Making jam is easy and economical. This traditional method of preserving fruits has been in use for centuries. But flavours needn't cling to familiar themes, as this delicious kiwi fruit and apple jam recipe demonstrates.
- sharp knife
- chopping board
- two large pans
- wooden spoon
- glass storage jars with screw-on lids
- baking tray
- cooling rack
- wax-proof paper
- apples (any variety, or a mix of several varieties)
- kiwi fruit
- preserving sugar
The quantity of fruits to be used is up to you. Use whatever is to hand, or purchase whichever apples you like. It's not important.
The weight of preserving sugar should be approximately half the weight of the prepared fruit. Exact measures are pointless as by the time you've pressed the cooked fruit pulp through a sieve the weight of the fruit will have altered anyway.
Preparing Fruit for Jam
Roughly chop the apples and kiwi fruits, and put these in a large pan.
Don't waste time peeling or coring fruit. The pips contain natural pectin which help to make the jam set. Why buy artificial pectin when you have the real thing at your fingertips?
Discard any bruised fruit. It is not possible to preserve something which is decaying already. Stalks can be placed in a colander, ready for adding to the compost heap.
Add a very small amount of water to the pan of chopped fruit and bring this to the boil. This is to stop the fruit sticking to the pan, and as kiwi fruits contain a high percentage of moisture anyway you won't need much.
Let the fruit cook through thoroughly, until it is pulpy. Use a masher if you wish.
Sterilise Jam Jars and Lids
Place your washed jam jars and lids onto a baking tray and put this in a cold oven. Heat the oven to 100 degrees and leave the jars and lids there for at least thirty minutes to ensure all bacteria has been killed. Plastic lids are no use as they'd melt in the oven
Don't remove these until you're ready to pour in the finished jam. As soon as you remove the tray of jars, contact with air will mean they're not entirely sterile but this is as good as is required.
You may wish to purchase purpose-made storage jars, or you might prefer to recycle glass jars with screw-top lids. You could use old jam or honey jars, pickle jars, sauce jars, coffee jars or peanut butter jars, for example.
The Cold Plate Test
How do you know when your jam has cooked enough?
Put an old plate in the freezer. After you've added the preserving sugar to the fruit, and the pan's contents develop the consistency of thin syrup, remove the chilled plate and drop a small teaspoon's worth of jam onto the plate.
Leave it alone for a minute or so. Then gently poke the jam with the spoon. If the surface wrinkles slightly, then jam is ready for pouring into jars.
You may have to do this more than once before the jam is ready.
Next Steps in Jam Making
Press the cooked, pulpy fruit through a sieve to remove pips, cores and skins - which can then be added to your compost heap.
If you wish, you can add ginger or cinnamon - or both - for a warmer, spicy flavour.
Due to their small size, some of the kiwi pips are bound to pass through the sieve but don't worry about this.
Next, slowly stir in the preserving sugar and make sure it has dissolved properly. Bring the pan back to a rolling boil. Gently spoon off any froth which collects at the edges of the pan, as this may spoil the translucency of the product.
Jam Today, Jam Tomorrow!
When you are sure the jam is ready, carefully pour it into your sterile jars while it's still piping hot. Watch out for any bubbling, spitting jam as it can burn skin easily.
Put the jars on a cooling rack, and as soon as possible add a circular disk of wax-proof paper which will act as a seal. Then add the jar lids, which may need to be tightened as they cool.
You can purchase commercially-made labels if you wish to, but making your own is easy and more economical. Clearly identify and date the jam.
Unopened and properly stored, home-made preserves can be safely eaten several years later - if your store lasts that long!
If you cut out a circle of colourful fabric and tie this over the lid with a ribbon, a jar of home-made jam can make a pleasing gift, too.
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© 2010 Adele Cosgrove-Bray
Adele Cosgrove-Bray (author) from Wirral, Cheshire, England. on September 27, 2012:
2patricias from Sussex by the Sea on September 27, 2012:
I am adding this to my Recipe Index for HubPages.
triosol on October 01, 2010:
very useful information. I am gonna try to make applejam this weekend :) Voted up
Adele Cosgrove-Bray (author) from Wirral, Cheshire, England. on August 29, 2010:
You're most welcome.
manna in the wild on August 29, 2010: