if you give your made jam a water bath it doesn’t need to be kept in the fridge.
We don’t keep our homemade jam in the fridge, and we don’t give it a “water bath”.
We just buy raspberries when they’re extra cheap and make a couple of jars - really easy and and hundred times nicer than bought.
Beerenberg or St Dalfour. both are lowish carb. I’d buy Lackersteen’s marmalade if ever I coudl find it again. It came in cans and you had to decant into a jar. Best marmalade not made by Mum. However, all that said, I havent bought jam for a very long time.
What brand of Jam do you buy?
Any. No brand loyalty. Whatever is on special, otherwise unpredictable.
IXL, Cottees, Roses, Bonne Maman
We sometimes used to get St Dalfours but the ridiculously shaped (tall) jar started to get annoying.
We sometimes make our own “just because”, not because it is economic.
Couldn’t agree more… have never seen cheap raspberries in Sydney.
For those who may want to try making jam at home but are worried about food safety, and who may find some of the comment here about water baths cryptic, here is how you do it. If you do this properly your jam will last for years (literally) out of the fridge.
This method relies on using glass jars with metal twist on/off lids. The jars and lids have to be clean and dry without rust or damage. You can buy them new from various suppliers or recycle. The key is to sterilise the jars and lids and bottle the jam hot, it takes 2 people unless you are really dexterous.
About 45 minutes before your jam is ready put the required number of jars and lids (plus a few in case) spread out in a cool oven (60 degrees). This works best in a fan forced oven. Five minutes after it comes back up to temperature increase the temperature 20 degrees, continue like this until you get to 120 degrees and leave them an extra 5 minutes. The aim here is to raise the temperature of the jars slowly so they don’t crack. They are not pyrex! Leave them in the oven until the jam is ready.
When the jam is ready, one at a time fill the hot jars with hot jam to 10-12 mm from the top, put the lid on loosely, continue filling jars the same way. About 2-3 minutes after filling it tighten the lid of each jar firmly and push aside. You will need gloves. You need to do this in a production line quickly so that each jar is treated the same but you don’t let the empty jars or jam pot get cold. When all the jam is done leave the jars to cool to room temperature, then wash, dry and label them.
This is how it works. The jam is boiling (over 100 degrees in fact) and so it and the jars and lids are sterile. If you fill and cover the jars quickly there is no opportunity for live microorganisms or spores to get in. The heat of the covered jar makes the air in the top expand and flow out, as well as reducing the pressure this prevents spores from being taken in. Then you tighten the lid before it cools much and you have a seal on a sterile environment. Later when you open the jar you will get the same hiss as when the vacuum seal is broken on commercial jam. If you have strong hands do not tighten the hot lids with all your strength as the lids will shrink more than the jars when cool and you will find it very hard to get them off.
I have done this procedure many times and never had a failure. It seems tricky but once you get hang of it, the process is easier, quicker and more reliable than the water bath method and safer for long term storage than the fridge. Some people don’t sterilise the jars and lids but that isn’t satisfactory to me, YMMV.
Also topping the jam with melted beeswax before sealing can help as it excludes air from the jam’s surface. The wax is also significantly hot and does not introduce active spores. My Grandmother and a few Aunts were experts at the jam production and featured as prize winners at Royal Exhibitions in Brisbane, Sydney and some regional centres eg Townsville in “olden times” . They always insisted on the wax topping and their jams would last a few years on shelves in storage pantries…as long as we didn’t find them on the higher shelves.
I do know one aunt put the bottled jam back in the oven with a wax disk on top until the wax melted and they were then sealed as she didn’t like pouring the wax in but both ways worked.
Green Tomato jam was one of my real favourites as was jam made from Cherry Tomatoes, Rosella was heaven sent ambrosia, Sweet Orange Marmalade was another, Lemon Butter/Curd, Orange Butter/Curd…DM 2 causing agents of delight.
One of our friends makes jam and reuses commercial jars (like the glass jars in supermarkets which have the pop button lids).
The lids and jars are thoroughly cleaned and then filled with warm to hot jam mixture (maybe around 70-80oC), the lid tightened such that it is firm (not really tight), the jars then go into a boiling water bath then removed. The lids are then tightened further to ensure a perfect seal.
What happens is the button go down (like that in a supermarket product) and they knows if any of the jars are spoiled as the button will pop up (like a bought one).
The jars are only reused once and then recycled. We collect jars for them and in we get some fill jars in return.
It works a treat for them and makes the cost of jam making low (as special jars are not needed to be purchased).
St.Dalfour is a lovely jam of various assortment I find.
You can reuse them more than once - we do.
We like to listen as the pop button lids go down as the jam cools.
We don’t use a water bath though. Just hot jam into hot (oven-sterilised) jars, sealed while still hot and allowed to cool. It keeps for years if not eaten.
We get ours from ALDI. Driscoll’s and never more than $6 a punnet, but we don’t buy them when they’re that much.
They’re often around the $3-$4 mark when in season. They are never as much as we see them in other supermarkets.
Mum always topped her jams with wax. They kept for a very long time as I recall.
I’ve not made lemon curd as it goes off quickly in the fridge… was told I can freeze it. … something to consider when the lemons will drop in price at the markets. Currently $1 each…
Well I can attest that my Mum’s or my Aunty’s Lemon Curd is a non refrigerated, in the pantry, staple in our house and it lasts quite well. I guess it is what is used in it’s making and/or the wax seal that keeps it so well. It doesn’t remain in the jar long after opening (heavy heavenly dosage on every piece of bread or bowl of icecream it is applied to) so it may not be a very good indicator of longevity as an opened product. Also try Ghee (clarified butter) instead of butter to the recipe as it tends not to go rancid.
No modern sugar syrup jams - prefer spreadable fruits (old style jam). Love marmalade such as Schwartau Bitter Orange Marmalade (“original English recipe”!). More inclined to bitter than sweet marmalades. Agrisicilia Blood Orange Marmalade is very flavourful (but a touch sweeter than their other varieties. Occasionally Aldi. Our consumption is very low. Premium favourites last a while. Always on the lookout for sugar reduced & boutique varieties.
thank you! The person I would buy butter from, would get his ghee… but he makes it with butter… at $9 for 250g of butter it better last
Most spreadable fruit conserves/jams/spreads do use a lot of sugar but some phrase it as fruit syrups. They tend to use syrups (concentrated juices) of plants eg Agave, Apple, Pear, Grape & Pineapple (high in a mix or a single type of sugar including sucrose, fructose and glucose as possible types). There are some spreads that don’t add much sugar but most do. If you make it yourself or a friend /relative does then it may get away with no sugar but most would add it.
I don’t think you are including the marmalade in your “no sugar syrup” jam class but in case you may think it is low because of the bitter flavour Schwartau®™ Bitter Orange Marmalade certainly has lots of sugar added ie “Zutaten: Zucker, Orangen, Glukosesirup, Geliermittel Pektin, Säuerungsmittel Citronensäure” which translates to “Ingredients: sugar, oranges, glucose syrup, gelling agent pectin, citric acid” ie more sugar than oranges plus added glucose (plus the oranges have about 10g natural sugar per 100g of fruit even though they are bitter).
I didn’t define wisely.
Modern syrup jams are those often largely fruit-colour-reduced flavourless concoctions like those served in single serve containers. Overwhelming sweetness and not a great deal of flavour are the standout properties. Those used to be typical on the supermarket shelves. I just found one in the fridge - a Coles Apricot - my wife uses in pastry baking as a sealer(?). A hint of apricot & horrendously sweet.
I understand all the jams & spreadable fruits have some sort of sugar added, however the better ones allow the flavour to dominate the sweetness.
Unusually we have several varieties of marmalade in stock (2 opened) with 56-59% ‘total sugars’ labelled. The sweetest is the most flavourful (the blood orange). The bitter was least sweet, but not by much. I’m a chronic label reader & well aware the typical sugar contents.
The Schwartau is 61% carbohydrates and 51.6% sugar by weight, there must be a lot of oligosaccharides (eg pectin) and starches in there. The Agrisicilia Blood Orange Marmalade is 60% by weight sugar.
Traditional marmalades often are high in sugar, I suspect the amount of peel included in a bitter marmalade makes it seem less sugary in taste and texture. I can see how these products might have a better flavour and texture than the sugary translucent jellies that are found on most supermarket shelves but we shouldn’t imagine that they are low in sugar. Most supermarket marmalade and jam runs at about 57-67% sugar so there a difference but not much.
Unless you buy low sugar substitutes, such as intended for diabetics, you will have to make your own to get much less sugar.
Take care however because jam like this one that has “no added sugar” can still be 52% sugar. I am not sure if this is due to the magic of modern chemistry or marketing, you see it isn’t real sugar it’s just fruit juice concentrate. Even this one that is sweetened with stevia is 24.7% sugar.
Just to show they are not all rogues this “no added sugar” jam is only 2.2% sugar.