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preserving today?
Thu 22-May-14
8:06 pm
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Hannah
Suffolk

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I used to work with powdered pectin a lot, (both native pectin, and also modified pectins for special applications) and adding it to a small amount of sugar is the classic way of incorporating it in to a liquid medium. It can also be dispersed in a small amount of alcohol (vodka) and then the rest of the ingredients are added slowly to it with stirring. That technique also works with other gums, such as cellulose, carrageenan etc.

The other way is to sprinkle the powder very slowly in to a vortex of water or other liquid, the fast moving water wets each particle and lets it absorb the liquid without clumping (something like a blender would create a vortex in the liquid)

Just some more useless facts from my employed days.

I will be adding the pectin to the mix this evening, chose liquid pectin (Certo). I did look for the T&L powder pectin, but local stores did not sell it, Tesco had the Certo, so got two bottles for future use.

 Are we having fun yet? I am!

Thu 5-Jun-14
9:17 pm
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mauramac
Kent

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 Hi Val

I need some help please. I don't normally use the flesh from my Seville oranges but yesterday I took the last 8 I had out of the freezer and  cooked them for a couple of hours till soft. Today I was just about to scoop out the flesh and proceed as I usually do to put it into a muslin square and add to pan etc when I noticed how lovely and squishy the flesh was. It also had wonderful smell so I picked out all the blooming pips and put the flesh into a separate bowl. Now what??

I have a large pan of juice+cooking juice into which I have put some fresh orange shreds (as Seville skins were horrible) and cooked this till shreds are soft. Do I just put flesh in the pan with the juice etc and cook it all up, then add sugar.

Would appreciate any advice as this method is new to me.

Thanks a lot,

Maura x

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

Fri 6-Jun-14
8:23 am
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Hannah
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I think OH used to add the flesh to her marmalade as well.

 Are we having fun yet? I am!

Mon 16-Jun-14
11:34 am
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Hannah
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Made a small batch of raspberry jam yesterday, managed to slightly burn it, but it tastes Ok, made up a larger batch of Gooseberry jam today, got three 1lb jars and a small ramekins worth, so pleased with that. It always surprises me that they turn red when cooked, I will have to find out what chemical reaction causes that colour change.

 Are we having fun yet? I am!

Mon 16-Jun-14
1:51 pm
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eileen54
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Having made any jam for ages but thinking of looking into some sugarfree recipes.

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Mon 16-Jun-14
3:52 pm
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mauramac
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Hannah I've often got close to certain jams or jellies sticking - especially rhubarb and more recently gooseberry & apple. I find if I transfer it to a large glass bowl and finish it off in microwave it's perfect and not a chance of sticking. I added apple to a small batch of gooseberries I had grown to bulk it out but was really amazed at how lovely it was (and I am a huge fan of gooseberry jam) so can recommend that for taste and flavour.

Eileen - I've often been asked for low sugar content jam but I don't normally bother with it as I sell my jams and need to be absolutely sure it will keep and not go mouldy which it can do without the full sugar content. However....I have recently made Rhubarb & Banana and Strawberry & Banana and they sold out immediately - everyone loved it. You don't need as much sugar in those 2 because the banana sweetens it. I have clearly marked the labels with warning to keep in fridge and eat within 6 weeks though.

Also - and I'm sure you already know this, Fruit Butters can contain about half as much sugar than conventional jam so they might be a good alternative. I know you can buy commercial jam without sugar for diabetics but I think it is loaded with sweeteners and additives - personally I would rather go without. Lots of my customers are diabetics who say they just use a very small amount of jam rather than ladling it on which means they can still enjoy a little bit every now and then.

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

Mon 16-Jun-14
4:47 pm
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Hannah
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Hi Maura, thanks for that- when I told OH, she said yes you have to give raspberry jam the occasional stir to prevent burning.

I might give apple and gooseberry a go as well, I have some Gooseberries left, just need to get some apples.

Those other two jams sound interesting, they will go on my to make list!

Hannah

 Are we having fun yet? I am!

Sat 21-Jun-14
10:46 am
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OlgaO
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Maura, strawberry and banana jam sounds amazing-did you use standard jam recipe? I'd love to make some-been freezing old bananas, this sounds perfect!

Sat 21-Jun-14
11:51 am
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mauramac
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Thanks Olga - it is really popular, especially with young children. Some of the Mums tell me it is the only way they can get them to eat breakfast. Either on toast, croissants or with yoghurt so I keep making it while I can.

I have tried a couple of recipes and both work and can be adjusted to personal taste.

1. Normal Jam recipe using same amount of sugar to strawberries.

2. Reduce sugar to about 3/4 of amount of strawbs. if you don't like it so sweet.

In both cases I always advise to keep jam in fridge and use within 8 weeks as I have no way of knowing how long it will keep with the banana added.

I also mash up about 200g of the strawbs and add 200g of sugar and cook these first before adding the rest of the fruit (Pam Corbin advises this for conventional strawberry jam).

Really mash up the bananas as they stay in bits otherwise and its hard to distribute the bits evenly throughout the jam otherwise.

Now as for the Bananas - the amount you use is important and also the texture as they do change the flavour enormously. I found 2 large bananas to 1kg of fruit to be ample - otherwise the banana flavour overwhelms the strawbs. Not too ripe or over ripe as it can also be too strong.

I have also made this jam using rhubarb and that was also delicious so I don't see why other fruit combinations wouldn't work. Keep to 2 or 3 bananas( depending on size) to 1kg fruit and it should work fine.

Also add juice of 1 lemon or 1 orange to help cut through sweetness.

I think it makes the jams taste a bit like rhubarb & custard or strawberries & cream.

Please let me know what you do and how it turns out - I'm always happy to try other suggestions.

The gooseberry & apple is really lovely - can't get enough gooseberries to keep up with demand for this one!

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

Mon 14-Jul-14
2:41 pm
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irist
Cornwall UK

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Maura - I was hoping to catch you.  Not seen you posting much lately.  I believe you posted somewhere that you use redcurrant juice instead of pectin/lemon juice when making strawberry jam.  Could you tell me what quantity of juice you use for say 1kg of strawberries.  Also I have a juicer - could I juice the redcurrants in that or would I need to put the flesh and pips in muslin and boil this with the fruit to ensure a set.  Or do I need to cook the redcurrants, strain and measure the juice into the jam pan?  Would really appreciate your help in this as I have so many redcurrants to use up.  Also does the addition of redcurrant juice produce less sweet jam?

Well done on your jam sales which I read about elsewhere on the forum.  I must get on with jam production.  The fruit is in the freezer awaiting my attention.

I noticed that you use Pam Corbin's recipes.  Which of her books do you recommend?  She always appears serene when demonstrating on TV and makes everything look so easy.  I must admit that I have had some problems with getting jam to set earlier this year. 

Mon 14-Jul-14
3:12 pm
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Ambersparkle

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I think that could be down to the excessive Rainfall, earlier in the Year, Iris, have noticed that my Strawberry Jam is hard to set when the Fruits have swelled with prolonged spells of Rain.

Mon 14-Jul-14
10:37 pm
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brambleberry
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I have been checking out a recipe for pickled shallots as I plan to harvest some this week. But it requires them to sit in brine for a week! Does anyone know of another method or is this the normal way to pickle them?

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Mon 14-Jul-14
11:02 pm
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mauramac
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Hi Iris - sorry I've just spotted your message as I was about to log out. I'll message you tomorrow as so tired right now. The jam business is taking up all my spare time so not been on here as much as I would like. Not complaining as it's producing a nice amount of money for the charities but it is exhausting. Just received a lovely gift of 8kg of cherry plums today and a huge amount of greengages which shouldn't be ready yet but are falling off the tree in my daughter's allotment - so I will be busy for next few days.

I promise I'll message you tomorrow....night night wave

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

Mon 14-Jul-14
11:38 pm
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OlgaO
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Hi Brambleberry, I have two recipes for pickled onions- I'm not sure if there may be any difference to shallot recipe. They are in Cordon Bleu range, Preserving book- anyway, here they go:

1.

3 lb small pickling onions

1 1/2- 2 oz salt

2-3 sprigs tarragon

green or red chillies

2-3 pts white malt or white wine. Vinegar

1/2 lb sugar to every 1 1/2 pt vinegar

Layer peeled onions in bowl with salt, leave for 12 hours or overnight. Turn into colander, rinse well. shake off as much liquid as possible and pack onions into jars adding a sprig of tarragon and half a chilli to every 1lb jar. boil the sugar and vinegar together for 1 minute, then pour over the onions in jars. make sure they are well covered, screw down tightly and use after 2-3 weeks .

2.

4pts pickling onions

1/2cup salt

2oz mixed pickling spice, tied in a muslin bag

2oz sugar

2pts white malt vinegar

Layer the onions with salt in a bowl, leave overnight. Next day rinse well and dry. Put the vinegar, sugar and spices in a pan, boil for 5 mins, then add the onions and reboil. Lift the onions out immediately., pack into jars and cover well with vinegar. When cold, screw down the lids or cover with parchment.

Hope this helps

Tue 15-Jul-14
3:54 pm
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irist
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Not sure that poorly set jam has been caused by excessive rain as our strawberries are in the polytunnel!  However, OH did put the leaky pipe watering system on one morning and forgot to turn it off doh.  I had to paddle along the path later in the day to switch the tap off.  Good job we aren't on a water meter.

Maura, please don't stress about replying immediately. I won't have time to make jam this week.

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