How to make the perfect jam - 10 secrets

Jam can perfectly sweeten the cold season, it is so tasty and pleasant with a warm drink or fried bread.

While jam is considered by many to be a given, it is actually a very gourmet dish. For example, gooseberry jam, as a rule, was served at the royal table.

If you have the opportunity to prepare this type of preservation, you have an excellent opportunity to diversify your own menu.

You just need to follow some tips to make the jam optimal in taste.

Careful selection of raw materials

First, you need to decide on the raw materials, that is, the berries or fruits that you want to use.

The basic rule here is: take raw materials that are evenly ripe, that is, each berry or fruit of an identical degree of ripeness.

This advice is followed in order to obtain an identical degree of readiness.

As you understand from the name, jam is made.

Accordingly, if you cook raw materials of varying degrees of maturity, you end up with a completely dissimilar mass. Some berries (for example) will be hard and textured, while others will become a complete mess.

Of course, it makes sense for experienced chefs to use this effect. For example, overripe berries (again, for example, there can be fruits and even vegetables) become a kind of background, while less ripe berries are interestingly interspersed over the surface of this background with hard and slightly crunchy details.

However, this option requires a deep understanding and even some artistic taste, so it is better to take raw materials of identical maturity.

In order to make such a selection, look at the color and consistency of the raw materials. Take only evenly colored and slightly soft berries and fruits - they are fully ripe.

By the way, pay attention to the size, because it is ideal when the raw material has the same size, so to speak, berry to berry.

Wash the fruit properly

Delicate berries can be damaged by washing, so be careful.

Use a colander and a light jet of water, or take a shower, for example..

After that, you need to leave the berries in order to allow the water to drain and dry out a little.

If we are talking about something denser and more durable, then a simple stream of running water will do just fine. You can even help with your hands to make washing more effective.

Before starting washing, sometimes it is necessary to carefully sort out the available raw materials, to clean them of twigs and dirt.

Selection of dishes

First, you should dispel a couple of myths that were previously perceived normally and actively used. Let's start with copper.

We strongly advise you not to cook jam in a copper container.

Firstly, fruits and berries will dissolve copper oxides, as a result, you will get a patina on the dishes and a little copper in the jam itself, and secondly, copper ions destroy ascorbic acid, that is, as a result, the product is obtained without this vitamin.

As you can see, this noble metal, although it remains useful, is not at all the best option for jam.

Let's continue with aluminum, which is also not needed at all for jam. The point is again in oxides, but now aluminum, which are destroyed by the action of fruit and berry acids. As a result, your jam turns out to be aluminum, which obviously has nothing to do there.

What is the best option - you ask... These options are:

  • enameled dishes - but only without chips;
  • stainless steel dishes.

The second important question regarding the dishes is the choice of capacity, and here you should advise the basin, which is optimal from all sides.

Pots are much better than saucepans for cooking jam, they heat up better and give a thinner layer of jam, which eventually becomes thicker and more uniform.

In addition, in order to mix in the basin, you can move the dishes themselves, and you will have to climb into the pan with something and as a result, it is possible to damage the berries or fruits.

Therefore, if you choose dishes, take a stainless steel or enameled basin that has a thick bottom. Just don't go overly deep.

Nobody canceled the rules

The basic rules to be followed, unless the recipe suggests otherwise:

  • proportions - about a kilogram of sugar per kilogram of raw materials, so that the jam is stored and does not sour;
  • stages - the jam is cooked not in one boil, but in 2-3 boils;
  • paper or parchment - when the jam is "resting", use parchment to prevent the berries or fruits from chapping;
  • flame - after boiling, the flame is reduced to control the foam;
  • only jam - do not cook other dishes nearby, jam actively absorbs odors.

Follow these tips and you will have the perfect recipe.

A special approach

There are also special tips that apply to special raw materials. These tips are:

  • pre-cooking - quince, apples, pears require preliminary not long-term cooking before the main process;
  • black Rowan - pre-cook for a couple of minutes in boiling water and add citric acid in the process of cooking the jam itself;
  • black currant - pre-blanched in boiling water for 40-50 seconds;
  • apricot - requires preliminary soaking in water, where soda was added, per liter of water, one and a half tablespoons, hold the apricot there for five minutes to keep the shape;
  • apples - the chopped slices are first kept in water for a couple of minutes, where they added a couple of tablespoons of salt, then an identical amount of time in boiling water, so they will not darken;
  • berries - to keep the shape, pierce with a toothpick.

Choosing a cooking method

In general, there are two main ways: classic (long) and modern (short). In the classic version, you first cook the syrup, then add the raw materials, after which you perform a couple of stages of cooking and boiling. The manipulations are lengthy and laborious.

In the modern version, you first put raw materials and sugar in the container and leave it for five hours, and after that you perform one cooking. After that, they are immediately laid out in banks.

Not to say that some way was better, they differ not only in the number of stages and technology, but also in taste.

Jam cannot be overcooked

The easiest option is to take a saucer and drip the cooking jam there. If the drop spreads, then you need to cook further, if the drop remains and solidifies in a convex shape, the jam is ready.

In addition, the finished jam visually becomes transparent, and the foam is located closer to the center of your enamel bowl or copper pan, if you did not follow the previous advice.

Correct packing

In order to get the optimal composition in the jars, only the cooled jam should be laid out.

If you do not cool it first, then there will be layers in the jars that consist of syrup and the main product itself.

In addition, banks do not need to be rolled up right away., since warm jam can give off steam, which in turn gives rise to condensation, which remains in droplets in the container and mold can appear from there.

By the way, the cans must be sterilized first, and for this there are many ways from the oven to boiling.

Only after sterilization should the jars be thoroughly dried.

Proper storage

You should cook the jam for no more than a year and a half and use for the most part cans of no more than two liters.

You probably know about this, but again, storage should be organized in a cool space, where the temperature does not rise by more than 15 degrees Celsius.

Experienced tips

In conclusion, we will give you some valuable time-tested advice. For example, if the jam begins to burn, the dish can be corrected by pouring it into another container and cooking it normally. Citric acid will help from sugaring the jam, which is added in a small amount five minutes before the end of cooking.

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