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  1. #1
    LostGoddess's Avatar
    LostGoddess is offline Sprouter
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    Default Will a proper jam pan make a difference?

    Hi everyone. I was hoping to get some advice on whether a proper preserving pan will solve some of the problems I have been experiencing making jams and marmalades.
    I have a big Meyer stainless steel stock pot with a 10mm base on it which I use for making preserves. It was fine when I was making various jellies for christmas presents, but I have found since I have been making preserves with 'bits' in, I find it difficult to get them to setting point without my mixture sticking to the bottom of the pan.
    I was wondering if it's my pan that is making the difference between success and failure, or am I just a bad preserver blaming her tools???
    Last night I tried hard to kick my 'stirring while roll boiling' habit in an attempt to keep the temperature up, but found that my strawberry jam still burnt on the bottom before setting point.

    Any advice most welcome!

  2. #2
    bluemoon is offline Early Fruiter
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    Haven't a clue if it will help, but I'm about to order one from Ascott Smallholder's Supplies. They have 'kits' which contain just about everything you need. But of course if you've been making jams for a while you probably already have most of the equipment. I've been using my bread machine for jam making for years, but a combination of way too much soft-fruit and a desire to 'do it right', means I'm going to start preserving in earnest this autumn. If you have blueberries try layering them in a jar alternately with sugar until it's almost full, then top the jar up with rum or brandy, screw the lid on tight and leave for at least a month or so, shaking gently occasionally so that the sugar, fruit juices and alcohol combine to form a thick syrup, then spoon the mixture it onto pancakes with a little whipped or clotted cream. This is my absolute favourite method for preserving fruit and is simple and delicious (and also idiot-proof, which is important when I'm the one doing it!)
    Last edited by bluemoon; 02-07-2009 at 05:25 PM.
    Into each life some rain must fall........but this is getting ridiculous.

  3. #3
    LostGoddess's Avatar
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    Thanks for that Bluemoon. I don't have much 'proper' equipment apart from a jam thermometer, I would be interested to see how you find using the equipment you've ordered.
    Your blueberry recipe sounds fantastic! I do have four new blueberry bushes but I don't think I'll have enough of a crop this year to preserve them. I did a similar thing with blackberries and raspberries for christmas presents and they were awesome and so easy. I think the alcoholic gifts were much more appreciated than my preserves, funny that

  4. #4
    SarzWix is offline Gardening Gnomette
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    I have a big jam pan (at http://www.cookability.biz/kitchen-c...-pan/b_234.htm they are £27 at the moment, cheapest I've seen) which has been a godsend for making everything from jam & jelly to chutney & tomato sauces. I've never had anything stick to the bottom since I got it 2 years ago.

    The other major weapon in my preserving armoury is "Jam Sugar" rather than ordinary sugar - it has added pectin so that you can get a 'set' within about 4 minutes of a rolling boil starting with low pectin fruit like strawberries etc.

    I never ever use a sugar thermometer, I found mine to be inaccurate, and totally in the way! I test for set by removing the pan from the heat and dribbling a bit of the mixture on a small plate . Leave it a minute or 2 to cool, then puch a finger gently over the top - if it wrinkles then it's reached setting point. If it doesn't wrinkle, then boil for another minute and re-test.
    Last edited by SarzWix; 02-07-2009 at 06:42 PM.

  5. #5
    LostGoddess's Avatar
    LostGoddess is offline Sprouter
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    Thanks Sarzwix, that is good advice. I should have mentioned that I have not been using jam sugar because I couldn't find any that was organic or fair trade. I guess I might have to use it for certain jams to get a good result. I used golden granulated sugar and some extra pectin stock for this last attempt.
    I think you're onto something with the jam thermometer too, I have been suspecting it isn't that accurate. When I made my jellies I used the cold plate technique and it worked fine, so I think I'll ditch the thermometer!

  6. #6
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    smallblueplanet is offline Mature Fruiter
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    Kitchen Craft Maslin Pan with Handle, Stainless Steel, 9 Litre: Amazon.co.uk: Kitchen & Home

    £25 delivered from Amazon (see more buying choices on the rhs). Is it any good, I don't know, but its the same as the one above I think...
    Last edited by smallblueplanet; 02-07-2009 at 08:08 PM.
    Manda.

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  7. #7
    TEB
    TEB is offline Cropper
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    OH got a proper pan last year (car boot sale £5.00) and she swears by it and its got nothing to do with the fact that she is the "Mrs Twee" to end all.

  8. #8
    Madasafish is offline Cropper
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    I use my grandmother's cooper pan with steel handle c 1900.. No thick base so it heats up and cools quickly. As long as I stir well, no problems with burning on base.

    Thick bases in my view mean overheating is going to happen unless you do not use a high setting - and that means jam making takes longer.


    So far in 22 years I have managed to avoid burning jam...

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