One of America’s Favorites – Apple Cider

June 12, 2017 at 5:27 AM | Posted in One of America's Favorites | Leave a comment
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Apple cider (left) is an unfiltered, unsweetened apple juice. Most present-day apple cider is pasteurized, as apple juice (right) is.

Apple cider (also called sweet cider or soft cider) is the name used in the United States and parts of Canada for an unfiltered, unsweetened, non-alcoholic beverage made from apples. Though typically referred to simply as “cider” in those areas, it is not to be confused with the alcoholic beverage known as cider throughout most of the world, called hard cider (or just cider) in North America.

Once widely pressed at farmsteads and local mills, apple cider is now easy and inexpensive to make. It is typically opaque due to fine apple particles in suspension and generally tangier than conventional filtered apple juice, depending on the apples used. Today, most cider is treated to kill bacteria and extend its shelf life, but untreated cider can still be found. In either form, apple cider is a seasonally produced drink of limited shelf-life that is typically available only in autumn. It is traditionally served on the Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas and various New Year’s Eve holidays, sometimes heated and mulled. It is the official state beverage of New Hampshire.

 

Although the term cider is used for the fermented alcoholic drink in most of the world, it refers to fresh “apple cider” in the United States and much of Canada; hard cider is used there instead for the alcoholic drink.

While some states specify a difference between apple juice and cider, the distinction is not well established across the U.S. Massachusetts makes an attempt to at least differentiate fresh cider and processed apple juice: according to its Department of Agricultural Resources, “apple juice and apple cider are both fruit beverages made from apples, but there is a difference between the two. Fresh cider is raw apple juice that has not undergone a filtration process to remove coarse particles of pulp or sediment. Apple juice is juice that has been filtered to remove solids and pasteurized so that it will stay fresh longer. Vacuum sealing and additional filtering extend the shelf life of the juice.” This still leaves unfiltered apple juice that is no longer raw in a gray area, presumably cider but not labeled as such. The addition of sweeteners or reconstitution from concentrate are left even grayer.

Canada recognizes unfiltered, unsweetened apple juice as cider, fresh or not.

 

Historically all cider was left in its natural state, unprocessed. In time, airborne yeasts present on apple skins or cider making machinery would start fermentation in the finished cider. Left on its own, alcohol would develop and forestall growth of harmful bacteria. When modern refrigeration emerged, cider and other fruit juices could be kept cold for long periods of time, retarding fermentation. Any interruption of the refrigeration, however, could invite bacterial contamination to grow. Outbreaks of illness resulted in government regulation requiring virtually all commercially produced cider to be treated either with heat or radiation.

As a result, natural raw cider is a specialty seasonal beverage, produced on-site at orchards and small rural mills in apple growing areas and sold there, at farmers markets, and some juice bars. Such traditional cider is typically made from a mixture of several different apples to give a balanced taste. Frequently blends of heirloom varieties such as Winesap, once among the most sought-after cider apples for its tangy flavor, are used. The US government requires that unpasteurized cider and juice have a warning label on the bottle.

Even with refrigeration, raw cider will begin to become slightly carbonated within a week or so and eventually become hard cider as the fermentation process continues. Some producers use this fermentation to make hard cider; others carry it to acetification to create artisanal apple cider vinegar.

 

Cidering in a contemporary rural area mill. Custom batches pressed directly to bulk containers on demand.

Virtually all commercially produced cider is treated for bacterial contamination, which also extends its shelf life; the most common method used is pasteurization, but UV irradiation is also employed.

Pasteurization, which partially cooks the juice, results in some change of the sweetness, body and flavor of the cider; irradiation has less noticeable effects.

Impetus for Federal level regulation began with outbreaks E. coli O157:H7 from unpasteurized apple cider and other illnesses caused by contaminated fruit juices in the late 1990s. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) made proposals in 1998; Canada began to explore regulation in 2000.

The U.S. regulations were finalized in 2001, with the FDA issuing a rule requiring that virtually all juice producers follow Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP) controls, using either heat pasteurization, ultraviolet germicidal irradiation (UVGI), or other proven methods to achieve a “5 log” reduction in pathogens.

Canada, however, relies on a voluntary Code of Practice for manufacturers, voluntary labelling of juice/cider as “Unpasteurized”, and an education campaign to inform consumers about the possible health risks associated with the consumption of unpasteurized juice products.

 

Modern cider making has come a long way from early forms of production that involved a man- or horse-powered crusher. These consisted of a stone or wood trough with a heavy circulating wheel to crush the fruit, and a large manual screw press to express the juice from the pulp. Straw was commonly used to contain the pulp during pressing, later replaced by coarse cloth. As technology advanced, rotary drum “scratters” came into use. Today, nearly all small pressing operations use atomic-hydraulic equipment with press cloths and plastic racks in what is commonly called a “rack and cloth press”, and atomic hammermill “breakers”.

Depending on the varieties of apples and using the optimal extraction methods, it takes about one third of a bushel (10 liters) to make a gallon (3.78 liters) of cider. Apples are washed, cut, and ground into a mash that has the consistency of coarse applesauce. Layers of this mash are then either wrapped in cloth and placed upon wooden or plastic racks where a hydraulic press then squeezes the layers together, or the mash is distributed onto a continuous belt filter press, which squeezes the pulp between two permeable belts fed between a succession of rollers that press the juice out of the pulp in a continuous, highly efficient operation. The resulting juice is then stored in refrigerated tanks, pasteurized to kill bacteria and extend shelf life, and bottled and sold as apple cider. The juice may also be fermented to produce hard cider, which then may be further treated by exposure to acetobacter to produce apple cider vinegar, or distilled to produce apple brandy. The waste left after pressing, known as pomace, is sold for cattle feed.

 

Hot mulled cider

Hot mulled cider – similar to “Wassail” – is a popular autumn and winter beverage. Cider is heated to a temperature just below boiling, with cinnamon, orange peel, nutmeg, cloves, or other spices added.

Authentic “sparkling cider” is a naturally carbonated beverage made from unfiltered apple cider. “Sparkling apple juice”, often confused with it and sometimes even labeled as “sparkling cider”, as does the popular Martinelli’s brand, is filtered, pasteurized, and mechanically carbonated and thus not true cider.

Rosé apple cider can be obtained using red-fleshed applecrabs.

“Cider doughnuts” traditionally used the yeast in raw cider as a leavener. Today they are sometimes sold at cider mills and roadside stands, though there is no assurance natural cider is used. Visiting apple orchards in the fall for cider, doughnuts, and self-picked apples is a large segment in agritourism.

 

 

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Kitchen Hint of the Day!

June 23, 2014 at 5:44 AM | Posted in Kitchen Hints | Leave a comment
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Looking for just a little something to elevate that recipe? Instead of the water your recipe calls for, try juices, bouillon, or water you’ve cooked vegetables in. Instead of milk, try buttermilk, yogurt or sour cream. It can add a whole new flavor and improve nutrition.

Kitchen Hint of the Day!

January 11, 2014 at 9:51 AM | Posted in Kitchen Hints | Leave a comment
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If you’ve been paying attention to prices at all, you know that buying a big jug of juice or soda is five or even ten times cheaper than buying one-serving bottles. When packing school lunches, use a thermos or reusable bottle instead of juice boxes or bottles. Make sure to have several, in case your child leaves one at school or you don’t have time to wash it every evening. And if you simply can’t work reusable bottles into your routine, consider buying empty bottles in bulk. The website Bottles.us sells plastic water bottles for about 50 cents per bottle, and while filling them and letting your child recycle them at school won’t save as much as a thermos would, it’s still much cheaper than buying Snapple from a vending machine.

Kitchen Hint of the Day!

January 4, 2014 at 9:36 AM | Posted in Kitchen Hints | 1 Comment
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Frozen, concentrated juice is almost always less expensive per glass than juice you buy in a bottle. Find a brand that says “100% juice” and mix with a pitcher of water for savings.

Eating Whole Fruits Linked To Lower Diabetes Risk

September 2, 2013 at 8:56 AM | Posted in diabetes, diabetes friendly, fruits | Leave a comment
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Eating Whole Fruits Linked To Lower Diabetes Risk

 

 

When it comes to lowering your risk of developing Type 2 diabetes, eating whole fruit — and not the juice form — could do you some good, according to a new study.

Researchers from the Harvard School of Public Health found an association between eating at least two servings of fruit a week and having a 23 percent lower risk of diabetes, compared with eating less than a serving of fruit a month. Blueberries, grapes and apples seemed to be especially linked with the reduced diabetes risk.

Meanwhile, people who drank one serving or more of juice a day had up to a 21 percent higher risk of diabetes.

“Our data further endorse current recommendations on increasing whole fruits, but not fruit juice, as a measure for diabetes prevention,” study researcher Isao Muraki, a research fellow in the Department of Nutrition at Harvard, said in a statement. “And our novel findings may help refine this recommendation to facilitate diabetes prevention.”…..

 

 

 

* Read the entire article by clicking the link below. *

 

 

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/08/30/fruit-diabetes-juice-type-2-risk_n_3839169.html?utm_hp_ref=@food123

One of America’s Favorites – Fruit Preserves

August 5, 2013 at 9:27 AM | Posted in One of America's Favorites | 1 Comment
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Fruit preserves are preparations of fruits, vegetables and sugar, often canned or sealed for long-term storage. The preparation of fruit

Strawberry jam, one type of common fruit preserve

Strawberry jam, one type of common fruit preserve

preserves today often involves adding commercial or natural pectin as a gelling agent, although sugar or honey may be used, as well. Before World War II, fruit preserve recipes did not include pectin, and many artisan jams today are made without pectin. The ingredients used and how they are prepared determine the type of preserves; jams, jellies and marmalades are all examples of different styles of fruit preserves that vary based upon the ingredients used.
Many varieties of fruit preserves are made globally, including sweet fruit preserves, such as strawberry, as well as savory preserves of culinary vegetables, such as tomatoes or squash. In American English, the plural form “preserves” is used to describe all types of jams and jellies. In British and Commonwealth English most fruit preserves are simply called jam, with the singular preserve being applied to high fruit content jam, often for marketing purposes. Additionally, the name of the type of fruit preserves will also vary depending on the regional variant of English being used.
Variations

Five varieties of fruit preserves (clockwise from top): apple, quince, plum, squash, orange (in the center)

Five varieties of fruit preserves (clockwise from top): apple, quince, plum, squash, orange (in the center)

Chutney
A chutney is a pungent relish of Indian origin made of fruit, spices and herbs. Although originally intended to be eaten soon after production, modern chutneys are often made to be sold, so require preservatives – often sugar and vinegar – to ensure they have a suitable shelf life. Mango chutney, for example, is mangoes reduced with sugar.

 

 

Confit
While confit, the past participle of the French verb confire, “to preserve”, is most often applied to preservation of meats, it is also used for fruits or vegetables seasoned and cooked with honey or sugar till jam-like. Savory confits, such as ones made with garlic or fennel, may call for a savory oil, such as virgin olive oil, as the preserving agent.

 

 

A conserve

A conserve, or whole fruit jam, is a jam made of fruit stewed in sugar.
Often the making of conserves can be trickier than making a standard jam, because the balance between cooking, or sometimes steeping in the hot sugar mixture for just enough time to allow the flavor to be extracted from the fruit, and sugar to penetrate the fruit, and cooking too long that fruit will break down and liquefy. This process can also be achieved by spreading the dry sugar over raw fruit in layers, and leaving for several hours to steep into the fruit, then just heating the resulting mixture only to bring to the setting point. As a result of this minimal cooking, some fruits are not particularly suitable for making into conserves, because they require cooking for longer periods to avoid issues such as tough skins. Currants and gooseberries, and a number of plums are among these fruits.
Because of this shorter cooking period, not as much pectin will be released from the fruit, and as such, conserves (particularly home-made conserves) will sometimes be slightly softer set than some jams.
An alternative definition holds that conserves are preserves made from a mixture of fruits and/or vegetables. Conserves may also include dried fruit or nuts.

 

 

Fruit butter
Fruit butter, in this context, refers to a process where the whole fruit is forced through a sieve or blended after the heating process.
“Fruit butters are generally made from larger fruits, such as apples, plums, peaches or grapes. Cook until softened and run through a sieve to give a smooth consistency. After sieving, cook the pulp … add sugar and cook as rapidly as possible with constant stirring… The finished product should mound up when dropped from a spoon, but should not cut like jelly. Neither should there be any free liquid.”—Berolzheimer R (ed) et al. (1959)

 

 

Fruit curd
Fruit curd is a dessert topping and spread usually made with lemon, lime, orange, or raspberry. The basic ingredients are beaten egg yolks, sugar, fruit juice and zest which are gently cooked together until thick and then allowed to cool, forming a soft, smooth, intensely flavored spread. Some recipes also include egg whites and/or butter.

 
Fruit spread
Fruit spread refers to a jam or preserve with no added sugar.

 
Jam
Jam typically contains both the juice and flesh of a fruit or vegetable, although some cookbooks define it as a cooked and jelled puree.
In the US, the term “jam” refers to a product made of whole fruit cut into pieces or crushed then heated with water and sugar to activate its pectin before being put into containers:
“Jams are usually made from pulp and juice of one fruit, rather than a combination of several fruits. Berries and other small fruits are most frequently used, though larger fruits such as apricots, peaches, or plums cut into small pieces or crushed are also used for jams. Good jam has a soft even consistency without distinct pieces of fruit, a bright color, a good fruit flavor and a semi-jellied texture that is easy to spread but has no free liquid.” – Berolzheimer R (ed) et al. (1959 )
Freezer jam is uncooked (or cooked less than 5 minutes), then stored frozen. It is popular in parts of North America for its very fresh taste…

 

 

Jelly
Jelly is an American term for clear or translucent fruit spread made from sweetened fruit (or vegetable) juice and set using naturally occurring pectin (the word signifies a gelatin based dessert in British English). Additional pectin may be added where the original fruit does not supply enough, for example with grapes. Jelly can be made from sweet, savory or hot ingredients. It is made by a process similar to that used for making jam, with the additional step of filtering out the fruit pulp after the initial heating. A muslin or stockinette “jelly bag” is traditionally used as a filter, suspended by string over a bowl to allow the straining to occur gently under gravity. It is important not to attempt to force the straining process, for example by squeezing the mass of fruit in the muslin, or the clarity of the resulting jelly will be compromised. Jelly can come in all sorts of flavors such as grape jelly, strawberry jelly and much more. It also can be used on or with a variety of foods. This includes jelly with toast, or a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.
“Good jelly is clear and sparkling and has a fresh flavor of the fruit from which it is made. It is tender enough to quiver when moved, but holds angles when cut.
EXTRACTING JUICEPectin is best extracted from the fruit by heat, therefore cook the fruit until soft before straining to obtain the juice … Pour cooked fruit into a jelly bag which has been wrung out of cold water. Hang up and let drain. When dripping has ceased the bag may be squeezed to remove remaining juice, but this may cause cloudy jelly.” – Berolzheimer R (ed) et al. (1959)

 

 

Marmalade
Marmalade is a fruit preserve made from the juice and peel of citrus fruits boiled with sugar and water. It can be produced from lemons, limes, grapefruits, mandarins, sweet oranges, bergamots and other citrus fruits, or any combination thereof.
The benchmark citrus fruit for marmalade production in Britain is the Spanish Seville orange, Citrus aurantium var. aurantium, prized for its high pectin content, which gives a good set. The peel has a distinctive bitter taste which it imparts to the preserve. In America marmalade is sweet.
Marmalade is generally distinguished from jam by its fruit peel.

 

 

In general, jam is produced by taking mashed or chopped fruit or vegetable pulp and boiling it with sugar and water. The proportion of

Jam being made in a pot

Jam being made in a pot

sugar and fruit varies according to the type of fruit and its ripeness, but a rough starting point is equal weights of each. When the mixture reaches a temperature of 104 °C (219 °F), the acid and the pectin in the fruit react with the sugar, and the jam will set on cooling. However, most cooks work by trial and error, bringing the mixture to a “fast rolling boil”, watching to see if the seething mass changes texture, and dropping small samples on a plate to see if they run or set.
Commercially produced jams are usually produced using one of two methods. The first is the open pan method, which is essentially a larger scale version of the method a home jam maker would use. This gives a traditional flavor, with some caramelization of the sugars. The second commercial process involves the use of a vacuum vessel, where the jam is placed under a vacuum, which has the effect of reducing its boiling temperature to anywhere between 65 and 80 °C depending on the recipe and the end result desired. The lower boiling temperature enables the water to be driven off as it would be when using the traditional open pan method, but with the added benefit of retaining more of the volatile flavor compounds from the fruit, preventing caramelization of the sugars, and of course reducing the overall energy required to make the product. However, once the desired amount of water has been driven off, the jam still needs to be heated briefly to 95 to 100 °C to kill off any micro-organisms that may be present; the vacuum pan method does not kill them all.
During commercial filling it is common to use a flame to sterilize the rim and lid of jars to destroy any yeasts and molds which may cause spoilage during storage. Steam is commonly injected immediately prior to lidding to create a vacuum, which both helps prevent spoilage and pulls down tamper-evident safety button when used.

 

 

Glass jars are an efficient method of storing and preserving jam. Though sugar can keep for exceedingly long times, containing it in a jar is far more useful than older methods. Other methods of packaging jam, especially for industrially produced products, include cans, and plastic packets, especially used in the food service industry for individual servings.

 

 

Kitchen Hint of the Day!

June 11, 2013 at 8:47 AM | Posted in Kitchen Hints | Leave a comment
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You may think that searing a steak at high temperature will keep the juices in. Searing does cause the browning that creates a good flavor, but it doesn’t seal the juices. A steak cooked slowly and at a lower temperature is more tender and jucier than one cooked at an extremely high heat. If you want to sear a steak, only do it for a minute or two on each side, then lower the temperature and let it cook more slowly.

Kitchen Hint of the Day!

April 29, 2013 at 7:55 AM | Posted in baking, dessert, Kitchen Hints | Leave a comment
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Kitchen Hint of the Day!

 
It’s always disappointing when you slice into your carefully prepared pie only to find that the bottom is soggy. If you have a problem with fruit juices soaking the bottom of your pie crust, brush the bottom crust with egg white before adding the filling. This will seal the crust and solve the problem. If your fruit filling is simply too wet, thicken it up. The best thickener is 3 – 4 tablespoons of minute tapioca. Just mix it with the sugar before adding to the fruit. Other solutions for soggy pie bottoms include prebaking the pie crust, partially cooking the filling, or brushing the crust with jelly before you fill it. When using a cream filling in a pie, sprinkle the crust with granulated sugar before adding the filling to keep the crust flaky.

Crock Pot Yankee Pot Roast w/ Cornbread

January 28, 2013 at 6:49 PM | Posted in BEEF, diabetes, diabetes friendly, pot roast, spices and herbs, vegetables | 5 Comments
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Today’s Menu: Crock Pot Yankee Pot Roast w/ CornbreadYankee Pot Roast 001

 

 

The roller coaster weather continues. Lately it’s been single digit temperature or in the teens along with a wind chill and snow. Today about 50 degrees and rain. Ohio Valley weather, you gotta love it! For dinner it was another new recipe for dinner, Crock Pot Yankee Pot Roast and Cornbread. I’ve been wanting to try a Yankee Pot Roast for a while now so today was the day.
I purchased a beautiful roast from Kroger yesterday, an Angus Pot Roast Cut (2.78 lbs.). I love the Kroger Meat Dept. over where I shop. They all know me, from going there so long, And always take care of me. Very simple and easy recipe. I especially like using the Crock Pot for meals, the meat is always tender and no mess and easy clean up! There’s nothing but good things you’ll need to prepare this including; 2 1/2 lbs Angus Pot Roast, Sea Salt and Pepper, Small Red Potatoes, quartered ( about 1 pound), 1 Small Bag Mini Carrots, Sliced Mushrooms (optional), 1 large Parsnips, cut into 3/4-inch slices, 2 Bay Leaves, 1 tablespoon Parsley, 1 teaspoon Dried Rosemary, 1/2 teaspoon Dried Thyme Leaves, 1 cup Red Cooking Wine, 1/2 cup Swanson Low Sodium Beef Broth. I added the sliced Mushrooms about 1 hour before the Pot Roast was done. As I said I love using a Crock Pot. I got everything ready this morning and in the Crock Pot and just let it simmer all day, and the aroma was just too good.
Everything turned out delicious! Quoting my Mom ” I believe that’s the most tender and best tasting Pot Roast I ever had”. When I get a Mom approval like that I know I’ve done good! The Pot Roast was tender and full of flavor and the Vegetables were the same way, a comfort food classic for sure. I know a lot of the Pot Roasts contain Onion and Celery but I’m just not a huge fan of either. There was plenty leftover which will make some delicious pot Roast Sandwiches for lunch or dinner tomorrow! Nothing better than piling the Pot Roast and the Veggies on Whole Grain Bun and using the Juices that were leftover, heating it up and add flour to thicken it up. Then top the Sandwich off with Drippings Sauce, Yeah Buddy!!
To go with the Pot Roast I baked a small skillet of Martha White Cornbread. Cornbread is something I think I could eat every meal. I pot roast 001like a nice fresh and hot slice with a Butter right through the middle of slice! When I make this i just make it by the instructions on the package but I only use half the ingredients because I use a small cast iron skillet to make it. I use Egg Beaters and Extra Virgin Oil instead of Eggs and Vegetable Oil the recipe calls for. Bake at 450 degrees for about 25 minutes and you have some golden brown piping hot Cornbread! If you use a small cast iron skillet just cut the recipe in half and it comes out just right for the skillet size. For dessert later a Jello Sugar Free Dark Chocolate Pudding.

 

 
Ingredients:
2 1/2 lbs Angus Pot Roast
Sea Salt
Pepper
Small Red Potatoes, quartered ( about 1 pound)
1 Small Bag Mini Carrots
1 large Parsnips, cut into 3/4-inch slices
2 Bay Leaves
1 tablespoon Parsley
1 teaspoon Dried Rosemary
1/2 teaspoon Dried Thyme Leaves
1 cup Red Cooking Wine
1/2 cup Swanson Low Sodium Beef Broth

 
Directions:

* Season roast with salt and pepper.
* Combine vegetables and seasonings in crock pot.
* Place beef over vegetables, and pour broth and cooking wine over beef.
* Cover; cook on LOW until meat is fork-tender (8 1/2-9 hours).
* Remove beef to serving platter, and arrange vegetables around beef.
* Remove and discard bay leaves.

 

 

*Optional
To make gravy, ladle the juices into a 2 cup measuring cup; let stand 5 minutes.
Skim off and discard fat.
Measure remaining juices and heat to a boil in small saucepan.
For each cup of juice, mix 2 tablespoons of flour with 1/4 cup of cold water until smooth.
Stir mixture into boiling juices, stirring constantly until thickened (about 1 minute).

*Serve with Cornbread or Dinner Rolls

 

 
Martha White Cornbread

 

 

The Martha White Corn MealCornbread

White Self-Rising Corn Meal Mix. Self Rising White Enriched with Hot Rize®

Nutrition Facts
Serving Size 3 Tbsp (31g)
Amount per Serving
Calories 110
Calories from Fat 5
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 1g1%
Saturated Fat 0g0%
Trans Fat 0g
Sodium 440mg18%
Total Carbohydrate 22g7%
Dietary Fiber 2g6%
Protein 2g
Calcium2%Iron6%Thiamin10%Riboflavin6%Niacin6%Folic Acid15%

One of America’s Favorites – Fruit preserves (Jams and Jellies)

November 26, 2012 at 10:50 AM | Posted in cooking | 1 Comment
Tags: , , , , , , ,

Fruit preserves are preparations of fruits, vegetables and sugar, often canned or sealed for long-term storage. The preparation of fruit preserves today often involves adding commercial or natural pectin as a gelling agent, although sugar or honey may be used, as well.

Strawberry jam, one type of common fruit preserve

Before World War II, fruit preserve recipes did not include pectin, and many artisan jams today are made without pectin. The ingredients used and how they are prepared determine the type of preserves; jams, jellies and marmalades are all examples of different styles of fruit preserves that vary based upon the ingredients used.
Many varieties of fruit preserves are made globally, including sweet fruit preserves, such as strawberry, as well as savoury preserves of culinary vegetables, such as tomatoes or squash. In North America, the plural form “preserves” is used to describe all types of jams and jellies. In British and Commonwealth English most fruit preserves are simply called jam, with the singular preserve being applied to high fruit content jam, often for marketing purposes. Additionally, the name of the type of fruit preserves will also vary depending on the regional variant of English being used.

Variations

Chutney

A chutney is a pungent relish of Indian origin made of fruit, spices and herbs. Although originally intended to be eaten soon after production, modern chutneys are often made to be sold, so require preservatives – often sugar and vinegar – to ensure they have a suitable shelf life. Mango chutney, for example, is mangoes reduced with sugar.
Confit

Confit, which is the past participle form of the French verb confire or “to preserve”, is most often applied to preservation of duck, goose or pigs, especially Lancashire and Pot-belly, by cooking them in their own fat or oils and allowing the fats to set. However, the term can also refer to fruit or vegetables which have been seasoned and cooked with honey or sugar until the mixture has reached a jam-like consistency. Savory confits, such as ones made with garlic or fennel, may call for a savory oil, such as virgin olive oil, as the preserving agent.

 

Conserves
A conserve, or whole fruit jam, is a jam made of fruit stewed in sugar.
Often the making of conserves can be trickier than making a standard jam, because the balance between cooking, or sometimes steeping in the hot sugar mixture for just enough time to allow the flavor to be extracted from the fruit, and sugar to penetrate the fruit, and cooking too long that fruit will break down and liquefy. This process can also be achieved by spreading the dry sugar over raw fruit in layers, and leaving for several hours to steep into the fruit, then just heating the resulting mixture only to bring to the setting point. As a result of this minimal cooking, some fruits are not particularly suitable for making into conserves, because they require cooking for longer periods to avoid issues such as tough skins. Currants and gooseberries, and a number of plums are among these fruits.
Because of this shorter cooking period, not as much pectin will be released from the fruit, and as such, conserves (particularly home-made conserves) will sometimes be slightly softer set than some jams.
An alternate definition holds that conserves are preserves made from a mixture of fruits and/or vegetables. Conserves may also include dried fruit or nuts.

Fruit butter

Fruit butter, in this context, refers to a process where the whole fruit is forced through a sieve or blended after the heating process.
“Fruit butters are generally made from larger fruits, such as apples, plums, peaches or grapes. Cook until softened and run through a sieve to give a smooth consistency. After sieving, cook the pulp … add sugar and cook as rapidly as possible with constant stirring… The finished product should mound up when dropped from a spoon, but should not cut like jelly. Neither should there be any free liquid.”—Berolzheimer R (ed) et al. (1959)

Fruit curd
Fruit curd is a dessert topping and spread usually made with lemon, lime, orange, or raspberry. The basic ingredients are beaten egg yolks, sugar, fruit juice and zest which are gently cooked together until thick and then allowed to cool, forming a soft, smooth, intensely flavored spread. Some recipes also include egg whites and/or butter.

Fruit spread
Fruit spread refers to a jam or preserve with no added sugar.

 

Jam
Jam contains both fruit juice and pieces of the fruit’s (or vegetable’s) flesh, although some cookbooks define jam as cooked and gelled fruit (or vegetable) purees.
Properly, the term “jam” refers to a product made with whole fruit, cut into pieces or crushed. The fruit is heated with water and sugar to activate the pectin in the fruit. The mixture is then put into containers. The following extract from a US cookbook describes the process.
“Jams are usually made from pulp and juice of one fruit, rather than a combination of several fruits. Berries and other small fruits are most frequently used, though larger fruits such as apricots, peaches, or plums cut into small pieces or crushed are also used for jams. Good jam has a soft even consistency without distinct pieces of fruit, a bright color, a good fruit flavor and a semi-jellied texture that is easy to spread but has no free liquid.” – Berolzheimer R (ed) et al. (1959)
Examples:
Peach blackberry jam (sweet, fruit)
Strawberry jam (sweet, fruit)
Variations
Uncooked or minimally cooked (less than 5 min) jams, called ‘freezer jam’ because they are stored frozen, are popular in parts of North America for their very fresh taste.

Jelly
Jelly is a clear or translucent fruit spread made from sweetened fruit (or vegetable) juice and set using naturally occurring pectin. Additional pectin may be added where the original fruit does not supply enough, for example with grapes.[12] Jelly can be made from sweet, savory or hot ingredients. It is made by a process similar to that used for making jam, with the additional step of filtering out the fruit pulp after the initial heating. A muslin or stockinette “jelly bag” is traditionally used as a filter, suspended by string over a bowl to allow the straining to occur gently under gravity. It is important not to attempt to force the straining process, for example by squeezing the mass of fruit in the muslin, or the clarity of the resulting jelly will be compromised.
“Good jelly is clear and sparkling and has a fresh flavor of the fruit from which it is made. It is tender enough to quiver when moved, but holds angles when cut.
EXTRACTING JUICEPectin is best extracted from the fruit by heat, therefore cook the fruit until soft before straining to obtain the juice … Pour cooked fruit into a jelly bag which has been wrung out of cold water. Hang up and let drain. When dripping has ceased the bag may be squeezed to remove remaining juice, but this may cause cloudy jelly.” – Berolzheimer R (ed) et al. (1959)
Examples:
Grape jelly (sweet, fruit)
Mint jelly (savory)
Jalapeño pepper jelly (hot)

Marmalade
British-style marmalade is a sweet preserve with a bitter tang made from fruit, sugar, water, and (in some commercial brands) a gelling agent. American-style marmalade is sweet, not bitter. In English-speaking usage, marmalade almost always refers to a preserve derived from a citrus fruit, most commonly oranges, although onion marmalade is also used as an accompaniment to savory dishes.
The recipe includes sliced or chopped fruit peel, which is simmered in fruit juice and water until soft; indeed, marmalade is sometimes described as jam with fruit peel (although many companies now also manufacture peel-free marmalade). Such marmalade is most often consumed on toasted bread for breakfast. The favored citrus fruit for marmalade production in the UK is the Seville orange, Citrus aurantium var. aurantium, thus called because it was originally imported from Seville in Spain; it is higher in pectin than sweet oranges, and therefore gives a good set. Marmalade can also combine or be exclusively made from other type of citrus fruit; lime being a popular variant.

The term ‘preserves’ is usually interchangeable with ‘jam’. Some cookbooks define preserves as cooked and gelled whole fruit (or

Five varieties of fruit preserves (clockwise from top): apple, quince, plum, squash, orange (in the center)

vegetable), which includes a significant portion of the fruit.
The terms ‘jam’ and ‘jelly’ are used in different parts of the English-speaking world in different ways. In the United States, both jam and jelly are often referred to as ‘jelly’. Elsewhere in the English speaking world, the two terms are more strictly differentiated and, when this is not the case, the more usual generic term is ‘jam’.
To further confuse the issue, the term ‘jelly’ is also used in the UK, South Africa, Australia, India and New Zealand to refer to a gelatin dessert, known in North America as ‘jello’, derived from the brand name Jell-O.

In general, jam is produced by taking mashed or chopped fruit or vegetable pulp and boiling it with sugar and water. The proportion of sugar and fruit varies according to the type of fruit and its ripeness, but a rough starting point is equal weights of each. When the mixture reaches a temperature of 104 °C (219 °F),[citation needed] the acid and the pectin in the fruit react with the sugar, and the jam will set on cooling. However, most cooks work by trial and error, bringing the mixture to a “fast rolling boil”, watching to see if the seething mass changes texture, and dropping small samples on a plate to see if they run or set.
Commercially produced jams are usually produced using one of two methods. The first is the open pan method, which is essentially a larger scale version of the method a home jam maker would use. This gives a traditional flavor, with some caramelization of the sugars. The second commercial process involves the use of a vacuum vessel, where the jam is placed under a vacuum, which has the effect of reducing its boiling temperature to anywhere between 65 and 80 °C depending on the recipe and the end result desired. The lower boiling temperature enables the water to be driven off as it would be when using the traditional open pan method, but with the added benefit of retaining more of the volatile flavor compounds from the fruit, preventing caramelization of the sugars, and of course reducing the overall energy required to make the product. However, once the desired amount of water has been driven off, the jam still needs to be heated briefly to 95 to 100 °C to kill off any micro-organisms that may be present; the vacuum pan method does not kill them all. During the commercial filling of the jam into jars, it is common to use a flame to sterilize the rim of the jar and the lid to destroy any yeasts and molds which may cause spoilage during storage. It is also common practice to inject steam into the head space at the top of the jar immediately prior to the fitting of the lid, to create a vacuum. Not only does this vacuum help prevent the growth of spoilage organisms, but it also pulls down the tamper-evident safety button when lids of this type are employed.

Glass jars are an efficient method of storing and preserving jam. Though sugar can keep for exceedingly long times, containing it in a jar is far more useful than older methods. Other methods of packaging jam, especially for industrially produced products, include cans, and plastic packets, especially used in the food service industry for individual servings

Jelly worldwide

*Almond jelly, a sweet dessert from Hong Kong
*Coffee jelly features in many desserts in Japan.
*Jellied cranberry sauce is primarily a holiday treat in the U.S. and the UK.
*Grass jelly, a food from China and Southeast Asia, often served in drinks
*Konjac, a variety of Japanese jelly made from konnyaku
*Mayhaw jelly is a delicacy in parts of the American South.
*Muk, a variety of Korean jelly, seasoned and eaten as a cold salad
*Nata de coco, jelly made from coconuts originating from the Philippines
*Yōkan, a sweet, pasty jelly dessert from Japan often made with beans, sweet potato or squash
There are a variety of jellies in the cuisines of East and Southeast Asia. Depending on the type, they may be sweet or unsweetened.
Making jams and jellies

A jam is a fruit conserve in which sugar and fruit chunks are boiled together. In a jelly, the juice is pressed or boiled out of the fruit, filtered and then boiled again with sugar to reduce and thicken it. It is important to keep in mind that some fruits are better for making jellies and others are better used in jams. Generally speaking, it’s easier to make a jam than it is to make a jelly.
Recipe for Jam

Ingredients:
*a good quantity of soft, fleshy fruit like strawberries, peaches, cherries, plums, blueberries, brambles
*sugar or sugar with added pectin
*lemon juice

 

Instructions: Clean the fruit, remove any stones, leaves or other incomestible parts, and wash it. If the fruit is not a small berry, then cut it up into small pieces. Weigh the fruit and add the same weight of sugar to it. If you are using a very juicy fruit, you may prefer to use sugar with added pectin. Pectin is naturally present in most fruits and will cause the jam to “set”, but some fruits contain less pectin and some contain more, so it is often helpful to add some.
Sprinkle the fruit and sugar with lemon juice and stir well. Then cover the container and let the mixture rest for at least one hour in a clean, cool place to let the fruit absorb the sugar. After this, pour the mixture into a sufficiently large cooking pot. Traditionally a copper pot is used, but any other cooking pot will do fine. Bring the mixture slowly to the boil on a low fire, stirring regularly. Depending on the fruit, you will need to boil the mixture for about an hour. The jam is ready when it is thick enough. Check this by pouring a drop of the jam onto a cold plate. It should turn sticky and not be too runny.
To preserve the jam well, you should pour it into glass flasks or containers that have been sterilized by boiling them in water. You can also pasteurize the containers by washing them with boiling water. The inside of lids as well as the flasks should be washed if the latter method is used. The jam should be poured rapidly into the still-hot containers. The containers should be sealed with lids. In this case it’s best to let the air bubble that is in the flask traverse the still-hot jam by turning it upside-down after the lid has been placed on. This is to disinfect the air bubble. Or, instead of a lid, the jam can be protected by pouring molten paraffin on top of it, and closing of the jar with a paper that is held with a rubber band.
Serve with bread, toast, English muffins, or pancakes.

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