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weinoo

Jams, Jellies, Preserves, Fruit Spreads, Butters

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weinoo   

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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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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MelissaH   

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.

MelissaH

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heidih   

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.

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Darienne   

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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weinoo   

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!

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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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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.

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Darienne   

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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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:

Rhonda

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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?

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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 (log)

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heidih   

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:

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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 (log)

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heidih   

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.

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janeer   

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.

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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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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.

T

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Blether   

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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YWalker   

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.

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LaurieB   

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.

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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.

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curls   

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.

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