Jams and Jellies

I’ve been busy canning lately. This article from September 1987 provides a nice introduction to jams and jellies with some great recipes at the end.

September 10, 1987

The season for making jams, jellies and preserves out of the last fresh fruit is upon us. There is a special delight in cooking and canning a sweet spread that will be eaten on a light biscuit or roll some cold winter evening.

A fine line separates jellies, jams, preserves, conserves, marmalades and butters from each other.

Jellies are made from fruit juice squeezed from the fruit, which is usually cooked first. It is a clear or translucent jel.

Jams are purees made from fruit; they are thick, but not as firm as jellies.

Preserves are made from a single kind of fruit which is usually left whole; conserves are made with fresh fruits and dried fruit or nuts, or both; and marmalades are made most often from one or more kinds of citrus fruits.

Fruit butters are pureed fruit cooked down until they form a very thick paste. They usually have sugar and spices added and have a smooth texture.

Some fruits have enough natural pectin to make jelly and jam if they are cooked to the jelling point. Included in this group of fruit are tart apples and crabapples, blackberries, Concord grapes, lemons, oranges, Damson plums, quinces and raspberries.

For most jelly and jam making a commercial powdered pectin is added along with sugar to insure a satisfactory finished product.

Orange Carrot Marmalade

3 oranges

1 lemon

4 1/2 cups water

3 cups grated carrot

4 1/2 cups sugar

1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

Slice oranges and lemon in thin slices and cut into quarters. Add water and allow to stand overnight. Heat to boiling and add carrots and boil 10 minutes. Stir in sugar and ginger and continue boiling to jelly stage.

Seal in sterilized jars and process in hot water bath for 10 minutes.

Watermelon Rind Preserves

Select melons with thick rinds. Peel off all the green portion. Cut into small pieces. Soak in salt water overnight (1/2 cup salt to 1 gallon water). Drain and rinse. Cook in clear water for about 30 minutes or until tender. Drain well.

For 11 cups of the melon rind. Make a syrup of 9 cups of sugar, 8 cups of water, 4 sliced lemons and add 1 or 2 sticks of cinnamon. Boil the syrup, lemon, and spices 5 minutes before adding the rinds. Add rinds and cook until transparent and clear.

Remove cinnamon stick. Allow to stand overnight. Lift melon chunks from syrup and place in sterilized jars. Heat syrup to boiling and pour over the rinds. Seal. Process in water bath for 15 minutes.

Peach Jam

4 cups crushed peaches

1/4 cup lemon juice

1 package powdered pectin

5 cups sugar

Combine all the ingredients in a large kettle. Bring to a full rolling boil, stirring constantly. Boil hard for 1 minute and continue stirring.

Remove from heat and continue stirring for 5 more minutes. Remove scum. Pour into hot sterilized jars. Seal. Process in hot water bath for 20 minutes. Makes three pints.

Pear Honey Jam

3 pounds pears

1 cup crushed pineapple

1 lemon

5 cups sugar

Wash, peel, core and quarter pears. Grind pears and the whole lemon through a food chopper, using a fine blade. Add pineapple and sugar. Cook slowly, stirring frequently until mixture thickens.

Pour into sterilized jars. Seal. Process in hot water bath for 20 minutes. Makes three pints

Plum Conserve

3 pounds Damson plums, sliced

3 cups of sugar

1 lemon, quartered and sliced thin

1 pound raisins

1 orange sliced thin and quartered

1 cup nuts, chopped

1 cup water

Cook plums, sugar, lemon, raisins and orange with the water until thick and clear. Add nuts. Pour into hot sterilized jars. Seal. Process in hot water bath for 15 minutes. Makes four pints.

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