Delicious preserve and jam recipes including watermelon, fig and prickly pear preserves as well as apricot jam. Preparing these blends can be challenging, especially considering the subtle differences between each variety since many recipes use the terms interchangeably.
There are many terms for preserve recipes, including jam, jelly, and marmalade. Preserves refer to a variety of fruit that usually contain both the juice and pulp of the fruit with generous amounts of natural syrup. Some preserve recipes may contain seeds, depending on the cook’s preference. Conserve is an older term for preserves, although either word may be used to describe specific types of fruit spreads. Be aware that while both jam and jelly may be types of preserves, they are not identical.
Jams refer to a fruit spread where fresh fruit or fruit pulp is cooked together with water and sugar.
Preserves are large chunks of fruit or the whole fruit in a clear syrup.
Marmalade has traditionally been made with citrus fruits. It contains the rind of the fruit. Marmalade can be sweet e.g. orange marmalade or bitter e.g. Seville marmalade.
Jelly is a clear fruit spread made by a similar process to jam but where the fruit pulp is filtered after the initial cooking. Jelly should be clear with a strong fruit flavour.
Originally, only fruits high in pectin and natural sugars could be used for jam or jelly recipes since other fruits would not solidify into a consistent product. Today, many types of fruits can be used, including: apricots, grapes, peaches, cherries, raspberries, strawberries, apples, tomatoes, rhubarb, watermelon, pear, pineapple, and figs.
Strawberry and raspberry are consistent favorites for jams, and many people enjoy mixing different types of fruits to create multi-flavour jams as well.
Because preserve recipes can vary depending on the type of fruit, when it’s picked, how ripe it is, and other hard-to-determine factors, careful attention must be paid to each ingredient while cooking to maintain the necessary balance for the best flavour, colour, and texture. In fact, many cooks rely on a certain amount of intuition to create each recipe. When cooking, choose a dry, cool day and use only the best fruits. Jars should be sealed promptly and tightly, allowing for months of storage without spoilage. Properly cooked, these fruity treats can provide sweet spreads for toast, bagels, and other foods long after the fruit trees and bushes have dropped their leaves for winter.
Once your preserves are ready, the following guide will keep them fresh for months.
Pour into sterilized jars and seal.
Put covers on the jars and adjust the clamps. Do not wipe the syrup from the tops or rubber rings before sealing as this may introduce bacteria.
Place the sealed jars in the wash boiler, cover with hot water to cover 15 to 20 cm above the tops of the jars.
Bring to the boiling point and let boil for 20 minutes for 400 gram size jars and 30 minutes for 750 gram size jars.
The jars must be filled full.