Some years ago the conservation of food was essential for the people. This is no longer necessary, but conservation still is used to obtain gratifying results. The most important principal of conservation is to get the food in the best moment of freshness and to maintain the nutritious properties that they have in that moment. Conservation requires just a few elements, but it does requires time and patience. The results are worth it.
Jam and Marmalade
A good jam or marmalade is characterized by the firm consistence, bright color, and good flavor. Choose fresh and healthy fruits. The idea is to use the fruits while they are in their right moment. Some recommend fruit be not entirely ripe, but slightly “green”. The pectin is the bonding agent used naturally in the fruits, and “green” fruit has high levels of pectin. Don’t use chemical pectin the fruit has enough of it.
Moist: Select the fruit on a dry day. Moist makes the fruit go wrong.
Sugar: Cook the fruit to elaborate jam. Once they are soft, add the sugar. If you do not follow this process, the fruit peels will become hard. Always warm the sugar first for it to dissolve quickly.
Foam: Use a filter to remove the foam. The last remains may be withdrawn with a spoon or paper.
Fruit distribution: If the marmalade or Jam contains pieces of fruit or fruit peelings, let it cool down before fractionating it. This will avoid the pieces to float, as they will settle.
Some fruit tend to thicken the jams with more facility then others.
Example of Fruit that thickens easily: Apples and Plums.
Example of Fruit that does not thicken easily: Cherries, Strawberries, Pears, Blackberries and Rhubarb.
Intermediate Examples: Raspberries, Plums, Apricot, Damascus,
Good combinations: Apples and blueberries, pears and plums.
When cooking: You can add spices if you want, or add different things when cooking the jams.
To filter the Jams: You will need to pass the jams after they have been cooked and sugar has been added through filter of some sort.
Jam in Transparent Jars
The success of a good jam depends on the sterilization of the jars you are using to store and conserve your jams. There are hermetic jars which will make your conservation last longer. They come available in different models, from pressure lids to screw lids.
Sterilization of Jars for Conservation and Preparation:
Use steel pots to cook acid conservation, such as chutneys, fruits or pickles. Copper and aluminum react with acids, therefore do not use those. Use a big pot, as the jam will grow in size. Wash jars and lids with hot water (as if you where washing dishes). Then submerge the jars and lids in boiling water to sterilize them, leave them in the boiling water for 6 minutes. Remove with caution, use tweezers if necessary.
Making the Jam, Marmalade or Conservation
Each fruit or conservation has its own particular measurements. However, never use more than 6 cups of fruit at a time, otherwise the jam will not “set”. Wash the fruit, remove parts that need removal. Mush them in a boll, but not too much, do not crush them. Depending on what fruit you are making the Jam out of, you will need to add different measurements of sugar. But first put the fruit in the pot and start warming them up. Most fruits use 4 to 7 cups of sugar.
Warm the jars before adding the hot jam inside, so they will not break. You can add sliced pieces of fruit to the edges of the jar before inserting the marmalade or Jam.
This article is not responsible for your personal experiments, or personal interpretations.