Peaches are prolific at the moment. I so love living in Spain, the wonderful fruits and vegetables available throughout all seasons; then, gluts of superb Peaches, OMG, could life get any better?
The jam you buy in the shops in Spain is nothing like jam should be, it is more like a fruit paste - not very appetizing; it's a good job Jam is so easy to make.
(Low in pectin and acid)
1 Lemon, juice and zest
500 g White Sugar
Weigh out the ingredients......
Chop up the peaches into chunks .
Grate the yellow zest from the lemon,
and squeeze all of the juice.
Put prepared ingredients into a large pan.
Cook gently for 20 minutes;
Keep the lid on to reserve all that lovely juice.
Twenty minutes later the fruit is soft. (This slow cooking also releases the pectin from the skins).
Add all of the sugar,
and stir to help the sugar dissolve.
Put the lid on and bring gently to simmer. Leave the lid on for 5 minutes. (The steam will dissolve sugar crystals on the inside of the pan, it will save washing down).
Bring to the boil gently.
Then turn up the heat and bring to a vigorous boil.
Boil for 10 minutes and do a test for set. A little on your surface will cool quickly; if set the jam will hold its shape and show a wrinkle as you push.
If not set, boil for another 5 minutes and try again.
Repeat until set; then pour into sterilized jars. Put the lid on tightly, and turn over the jar (lid side down) for 5 minutes. This will sterilize the gap and inhibit mold growth. Your jam is ready to eat ...... enjoy;
I know I will!
Now though, a little bit of science:
Jam to set requires fruit which has good levels of both pectin and acid. Pectin, found in the skins of fruit acts as the 'gelling' agent. With low levels of pectin in the fruit you will not get jam, you will get a thin syrup. Be aware also, that over ripe fruit has very little pectin present so the same problem will appear.
Fruits with high acid content are also required for a good set; the pectin in fruit requires acid to react and achieve a 'set'. Luckily, high pectin fruits are also high in acid. Considering this, to get a good set the logical thing to do would be: to combine low pectin fruits together with high pectin fruits.
There is always pectin in the skin of fruits, maybe not high amounts, but generally enough to get a set as long as sufficient acid is present. Low acid is easily remedied by the addition of lemon juice.
High pectin / high acid fruits
Crabapples, sour apples, currants, gooseberries, cranberries, lemons, limes, grapes, blackberries, Seville oranges (sweet oranges are low in acid).
Low pectin / low acid fruits
Strawberries, peaches, plums, blueberries, sweet cherries, raspberries, pears, elderberries, overripe fruit.
Other than combining fruits to solve the low pectin issue, you can now get pectin as a liquid, and pectin sugar, for jam making. The use of these will greatly reduce cooking times, and the jams will have a better flavor (much fresher).
A note of caution here though when using them: the jam will not keep as long as when made using traditional jam making methods. Mold will form quite easily on top of the jams; storing in a fridge will help with this but not stop its forming.
If you are using a pectin sugar, then only make a small amount of jam which can be used within a few months. This rather defeats the object of using a glut of fruit when they are cheap, to store for use when they are unavailable or expensive to buy!
Now More Interesting Posts:
@awesome-seven has a gluten free recipe here for delicious looking crepes with maple syrup, yummy!
@michelnilles 's photography is stunning, it really brings the food alive! Can't wait for the book with recipes, to be published
@hms818 has made their own recipe for bbq chicken pizza. Would love a slice. Do you do takeaway?
@highwings gives a tutorial on easy cupcakes and buttercream. No excuse now not to bake!
and finally for now:
Please dear Steemit friends, keep writing those interesting posts because all I want to do is ........
as often as I can. :)X