Making Jams, Jellies and Fruit Preserves

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Not only are jams, jellies and fruit preserves easy to make, but is often a favorite of summer. …

Not only are jams, jellies and fruit preserves easy to make, but is often a favorite of summer.

With the end of summer nearing, farmer's markets and home gardens are now offering fruit and berries. And the season for summer fruits which can be deliciously preserved as jam or jelly. So now's a good time to review the basics of this quick and easy food preservation method.

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  • 1. Making Jams, Jellies and Fruit Preserves
  • 2. Resources for Today
    Making Jams, Jellies and Fruit Preserves (B2909) do I… Freeze? Make Jam and Jelly?)
  • 3. Jams and Jellies
    Fruit – fresh, canned, frozen or dried (adds flavor!)
    Pectin – natural carbohydrate that causes fruit to gel
    Acid – needed for gel formation
    Sugar – preserves jellied fruit, helps form a gel & adds flavor
  • 4. Fruit
    Use just-ripe fruit for best flavor and quality
    Mix ripe and unripe fruit if you don’t use added pectin
    Overly ripe fruit will taste great, but may fail to set
  • 5. Pectin
    Use natural pectin in apples, plums and grapes
    Add pectin to other fruits to ensure a good gel
    Add pectin to fully ripe fruit
    Liquid and powered pectin are not interchangeable
  • 6. More about Gels
    Dry & powdered pectins for different recipes
    Low-methoxyl pectins for low- or no products
    Powdered gelatin for refrigerator products
  • 7. Acid and Sugar
    Added acid for success
    Measure sugar carefully
    Use honey or corn syrup sparingly
    Sugar substitutes can be used only in special recipes (refrigerator jelly– OR
  • 8. Boiling Water Canning…..
    A MUST for jams and jellies
    Helps form a seal
    Destroys yeast and mold
    Is required for
    a shelf-stable
  • 9. Modifications
    No sugar gelatin recipes – keep these refrigerated (don’t freeze or boil)
    Freezer jams may not require processing
    Follow package directions carefully
  • 10. When things just don’t work…..
    Mold – imperfect seal
    Failure to set – too large a batch, incorrect proportions of ingredients
    Fading – storage place too warm or too lights; stored too long
    Fruit floats – Stir fruit mixture for 5 min before ladeling into hot jars
  • 11. How Long Does It Keep?
    Jams and jellies keep for 1 year if stored in a cool, dark location (but just try to keep them this long!)