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The Best… Fruits for Jam - Berries and Soft Fruits

DK PublishingDK Publishing 2/07/2014 DKBooks

Berries and Soft Fruits

These fruits are classic ingredients for jam-making, as they mostly have thin skins, are juicy, and soften quickly with just a little added water. They make stunningly fruity jams.


Boysenberries

These large, succulent, piquant hybrid berries are excellent used either on their own or in mixed berry jams. They crop from mid to late summer; pick and use promptly.


Tayberries

A hybrid berry that is similar to the loganberry, but has larger, sweeter fruits. The plant crops from mid to late summer. Pick the berries on a dry day and use immediately.


Raspberries

This berry makes a splendid jam. Both red and yellow varieties have a medium pectin content and usually set easily (in a wet season they are likely to have less pectin). Use the berries as soon as possible after picking.


Loganberries

A sweetly-sharp-flavored fruit that is available from mid summer to early autumn. It generally sets reliably well and can be combined with other summer fruits. Remove the white inner core before using.


Strawberries

A quintessential summer jam fruit, strawberries have a low (and variable) pectin content and need extra pectin and acid to achieve a set. Pick in dry weather and make into jam without delay.


Blackberries

Cultivated blackberries are low-medium pectin fruits (wild brambles are low in pectin). Combine with apples for a classic autumn jam, or with other berries for a mixed berry jam.


Redcurrants

A high-pectin fruit with a pure fruit flavor that is invaluable for adding to mixed berry jams and low- and medium-pectin fruits to achieve a good set.


Blackcurrants

Summer would be unthinkable without blackcurrants, which are easy to grow and make one of the best and fruitiest jams, even with very ripe fruit.


Blueberries

The pectin content of blueberries varies more than most fruits, ranging from medium to low. They are often combined with other summer fruits for jam.


Cranberries

The pectin content of cranberries can vary according to their ripeness. Fresh berries are likely to have more pectin than frozen ones. They taste lovely combined with apples or oranges for jam.


Storing times for jams

The amount of sugar you use to make jam is not only a question of taste, it determines how long you can keep the jam. A very sweet, traditional-tasting jam (made with equal quantities of sugar and fruit) can be stored for 12 months. A fruitier jam (containing a quarter less sugar), more suited to modern tastes, can be stored for 6 months. A semi-sweet jam (half quantities of sugar to fruit) should be refrigerated and used within 1 month.

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