Home Made Jam Sugar
- In a sealable container mix 1kg of granulated sugar with 8g of pectin powder and 5g of citric acid.
- Put the lid on and shake well and label clearly to avoid confusing it with your regular sugar. Use the best before date on the pectin packet as the best before date for the jam sugar mixture. Shake well before using.
- Jams and marmalades all start by being cooked in a pan over a high heat. The setting point is the moment when the pectin, acid and sugar are in a balance that makes the molecules cling together to form a gel. It’s tempting to overcook preserves and it’s often good to remind people who are new to jam making that jam should set in a jar and not in the pan.
- Normally for soft set jams preferred by Gee’s Jams, the suggested boil time is a little bit shorter than it would be for a firmer, sweeter jam or marmalade.
- Jams and marmalades will thicken as they cool in the jar. Don’t panic if your preserve is still runny after several days. If this is the case simply open up the jar and return the contents to a pan and bring to the boil for a couple of minutes.
The Gel Test
- For the gel test, you need to put a couple of small ceramic or metal plates in the fridge or the freezer to chill.
- You will know when the Jam or marmalade is nearly ready because the loose light coloured bubbles on top will have disappeared to reveal a glossy surface and the boil will be slower and more rhythmic.
- When your marmalade mixture gets to this stage, remove the pan from the heat and drop a little of the hot liquid onto the cold plate.
- Leave it in the fridge for a minute and then lightly push the handle of a teaspoon through the liquid to see if it comes together in a gel that holds its shape and doesn’t come together again.
- Any crease in the gel should be light and delicate.
- If the mixture remains runny, return to the pan to heat for a couple of minutes and test again with a second cold plate.
Potting and Sealing
- First you need to make sure that your work surface and any utensils you will need are washed and sanitised. Jars should be sterilised in the oven for 10 minutes at 130℃ prior to use. Lids should be placed in a bowl of hot water and then placed in the oven for one minute to dry.
CAUTION: Take care as both lids and jars will be hot once removed from the oven.
- Check the temperature of the jam or marmalade with a digital thermometer. The filling temperature must be at least 87℃.
- Fill the jar right up to the brim (normally within 1 to 2 mm of the top lip). For jam or marmalade simply tip the mixture into a jug that will allow the liquid to flow easily into the jars.
- Seal each jar immediately with a twist-on lid. Invert the jars for a minute or two to re sterilise the inside of the lids. This forms a vacuum.
- Allow the jars to cool for 24hrs in a ventilated/ low light setting.