Home made jams with pure fruit and no artificial additives are divine.
Succulent summer fruits are abundant to our Mediterranean climate and these can be preserved in the form of jams, chutneys, pickles and compotes. They make original Christmas gifts and will be appreciated in the winter months.
Pectin gives a larger yield as you do not have to cook the jam for so long. The fruit colour is retained and you are guaranteed the right consistency. Pectin is available in the store.
Apples have a very high pectin content and can be added to jams instead of pectin however it is harder to achieve a clear jam.
The high content of sugar preserves the jam without the formation of syrup, crystals or mould and stops fermentation.
If you need to follow a reduced sugar diet, you can use stevia or another alternative however jams will need to be stored in the fridge.
3 kilos pomegranates
Juice of 6 lemons or limes
Pectin and follow instructions on packet or 6 apples peels and finely chopped
Peel the pomegranates and juice them. Do not use a juicer as this will give the jam a bitter taste. I place a large pot in the sink, cut the pomegranates in half and I squeeze the fruit with skin on with my hands. Strain the seeds.
Weigh the juice on a measuring scale and weigh an equal amount of sugar. Place in a pot with the juice and the sugar. Add the pectin or apples. Bring to a boil, lower the heat and keep on a rolling boil for half an hour. Skim the pink foam from the top of the jam while it is cooking. Use the saucer test and when it is the right consistency, remove from heat and fill the jars.
Dark Apple Chutney
2 large apples
10 mini chopped gherkins
4 garlic cloves
125g chopped dates
1 teaspoon salt
Juice of one lemon
500 ml malt vinegar
2 teaspoons mustard seed
2 teaspoons ground allspice
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 spoon whole peppercorns
Brown sugar and white sugar: weigh all the fruit and vegetables and use equal amount of brown sugar and white sugar. Eg. 1 kg fruit and vegetables requires 500g brown sugar and 500g white sugar.
Combine all ingredients with the exception of the sugar and gherkins in a large saucepan and bring to boil. Reduce heat and cook until the vegetables and fruit are soft. Add the sugars and cook for a further 20 minutes. During the last 10 minutes add the gherkins. There is no need to do a saucer test with this as the chutney will need at least 4 weeks to mellow in flavor and texture.
Prickly Pear Jam
Use one color for the jam and I found that the best colour for jam are yellow prickly pears
2 kilos peeled prickly pears
Juice of 3 lemons
Grated rind of one lemon
Pectin and follow instructions on packet or 6 apples
Place 500g prickly pears in a pot and mash them. Put the other 750g into a large gauze and squeeze the juice out of them. Weigh the combined fruit and juice. Weigh out the same amount of sugar and keep aside. Add the lemons, rind, pectin or apples to the prickly pear mixture. Using moderate heat, bring to a boil and cook for 15 minutes. Add the sugar and keep on rolling boil for 15 minutes. Do the saucer test until you are happy with the consistency. Pour the hot jam into sterilized jars.