Jump to content
  • Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create a free account.

Preserving Summer


trillium
 Share

Recommended Posts

Yep, there's also lemon juice. I suppose I'll try the first batch with the amount of sugar called for and see how it goes. So would I let the berries thaw and then proceed or just start while they're frozen?

BTW, how would one make pectin? I am feeling adventurous!

Thanks for the advice.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Don't thank me yet, I may have been wrong about pectin content :shock: . The blueberry recipes I have all call for a kilo of fruit, 800 grams of sugar, and a couple of tablespoons of lemon juice. If you cook this mixture to 10 degrees above boiling, it should jell without added pectin. It would be my guess that a huckleberry will be easier to jell because it is more acidic. At least they tasted more acidic when I was a kid. And you can just weigh the whole frozen mass and chuck it into the pot with the sugar and lemon. I've done it many times.

Blackberries and such are the low pectin berries, and you can add homemade "pectin" (basically apple jelly) to help them get a good set. Green apples off a neighbor's tree have served me well. The ratio from Ferber's book is 1.5 kilos of apples cut into quarters, 1 kilo of sugar, a couple of tablespoons of lemon juice, and 1.5 liters of water. You make this just like you make other jelly by cooking the fruit in the water, extracting the juice, then cooking the juice with the sugar and acid components to the jelly point.

Hope this helps and good luck,

-L

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well, in any case, I'll give it a go in the next couple of weeks if time allows. I did buy Mes Confitures the other day--wrong season, I know, but like I said, my four pounds of frozen berries got me thinking about preserves. And yes, huckleberries are much more tart than commercial blueberries, I like the tartness and I'm just worried that all that sugar will mask it. I'll mess around with the proportions.

Thanks again.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

Just thought I'd report that the huckleberry jam was a success--the second time around! The first batch I tried I didn't follow directions and ended up with a gloppy, gluey mess, but I did only waste two cups of berries. Second time, armed with a real life huckleberry jam recipe from my mother (should've asked her to begin with), I was rewarded with six little jars of spiced jam to hand out to relatives yesterday.

I did keep one for my household, though, and I've got plenty more berries for another batch!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

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.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

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.

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

Thanks again!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 4 months later...
  • 3 weeks later...

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?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

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

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...
Link to comment
Share on other sites

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!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

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..

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

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.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

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.

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.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

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.

Diana Burrell, freelance writer/author

The Renegade Writer's Query Letters That Rock (Marion Street Press, Nov. 2006)

DianaCooks.com

My eGullet blog

The Renegade Writer Blog

Link to comment
Share on other sites

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.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

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?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

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.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

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 (log)
why am I always at the bottom and why is everything so high? 

why must there be so little me and so much sky?

Piglet 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

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. ???

Link to comment
Share on other sites

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 (log)
Link to comment
Share on other sites

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 (log)

Heather Johnson

In Good Thyme

Link to comment
Share on other sites

^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.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

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?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...