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Author Topic: Making jam without jamsetter or jam sugar  (Read 3970 times)
greenie
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« on: December 29, 2012, 07:07:23 AM »

Thought I'd post this for anyone interesting in making jam without added pectin (which is what is added to jamsetter & jam sugar).

I absolutely adore preserve making, and use my thermomix 90% of the time, but there is a knack to getting low pectin fruit to gel, and so I am finally getting off my butt and posting in the hope that this will be helpful.

I don't use the recipes in the TMX cookbooks as I find they don't work as well as I'd like.

I don't use a lot of sugar in my jams, as I find 1:1 way too sweet for most fruits.  I can go down to 400g sugar:1kg fruit and still have it set and keep for over 12 months just fine.

I do add lemon juice to most of my jams as I love the balance of flavour it gives, and it also adds pectin.

Jam sets, when the acid, sugar and pectin levels are 'right' and when the jam has reached high enough temp.  You can't normally reach that temp at 100C in the tmx, you need to go to varoma. 

But first...you want to macerate the fruit.  This means the fruit has 'taken up' the sugar, and release some of its water content.  Once you get the hang of it, you'll be able to tell the difference, but until then, keep a relatively close eye on the mixture - if it looks like chunks of fruit floating in liquid (kind of like fruit in a punch bowl), it's not ready.  If it looks like it is stewed/softened/mushy and it is more incorporated into the liquid, it's probably done. 

So... Chop up your fruit (if you chop in the tmx, it will be harder to tell if the fruit is macerated) - I usually just do halves for apricots n figs 'cos I like it chunky!  Add in sugar n lemon juice (10g juice:100g sugar is a good ratio), then macerate the fruit by mixing on REVERSE, speed 2, 100C.  I normally find 20 mins is enough time.  Taste the mix, if not sweet enough, add more sugar - it will only take about anohter 5 mins to dissolve.

Then... turn up the heat to Varoma, and put the steamer basket on top.  The mix will expand, depending on how dense the fruit is, but about 700g of fruit will be the max you can use before it is oozing all over your tmx.  Berries are the worst!  And I can only do 500g at a time. 

The amount of time at Varoma you need will vary with acid/sugar/pectin contents.  For most fruit, I find 15 mins is enough, but you can experiment by putting a small plate in the freezer and dropping a blob on the plate.  If it gels, it's ready, if not, keep going.  Remember also that jam will set over about 24hrs.  I made some apricot jam recently that I thought was too runny but by the next morning it was perfectly soft set and oozy, just the way I like it. 

Remember, the longer you cook jam, the darker it goes, so you want to cook it for the least time and the lowest temp in order to get a beautiful colour.  That's why you don't just cook it at Varoma the whole time.

Hope that helps Smiley

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goldfish
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« Reply #1 on: December 29, 2012, 07:12:39 AM »

Greenie.. Thank you so much for this information. Printed it off and keeping it for reference ... Very much appreciated!  Smiley
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Aussie Brenda
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« Reply #2 on: December 29, 2012, 07:51:26 AM »

Thanks for the information Greenie, I like to make my own jan and not use Jam seta if possible, I have never used Jam sugar didn't know there was such a thing.
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Rogizoja
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« Reply #3 on: December 29, 2012, 08:11:46 AM »

I've also found that if you chop up the pith and skins of one or two lemons/oranges, tie them in a bit of muslin and then add them to your mix, it will help improve the set - increases the amount of pectin.

Also, get your temperature up to the setting temperature of 104oC/105oC to be more assured of a good set. I saw a tip elsewhere in a forum post that a chappie drilled a hole in the flange of the spatula through which he inserted the probe from a digital thermometer to constantly monitor the temperature of the mix in the bowl - great idea, which I now use.
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cookie1
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« Reply #4 on: December 29, 2012, 08:26:54 AM »

Thanks for the hints. It is jam making season for me with all the fruit around at the moment.
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judydawn
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« Reply #5 on: December 29, 2012, 10:09:54 AM »

Thanks for sharing this information with us all Greenie.
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greenie
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« Reply #6 on: December 29, 2012, 10:20:23 AM »

no worries Smiley  have been meaning to for ages

Rogizoja, I find the pips of citrus best for this, as the pith can be so bitter.  Another thing you can do is just soak the pips in a bit of water overnight and strain - the liquid will be quite gelatinous from the pectin, and then you don't need to worry about muslin bags etc. 
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« Reply #7 on: December 29, 2012, 10:34:39 AM »

Just adding my thanks to the above.  Like making jam but find that 1:1 is way too sweet.  Also with DH having diabetes was going to experiment using less sugar - now thanks to you Greenie - I don't have to do that.  Just have to get busy.
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« Reply #8 on: December 29, 2012, 06:57:05 PM »

Greenie,  thanks for going to the effort of explaining this in such detail.  Very handy .
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Frozzie
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« Reply #9 on: December 29, 2012, 09:03:24 PM »

Yes very handy thx greenie 😊
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« Reply #10 on: December 30, 2012, 02:16:00 AM »

Thanks so much for this information greenie.
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Emme
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« Reply #11 on: January 02, 2013, 08:45:22 PM »

no worries Smiley  have been meaning to for ages

Rogizoja, I find the pips of citrus best for this, as the pith can be so bitter.  Another thing you can do is just soak the pips in a bit of water overnight and strain - the liquid will be quite gelatinous from the pectin, and then you don't need to worry about muslin bags etc. 
I do this with my orange marmalade, soak the orange pips in 500ml of the measured water overnight. Then add that water and also the pips in a muslin bag to the marmalade.  I have also found that the fresher the fruit, the better. I pick the seville oranges from the tree and make the marmalade straight away. It will  set very thick (can cut it with a knife) if not careful.

Marie
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obbie
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« Reply #12 on: January 04, 2013, 02:58:16 AM »

Great idea and tips thanks.
i keep making jam alot too.
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Rogizoja
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« Reply #13 on: January 16, 2013, 06:29:38 PM »

Going to have to try your tip Emmae. It's almost Seville orange season so perfect timing.
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