As many fruits are now ripe and flavorsome, you may like to preserve them as jams or jellies. The row of colorful summer jams will brighten your cold winter days. You can enjoy the yummy taste of these jams and jellies which will ensure the tasty supply for your winter. Here are some top tips for making and preserving your jams and jellies.
Try to use fresh and dry fruit while preparing jam. It is better to collect slightly under-ripe fruit for making jam. If you prepare jams for strawberries or raspberries, left those for a couple of hours before cooking. Use the fruits that are best layered with the sugar. You should poach the fruits lightly before adding sugar when making jams of fruits like plums, currants, gooseberries, and cherries.
You have to make sure that the final product contains 60% sugar including the sugar in the fruit. This process is very important to make a properly qualified jam. Pectin is a natural content that can be found in fruits. It is a vital ingredient to set your jam perfectly. But some fruits like strawberries contain low pectin. You can mix those fruits with other pectin rich fruits like gooseberries while preparing jam. You also can add jam sugar with these low pectin fruits. Jam sugar is usually rich in pectin and citric acid which are useful to make your jam properly.
104.5°C is the perfect setting point to prepare your jam. When your jam reaches the setting point to reduce the temperature of your oven and start a slow and relax boil. The tiny air bubbles will disappear and the surface will look glossy. You can find that the mixture of the jam will feel thicker. It is better to undercook the jam. As runny jam can be cooked up again so never overcook it. If necessary, you can cook it again later.
You need to stir the mixture of jam in the same direction at the end of cooking to avoid the trapped air. It will help you to get rid of scum and produce a perfect jam to preserve. While potting up the jam try to fill your jars to brimful. If you are using twist-on metal lids jars then don’t use any waxed discs.