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Non stick pans & Jam
Sun 28-Jul-13
5:18 pm
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mauramac
Kent

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I have a small amount of morello cherries (about 560g) from our tiny little tree. It's the first ever crop and I would like to make it into jam even though I know it will only make a small pot or two for ourselves.

My problem is what to cook it in.

My maslin pan is way too big for such a small amount of fruit and all my other reasonable size pans are either non stick ones or lightweight stainless steel ones - the latter I'm afraid might not have thick enough bottoms and I don't want it to stick.

Soooo - is there any reason not to use a non stick pan? if anyone knows I would be grateful for an answer as I don't want to lose our precious little crop of cherries.

Thanks everyone

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Sun 28-Jul-13
5:51 pm
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brightspark
Wilts

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Maura, what about cooking the cherries (before adding the sugar) in a regular saucepan, and then if you have a strong glass bowl to pour in the cherries, add the sugar then cook in a the microwave.

I cook my raspberry jam in the microwave - no sticking then! smile

Doesn't suit everyone, but wondered if that may help.

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Sun 28-Jul-13
7:22 pm
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mauramac
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I did wonder about that Val, but have never done it before so wasn't sure where to start. I have added 150g of sugar to the cherries already (layered over till tomorrow) will that still be OK do you think?

I love my big old maslin pan but the smallest amount you can really use in it is about 1kg so my poor little bowl of cherries would get lost in it.

So then, I'll soften the cherries in a pan and then transfer to a deep glass bowl, add the rest of the sugar and lemon juice and cook on high for about how long....my microwave is quite powerful, about 1000w I think. I'll have a look and see if there is a recipe book with it as it may tell me about making jam in it.

What a clever girl you are to think of that, so practical. I thought about it and then it slipped out of my head as quick a it came into it - must be the heat whistle

Thanks Val - what would I do without you lovely people.

xx

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Sun 28-Jul-13
11:57 pm
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brightspark
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Maura, have you noticed that when the jam is ready that the 'bubbling' appearance seems to change - or maybe that's just me (whistle  laugh ) - if you have noticed that too, then I would watch for that to happen in the microwave too.

The good thing about using the microwave is that you can stop it at any time, and check - though please please use good quality oven gloves to do this, and have a thick wooden board to put it on - it does get very hot.

I would recommend firstly ten minutes, check, and from then on, five minutes, check, and continue with the five-minute check.

As you have already added the sugar, I would put it all straight into the microwave, and heat it in there. As long as you're busying yourself in the kitchen, then you can keep an eye on it. (That first heating up could have cling film on it to help speed up the process, but once it comes to the boil, remove the cling film, otherwise it'll melt into the jam! Don't want that! doh)

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Mon 29-Jul-13
9:55 am
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mauramac
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Brilliant - thanks Val. I'm looking forward to trying this method now ok

I'll let you know how it goes, fingers crossed smile

p.s. yes I have also noticed the bubbling changes and often wondered if that was my stirring too often. I'm paranoid about it sticking to pan and burning. I've only had it catch a couple of times but I always worry even though I know you are meant to leave it alone and not stir too often.

Also have you noticed you get lots more scum if you use jam sugar with the added pectin? I find that odd as I prefer to use the powdered pectin which I add sometimes (mixed in with sugar) and that doesn't create as much scum as the jam sugar - bizarre. I only use it if fruit is hard to set like strawberries, rhubarb and some cherries. I've tried making my own pectin with apple peel and cores etc but it really doesn't seem to work as good as the powder.

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Mon 29-Jul-13
1:44 pm
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brightspark
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A small knob of butter added to the heating jam reduces the scum - but Fiona and Danny once told me that they used granulated sugar, because the 'jam' sugar alters the flavour a little. I must say that since then I have always used plain old granulated, and not had any problem.

Interestingly, the last packet of jam sugar that I bought had instructions to say "boil for 4 minutes" - what? That never worked for me!! big_laugh

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Mon 29-Jul-13
3:48 pm
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mauramac
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Yay – Success

I'm so pleased with my 2 pots of microwave cherry jam – it is really delicious and it was so easy I thought I must be doing something wrong till I realised it was actually setting on the spoon.

It took about 25 mins from start to finish but might not have needed the last 5 mins to be fair. I had to race to get it into the jam jars!

This is a breakthrough for me because we often get small amounts of fruit ripening in the garden and now I don't have to wait or add to them I can just cook small quantities in the MW.

Thanks Val – you are a star for reminding me about this method and helping me to have a go.

Also – virtually no scum surprised despite using some jam sugar in the mix ( I had run out of granulated so used half and half).

Scones and cherry jam for tea and a big label saying OUR jam smug to keep the family from nicking it. That little crop of cherries has made our day.

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

Mon 29-Jul-13
4:04 pm
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mauramac
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Tried to post a photo but it didn't work - just got that funny little red cross so will try again here. Sorry about poor quality but took it on my phone for quickness.

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Mon 29-Jul-13
9:36 pm
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brightspark
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Looks good to me !  ok   ok  i_am_hungry

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