Jam-making thread - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 10 Old 03-09-2005, 10:13 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I know the jam-making will really pick up in summer once the fruits are in season, but *I'm* making jam now, so what the heck? :LOL

Today I made mango jam. I tasted some of the scrapings out of the pot after I got the jars in the waterbath and it's really yummy. I never would even have THOUGHT of making mango jam if I hadn't read it here!

Has anyone made orange jam? Not marmalade, technically, since marmalade is supposed to be made with Seville oranges and I don't want to be bothered with those. I'd like to use navel oranges or similar, and I don't think I'll include the zest 'cos I can't afford to do organic & ghodknowswhat's on the rinds of the conventional ones. I was thinking of removing the inner membranes & chopping the pulp up for jam. Would I add lemon juice?

Any other ideas for inexpensive jam this time of year?
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#2 of 10 Old 03-10-2005, 12:45 AM
 
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Well after the last jam thread, I got inspired and made some freezer strawberry jam. Very very easy.

I made a big mistake though. Strawberries were ridiculously cheap so I doubled the recipe. Right after I had filled all the jars, I noticed the pamphlet said "do not double recipe--may not set". Well it didn't. I now have 10 jars of a lovely strawberry sauce!! We actually use it as jam---but next time I won't double!!
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#3 of 10 Old 03-10-2005, 02:53 AM
 
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Okay, the Orange Marmelade recipe that I have doesn't specify what typw of oranges but calls for grapefruit and lemon.

Seems like apples are always cheap here...how about apple butter? My freind bought me a memebership to a local orchard and I have my own tree to harvest We're gonna be knee deep in apple butter.
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#4 of 10 Old 03-10-2005, 03:12 AM
 
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When you're done let me know, and I'll start a Jam-Eatin' Thread where we taste your various jams! I love apple butter and marmalade with several citrus fruits.

Early intervention specialist and parent consultant since 2002.
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#5 of 10 Old 03-10-2005, 03:28 AM
 
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I'd be interested in an orange jam recipe, too. I have a huge orange tree in my backyard and coming near that time to start pickin' 'em! We do have a hand crank to squeeze the juice out, but I was hoping to get more mileage from them.

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#6 of 10 Old 03-10-2005, 06:51 PM - Thread Starter
 
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(Psst, boobear! Slice the oranges thin & dry them in a dehydrator. When they're totally dry & hard, poke a hole through the top of each slice & make a loop of string. Winter Solstice/Christmas decorations!)

We now return you to your regularly scheduled jam discussion.
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#7 of 10 Old 03-10-2005, 07:11 PM
 
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girlndocs-How did your mango jam turn out? I tried making some a few weeks ago and it was yukkky ...I didn't add the lemon juice which is where I think it went wrong. It tasted so good when I made it but once it set it was really bland and didn't taste right. I'd like to try again but I don't want to have it turn out like that again.

I'd really like to get some kind of jam in my fridge and freezer soon....store bought jam is just too expensive especially the organic ones. Great thread...I'll be checking back for more ideas soon.
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#8 of 10 Old 03-10-2005, 07:50 PM - Thread Starter
 
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It turned out well -- I'm happy with it. I used frozen mango chunks from Trader Joe's and I didn't use any lemon juice, although I probably would if I made it again since the mangos were really ripe & sweet and I like a little more zing kwim? Anyway, it has nice mango flavor but I don't think mango jam will be one of my favorites, because I'm not too fond of the kind of "pulpy" texture it has.

What kind of mangos did you use?

ETA: I was thinking of using half-and-half mango & strawberry sometime to see what that would be like. Or mango & rhubarb, or, all three. Maybe those would be more flavorful?
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#9 of 10 Old 03-10-2005, 10:40 PM
 
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Boobear,

I've personally never seen an orange 'jam' recipe, only marmalades. I have seen orange as an additional 'flavor' enhancer in some jam and jelly recipes, but no 'true' jam. If you would like an orange marmalade recipe, I'd be happy to post a few

I just made the most amazing 'Strawberry/Blueberry Jam' a few weeks ago and it turned out awesome! Most recipes use ALOT of sugar and so I kinda experimented and it turned out really nice.

Strawberry/Blueberry Jam (Pectin Free)

2 'quarts' strawberries
1 pint blueberries
1 cup sugar
6-7 little 1/2 pint canning 'jelly' jars

Wash and rinse strawberries well. (I spray with 'Fit' fruit cleaner, and rinse several times.) Dehull the strawberries and trim off any really squishy or bad parts. Roughly cut into bit size pieces and put in a stainless steel pot. Add the blueberries. Sprinkle the sugar over and lightly stir.

Let this mixture sit for about 15-30 minutes and occasionally 'squish' with a potato masher and stir. You will find the fruits will release a nice amount of juice. Turn the stovetop on low heat and let it simmer and slowly 'cook' down. Occasionally stir to make sure it isn't sticking. I let mine simmer about 35-40 min, on really low. While it's cooking down, wash your jars in hot water or a dishwasher. I just sanitized, didn't sterilze the jars with boiling, as I was planning on keeping it in the refrigerator (not on a shelf).

The blueberries will pop and turn the jam the most beautiful deep red color! Once it's definitly thick and 'coats' a spoon when stired and 'drizzled off', you can pour this hot jam into the jars. I put on the lids and immediately 'finger tightened' the lids. I just left them to cool at room temp and they actually all sealed! Once cool, I refrigerated overnight. I ate some of the 'extra' immediately on fresh bread and tried it in yogurt and WOW (ok, so I had some on ice cream too and in a strawberry milk shake I made for the DC...mmmmm)!

I just keep them in the refrigerator as the jars are small. They keep about 3 weeks supposedly once opened (hince, using the small jars, you can keep them a LONG time and use up the opened jars faster, like a jar a day...hehe). Once refrigerated, it was perfect jam; it was just thick enough, but with an 'amazing' spreadability.

Enjoy! I did this because I didn't have any pectin on hand and REALLY needed to use up some strawberries. I remembered making homemade cranberry sauce at christmas and you just boil sugar and the cranberries in water and MAN it sets up great with the natural pectin. So I figured the blueberries would provide 'natural' thickeners and pectin and it worked! I guess you could use cranberries for this purpose too. Also, if you go ahead and sterilze the jars by boiling them, then putting the sealed fruit jars back in hot water and boiling for 10 minutes, this would allow you to just set the jars in a cupboard, and then refrigerate once opened.
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#10 of 10 Old 03-10-2005, 10:57 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by girlndocs
It turned out well -- I'm happy with it. I used frozen mango chunks from Trader Joe's and I didn't use any lemon juice, although I probably would if I made it again since the mangos were really ripe & sweet and I like a little more zing kwim? Anyway, it has nice mango flavor but I don't think mango jam will be one of my favorites, because I'm not too fond of the kind of "pulpy" texture it has.

I usually use lime juice in my mango jam. I do recommend using lime or lemon juice with the mangoes - the flavors aren't overt nor do they overwhelm the mango but the finished texture is much more jam-my with the citrus added. I wonder if the fact that you used frozen mango altered your texture. I usually cut my flesh into a bit smaller than bite-sized chunks and macerate with the sugar, adding the juice at the citrus stage. When the pulp is heated I use a potato masher the scrunch everything up a bit and, in the end, some batches are more pulpy than others - letting the mangoes get pretty soft (softer than they'd be for regular eating - seems to help in this regard.

One of the things about jams that don't use pectin is that they will be a bit looser in general. A lot of people who've eaten my jams who are more accustomed to commercial jams and jellies have told me that not having that very jelled, firm consistency takes a bit to get used to. It might seem runny if you're not used to it. I'll have to try that mixed berry jam, though - sounds way too good to share!

The only jelly I've made is pomegranate, which I made from juice, sugar and some Universal Pectin. It came out well but now I don't really know what to do with it. I glazed a roast and use it for thumbprint cookies (made with almond extract instead of vanilla), but other than this I'm at a loss - how much roast and/or thumbprint cookies can one household really eat, anyway?

Last year I made some pink grapefruit marmalade with lime and ginger - it was very, very good (if I do say so myself!). I didn't really use a recipe but I wrote down what I did so I'll see if I can find it for posting. It, too, was a bit loose but was just fine in the end - I used some to glaze a three-citrus pound cake and to line the bottom of a pear tart.

This year: more strawberry, more mango, and probably some plain ole' blueberry as well. Spring's coming!!!
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