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Adding juice back to pulp to make jam ?
Mon 30-Sep-13
12:48 pm
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mauramac
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Bare with me - this might sound daft - or obvious but I was wondering if I have got this all wrong.

First off - I own a steamer which extracts juice from fruit and veg and is a God send piece of equipment. I use it a lot and the juice is really thick and strong tasting. It replaces the need of a jelly bag.

So...this morning I steamed a kilo of damsons and filtered off a large jug of juice which I could make jelly with BUT I wanted to see if I could remove the damson stones from the remaining pulp when it has cooled and then add the juice back to the pulp to make jam with it (not cheese or butter).

The reason I am hesitating is that I recently made some blackberry and apple jam (recipe on CMH) where you sieve the fruit and put pulp back into juice to make the jam and it was a horrendous job to get the jam to set. It turned into a boiling bubbling lava and spat fiery hot jelly everywhere - I ended up putting it in microwave to finish it off and even then it didn't set like 'proper' jam.

So why is it different to making jam in the conventional way?

Is it because the fruit is cooked already before going back into the pan - now I've typed the question it seems obvious steam

Oh well I'll jut have to make the damson jam in the traditional way and fish out all the wretched stones the hard way - I was hoping the above method would be a way around it but I cannot face all that spitting and splotting all over the place.

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Mon 30-Sep-13
3:06 pm
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brightspark
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Maura, my damsons (6kgs) had too many 'mealy' bits in them, so I prepared them by removing the stones before cooking - a faff, yes certainly and time-consuming - but sooo much easier to actually make the jam.

(OH said that the stones may help with the flavour, but, when cooked, he said that it reminded him of the jam his Mum used to make and a traditional flavour, so I don't know if it would have made any difference!)

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Mon 30-Sep-13
4:38 pm
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mauramac
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Oh blimey Val - I couldn't face taking out all the stones even though I do have a cherry pitter and that does help a bit. My damsons are really quite lovely, no nasties and a perfect oval shape (which is why using the cherry pitter is tricky). I've frozen 7 kg today and steamed 1kg for the juice. I'm going to try the jam with another kilo and see if I can fish out the stones but the old back is feeling the strain a bit so might leave that for tomorrow.

Any thoughts about my theory on adding pulp back to the juice being difficult what_the_heck

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Mon 30-Sep-13
10:10 pm
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brightspark
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I don't think I would attempt the juicing then adding back the pulp, Maura. It could work of course, but it sounds like more work to me ....  laugh  and I haven't tried it before. Like Martin said - why not try it and see if it works - you could be pleasantly surprised! smile

I had a thought - you say you have frozen some of your damsons - I wonder if that would help the release of the stones when it comes to cooking them??

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Sat 5-Oct-13
8:52 pm
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Terrier
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I don't know what the steam juicer does to the pulp, so find it difficult to advise, one way or the other, but can't see why it wouldn't work, especially with damsons which produce a good set anyway. I did a similar thing the other week with crab apples and chillies, I made chilli jelly, then put the pulp through the mouli and made chilli jam with the resulting mush.

Sun 6-Oct-13
9:30 am
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mauramac
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Jan - the steamer reduces the fruit in much the same way as boiling it. I make jellies both ways - either from juice made by straining through a jelly bag overnight or by steaming and the only differences I have noticed is that the steamed juice is much more concentrated and the pulp has less juice left in it.

The problem seems to be when you wish to turn the juice + pulp back into jam - the only reason I wanted to do it this way was to be able to remove the pips or stones from the fruit which you can't do easily when making jam the conventional way.

I made a small batch of damson & apple jam for myself last year and used the microwave. I left the stones in as it was for us and not for sale. The jam made up in this conventional way without a problem and didn't turn to a messy gloopy spitting mass in the pan.

However when using pulp + juice they don't seem to want to rejoin as it were to same consistency as if just boiling up the whole fruit. I know this seems obvious as you have semi cooked the fruit so I can sort of see why it wouldn't but I have seen recipes (one on here) where you add the pulp back to the juice - as for seedless blackberry jam and no one has ever mentioned getting this problem of the spitting gel like mix.

It's nigh on impossible to get this gloopy mix up to a rolling boil and therefore to get a good set.

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Sun 6-Oct-13
10:15 pm
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Xahha
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Maura, reading what you said about the juice being more concentrated and the whole thing being thick when combined with pulp makes me think you should have added back some extra water so that you could get through the cooking process to the right consistency- you need some free water to make steam to get the bubbles!

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Mon 7-Oct-13
1:33 pm
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mauramac
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Martin - I think you are right, I'll give that a go. Thanks so much for working this through for me ok

Now if you have any easy solutions for destoning 100's damsons I would be forever in your debt big_hug

I know I know - there's always something doh

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Tue 8-Oct-13
2:15 pm
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OlgaO
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Maura, do you let your fruit steam fully and then get the juice out or do you let it run out continuously? ( hope I make sense)! I tend to pour it out a few times during the steaming process, and keep wondering if I should!!!

Tue 8-Oct-13
4:26 pm
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mauramac
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Hi Olga

I tend to let mine finish completely before I let the tube down into a very tall bowl or jug. I'm lucky in that the grill on my oven is just below the burners and has a dop down door, so I open this door and use it like a shelf for the jug to stand on. Then I unhook the plastic tube and position it into the jug and let the juice flow into it. That way I have both hands free to gently tip the steamer slightly to get all of the juice out in one go.

In my book of instructions it suggests to siphon off a little of the juice at the beginning and pour it back over the fruit - the purpose of this is to sterilise the tube with the scalding hot juice.

I haven't made any drinks yet with the juice - only jellies and jams but I have so many apples I am going to try some apple juice soon. I do love my steamer - it is so quick compared to the messy and laborious jelly bag method although I do use this as well from time to time - mainly for herb flavoured jelly which seems to improve with the boiling method.

What do you mostly make with your juice?

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Tue 8-Oct-13
8:06 pm
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OlgaO
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Hi Maura, thanks! I haven't made any drinks yet, mainly jellies- quince, apple and chilli, apple and rosemary, and a disastrous cranberry! I found I got quite inconsistent results, and thought it due to the fact I often use frozen fruit. I wonder if siphoning juice off during the steaming process introduces extra steam into the mix and dilutes it- if kept at high temperature the juice probably concentrates a bit further? I have steamed some eight large quinces from the freezer the other day, ended up with six jars of jelly!!! Not very economical! Do you find you end up with such small yields, too?

Oh, and do you test your juice for pectin content? I have done and still am not sure if it made any difference-still had failed batches of jelly even if I supposedly had pectin- rich juice to start with.... Perhaps my jelly- making method needs a bit of tweaking....

Wed 9-Oct-13
12:08 pm
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mauramac
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Olga - I feel we were meant to meet up on here and be kindred spirits wave I too have had major problems with getting a decent set on several projects. I occasionally use Tate & Lyle powder pectin which I prefer to Certo, but I only use it if I really have to.

I tend to get quite a nice amount of juice from my steamer but I do refill the base and steam the fruit for at least an hour - sometimes longer, and also give the fruit a bit of a mash half way through.

The boiling method achieves more juice because you have to add water to the fruit  to boil it - but I like the stronger flavours you get from the steaming method. With Rose hips I steam them twice - several recipe books suggest boiling the hips twice and combining the juice strained through the jelly bag so I reckon steaming them twice is just as good. My Rose hip jelly sells really quickly and I can't actually make it quick enough so it must taste OK so I can recommend this method.

I have just been given a huge amount of quinces (ornamental variety) so will see how much juice I get and let you know. I like to get around 1200ml as this is a nice amount to cook with and get a good set. I've found some varieties of quince have more juice than others and it also depends how ripe they are. The ornamental quinces I got last year were a little dry inside but I hadn't used them before so had no idea what to expect. I used the pulp to make a nice jam and thought it quite economic really as had the juice as well to make the jelly.

I'm not sure siphoning off the juice will make any difference to the steam to be honest but maybe a brainier person like Martin might be able to help with that. Just out of interest why do you like to siphon it off in stages?

p.s. I often put a layer of muslin across the base of the section where the fruit goes to stop bits falling through into the juice - or if I forget I lay it across the top of the jug when siphoning the juice into it.

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Wed 9-Oct-13
1:41 pm
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OlgaO
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Well I have to agree with you- we seem to have similar jamming agendas most of the time!! I use the powdered pectin as well, for pretty much all my jams except the blackcurrant- that fruit needs only sugar and a bit of water to create pure magic! I have recently used steamer pulp to make apple cider butte rand apple chilli jam. I have in the past used the quince pulp for quince and orange jam- used the tinned Mamade oranges, yum! Really ought to look into making some fruit leathers, too...

Ah, no wonder the rosehip jelly sells - it sounds divine! Do you make it with apple juice? I hope you charge quite a bit for it- they can be quite unpleasant to pick! We have lots of Japanese rose bushes where I live, I think I am late to go picking now.... Lucky you with the quinces!! I see a little quince tree every day on a school run, fruit ripening and smiling at me, and am almost thinking of going scrumping ( is that a correct term?) as it seems nobody lives in the nearby house! Keep us posted on your quince jelly!

Wed 9-Oct-13
3:56 pm
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Xahha
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Hi Olga- do tell where your quince tree is- I'm in Suffolk to-if its near enough I wouldn't mind scrumping as well.

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Wed 9-Oct-13
6:35 pm
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OlgaO
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Haha, you rascal! It's in Aldeburgh, we can go after school run, just need another to drive the getaway car!

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