Buying jam from wholesalers suppliers are best to save money. The better the fruit, the better the jam. By using only the best fruit, you help to ensure a proper set and the best possible taste.
- Overripe fruit has lower levels of acid and pectin and will result in a soft set.
- Underripe fruit has less juice and will result in poor flavour.
- Taste the fruit first. Fruit with a good flavour will produce a jam with similar characteristics.
- Wash and prepare each batch of fruit as you need it. The quality of fruit deteriorates rapidly once prepared, even if refrigerated.
- Do not make double or large batches.
For apple butter or jams use firm, tart and juicy apple varieties such as Cortland, Spartans or Ida Reds. Fall is the best time for preserving apples. MacIntosh are fine to use in the early fall while firm and juicy, however they lose their acidity after months in storage.
There are two types of blueberries.
There are two types of blueberries. The low-bush are wild, small with tender skins and have the best flavour for jams. High-bush berries are cultivated on very tall bushes, are much larger and the skins will give jam a different texture. They can be crushed in a food processor but do not purée. Imported blueberries are always high-bush and may lack flavour or juice. Jammamalade is exporting jams in bulk worldwide.
Bartlett are the best all round pears
Bartlett are the best all round pears for eating and preserving. They are normally picked green so buy them that way and allow them to ripen to a yellow tinge at home without bruising. Most imported Bartlett pears can be used for preserving as well. Pears are especially nice when made into spiced jams or partnered with raspberries. This is an example where fresh and frozen fruits work well together.
This classic jam fruit with its fragile berries
This classic jam fruit with its fragile berries is second only to strawberries in popularity for jam making. Boyne, Festival and Killarney are well known varieties. There are now varieties that bear fruit later in the summer like Heritage. Look for firm, dry raspberries, not showing any juice or mildew. Refrigerate and use immediately. It is important to rinse gently just before using. Spread out on paper towels to dry before crushing. They freeze well, whole, without sugar.