Tick of Yum

Providing hints and tips on using your Thermy, suggestions and recipes - from a very happyily Thermomixed South Australian couple

Our Ticks of Yum

Jam making..... some tips that I've found

Posted by Bee & John on February 6, 2012 at 10:55 PM

Jam making....


"Why isn't my jam setting" is one of my most frequently asked questions by my customers. I blindly told them that they just needed to reduce the liquid in the jam by hitting Varoma temperature for a couple of minutes. Now... to be fair, that does work - but it is thickening the jam and not setting it - but I honestly didn't know the difference until recently.


For those of us who have this "idea" of what jam making should be (MASSIVE pots of bubbling jam and a heavy sugary smell and an exhausted mother) I have found out some interesting things. First and foremost... THANK GOODNESS FOR THE THERMOMIX!!


I thought I "knew" how to make jam.  Well.... I can follow a recipe... of course I knew how to "make jam".  I have read a few on-line posts (links lower down) from some different areas and I learnt that there is a science, as well as an art, to jam making.

 

  1. All (or at least some) of the fruit should be slightly UNRIPE.  Overripe fruit will not set, and will go off quicker AND the unripe-ness (if there is such a word) is what gives the fruit more pectin (the stuff that makes your fruit set)
  2. Fruit picked when wet will go mouldy quickly
  3. fruit should be cooked/softened BEFORE adding the sugar.  I know that means a second step with the Thermomix... but gee, it isn't a trial really is it? - hit the button again.
  4. jam made in smaller batches with fresh fruit, or fruit that was freshly frozen, will taste better than jam made months ago - hence, small batches as you need it - OH how we love our Thermomix for that!!!.
  5. Jam is made from the whole fruit... the American "Jelly" is made from the juice
  6. You can make your own apple pectin, or pectin "stock" to help you set your fruit naturally (see reading material below)
  7. Mix some fruit with lower pectin with some with higher pectin to help it to set
  8. Most of the recipes I've read (non-thermomix ones) seem to call for warm sugar.  I don't think that it is necessary with the Thermomix but the problem with "I don't think" is that we have established that I am no natural cook.  Perhaps I can get some advice from any readers??

I tried the first 3 points out recently when I made some Raspberry and Plum jam.  I used a mixture of slightly ripe and unripe Plums and I used frozen Raspberries.  I blitzed the fruit a bit and then cooked it (until quite soft) before I added some sugar and then cooked again.  I had no trouble with the fruit setting (it set even firmer when cold) and the jam seemed to need less sugar and was fruitier in taste.

LESSON: one thing I did learn, was raspberries are STRONGLY flavoured!  50:50 raspberries to plums and you can't taste the plums at all - 20-25% raspberries would have been better.

FURTHER READING


 

Categories: Easy Specialties, My own Recipes, VERY useful information

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