For delicious homemade jams, all you need is...
- A heavy based 6 litre pot with room for bubbling
- A wooden spoon
- Pre-sterlisied jars including lids (see below)
- Metal ladle for potting
- Chilled small plate to test for set
- Oven mitt or tea towel for holding hot jars
Place dry washed jars and lids into preheated oven at 120°C conventional (100°C fan-forced) for 30 mins, or simply put through the dishwasher rinse cycle. Jars should be warm when jam or chutney is decanted into them.
Fresh is best:
When choosing your fruits for preserving, look for fruit that is sufficiently ripe, has an even consistency and is free of blemishes. This ensures maximum taste and beautiful vibrant colours. When your favourite fruit is not in season, frozen can be used as an alternative for delicious results.
Small batches of jam is best as this enables fruit to cook more evenly and there is less chance of the sugar burning. As a guide, 1kg of CSR Jam Setting Sugar® (2 packs) to 1kg of fruit is the ideal batch size.
Testing for set:
To test your jam for the perfect setting point, spoon a small amount onto a chilled plate. Leave for a few seconds to cool then push a spoon (or your finger) through the jam. If it wrinkles your jam is ready to be potted. If it doesn’t wrinkle return your pot to the boil for 2 mins and test again.
Experimenting with flavours:
The fun of preserving is the vast selection of flavour varieties to try. If you are feeling adventurous experiment with fruits and vegetables such as guava, pears, pineapples, kiwi fruits, mangoes, quinces, tomatoes, capsicums, beetroot and onions.
Chutneys, pastes and jellies:
Some preserves will not follow the standard 1:1 ratio of sugar to fruit, or the 5 steps. It is recommended to use our pre-tested recipes for these. However if you are feeling adventurous, remember:
- A chutney may not require as much sweetness, or as firm a set as a jam so the sugar to ingredient ratio may be reduced.
- Pastes will have varying levels of set depending on how much sugar is added to achieve the sweetness desired, and the natural pectin in the ingredients you are using.
- Jellies require 1kg of liquid (e.g. fresh fruit juice) to 1kg of sugar, and follow the same steps as regular jam.