Homemade jams become more and more trendy. Once you taste it, it’s impossible to resist. Making your own jams at home has many advantages. First, you are able to control the amount of sugar added to the fruit. Then, it is guaranteed there is no conservative. And most importantly, you know where your fruit come from. But making a delicious jam can present some difficulties, so here are few tips for every time success:
1. Sterilizing jars: your jars must be completely sterilized to ensure the longevity of the jams you spend a lot of time making. To do this, you must soak the glass jars in boiling water for 10 min minimum. Let the jars cool in the water. Then you can catch the jars with a fork or a jar lifter (also sterilized to prevent recontamination). Let the glass jars dry upside down on a clean towel. Proceed in the same way for the lids, because they tend to darken more quickly. Check this post for more sterilization methods.
2. The seeds and skin. If your fruits are organic and therefore not treated, you can naturally keep the skin for the preparation of your jams. Otherwise, you’d better to remove it. After peeling, rinse the fruit in cold water. Then cut into small pieces to prepare them for cooking. You should also cut off the part that are spoiled or damaged. Regarding seeds, no need to remove them. The seeds of apples, quince, citrus, or currant are rich in pectin, which is natural thickener. To make seeds more digest, a simple trick is to freeze raspberries, currants and other berries then thaw them before turning them into jam. The thawing step will break the seeds and make them less rigid. You almost won’t notice them afterward.
3. Sugar. To determine the right amount of sugar needed for the proper conservation of your jams, it’s better to weigh the fruit before adding sugar. Based on this, add the proportional amount, required by the recipe. If you plan to eat your jam quickly, you can reduce a little amount of sugar in order to keep the acid taste of certain fruit. But in this case, the jam will keep a little less time. In general, it is recommended to start with a pound for pound ratio, then decrease if the fruit you use are very sweet. You’ll often find that 700 grams of sugar per 1 kg of fruit is perfect.