Wednesday, 19 June 2013

Home Made Preserves

Hi peeps!

I'm so sad today; my holiday is finally over and as you read this myself and my chicks are on the bus back home. Can't believe the time has flown by so quickly and I will be home again before the blink of an eye. I want to take this opportunity to thank both my mom and dad for having us and for everything that was done for us during this holiday period. It was absolutely magic being with all three my daughters together and with my mom and dad too.
*sigh* back to reality I go....

Anyways. I thought that it would be a good idea for us to take a look at home made preserves. We can start off with Micro-mini jams....

5 Reasons to Make Micro-Mini Jam

You can enjoy homemade jam without investing in the gear traditional jam-making requires that takes up valuable cupboard space. Micro-Mini jams can be made with tools you most likely already have.

It is the perfect springboard into jam-making for the novice. If something goes wrong, you haven’t wasted many ingredients. Rest assured, though, all will go well.

You don’t eat a lot of jam and just want a jar or two for the occasional Sunday brunch.

The backyard plum tree has only yielded five Damsons, yet you are determined to make jam; OR you have a small amount of overripe fruit lying around, begging to be made into jam.

Thirty minutes is all you need!

Convinced? Let’s get started.

Recipe: Strawberry-Rhubarb Micro-Mini Jam

Makes about two 8-ounce (250 ml) jars
You can use fresh or frozen strawberries for this jam. Crush them with a potato masher in a shallow dish, then measure 1 cup. If using frozen berries, let them thaw before crushing.
1-1/2 cups chopped rhubarb in ½-inch pieces
2 Tbsp water
1 cup crushed strawberries (about 2 cups sliced)
1 Tbsp lemon juice
2 Tbsp powdered pectin
2 cups granulated sugar

In a 16-cup microwave-safe bowl, combine rhubarb and water. (I use a 10-cup bowl; it worked, but very nearly overflowed.) Partially cover bowl with plastic wrap, leaving a gap for some of the steam to escape. Microwave on High for 2 minutes or until hot. Remove and discard plastic. Drain off any liquid or blot with a paper towel.
Stir in strawberries and lemon juice. Stir in pectin until dissolved. Stir in sugar until dissolved.
Microwave, uncovered, on High for 2 minutes; stir and scrape down sides of bowl. Microwave on High again for 2 minutes; stir and scrape down sides of bowl. Repeat in 1-minute intervals for another 2 to 4 minutes, or until jam froths up and thickens; stir and scrape down sides each time.
Test for setting point (see details below). Microwave in additional 1-minute intervals as needed.
Remove from microwave. Stir slowly until foam subsides; skim off any remaining foam. Stir slowly for 2 to 3 minutes to prevent floating fruit.
Ladle into clean jars; wipe rims. Apply metal lids and rings, or use plastic lids; tighten until snug. Transfer to a towel-lined surface and let rest at room temperature until set. Refrigerate for up to 3 weeks.

How to test for jam setting point

There are several ways to test if your jam is reduced enough and will cool into a firm consistency. I use the simple wrinkle or ‘plate method’:
Place about 2 tsp of jam on a chilled small plate and place it in the freezer for a minute or two, until cooled to room temperature. A skin will form on top.

And its easy coz even the kids can help!

Happy jam-making peeps!
Chef Shants xxxxx

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