The Pass. The Judgement day of plates.

The Pass. The Judgement day of plates.
Bring the finished plates up to the pass for inspection.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

There are no secrets to making great jams besides using the best fruits or berries you can find in the market. The sweeter the fruit, the better your jam is going to taste. That is all.

For this orange marmalade, I started off with a couple of oranges and peeled the rind off without the pith. The pith is the white spongy stuff underneath your citrus fruits. Then I segmented the rest of the orange and squeezed every last drop of OJ from the left over cores. Keep the segments and juice aside for later. With the peels, I tripe blanched, once to get rid of the waxy coating on the orange, 2nd to open up spores on the surface and then lastly, I cooked the orange peels in a simple syrup which is made out of sugar and water. About half and half. I brought the syrup to a boil with the peels inside and I let it simmer very lightly for about another hour.

Then when the orange peels and syrup is cooled, blitz them in a food processor to the consistency or texture you want your jam to be. If you like it with a bit of bite from the grind, then don't blitz it for too long.

I like my jam with a bit of texture so as you can see, there's still tiny bits of pieces of the rind.

Return the pureed rind to the pot and we will continue to add the rest of the ingredients to it.
Here we have the orange juice that we squeezed, the segments from the orange and some sugar with pectin. Pectin is the setting agent for almost all jams that I know of. You can try it with gelatin or even agar agar. Although they would all work as for they are all jellifying agents, but they don't give you the same jam texture as pectin would.

Pour the orange juice into pot along with your orange segments and turn up the heat while whisking.

In this step, you should combine your sugar with the pectin and mix it all around so the pectin is disbursed into the sugar. If you dump your pectin into any liquid, you would have a high chance of creating pectin lumps which are very hard to break apart. So by mixing your pectin and sugar, this will help evenly spread the mixture around minimizing lumps. Rain in your sugar pectin mixture while stirring the jam so everything is mixed in nicely. You need to keep on stirring and heating your jam until you reach a minimum temp. of 105C-106C. Only at this temperature that it would activate the pectin and allow the agent to start jellifying.

You need to sterolize your preserving containers or jars, and you can do that by dipping them in hot bolied water for 30 seconds or so, and then drying them in the oven at about 150F. Then fill the jars with your jam and seel them tight. As longe as the containers are sterolized properly, you can store these jams in cool, dark places for up to a year or two.
Of course, before you want to try a home made jam that's 2 years old already, you might want to check out any signs of spoilage first. Don't just assume because it's a preserve that it's going to last.

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