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Lots and lots of scum !!
Sun 11-Aug-13
3:30 pm
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mauramac
Kent

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Grrrr yell

I have just potted up 4 small jars of redcurrant jelly - well it's going to be called Tutti Fruity Jelly actually after a recipe I found in one of Vivien Lloyds books. It is mostly made of redcurrants but also has a few raspberries & strawberries thrown in.

I steamed the fruit and it produced 900 ml of concentrated juice. I normally have no problems getting a set when I make jelly from juice and certainly didn't expect redcurrants to give me a problem but not only did this juice produce masses of thick globby scum it was a bit reluctant to set.

Eventually it did set but I must have lost at least half a jar because I couldn't separate the scum very easily. I don't like using butter to help get rid of the scum because I think it leaves a taste.

Does anyone know why redcurrants should produce so much scum??

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Mon 12-Aug-13
7:19 am
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brightspark
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Was it the redcurrants?

Or maybe the strawberries .......

I suppose you could have strained it through a muslin?

Very disappointing when that happens  thumbs_down , but I would still use a mini bit of butter.

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Mon 12-Aug-13
1:58 pm
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mauramac
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Hi Val - I've no idea what caused it really. It started off like a thin coating of pink powder floating on surface and I always skim it off towards the end so ignored it at that stage but then after boiling it really clogged up into lumps. I tried to pass it through a tea strainer but it was quite thick and jelly was setting so it gummed that up as well. I managed to get 3 jars potted up but by the time I got to the 4th it was really sticky and horrible. I doubt even a knob of butter would have cleared it to be honest.

On the subject of butter....I found I could taste it in the jam when I used it in the past so gave up on it. I think it is because the high temperature of the jam causes the butter to burn. 

I recently read somewhere that using a tiny amount of oil also got rid of scum but I didn't want to risk that (and now can't remember what type of oil they suggested) confused

On a positive note the jelly is lovely and has a nice colour so musn't grumble whistle

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Mon 12-Aug-13
5:31 pm
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brightspark
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On the butter front, perhaps it may be better to add a dot of butter right at the end -  then perhaps you wouldn't get that taste?

Maybe it was because it had so much pectin - normally redcurrants are good on that score.

What about water - did you have sufficient water in ratio to the fruit??

 

Can you tell I'm clutching at straws here ..... big_laugh   big_laugh

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Tue 13-Aug-13
9:19 am
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mauramac
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Well Val, clutch away cos I'm really grateful for the help. I used my steamer to extract the juice from the currants and other fruit (not the boil and jelly bag method) and it is rather concentrated, I got 800ml from the fruit.

I did add 100 ml of water just to make it up to 900ml because I work out the sugar needed on a 600ml to 450g ratio and it made the maths easier smile

According to my recipe and manual for the steamer you can add water to the juice if you want as it can be very strong and have done so in the past without problems. Only made one batch of redcurrant jelly last year and I think that was ok so maybe it was the rasps or strawbs being added to the currants that caused the problem - anyhoo it will make me more aware for next time.

I'm going to look into the oil info and see if I can find any more about that as it sort of makes sense to me as not so much taste to oil - well vegetable oil at least.

Today I will be looking at recipes for 3 fruit marmalade. Made one batch so far and it was ok but a very mild flavour and didn't set without added pectin which was a surprise, so I'm checking out other recipes today.

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Tue 13-Aug-13
9:35 am
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brightspark
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Maura, I made 7 lbs marmalade on Friday, and that was using peel only that I had frozen over a period of some time; and then I added some Bramley apple pectin (I cooked up the cores and skin, and then strain the liquid from it), plus orange juice from a carton (breakfast orange juice type), and the juice of lemons.

I can't really give quantities as I made it up as I went along(!  whistle).  However, the result set beautifully, and, as I had used lots of lemon juice recently for all the jams, the content of my peel collection was a lot of lemon peel. Maybe that helped, too !

(I also added my little tspn butter to it - no scum at all!)

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Tue 13-Aug-13
10:04 am
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irist
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I've had a lot of problems with scum when boiling my strawberry jam this year too.  As our strawberries refused to fruit this year (too much nitrogen in the soil I think as they were new plants put in a bed where runner beans had been grown) I had to buy in from a fruit farm.  They supply supermarkets so they grow a variety that stands well on the shelf rather than the ones we grow for flavour but need to be used/frozen immediately they are picked.  With our own strawberries I don't have much of a problem.  I tried adding a smidgeon of butter but this made absolutely no difference.  However, my OH likes to spread the scum/foam on his toast so all is not lost!  I have also collected the foam and used it as the topping for a quick microwave sponge pudding.  Waste not, want not.

 

I have made several batches of redcurrant jelly this year and not had a problem with scum forming on the top, so my guess is it could be the strawberries, Maura.

Tue 13-Aug-13
11:25 am
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mauramac
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Aha - the strawberry guilty as charged methinks. angry

I have heard others say they eat the frothy stuff but then I heard it is the impurities in the fruit so that put me off eating it. Some fruits and marmalades you get no scum at all - interesting isn't it.

 

Val - I also save up my lemon halves and make leftover marmalade, it's my favourite of all the ones I make. It's so odd when you think of all the trouble you go to making Seville or whisky or 3 fruits or lemon & lime but the one I actually prefer is mostly made up of leftovers - thats typical of me, always was a cheap date big_laugh

I'm experimenting today and have got 1 grapefruit, 3 sweet oranges and 2 lemons simmering away in the slow cooker. I've made 3 fruit marmalade the conventional way as I mentioned earlier but thought would try this whole cooking method to compare flavours.

Thanks for your comments ladies, I think the wretched strawbs must have caused the froth this time - maybe they didn't like being chucked in with the currants. Don't think I'll bother again.

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Tue 13-Aug-13
9:04 pm
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Vagabondic
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My three fruit marmalade made in the slow cooker has always turned out well,  although the 4 fruit version with added apple was even better. I have never noticed a discernible difference between slow cooker or stove top and much prefer the former for the sake of convenience.

 I am afraid to say that I don't bother about recipes any more just get a net of oranges/satsumas and one of lemons when they are marked down at the shop (the grapefruits never are) - the batches are always a bit different but it always comes out as lumpy chunky marmalade. It's probably less grapefruity than it should be but still much less sweet than commercial marmalade. As the apple was good in it,  I wonder what crab apple added to the mix will be like  - probably one to try this autumn if I don't turn all of the crab apples in to wine.

Thu 15-Aug-13
4:35 pm
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mauramac
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Well I sort of cobbled together my recipe from 3 I found. One was Delias, another was River Cottage and the third was Vivien Lloyd.

It turned out really well but I had to split the amount as was left with 5 pints of juice and I thought would take forever to get a set.

As you say there is no discernable grapefruit taste but maybe a more milder flavour than the strong Seville type of marmalade. Cooking the fruit whole has some advantages - the insides are lovely and juicy and easy to remove (I dumped all the insides into a pan and boiled it up for 10 mins and then strained it into a muslin square and when cool I squeezed all the juice and pectin out of it - as per Delias recipe). BUT I don't like slicing the peel from whole cooked fruit - it is very soggy and tears easily.

I quite like messing around with my own versions of these recipes but I do like to have something to go on to start with as I get worried about sugar amount needed to weight of fruit or juice.

By the way - this marmalade has a beautiful bright orange colour and not at all cloudy which I was worried about as you always get told not to squeeze the fruit in the bag - unless you use Delia's recipe big_laugh

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Thu 15-Aug-13
8:47 pm
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Vagabondic
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Glad it's worked well Maura.

The colour when I have done it has also been brilliant, colour was actually the downside of a batch of orange and Rhubarb- the rhubarb made it look like sludge although it tasted good.

My most recent method which I am sure will upset the purists was to chop all of the fruit in the food processor, slow cook it for a day then boil in batches,  weighing the batch before the boil so I could decide the amount of sugar. Is there an advantage to cooking the fruit whole? I too found chopping cooked fruit difficult which was why I chopped it before cooking - so everything went in, pith, pips the lot, the pips are a pain but taking one off your toast is only a minor inconvenience

I appreciate I probably do everything wrong  but the marmalade still seems to be OK at the end of it. However compared to most other ones it is very heavy on the peel but the peel is very soft - hence the description as lumpy - rustic is probably a nicer description. It's as if the peel has taken up the juice.

Fri 16-Aug-13
11:15 pm
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Terrier
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Going back to the scum problem, I'm a bit the same about adding butter and am not keen, however I'm also the same as Iris, in that I pot it up rather than dispose of it. The family then have it for toast and stuff, no one ever complains. Strawberry James always a bugger for scum, so I'd assume that it's what caused the problem in your tutti fruiti jam.
As for three fruits, I love doing the river cottage ' boil it all up together' method, so easy, the only pain is waiting for to to cool enough to start chopping it up, I love the way everything gets used, all you chuck away are the pips at the end. I always get a lovely colour from it, as you say Maura, it does make a lot and I usually boil up in 2 batches. I also add extra lemon shells left over from making lemon curd.

Sat 17-Aug-13
10:38 am
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mauramac
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Jan, when you say you love that everything gets used - do you put the fruit back in or do you mean you just boil it and then strain the fruit in a bag (like I did)?

I was so tempted to keep the fruit which I had scooped out of the shells a it looked so lovely, juicy and colourful but in the end followed the recipe and just got all the juice and pectin out of it and then dumped it. I wonder if it would turn out more like 'jam' if you added the fruit back in?

Pam Corbin - River Cottage lady says - I quote......

" Ruby red Marmalade - both ruby red grapefruit and blood oranges make wonderful marmalades, though I prefer to use the sliced fruit method for these fruits. Add 100ml of lemon juice to every kg of fruit" ...unquote

I found the peel of the grapefruit when cooked whole very thin and the underside is unattractive with lots of dimples showing through which doesn't look nice in the jar. So I can see why she would prefer the sliced method.

Must admit I now have more '3 fruits marmalade' than I know what to do with roll_eyes

p.s.

No scum at all on Marms.....love it ok

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Sun 18-Aug-13
1:33 pm
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Hedge-Hunter
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Just made some redcurrant jelly a few weeks ago and although there was scum there wasn't a lot.

What there was was easily removed with a teaspoon when it settled and clumped in the top of the jar well before setting. Found this much easier than trying to remove it in the pan.

Wed 4-Sep-13
7:35 am
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Terrier
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Maura
Bit late with the reply, but yes I use all the fruit and everything in the final jam/ marmalade, only the pips go in the bin...and the little button bit at the stalk end.
Made a red grapefruit marmalade yesterday and did this...
Took rind off 5 red grapefruit with potato peeler, cut fruit into quarters, put all in pan as it was, added 2 litres water and a handful of frozen lemon shells and pips, simmered with lid on for 2 hours, left to cool, then put soggy quarters into a sieve to drain a bit( over large jug) chopped up rind, scooped middles out of quarters- minus the pips, put that straight into jug, poured liquid through sieve, to extract any loose pips, then squished the stuff in the sieve a bit to extract some of the pulp, scraping the underside of the sieve occasionally.
Measured it, added 450g sugar to each 600ml of liquid, added the juice of one fresh lemon, boiled for 15 mins, it was at setting point but wouldn't wrinkle on the plate test, potted up anyway, fine this morning

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