We hope the following information answers all of your questions about preserving with CSR Jam Setting Sugar®, to help you make your very own fresh and fruity batches with ease.
- What is the difference between jams, marmalades, jellies, preserves, chutneys and pastes?
- Why should homemade preserves be cooked in small batches?
- I have noticed that some recipes ask for a “knob (10g) of butter”, why is this required and what is the benefit of this?
- I have been told that homemade preserves continue to set for some time after they are made. Is this true? If so, when can I start using my homemade preserves?
- Why does the peel in my marmalade float to the top of the jar once it has set?
- I like my jam runny. How do I adjust your recipe to achieve this?
- How is the CSR Jam Setting Sugar® made? What is it about it that allows me to make jam quickly with a perfect set every time?
- Why is vegetable oil included in the products formulation?
- Can I use CSR Jam Setting Sugar® for the current recipes I have at home?
- What is pectin? How does it work in preserving?
- Can I use CSR Jam Setting Sugar® to make jams using fruit combinations, i.e. apple & raspberry?
- I have tried making peach jam using CSR Jam Setting Sugar®, and chopped 1kg of peaches into small cubes before boiling. Whilst the jam has set, much of the fruit has floated to the top. What can I do about this?
- Some of my current jam recipes (i.e. apricot jam) require me to soak the fruit before making the jam. Is this required for making jams with CSR Jam Setting Sugar®?
- Will making jams and other preserves with frozen fruit work as well as with fresh fruit?
- What is the best way to store the preserves I have made? How long will they keep?
- I have made my batch of jam, but I have a partly filled jar left. Will mould develop?
- Can I freeze my jams, marmalades and jellies?
Technically speaking, below are the traditional definitions:
• Jam is made from crushed or chopped fruit. Jam holds its shape, but is less firm than jelly. When jams are made from a mixture of fruits they are usually called conserves, especially when they contain citrus fruits, nuts, raisins or coconut.
• Marmalades (the English term for citrus jams) are soft, transparent fruit jams that contain small pieces of fruit or citrus peel.
• Jelly is a mixture of fruit juice and sugar that is clear and firm enough to hold its shape.
• Preserves are made of small, whole fruits or pieces of fruits in clear, thick, slightly gelled syrup.
• Chutneys are usually sweet and often spiced condiments for savoury dishes. They usually consist of a mixture of fruits, vegetables and spices.
• Pastes are generally a smooth, thick mixture of fruits, spices and sometime vegetables and nuts. Pastes are most popularly served with cheese and antipasto platters to balance the savoury and salty flavours.
However it is worth noting that the term ‘Preserves’ or ‘Preserving’ is now commonly used as a collective for all of the above, meaning to extend the life of the fresh produce.
When making preserves, such as jam at home, heating and mixing large quantities of fruit and sugar can be problematic, as sugar may burn and fruit may not cook evenly. This will ultimately affect the quality of your homemade goodies.
CSR Jam Setting Sugar® has been formulated specifically for small batches made at home – for jams, marmalades and jellies, 1kg of CSR Jam Setting Sugar® (2 packs) = 1 batch. You may double up on batches however do not exceed this, as the quality and set of your preserve may be affected.
I have noticed that some recipes ask for a “knob (10g) of butter”, why is this required and what is the benefit of this?
Most fruits contain a natural ‘soap like’ substance which froths when fruit is boiled during the jam making process. Butter interacts with this substance to lower the amount of froth developed, whilst controlling the level of boil. Less froth means that more jam is produced, minimising wastage.
I have been told that homemade preserves continue to set for some time after they are made. Is this true? If so, when can I start using my homemade preserves?
Yes, this is true. Jams, marmalades, jellies and pastes do continue to set after they have been made and potted into jars. Depending on the type of fruit used, a batch can reach its final set anywhere between 2 – 12 hours from the time it has been made.
It is therefore best to consume your freshly made preserves anytime from the day after making them.
The white pith between the flesh and the peel of citrus fruits is very light and will make the peel float in the finished marmalade. To avoid this from occurring, when taking the peel off the fruit, remove the peel only, not the pith.
Whilst we recommend peeling the fruit with a potato peeler so that the peel can be cut to a regular size, this can sometimes remove excessive pith from the fruit flesh. If this happens, try using a fine grater or zester.
CSR Jam Setting Sugar® has been developed to achieve a firm gel like texture, typical of the types of jams and marmalades purchased in supermarkets, at gourmet delis and markets, as well as those made at home using traditional methods.
However if you prefer a slightly runnier texture, try adding up to 50g of extra cleaned fruit and 50g of regular white sugar per batch.. The additional fruit should result in a softer, runnier set.
How is the CSR Jam Setting Sugar® made? What is it about it that allows me to make jam quickly with a perfect set every time?
CSR Jam Setting Sugar® is made from a blend of natural Australian cane sugar (98%), apple pectin (0.7%), citric acid and vegetable oil.
All these ingredients are used in the traditional jam making process. However, a lot of trial and error is involved in finding the right levels and combination of these ingredients required to achieve a perfect set. By using CSR Jam Setting Sugar®, there is no need for such guesswork – all the necessary ingredients in the right ratio have been blended for you. All you need to do is add fruit, and off you go!
CSR Jam Setting Sugar® contains a tiny amount of vegetable oil. The oil works as a binder in the manufacturing process to hold the product’s ingredients together. It has no function in the preserving process and does not affect the flavour, texture or quality of your homemade preserves as it is such a minute amount.
The recipes developed using CSR Jam Setting Sugar® have been specially formulated to reduce cooking times (versus traditional methods), and have been thoroughly tested to ensure they work every time.
By all means you can use your own fruit combinations and recipes. However if you are looking to adapt your own recipe/s, and are using CSR Jam Setting Sugar®, make sure you remember not to add any pectin, citric acid (or lemon juice), or sugar separately, as these key jam making ingredients are already included in CSR Jam Setting Sugar®.
To make your own jam and marmalade recipes at home all you need is 1kg cleaned fruit (of your choice) and 1kg CSR Jam Setting Sugar® (2 x 500g packs) to make delicious preserves in no time.
Found naturally in fruits and vegetables, pectin is used as a thickener in preserves, providing a gel-like set (similar to gelatine). It is available in powdered and liquid forms.
Pectin provides fruit with structure, and firmness, much like collagen keeps our skin firm. For example a ripe, firm and crunchy apple is high in pectin, whereas a softer fruit (i.e. strawberries) has less pectin.
All fruits contain some level of pectin, however some more than others.
• High pectin fruits include: apples and most citrus fruits, i.e. oranges, lemons, limes, tangerines and cumquats.
• Low pectin fruits include: strawberries, raspberries, plums, apricots, blackberries, blueberries, peaches, figs and rhubarb.
When making jams, pectin only works properly when combined with exactly the right amount of sugar and fruit. Sugar absorbs water from the fruit, which when combined with citric acid, stimulate the activity of the pectin, so that a gel (or jam) forms.
In finished jams, those made with high pectin fruits tend to set a little firmer than softer fruits which contain less pectin.
Absolutely! You can use any combinations of fruit – so long as for each batch of jam made, you use the equivalent of 1kg of cleaned fruit: no more, no less.
i.e. for a mixed berry jam, you could try 300g strawberries, 300g raspberries, and 400g blackberries: total = 1kg fruit.
To combine a harder fruit with a softer fruit (i.e. apple and raspberry), process the harder fruit (apple) using a food processor until a smooth paste forms, then add softer fruit (raspberry) to this. Again ensure that you use no more than 1kg total fruit per batch made.
So, not only can you make your traditional favourites, you can experiment with a variety of fruits in season to create your very own special jam blend.
I have tried making peach jam using CSR Jam Setting Sugar®, and chopped 1kg of peaches into small cubes before boiling. Whilst the jam has set, much of the fruit has floated to the top. What can I do about this?
Using CSR Jam Setting Sugar®, the fruit is boiling for a much shorter time than when making jams using traditional methods. This shorter boil time helps to maintain fresh fruit colour and texture for a more vibrant looking jam. However, the shorter boil time also means that the fruit cannot be broken down as much during the cooking process. Consequently, it is important to ensure that fruit is mashed rather than chopped when being used to make jams when using CSR Jam Setting Sugar®. This will ensure that your jam has an even consistency, and that cubes or large chunks of fruit will not float to the top of your fresh batch of jam.
Some of my current jam recipes (i.e. apricot jam) require me to soak the fruit before making the jam. Is this required for making jams with CSR Jam Setting Sugar®?
There is no need to soak any fruit for jam making using this product. For firmer fruits, simply blend, mash or process the fruit down to a pulp-like consistency before boiling as per the instructions on pack.
Yes. Frozen fruit can be substituted for fresh fruit – particularly handy for making your favourite berry jam all year round. Fresh fruit is always best, but frozen fruit is a fantastic substitute.
Frozen fruit is snap frozen, meaning that all the fresh fruit colour, taste, texture and vitamins are maintained. Simply defrost frozen fruit prior to using.
For best results, store freshly made preserves in a cool, dry place i.e. pantry after you have sealed and labelled them.
Unopened preserves, such as jams, made with CSR Jam Setting Sugar® will keep for up to 12 months from day of making, in the pantry (note: if you are making a preserve such as chutney which does not have as much sugar as a jam this will reduce its shelf life to about 3 months unopened).
All preserves must be stored in the fridge upon opening (keeps for approximately 3 months). Once opened, preserves have been exposed to air, and are subject to mould, oxidisation (change in colour), as with any other fresh fruit.
There is no need to worry. You can still enjoy the partly filled jar of jam. However, as a partly filed jar is more susceptible to mould, it is important to store this in the fridge (not pantry) once the jam cools, even if it has not been opened. Storing these jars in the fridge (as opposed to the pantry) will keep the jam cool, reducing the potential for mould to develop.
No. There are a few reasons for this:
• Glass jar holding jams may shatter or crack due to extreme temperature.
• The jam will thicken, but not necessarily freeze, which may affect freshness.
• There is a strong likelihood that the jam set will be ruined, as water seeps out, therefore affecting the jam’s structure.