Colorful jams are an essential source of taste for breakfast tables. You can make jams that can be spread on bread, consumed with pancakes, and used in many different ways at home in any season. However, especially in summer, when fruits such as strawberry, sour cherry, apricot, fig, and watermelon come in, the smell of jam emits from kitchens. In order to make a good jam, some special details need to be considered.
As with preparing all foods, the freshness of the ingredients used in making jam is important. You should always pick the fruits that you will make jam with according to their growing season. You should also make sure to use natural and organic fruits. You should stay away from fruits that have lost their freshness. If there are crushed and spoiled fruits, you should pick them over. Making jam with crushed fruits may seem like an economical solution, but if the resulting jam is bad, it will just be a waste of time.
If you are going to prepare jam with soft fruits such as blackberry, strawberry, and mulberry, start preparing your jam as soon as they are picked. If you plan to use hard fruits such as quince, pear, apple, you can clean the stains on the upper part of the fruits by means of a knife. You should also thoroughly wash and remove residues such as pesticides on the fruits.
Before making jam, dust granulated sugar on the fruit and let it sit. In this way, you can ensure that the water and taste of the fruits are released. In addition, by doing this process, you can get healthier results without adding too much water and sugar to your jam. The water you add along with the fruit’s own juice is also important. If you use soft, chlorine-free, and ripe drinking water, you can prepare delicious jams.
You should adjust the amount of sugar in the jam well. Adding sugar in an eyeball quantity may not result in the taste and consistency of your jam as you imagined. You can adjust the amount according to the amount and type of fruit you use. Keep in mind that sour fruits tolerate more sugar. To stabilize the sugar you add to the jam, you can add lemon juice and lemon salt to the pot while boiling.
If you do not want the fruits to melt while preparing jam, you can choose hard and firm fruits. In addition, after boiling the jam for a while, taking the fruits out and continuing to boil only the water prevent melting. The foams that form on the top of the jam while boiling can spoil the appearance and clarity. For this reason, collect the foam on the jam with a spoon at the end of the boiling process. You can also use a teaspoon of butter to prevent excessive foaming.
You have to find the right temperature for your jam to set. The most practical way to adjust the temperature is to use a kitchen thermometer. If you take the pot off the burner when the thermometer shows 105 degrees, the consistency may be quite good. If you do not have a thermometer, take a spoonful of the jam you have prepared and drip it onto a dish. If the drop is falling apart, you can continue boiling. If it stays intact and preserves its form, your jam is at the right consistency.
You can drip the jam into a glass of water instead of a dish. If your jam does not disperse and does down to the bottom of the glass in a ball form, then it is ready. You should also remember that it will solidify a little as it cools down. If you want to increase the consistency of the thin jam, you can chop an apple and continue boiling it. You can stir it until it thickens. If the jam is still thin after it cools down, you can resume boiling by adding some more lemon juice or orange juice. After adding one of these two ingredients, boiling the jam for 5 more minutes will allow it to thicken.
Instead of using a metal spoon to stir the jam, you may prefer a clean wooden spoon. The metal spoon may potentially cause chemical reactions. You can use aromatic herbs and spices to add to enrich your jam with different flavors. Ingredients such as jasmine or violet leaves, cinnamon sticks, and cloves help you step outside of the classic jam flavors. After completing all the procedures, you should make sure that you firmly close the lids of the jars and put your jam in a cool place away from direct sunlight.