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Sweet Preserves - Making Simple Fruit Jam

[Do Not Use]DK Publishing logo[Do Not Use]DK Publishing 2/07/2014 DKBooks

Jams are the simplest of preserves: fruit cooked with sugar over high heat until set. This method, suitable for all soft-skinned berries, produces a soft-set jam. Once opened, refrigerate and use within three to four weeks.

Tips on making jam

Technically, jam sets when sugar reaches 220°F (105°C) using a sugar thermometer. With a little experience, you can judge this by observing how jam boils. When it begins to boil rapidly, the mixture soon rises in the pan and becomes frothy, with masses of small bubbles. As the bubbles become large and “plop,” that’s the time to start testing.

Jam that won’t set is usually under-boiled or has low pectin; boil again briefly with extra pectin stock. Flavorless, dull, hard jam is over-boiled; next time start testing sooner. If jam has mold, next time sterilize jars properly, put on jam covers while the jam is hot, and don’t store in a damp place. If your jam ferments, the fruit was overripe, the jam wasn’t boiled long enough, has too little sugar, isn’t well sealed, or has been stored in a warm place.

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