Take the pain out of making jam.

Aug 15, 2011 by

I spent years making jam without ever having a jam thermometer.  I managed and my jam set.  But since I have got one the difference it has made to my stress levels has been immense.  Don’t get the idea that I am a stressed out cook but having gone to the trouble of getting the fruit (climbing through hedges, getting stung by nettles, almost run over by cars or dragging my dogs out of the path of cars – you get the picture)? I did not want to have to dump my effort and start again, even it that was possible.  Now I can make jam and stick the thermometer in and wait and wait (after a certain point the temperature seems to rise very slowly).  This is to do with the water, sugar, pectin ratio and when you get the correct ratio then a gel can form.  The is what is known as the “setting point”.  For a marmalade this can take anything up to half an hour.  For other fruits probably about 15 minutes.  I made apricot jam yesterday with about 8 fresh apricots that had got a bit overripe.  I stoned them, weighed them and added the same weight in sugar and a little bit of water just to loosen up.  I brought the mix to a slow boil, stuck the thermometer in and waited, giving an occasional stir.  Within minutes I had a jar of delicious, tangy, orange-coloured apricot jam.  A tip if you are making small quantities of jam for sterilising jars is to put the jars into a microwave a third full of water for 3 minutes.  Just drain and fill with your delicious low stress home mad jam………..

Jam   Jam Thermometer  Setting Point Apricot Jam

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