 2007 - 09:03 PM

If any of you get a hold of a good amount of fresh raspberries, do try this particular jam. It is uncooked and raspberries are the only berries that can be treated this way. The jam does not have a firm set, needs to be kept in the refrigerator but I swear you will never want any other raspberry preserve after eating this.

Simply heat equal weights of sugar and raspberries ( in seperate ovenproof bowls) in a medium oven until the juice begins to flow from the berries and the sugar is very hot. Then tip sugar onto berries and beat well to dissolve sugar. Pour into sterile jars, cool, cover and refrigerate. The colour is superb!

#188 Pille

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Posted 27 June 2007 - 12:24 PM

I've started to 'preserve summer' already, even though we usually do it in July-August here in Estonia. Made 1 litre of wild strawberry jam (see here) on Sunday and three different types of sour cherry preserves (see here) last week.
I did make couple of jars of rhubarb & ginger jam few weeks ago (see here), but sadly we've finished these already..

#189 Darren72

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Posted 09 July 2007 - 04:20 PM

I've just started canning and worked my way through this very interesting thread. I have three questions that I hope to get a little help with:

1. I've been using my All-Clad dutch oven to process jam jars, but it isn't tall enough for pint or quart sized jars. I know there are cheap pans designed for water baths. My local hardware store sells a Grantiteware pot and rack for about $25. Do most of you use this type of setup, or do you use your largest stockpot?

2. Do you use a special rack to hold the jars in the water bath? A cake rack? Something else?

3. Are the clamp-style jars just as good as the Ball brand screw-top jars? I had heard that the Ball jars are best, and they happen to be incredibly cheap when bought in bulk.

Thanks for all of your help.

#190 mukki

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Posted 10 July 2007 - 11:15 AM

I've just started canning and worked my way through this very interesting thread. I have three questions that I hope to get a little help with:

1. I've been using my All-Clad dutch oven to process jam jars, but it isn't tall enough for pint or quart sized jars. I know there are cheap pans designed for water baths. My local hardware store sells a Grantiteware pot and rack for about $25. Do most of you use this type of setup, or do you use your largest stockpot?

2. Do you use a special rack to hold the jars in the water bath? A cake rack? Something else?

3. Are the clamp-style jars just as good as the Ball brand screw-top jars? I had heard that the Ball jars are best, and they happen to be incredibly cheap when bought in bulk.

Thanks for all of your help.

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I use a stockpot, but I'm not processing huge amounts of jam. No rack -- just a kitchen towel placed in the bottom of the pot to keep the jars from bouncing around.

#191 ninetofive

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Posted 10 July 2007 - 01:54 PM

Darren, I use one of those enamelware canners with the rack, although I've also used a stockpot on a round cake rack in a pinch. I was taught that it was important for there to be clearance around each jar during processing -- 1/2 inch to an inch around the bottom, and a couple inches of boiling water over the top with minimal contact among the other jars; the canning rack helps with that. So I'd at least invest the $3 or so on that.

I use the Ball jars with screw-type lids simply because they're cheap and i can buy them anywhere. I love the Leifheit jars, but the lids are impossible to find.
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#192 Darren72

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Posted 10 July 2007 - 02:36 PM

Thanks for the replies. I stopped back at Ace today and discovered the graniteware pot and rack is $18 -- too cheap to even think about using something else. I also picked up a $3 cake rack with finer openings which will be useful for small jelly jars.
Thanks again.

#193 kiliki

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Posted 10 July 2007 - 03:21 PM

I'm so happy I found this thread. I just made my first jam this week (Apricot, from Susan Loomis' On Rue Tatin) and strawberry, Christine Ferber's recipe.

I have a question about sugar amounts: I've read on this thread that people are using 80% sugar (to jam), whereas the recipes I've seen usually call for 100%. I'd like to use a little less, and I'm buying fantastic, very sweet berries right now. After I cook the fruit/sugar mix, can I taste for sweetness and decide if I am using the right sugar amount? Or does the taste change enough once it's canned so that this wouldn't be an accurate measure?

#194 SushiCat

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Posted 20 July 2007 - 01:40 PM

I'm a jammer from way back, got my start with blackberries, branched to plums and now I do whatever I feel like. Normally I don't use much pectin but do occasionally use a low methoxyl pectin like Pomona's. Yesterday I noticed a Westbrae Naturals product labeled as fruit pectin. i bought it thinking there would be tons of data on how to use it on the web - but alas, the package is devoid of instructions and I can find nothing telling me anything about it. Anyone have any experience? I am hoping to use it for jams that I don't want to cook too long.

#195 hummingbirdkiss

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Posted 21 July 2007 - 07:49 AM

I am a child of the 70's and being so one of my favorite ways to preserve the summers bounty of fruits and later pumpking and squash is to make fruit leathers ...

when the weather is sunny I spread out my dehydrator shelves.. covered in plastic wrap all over patio and then cover them with a fine netting (keeps bugs out for the most part :raz: ) and let it dry there... otherwise ..I have a big husband made dehydrator box made from Mother Earth News plans years ago..very vintage!!!


my purees are thick and seedless and I do add some sugar as well as home made applesauce (store bought is fine!) to the berry purees especially to give them a thicker more curable texture ..the applesauce just stays in the background and the berries stand out when the puree dries out ...even blueberries will retain their flavor ...but I love to use huckleberries instead because they are much more intense I think.

I also like to harvest my apples early in the sour stage and make dried sour apple slices that would kick any Sour Patch Kid's ass!

I love dried fruits and leathers easy portable food!

pumpkin and winter squash makes great leather and it is also very good blanched and dried in strips ..

If you have never made leather before ..try it..it is easy to make and since you make it right on the plastic wrap..when it is dry you just roll it up and put it in a zippy bag for storage in a cool dark dry place ...then when you want some open it up and peel it off the plastic and enjoy!

my kids used to love home made berry leather rolled up with cream cheese spread and sliced ..fruit spirals look pretty and great tasting snack

Edited by hummingbirdkiss, 21 July 2007 - 08:08 AM.


#196 kiliki

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Posted 22 July 2007 - 02:02 PM

Help!!

I've tried two of Christine Ferber's jam recipes-strawberry and apricot, raspberry and citrus zest. Both were sickeningly sweet but my understanding is I can't really alter the amount of sugar in the recipe, since this is what preserves it? Any thoughts?

AND-I'm having a terrible time getting the jams to 221 degrees. They have needed at least 20 minutes at a boil before I can get that, and I'm worried I'm cooking the fruit to death. I'm using either a Le Creuset or an All Clad stainless saucepan-is that the problem? Today a batch actually scorched before it hit 221. so it is all ruined. I did not stir contantly but didn't know I would need to. ???

#197 jackal10

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Posted 22 July 2007 - 02:21 PM

More sugar and more lemon juice to start with, then you can boil less
Sugar needs to be about 60% by weight of finished jam for the pectin to set.
(e.g. 6lbs sugar to 4lbs fruit)
The jam is not preseved by the sugar, but by being sterile from the boiling and bottled hot into in sealed bottles.

Edited by jackal10, 22 July 2007 - 02:23 PM.


#198 hjshorter

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Posted 22 July 2007 - 03:33 PM

I brought home a crate of peaches today from the farmer's market and went to it. I have a dozen half pints of jam, and eight pints of peach-habanero chutney. Does anyone have a favorite peach recipe to suggest? I've still got half a crate left. Some will inevitably spoil as they are very ripe seconds (paid $12 for the whole crate), but I'd like to use as many as possible before that happens.

Edited by hjshorter, 22 July 2007 - 03:33 PM.

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#199 lperry

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Posted 22 July 2007 - 05:00 PM

^Lemon verbena and lemon balm are both very nice with peaches. I think Ferber puts the verbena with white peaches, but I only had yellow last year and it came out very nice.

Would you share your recipe for the chutney? It sounds great.

#200 kiliki

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Posted 22 July 2007 - 08:16 PM

More sugar and more lemon juice to start with, then you can boil less


Thanks for the reply but the jam is almost inedible it is so sweet. The jam with the citrus had quite a lot of lemon juice in it as well.

The jam is not preseved by the sugar, but by being sterile from the boiling and bottled hot into in sealed bottles.


I can't tell you how many times I've read--on university extension sites, in cookbooks and this board--that you shouldn't alter the sugar, since that is part of what preserves the jam and otherwise you might encourage yeast and mold. Do you think that is overkill, then, and sugar IS something I can play with?

#201 hjshorter

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Posted 23 July 2007 - 10:04 AM

^Lemon verbena and lemon balm are both very nice with peaches.  I think Ferber puts the verbena with white peaches, but I only had yellow last year and it came out very nice.

Both sound lovely. Her peach-raspberry with cardamom sounds fabulous too.

Would you share your recipe for the chutney?  It sounds great.

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I'm gonna taste how this batch turns out first before I post it. :smile: I tweak the seasonings each time.

Edited by hjshorter, 23 July 2007 - 10:05 AM.

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#202 SushiCat

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Posted 23 July 2007 - 10:13 AM

More sugar and more lemon juice to start with, then you can boil less


Thanks for the reply but the jam is almost inedible it is so sweet. The jam with the citrus had quite a lot of lemon juice in it as well.

The jam is not preseved by the sugar, but by being sterile from the boiling and bottled hot into in sealed bottles.


I can't tell you how many times I've read--on university extension sites, in cookbooks and this board--that you shouldn't alter the sugar, since that is part of what preserves the jam and otherwise you might encourage yeast and mold. Do you think that is overkill, then, and sugar IS something I can play with?

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I NEVER use that much sugar, been making jams for something like 18 years, nobody ever gets sick, occasionally a jar spoils rapidly after being opened. I make sure my jars are all sealed via a boiling bath. I usually use between 1/2 cup and 2 cups of sugar per 5 cups of fruit. I don't normally weight this, but this is definately less than 60% sugar. Play to your hearts content.

If you are not getting jelled consistency, then you might want to play with some pectins.

#203 kiliki

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Posted 23 July 2007 - 11:12 AM

Thanks! I think I will experiment with the reduced sugar pectins next. So perhaps when I am reading not to reduce sugar they don't mean that anyone will get sick, but that it just might spoil after opening as you describe. That makes sense.

So when you are making your jam, do you just taste it to make sure the level of sweetness is right? And that is consistant with how sweet it will taste once it's been canned and stored? And do you have any problems getting it to gel, or do you use pectin? Thanks again.

#204 SushiCat

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Posted 23 July 2007 - 02:33 PM

Thanks! I think I will experiment with the reduced sugar pectins next. So perhaps when I am reading not to reduce sugar they don't mean that anyone will get sick, but that it just might spoil after opening as you describe. That makes sense.

So when you are making your jam, do you just taste it to make sure the level of sweetness is right? And that is consistant with how sweet it will taste once it's been canned and stored? And do you have any problems getting it to gel, or do you use pectin? Thanks again.

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I have developed general rules of thumb. The only fruit that needs a lot of sugar and pectin is Strawberry, otherwise I have various methods more and less cooking, usually less sugar and sometimes pectin. I taste, but I often taste cold - e.g. test the gelling and let a little bit of my mix cool enough to really taste. Occasionally I made mistakes but usually they are well received! My latest too sweet item is a concoction of peaches and cherries - a little too sweet, but oh so fine! My apricot and plum (both of which I'm known for) are much less sweet, usually made without pectin and yes I taste. They are both much closer to 8:1 (cups of fruit to sugar).

If I want gelling action without too much cooking time, e.g. a fresh fruit tasting jam, then I do either or both of adding low methoxyl pectin (Pomona's most readily avail) and/or adding some fruit close to the end of cooking. I also sometimes remove the fruit solids after first boil, reduce down all the liquids, and add solids back in before jarring. All this while cooking away ... have fun and feel free to PM me with specifics if needed.

#205 kiliki

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Posted 23 July 2007 - 03:21 PM

Thank you so much. That is very helpful.

#206 prairiegirl

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Posted 24 July 2007 - 11:58 PM

Well, my day started at about 10:30 am with me picking organic strawberries and Saskatoon berries at a U pick it. I picked for 4 hours and had to leave for other committments. This evening I processed all my strawberries and I have a portion of saskatoon berries draining in a jelly bag...for jelly jam!! I am tired!! Tomorrow I will attempt saskatoon pie. i am terrible at pie crusts but am pursuing perfection!!!

#207 hummingbirdkiss

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Posted 25 July 2007 - 08:20 AM

does anyone make fruit pastes? I wanted to try to make a blackberry paste if possible

#208 plk

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Posted 13 August 2007 - 04:56 PM

I just tried making jam for the first time this month, and I'm amazed at how much better it is than even my favorite store brands.

I've made the plain strawberry jam, the praline milk jam, and am in the process of making the kiwi lemon jam, all from Ferber's book. The strawberry did not want to set, so I ended up adding a package of liquid pectin. And after that, it was perfect. Gorgeous whole strawberries in translucent red jelly. I don't know why I bothered with the whole sterile process -- it's all gone now (we ate three jars and gave three away, which have also been eaten).

The praline milk jam is also really good and really interesting. I made the hazelnut praline powder, and blanched, dried, and ground the almonds, so it ended up being much more time-intensive than I anticipated. I was concerned that the milk-sugar solution would never reduce -- four hours over a double boiler did not thicken it at all. I transfered all of it to my saucier to simmer over direct heat and that speeded everything up nicely, and there was no burning. And then when I added the two types of ground nuts, it basically became the texture of peanut butter. Really interesting stuff! It's as if dulce de leche and nutella somehow mated and this milk jam was their offspring.

The kiwi isn't finished yet, but the flavor of the syrup so far is outstanding.

#209 lperry

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Posted 17 August 2007 - 10:12 AM

Mango-lime is now on the shelf. I used Ferber's recipe and added about 1/4 cup of key lime juice. I'm finding that her ratio of 1 kilo of fruit to 800 grams of sugar works very well with many fruits, even when you can't find a good recipe. And I haven't made anything without maceration since I saw the first batch come out so beautifully.

I just picked up a box of Weck jars from Craigslist - I need more fruit!

#210 Pille

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Posted 19 August 2007 - 05:56 AM

I've made few more preserves recently.

Apple & Lingonberry Jam:

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Plum & Vanilla Jam:

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Cloudberry Jam:

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Bilberry Jam:

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And also Bilberry Syrup