...
Cerca
Close this search box.
Cerca
Close this search box.
confetture e marmellate

JAMS AND MARMALADE

WHAT JAM & MARMALADE ARE

Jam and marmalade are often used indistinctly in everyday language. We use both to indicate a preparation based on fruit and sugar with a spreadable consistency. It is all true so far!

Then we have Fruit Jellies, which are different from the first ones because they are firm, coated with sugar, and delicious! 

A NOTE BEFORE STARTING

If we wanted to make things more precise, we should distinguish:

Jam is a preparation with a minimum content of 35% fruit and added sugar. Suppose the percentage of fruit is higher than 45%. In that case, we can use Extra Jam, which is also characterized by a lower percentage of added sugar (because more sugar is contained in fruit). Generally speaking, a jam’s final sugar content is about 55-60%, which varies according to the recipe’s sweetness.

Marmalade: Like Jam, it indicates a preparation made with Citrus fruits. Therefore, saying “Lemon Marmalade” is correct, but not “Peach Marmalade.”

Compote: These preparations are similar to Jam but differ in sugar content, which usually varies between 100-200 grams per kilo of fruit, obtaining a sugar concentration in the recipe of about 13-15%. The shelf life of Compotes is, therefore, much shorter than that of Jam or Marmalade.

Fruit Jellies: Like Jams, they have a higher quantity of sugar and a gelling process that makes them suitable to be cut.

Since we do not have to put a label on the preparation at home, we can continue to use the term Jam or Marmelade as we are used to doing, and no one will be upset. 🙂

Table of Contents

INGREDIENTS

FRUITS

They represent the heart of the recipe; ideally, we could prepare a jam or marmalade with different types of fruits. The recipe must choose well-ripened fruit to obtain a fair amount of sugar and a persistent aroma. Before preparing the recipe, the fruits must be well-washed in cold water. In case of foul fruit, I suggest using a food disinfectant and rinsing it properly.

For the preparation of jams and marmalades, fruits can be used with their peel or peeled according to personal taste. If you use the fruit without the peel, I suggest blanch the fruits for 1-2 minutes in boiling water and then put them in icy water. This thermal shock will help you to peel the fruit much more quickly.

Every fruit is characterized by a specific sugar content (measured with a Refractometer, a straightforward tool to use and to find online) and varies with the level of ripeness. Knowing the fruit’s real sugar content is fundamental to calculating the right quantity of granulated sugar to add to the recipe. I will explain this step better in the chapter about balancing the recipe.

SUGAR

Sugar is the second most important ingredient because it determines the Jam’s sweetness, but above all, its preservation. The higher the quantity of sugar, the longer the conservation time will be. Jam and marmalade, if well-balanced and pasteurized, can last about 24 months. In compotes, where the sugar content is lower, the shelf life goes down to a few days in the refrigerator at +4°C (39°F) and up to 6 months if blast chilled and stored at -20°C (-4°F).

The primary sugar used is granulated sugar. However, other types of sugar as raw sugar, can be used in the recipe to exalt the taste of some fruits. Sometimes, you can replace part of the sugar with honey; however, you should pay attention not to obtain an excessively sweet product. Moreover, honey tends to darken during cooking.

For Fruit Jellies, instead, you can also use a percentage of Glucose syrup, which prevents the recipe’s sugar from re-crystallizing and gives the jelly a “rounder” consistency in the mouth.

THICKENERS

they are ingredients used to accelerate the gelling process of our Jam. In particular, pectin is the most used thickener for these preparations. Pectin is a substance already present in variable quantities in fresh fruit, with a particular concentration in Apples (Green and Quince) and Citrus fruits. However, we often use powdered pectin to accelerate the process and have a firmer jam.

People approaching pectin may be intimidated for the first time because there are many types, often called with difficult-to-understand technical terms. In general, it is enough to know that the choice of the right pectin to use depends, first of all, on:

  • The recipe you are making (jam and marmalade, fruit pastes)
  • PH and, therefore, the acidity of the preparation
  • The temperature at which it must gel

In particular, here is my advice:

For Jams and marmalades: Use a “Rapid Set” Pectin (sometimes you can also find the wording HM – Rapid Set).

For Low Sugar Jams: Use an “LM” Pectin (LM stands for Low Methoxy)

For fruit jelly (the classic sugar-coated jellies), use “Yellow” pectin or slow set.

You should always mix pectin 3 times its weight of granulated sugar before using it. This trick avoids creating lumps in the preparation.

It is good practice to extract pectin naturally from fruit to replace powdered pectin, thus obtaining a 100% natural preparation. You can generally extract the pectin from green apples with an easy process, which I will show you in this recipe. The juice is used as a thickener, in the proportion of 20% of the fruits’ weight.

METHODS OF PREPARATION OF JAM

There are two methods of preparing Jam, depending on the type of fruit used.

DIRECT METHOD WITH 1 COOKING

it is indicated for fruits with lots of juice, such as Plums, Cherries, Raspberries, or blended fruit.

Mix the fruit with the sugar and let it macerate for 30 minutes at room temperature.

Once ready, cook the fruit on the stove at 105-108°C (221°F – 226°F) or 65Brix,

Pour into the pots while still boiling.

  • Pros: Fast and quick method
  • Cons: If you use chopped fruit, you lose the texture of the pieces of fruit inside the Jam.

DOUBLE COOKING METHOD

This technique is a more professional method, often used in pastry, because it allows obtaining a product that preserves the fruit’s original color. Furthermore, the fruits remain soft and perceptible inside the jar.

Mix the fruit with the sugar and macerate it for 12 hours in the fridge at +4°C (39°F), covering it with a plastic wrap.

Bring the mixture to a boil for a few minutes to dissolve all the sugar in the recipe. Pour again in a bowl, cover, and chill in the fridge for 12h. During this process, additional juice will be extracted from the fruit, increasing the concentration of pectin in the recipe.

After 12 hours, separate the fruit from the syrup using a sieve or colander.

Bring the syrup back to a boil, to 105-108°C (221°F – 226°F) or 65Brix (the most reliable measurement).

Remove the syrup from the heat and add the fruit.

Bring everything back to a boil for 5-10min until it returns to 105°C(221°F), and pour into jars.

  • Pros: Final product with excellent color and texture because the pieces of fruit are not degraded during cooking
  • Cons: Longer preparation time

HOW TO BALANCE JAM OR MARMALADE RECIPE

The balance of a jam or marmalade recipe varies according to many factors, not the least of which is one’s taste for a more or less sweet product.

Imagine we want to add a little sugar in the recipe to have an apparently “lighter” product; this means we will obtain a fruit mixture with a low initial sugar level (a few degrees Brix). Thus, It must cook longer before having the recipe’s right sugar concentration (65 degrees Brix). As a result, the final color will be dark, and the taste will be quite bitter.

The Jam’s final color represents another factor to consider when balancing the recipe. I often see strawberry or peach jams that are entirely brown because they are overcooked, and the fruit has been completely denatured.

If you have a refractometer, you can correctly balance your recipe based on the fruits’ sugar ONLY. 

Here below is an indicative table of Brix degrees of different fruits used for Jams and Marmalades:

FRUITAVERAGE °BRIX
Fig24
Persimmon18
Plum18
Pineapple17
Apricot16
Kiwi16
Apple16
Papaya16
Grapes15
Watermelon14
Strawberry14
Pear14
Peach14
Orange13
Avocado13
Cantaloupe13
Banana12
Coconut12
Blackberry12
Bluebarry12
Grapefruit12
Cherry11
Lemon9
Mango9
Lime8

HOW MUCH SUGAR TO ADD TO THE FRUITS

MEASUREMENT OF FRUIT SUGAR

To correctly measure the sugar content, wash the fruit indicated in the recipe, cut and crus a small piece of fruit, and let some juice drops come out. Place the juice on the slide of the refractometer and direct it towards a light source. Looking through the eyepiece, you will see a graduated scale on which you can read the fruit’s Brix degrees. Let’s take 1kg of Strawberries as an example. You will most likely read a value of about 14 (depending on the fruit’s ripeness), which means that in 1kg of fruit, we have 140g of sugar (Brix = Sugar/Fruit weight * 100).

ADDITION OF GRANULATED SUGAR FOR STANDARD RECIPE

The quantity of sugar to add is calculated to obtain a base preparation of 64 degrees Brix, which will then be concentrated up to 65 degrees Brix, during cooking,

Straightforwardly, the sugar to add for each kilogram of fruit is calculated in this way:

640 – [degrees Brix measured in the fruit x 100].

In the previous example of 1 kilo of strawberries, the quantity of sugar to add is 640 – 140 = 500gr/kg of strawberries.

ADDING GRANULATED SUGAR FOR LOW SUGAR RECIPE

As above, but the target Brix degrees is 50, and we will bring them to 60 with cooking. In this case, you can obtain a jam or marmalade with a very fresh taste of fruit and with a slightly slower consistency than the previous one.

In this case, the formula becomes:

500 – [degrees Brix measured in the fruit x 100].

In the example of 1 kilo of strawberries, the quantity of sugar to add is 500 – 140 = 360gr/kg of strawberries.

WHAT ABOUT ACID?

Acid is a fundamental element for the pectin’s activation, which needs sugar and acidity to start its gelification reaction.

The acid commonly used in the preparation of Jams or marmalades is the Lemon juice(citric acid) in a ratio of about 20-30gr for each Kg of fruit.


STORAGE

The storage of Jam mainly depends on its sugar quantity and on the pasteurization process. If you take each step correctly, our Jam can last up to 2 years at room temperature and be stored in a fresh and dark place.

To ensure good preservation of the final product, it is necessary to carefully do 2 steps:

PREPARATION OF JARS

Once carefully washed, you can sterilize the (glass) jars boiling them for 5 minutes or heating them in an oven at 120°C (248°F) for 10 minutes. It is good practice to keep the jars sterile (and therefore boiling) until the Jam has been potted.

PASTEURIZATION OF THE JAM

Once the Jam has been bottled, you can close the glass with the lid, tightened and pasteurized in 2 ways:

Boiling water: you immerse the jars in boiling water for 15minutes to allow the heat to reach the product. After this time, turn off the stove and leave them in the water until they cool.
If you use the jars directly from the oven at 120°C (248°F) and pot the Jam as soon as it is removed from the stove, you can obtain a safe product that doesn’t need further pasteurization. In this case, once the lids have been placed and tightened, you can turn upside down the jars and let them cool, to form an air pocket on the surface of the product.

FRUIT JELLIES

PREPARATION TECHNIQUE

The starting ingredient for preparing delicious Fruit Jellies is the fruit juice or the fruit pulp. For this reason, we can use a direct cooking method, which consists in:

  1. Mix the pectin with 3 times its weight of sugar (e.g., 50gr of pectin in 150gr of sugar of the recipe), mixing thoroughly.
  2. Bring Fruit Pulp, Sugar, and Pectin to a boil, stirring gently.
  3. Add glucose syrup and cook until it reaches 109°C (228°F)
  4. Add the citric acid (or lemon juice), stirring for about 30 seconds.
  5. Remove from heat and immediately pour into a square pastry ring or a baking pan covered with greaseproof paper.
  6. Allow to gel at room temperature for 12 hours before cutting and tossing in the granulated sugar.

HOW TO BALANCE FRUIT JELLIES

The balance of fruit jellies differs from the Jams because of the higher sugar content (equal weight, compared to fruit). Moreover, we use Glucose syrup that gives a more delicate texture in the mouth and prevents re-crystallizing the recipe’s sugars.

Typically Jellies recipe is made of:

  • Pulp and/or Juice of Fresh Fruit
  • Sugar: 80% of the weight of fruit
  • Glucose: 25% of the weight of fruit
  • Yellow” Pectin: 25gr/Kg of Fruit

Share

9 comments about “Le confetture dolci e salate”

  1. GRAZIE

    Sei davvero preciso e chiaro, con informazioni tecniche e scientifiche.

    Ho una domanda su come procedere a fare le marmellate coi piccoli frutti, ad esempio col ribes. Io di solito lo metto nell’estrattore di succhi per prelevarci la polpa scartando i semi ( che sono molto fastidiosi a differenza dei lamponi o delle fragole per esempio). In questo caso, come potrei modificare la ricetta base che hai dato tu? Semplicemente aggiungendo lo zucchero calcolato come descritto e cuocendo fin che il composto non raggiunge i 65 brix? Io lo cuocio ad occhio e la marmellata diventa molto solida e gelatinosa una volta raffreddata.

    Altra domanda: dove si può trovare quale frutta contiene tanta pectina e quale no?

    Grazie

    1. Ciao Matteo,
      la cosa migliore è passare al setaccio o in un passapomodoro la marmellata BOLLENTE non appena cotta

      Per il resto, il procedimento rimane quello standard!

      Per quanto riguarda il contenuto di pectina naturale ecco quache esempio:

      ALTO CONTENUTO DI PECTIINA
      limoni, lime
      mele di granchio
      mirtilli
      ribes
      uva spina
      prugne
      uva
      mele cotogne

      MODERATO CONTENUTO DI PECTINA
      mele (mature)
      more
      amarene
      arance

      BASSO CONTENTO DI PECTINA
      albicocche
      mirtilli
      ciliegie mature
      pesche
      pere
      ananas
      lamponi
      fragole

      A presto!

Lascia un commento

Your email address will not be published. I campi obbligatori sono contrassegnati *

it_IT

Restiamo in contatto

Iscriviti alla Newsletter di Biancolievito!

Niente spam o offerte promozionali…Promesso!