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Home preserves
Tue 1-Oct-13
12:18 pm
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Xahha
Suffolk

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Yes OH pours the jam from the maslin pan in to a plastic jug and fills using that either directly in to the jars from the jug or using the jam funnel from the jug- it is the double handles and pouring lip she likes as much as anything.

 Are we having fun yet? I am!

Tue 1-Oct-13
1:09 pm
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mauramac
Kent

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Iris - not sure why microwave jam wouldn't keep as long as jam made in a maslin pan unless it's a low power one and doesn't get jam to a rolling boil. As I understand it (and again, I'm no expert) I always thought it was the full sugar content that is the preservative in jam. Some people don't like to use full sugar amount and are happy with reduced shelf life.

There is a jam called fridge jam (River Cottage recipe) which has less cooking time and has shorter eat by time.

My microwave is a big Panasonic model E rating 1000w and is a combination type. I microwave on high setting and believe me I have to watch it like a hawk as it really does boil like in the pan - but then I only use it for small amounts.

You are right about the wider bottom maslin pans dispersing the steam and liquid quicker - they are great for chutneys.

Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow.

Tue 1-Oct-13
3:54 pm
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irist
Cornwall UK

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Sounds as though we have almost identical microwaves, Maura, as mine is the same make and wattage and also has combination oven and grill.  I'll have to experiment with a batch of jam in the microwave.  I'm dubious about the shelf life as I sell the majority of my preserves.  Perhaps Martin has the answer?  

Tue 1-Oct-13
4:07 pm
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mauramac
Kent

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Me too Iris so I would really like it clarified. Where did you read it again?

Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow.

Tue 1-Oct-13
6:12 pm
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irist
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I think it's on the instructions written on a jam sugar packet.  Not sure which brand as I now buy ordinary granulated sugar and packets of pectin to use where necessary with low pectin fruit or just add lemon juice.

Tue 1-Oct-13
8:45 pm
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Xahha
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I started to answer this and stupidly shut the web page down- anyway I have not made microwaved jam before but I see no reason why it should have a shorter shelf life providing the set point is OK and the fruit to sugar ratio is normal (1 to 1 I think it should be). If you have  jam thermometer- check that the temperature has reached the correct point and/or if you have a sugar refractometer (which I am waiting to arrive on a slow boat from China -I will have soon) you can check the sugar is 60 g/100.

I have made boiled sweets using the microwave to boil the syrup and providing the correct temperature was reached, they were identical to the pan over heat method of boiling.

I think there are some quick microwave jam recipes that use a lot less sugar and really do have to be kept in the fridge.

 

here's one that is microwaved – Plum and ginger jam with a 1 to 1 ratio of fruit and sugar

 

         500g plums, halved and stoned

  • 25g fresh root ginger, scraped to remove skin and coarsely grated
  • 500g preserving sugar
  • Place plums, ginger and sugar in the bowl and heat on high until bubbling, about 6 minutes at 750W.
    • Cook for 3 further minutes, then take out and stir.
    • Place two saucers in the fridge to cool so you can test your jam a bit later to see whether it has reached setting point.
    • Repeat step two, 4 more times. Your jam will have been boiling for a total of 15 minutes by now.
    • Test for set with the cold saucer method.

 Are we having fun yet? I am!

Wed 2-Oct-13
7:07 am
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irist
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Thank you so much, Martin for the advice and recipe.  I do have a jam thermometer but using the pressure cooker base I have never been able to see the temperature of the mixture getting up to setting point.  The pan is deep and there is a wide flange on the top so no means of standing the thermometer in the molten lava bubbling away unless I hold it in the raging steam.  Another reason to get a maslin pan or maybe I should just make jam in the microwave?  Now I'm completely confused.

Wed 2-Oct-13
7:53 am
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Xahha
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Obviously the choice is yours- if your jam achieves the correct set any way should be OK.

I would just give a word of warning to anyone using a microwave method to make sure you use oven gloves to remove the bowl. I saw once whilst working a colleague take out a bowl of hot sugar syrup from the microwave (and jam is a sugar syrup) and as it was being removed knocked it against the side- this caused a chain reaction of bubbles to froth up and the syrup poured over the edge of the bowl, scalding their hands and lower arms-luckily not seriously enough to cause permanent damage. Just covering you hands with oven gloves will add protection- as they say, forewarned is forearmed if you will forgive the unintended pun!

 Are we having fun yet? I am!

Wed 2-Oct-13
10:03 am
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Ambersparkle

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Had to pickle Cauliflower, even before breakfast, could not stand the smell any longer. Got to do something with ripe Tomatoes, or I will lose them.

Wed 2-Oct-13
10:08 am
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mauramac
Kent

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Martin - you are quite correct about handling the bowl after lifting it from the MW. It is scary and the bowl does indeed get very hot (what happened to the theory that bowls didn't get hot in a MW).

I buy my rubber gloves from Lakeland - they last forever (slight exaggeration) - they are thicker than Marigolds and I use these to pick up the bowl but I am always very very wary of dropping it or of it spitting so please do think about this.

I would buy a maslin pan and enjoy the luxury of a lovely piece of kit that does the job perfectly smile

Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow.

Wed 2-Oct-13
10:34 am
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irist
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Thanks for the warning about the MW method of jam making.  I'm off to collect a pair of shoes I ordered and think that I may be persuaded to buy a maslin pan!  Then just need to find somewhere to store it as my pan cupboard is full!!

Wed 2-Oct-13
12:34 pm
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mauramac
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Mine sits on the floor in my pantry and has lots of bowls, jugs, spoons, funnels etc all piled up inside it when not in use - so it really is quite useful ok

Good luck with the shopping, hope you get what you want.

Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow.

Wed 2-Oct-13
2:00 pm
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brightspark
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I have to admit Maura, that each time I have looked at maslin pans, I have wondered about the 'cleaning-up' afterwards. You say they clean really easily?

Perhaps I should invest in one ..... what about the copper ones, has anyone had experience of this type? Maslin pans have always looked a bit thin on the base - and probably 'burn' easily ..? From what you say, that is not the case?

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Wed 2-Oct-13
2:05 pm
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Sooliz
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I've got a big, deep, enamelled pan with twin handles, I just use that.  Not keen (and can't afford!) to spend £30-£40+ on a proper maslin pan.  Have seen the odd one occasionally in charity or second hand shops, but even then they're not cheap and always seem to be in rusty/poor condition.

learning to love veg…..except celery :-O

Wed 2-Oct-13
4:00 pm
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irist
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Foiled!  Got to the store but they had sold out - the maslin pan was on special offer.  However, the assistant has taken my name and has put me on a list so I shall get one when the next delivery arrives later in the week.  I agree Sue, it is quite a lot of money but I do make lots of jam, chutney, soup etc and thought I would treat myself from the profit I made at the village fair.  If I think the bottom of the pan is too thin then I shall leave it in the shop!  There is no gas supply in our village so I have no option but to cook on an electric hob.  The base of my pressure cooker is substantial and holds the heat well so I have to be careful not to burn the contents.

I'm not sure that a copper maslin pan would be a good idea.  I'm sure you're not supposed to cook anything acidic in copper pans.

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