Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Fruit Conserves, Curd, Jam, Jelly, Marmalade, Preserves, Spreads

The other day I was making a fruit filling and was not exactly sure what I was making. When I let my friends taste it, I called my creation a "jam."
So, I'm assuming I have an eager audience who cares about the definitions of the various fruit(also vegetable) preserves. I checked out the trust-worthy Wikipedia and these are the definitions I found:

FRUIT BUTTER: Fruit that is cooked with sugar and blended or sieved to a smooth consistency.

CURD: Composed of a heated mixture of eggs, sugar,
butter, and citrus juice.

JAM: Contains both fruit juice and pieces of the fruit. It is heated with sugar to activate the pectin (natural gelling agent) in fruits.

JELLY: Clear fruit spread made of firmed fruit juice, pectin, and sugar. The pulp of the fruit is strained out.

MARMALADE: Contains sugar, water, citrus rind, and a gelling agent (pectin, gelatin, etc).


SPREAD: A JAM that does not contain any sugar.

Tart Strawberry Jam? Recipe (An estimate because I did not measure)
2 cups of cut fresh strawberries
1/2--3/4 c. granulated sugar1/4 t. tapioca starch dissolved in 2 T. cold water
1/8 t. citric acid

I heated the mixture until it boiled and then reduced the heat to a low simmer. I think it was on the stove for ~30 minutes. I occasionally stirred the mixture and haphazardly mashed the strawberries.

Most recipes I found online included lemon juice and pectin (both of which I did not have at the time). So I decided to put my Food Science education to use and thought about ingredient functionality

"What is the function of the lemon juice?"
Lowers the pH-->Safer shelf-stable product
Flavoring--Contributes to tartness
Sensory Attributes-->Maintain Color (of some fruits, not strawberries)
***Citric Acid***It is an acid, which would lower the pH and serves as a preservative, it has a sour/tart flavor, and is an antioxidant and can help maintain color.

"What is the function of the pectin?"
Gelling agent--> Thickens the mixture
**Tapioca Starch***Starches are great thickening agents and the beauty of tapioca starch is that it results in a shiny clear product, unlike cornstarch which results in a slightly opaque product.


Happy Jam said...

Have to try to make your tart strawberry jam tonight. Thanks. Jam and Marmalade Recipes

genkitummy said...

Happy Jam-
Hi! Thanks for checking out our site! Good luck with your jam!