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trillium

Preserving Summer

328 posts in this topic

What do you people do with all this jam? Large families, or a small tea-house?

Sell it?

This year,  like most years, we are inundated with a glut of fruit - gooseberries now, red currant, strawberries, raspberries, greengages, plums coming soon to say nothing of others like elderflower/berry, rose petal, mint, damson etc etc.  Ah-ha, I think, I'll make jam. Then I look in the preserves cupboard, and there is still most of last years, and even some of the year before that.  I guess we eat the usual amount of jam, but you can't make less than about 10lbs. That is something like 120lbs a year, not counting marmelade, quince cheese, hot pepper jelly etc etc...

We can't eat 120lbs of jam. We maybe eat 12lbs a year, a jar  month, if that. We can't even give it away, since most of our friends and family have the same problem. 

Help!

That's the nice thing about the recipes I've been using. They're for a kilogram of fruit (about 2.2 lb) and you use 80% sugar. The yield is usually around 2 and a half pints. I find that jams don't really taste as good after the first year, so I try not to make more then we can eat or give as presents to friends and family. Most of the people I know don't make jam or marmalade, so I don't have your problem. I'm envious of your glut, besides the gooseberries, fig and apricot, I'm buying all my fruit at the farmer's market. Maybe you should start some eGullet exchange, huh? Your jam for someone else's X.

edit to add: I eat my preserves on steel cut oatmeal every morning all winter long. It helps me not miss the butter I wish I could drown them in and you need fruity dark flavors in the middle of winter.

regards,

trillium


Edited by trillium (log)

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trillium,

where did you get sour cherries? i've tried begging my sister on the east coast to send me some, but she hasn't...i'm dying to try them.

about jams - i'd love to make a really fresh tasting strawberry - they're wonderful fresh right now, but i've always felt that they lose something - get too sweet or too cooked - and lose their vibrancy in jams. freezer jam tastes good to me - how does that process work?

what about (sourish) plums? we have a tree.

awesome thread trillium. i am deeply envious of your fig tree.

I get mine from a couple of different vendors at the farmer's market in downtown Portland. You have to watch the market like a hawk, the sour cherry season is only 3 or 4 weeks so it's easy to miss. I'm sure there must be some one selling them in Seattle...right now!

And hey, if you come to Portland occasionally I'd be happy to stash some in the freezer for you, frozen work just fine in pies.

Freezer jam is super, super easy. If you like that taste better, and have room in your freezer, go for it. I always followed the recipe in pectin box for freezer jam. I don't think you even cook it, just mix fruit and sugar and pectin. It gives you bright, fresh tasting jam with a softer set then if you did a cooked one with pectin. I usually picked the pectins that advertise themselves as good for lower sugar. Strawberries are tough to preserve, I tried the no-pectin route for the first time with them this year and I ended up with very lovely preserved strawberries in a nice strawberry syrup! They have so little pectin I think next year I won't go the purist route and just use pectin.

I'm not that crazy about most plum jams (they seem bland and too sweet to me), but I do love infusing alcohol with plums! It extracts all that nice flavor from the skins and you can blunt the sour with as much sugar as your tastes dictate.

regards,

trillium

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trillium - you are so nice. let me sneak off to the market and see if i can find some sour cherries this week - otherwise, i may just take you up on your offer. i'm sure i'll find an excuse to get to portland in the next couple of months.

do tell more about infusing fruit in liquor. i've noticed that in other threads...i'm very intrigued. what do you do and how?


from overheard in new york:

Kid #1: Paper beats rock. BAM! Your rock is blowed up!

Kid #2: "Bam" doesn't blow up, "bam" makes it spicy. Now I got a SPICY ROCK! You can't defeat that!

--6 Train

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Damson Gin in the making (from egCI Autumn Preserves) Damsons, Gin, Sugar

Freeze the fruit first for better extraction. Shake every day for a few weeks.

i448.jpg


Edited by jackal10 (log)

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While surfing for recipes on lychee jelly/preserves/jam, I discovered this book: A Passion for Preserves, by Frederica Langeland.

Anyone have a copy? I'd be interested in hearing about it, although I won't be using her recipe for Lemon Curd! :biggrin:

I just purchased a copy for $4.00. :smile:

Yipee! Two packages to arrive next week! This book, and a Kitchenaid Food Processor from Kohl's! eG often places a dent into my kitchen expenditures.... :raz:

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It looks promising mostly to me because the ingredients are listed as weights not volume. I can't even make all the jams I want to out of the Ferber book because I'm running out of jars and eaters. Let us know how you like it and what you make so I can live vicariously through you, ok?

regards,

trillium

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I hate all you guys. Now I am off to B&N to get that Mes Confiture book.


Ya-Roo Yang aka "Bond Girl"

The Adventures of Bond Girl

I don't ask for much, but whatever you do give me, make it of the highest quality.

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I can't even make all the jams I want to out of the Ferber book because I'm running out of jars and eaters. trillium

i did mention to you that i would be happy to send you my snail mail address, didnt i?

xo


"Animal crackers and cocoa to drink

That is the finest of suppers, I think

When I'm grown up and can have what I please,

I think I shall always insist upon these"

*Christopher Morley

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Just bought 'The Complete Book of Year-Round Small-Batch Preserving: Over 300 Delicious Recipes' by Ellie Topp, Margaret Howard. Click here.

Haven't tried anything yet as I'm still waiting for some decent fruits here :rolleyes: but I like the idea or small-batches. Just thought I'd share. :biggrin:

Edited: Now the link should work, I think.


Edited by BettyK (log)

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and speaking of rose, does anybody know how to make rose hip preserves? How 'bout tea? I vaguely remember both from childhood vacations in Maine, but I haven't the foggiest idea how to reproduce either. . . but do have rose hips in abundance.


agnolottigirl

~~~~~~~~~~~

"They eat the dainty food of famous chefs with the same pleasure with which they devour gross peasant dishes, mostly composed of garlic and tomatoes, or fisherman's octopus and shrimps, fried in heavily scented olive oil on a little deserted beach."-- Luigi Barzini, The Italians

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I think there is a rose hip preserve recipe in Mes Confitures.

For raspberry and rose, I sort of just winged it from other combinations she had in her book. I did an 80% sugar to fruit ratio by weight, for 1 kg of raspberry (about 2.2 lb) I used the juice of half of a large lemon. I brought them up slowly to a simmer so the sugar could melt, and then cranked the heat up to high to boil so the pectin would set. I stirred very gently so that I didn't break up all the berries, and skimmed off the foam. I like to moniter the temp with a thermometer, instead of using the saucer in the freezer trick, and I cooked it until it reached 105 C or 221 F. I had gathered some very fragrant rose petals from the yard (you should do it in the morning when they are still fragrant and then use them pretty soon after), and blew on them to get all the bugs and stuff out, and then spread them on a sheet of wax paper and kind of tossed them around to encourage any lurking instect to crawl away. I had about 3 handfuls worth, I didn't weigh them, but they nearly filled up a pint berry box. I divided them in the bottoms of the jars (2 pints and a half pint) and when the raspberries were done and at the right temp, I skimmed them one last time and then stirred in 45 mls (1.5 US oz) of rose water. Then ladled the hot liquid over the rose petals and sealed as usual. You're supposed to gently shake the jars after they've cooled enough to handle but before the jam sets so that you distribute the petals throughout the jar. My jam was so thick by the time I tried this that I had a lot of trouble.

regards,

trillium


Edited by trillium (log)

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For several years I have been using a recipe I originally got online at SOAR, now Recipe Source.

It is easier than the old recipe I had used prior, fewer steps and the result is very good.

Recipe Source


"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

My blog:Books,Cooks,Gadgets&Gardening

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Freeze the fruit first for better extraction. Shake every day for a few weeks.

Jackal10,

I saw a recipe in this month's Saveur for brandied sweet cherries that says to sterlize jars and keep the mixture refrigerated for up to a year. Is all that necessary?

It does not say to shake the jar.

I'd like to infuse some rum with ginger and jalapeno to make a cocktail I tried at Cafe Atlantico in DC and wondered if the same precautions are necessary? (I've never heard that they are, but I'm wondering why the cherries need to be refrigerated, then.)

Liz


Liz Johnson

Professional:

Food Editor, The Journal News and LoHud.com

Westchester, Rockland and Putnam: The Lower Hudson Valley.

Small Bites, a LoHud culinary blog

Personal:

Sour Cherry Farm.

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Thanks, trillium! I don't have roses (they don't grow well here in the salty cool air), and for some reason I'd assumed that the jam would use rose flower water. But now that I have the idea, I don't see why I can't just add a touch of rose water to some jam, or any other raspberry concoction.

Or, my CSA farmer does grow roses, and maybe she can give me some delicious petals.

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Thanks, trillium! I don't have roses (they don't grow well here in the salty cool air), and for some reason I'd assumed that the jam would use rose flower water. But now that I have the idea, I don't see why I can't just add a touch of rose water to some jam, or any other raspberry concoction.

Or, my CSA farmer does grow roses, and maybe she can give me some delicious petals.

The jam I made did contain rose water too, did you miss that part because I rambled on so much? I forgot to mention that Ms. Ferber frequently uses dried rose petals more often then fresh in her jams. That could work for you too, if you really had to have the petals in there.

regards,

trillium

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Jackal10,

I saw a recipe in this month's Saveur for brandied sweet cherries that says to sterlize jars and keep the mixture refrigerated for up to a year. Is all that necessary?

It does not say to shake the jar....

Liz

I think the product in the recipe you saw was the cherries, rather than the flavoured brandy. In that case you would want to try and preserve the fruit, rather than maximise the extraction. In my case I want the maximum flavour in the liquid, and don't mind if the fruit gets bruised a bit.

Lots of work, for example by the people making Glace fruit, show that for best results you need to agitate, otherwise the liquid next to the fruit gets dilute from the osmosis.

Whether you need to keep it in the fridge depends on the dilution. Bugs won't grow if the alcohol/sugar level is high enough, If you are making brandied cherries for consumption its normal have quite dilute brandy; to cut the brandy by at least an equal amount of water (plus the water in the fruit etc), otherwise they blow your head off. In that case you probably need to sterilize and either can or keep refrigerated.

In my case I was using export strength gin (40%), and as the recipe says "keeps for a year in the bottle if allowed to do so"

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I am new here, but this thread is what inspired me to join. I am currently obsessed with canning, making jams etc..

And now, thanks to you, I think I have to buy Mes Confitures

Looking forward to hearing more about everyone's preserving adventures. :smile:


Edited by Kayaksoup (log)

< Linda >

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Welcome!

If you get off with only buying one cookbook from hanging around eGullet, you'll be lucky.

Tonight I'm finishing the black currant and pinot noir preserves. Working with fresh black currants has really opened my eyes to their mult-dimensional flavor profile. I didn't realize how herbal and astringent and fruity all at the same time they could taste, I guess because my main black currant experience is the jar of Ribena the partner has to have in the pantry at all times.

regards,

trillium

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A Passion for Preserves arrived today.

It is gorgeous and I'm only on page 14. And it has already made me laugh. In the chapter titled "The Basics" there's a heading called Patience.

This is needed in great quantities.

The next sentence in the following heading/paragraph ("Methods and Materials"):

Be methodical, to save your sanity.

I can't wait to get to the other chapters. :cool:

edited to add:

OMG!!! Cantalope Jam! Tomato Basil Jam! Garlic-Herb Marmalade! Fennel Jam -- and I don't even like fennel! And so many others.... This may be the most fantastic cookbook I have purchased in quite some time. Absolutely brilliant. (I'm now nearly halfway through the book -- just paging, skimming and not yet reading every word on every page).


Edited by beans (log)

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Thank you for the welcome.

My local book store does not have the book I wanted, in fact has only one book on preserving/making jam, so i think I will have to head up to Chapters and see if I can find anything.

This A Passion for Preserves sounds fascinating as well..

I have some new fruit to play with, red currants and some gorgeous fat gooseberries. That'll be my Tuesday project.

Someone asked earlier what people do with all the jam they make. I use a lot in cooking, plus I am the only person in my circle of friends and family that does this, so I have lots of victims. In fact, I can't keep up with the demand for Ginger Marmalade!


Edited by Kayaksoup (log)

< Linda >

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Dare I admit that I don't use recipes? I just take whatever fruit I've got, add about 75 to 80% sugar, and whatever else I feel like adding, and boil it until it seems done. Seal in jars and store in the fridge, so it keeps for years. (I just checked, and we are FINALLY on the last bit of gooseberry jam, which celebrates its 9th birthday tomorrow! :shock: ) I've also got some currant-ginger from 3 years ago. They might crystalize a bit, but they don't go bad. (The only one I ever had get fuzzy was a microwave-cooked plum jam. Take that as a warning.)

My most recent -- this past week -- was sour cherry-ginger: a little over 4 pounds of pitted cherries, about 3 1/2 pounds of sugar, 4 "thumbs" of ginger grated in, and a splash of lemon juice. It's a little loose even after 45 minutes of boiling (very juicy cherries), but so what? Used some in cream-cheese and jelly sandwiches yesterday, and it's good. :biggrin:

In spite of what I said at the start -- Kayaksoup, how do you make the ginger marmalade? We love that stuff!


Edited by Suzanne F (log)

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In spite of what I said at the start -- Kayaksoup, how do you make the ginger marmalade? We love that stuff!

I second that motion! I have several recipes for ginger marmalade, also with various combinations but am always looking for more.


"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

My blog:Books,Cooks,Gadgets&Gardening

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Suzanne, I actually got the recipe from someone on another board. I use lime juice instead of the lemon when I make it:

* Exported from MasterCook *

Ginger Marmalade 1

Recipe By :

Serving Size : 0 Preparation Time :0:00

Categories :

Amount Measure Ingredient -- Preparation Method

-------- ------------ --------------------------------

1 pound fresh gingerroot -- (about)

2 tablespoons lemon juice

1 package powdered fruit pectin -- (1 3/4 ounce)

5 cups granulated sugar -- (2 1/2 pounds)

Thinly pare gingerroot; slice about 1/4 inch thick. In a 5 to 8 quart pot generously cover ginger with cold water; bring to a boil; boil gently for 15 minutes; drain in a strainer. Return ginger to pot, and generously cover with fresh cold water; boil until gingerroot is tender-crisp enough to be pierced with a fork --- about 45 minutes; drain in a strainer. Again return to pot and generously cover with fresh cold water; let stand 15 minutes; thoroughly drain in a strainer. Place in a processor, pulse until it is the size of rice grains, do not puree. This can be done by chopping with a knife. Turn 2 1/2 cups of the finely chopped ginger into the clean dry saucepan; add 1 cup cold water, the lemon juice and fruit pectin. Over high heat, stir until mixture comes to a full boil. Stirring constantly, immediately add all the sugar and bring to a full rolling boil; stirring constantly, boil hard for 1 minute.

Off heat, with a metal spoon, skim off the foam. Quickly ladle into clean hot, wide mouth 8 -ounce preserving jars, filling to within 1/4 inch of the top. With a clean cloth wipe tops and threads of jars. Adjust covers ( caps and screwbands).

Process in a boiling-water bath for 5 minutes. Cool on a wire rack. Store in a cool dry place. Makes 6 to 7 eight ounce jars.

Andy's note: I finely chop the ginger rather than use the food processor - I love the tiny chunks of ginger.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

I wish I had the confidence to work without a recipe. But at this point, I have only a years experience under my belt. With time, I hope to be able to run on instinct.


< Linda >

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