Jams, jellies, marmalade, preserves … there are so many different kinds of fruity spreads out there. All of them are delicious, but who can keep track of them all? Here is a quick rundown of the differences:
– Jam is made from whole fruit that is pureed and cooked to release the pectin, a gelatinous substance produced naturally by fruits as they break down. Many people now add powdered pectin to their jam, but it not necessary and is frowned upon by traditionalists.
– Jelly is made only from the fruit’s juice. Pectin is added in to thicken it.
– Preserves are made from the whole fruit without pureeing. Smaller fruits, such as berries, are added whole, while larger fruits may be sliced into bite-sized pieces.
– Marmalade is made from citrus fruits, using the juice, zest, and pulp. The rest of the fruit is not used, to prevent bitterness, but large pieces of the zest give marmalade a chunkier consistency than jelly.
Jams, jellies, preserves, and marmalades are a handy, and tasty, way to preserve the bounty of summer all year long. Try these simple recipes to make your own sweet, delicious fruit spreads from scratch.
3 cups grape juice
5 1/4 cups white sugar
3/4 cup water
1 (2 ounce) package powdered fruit pectin
Sterilize and dry enough mason jars to store five pints of jelly, and set aside. In a large pot over medium-high heat, combine the grape juice and pectin. Bring to a boil, stirring one minute at a rolling boil. Stir in sugar until completely dissolved and remove from heat. Ladle the hot jelly into jars, leaving half an inch of space at the top. Wipe the jars rims with a clean, dry cloth, and cover with a lid and ring to seal. Allow them to stand at room temperature for 24 hours, then refrigerate for at least one week.
1 1/2 pounds Seville oranges
Juice of 1 large lemon
2 1/2 cups water
3 pounds sugar
Sterilize and dry enough mason jars to store five pints of marmalade, and set aside. Wash the oranges, cut them in half and squeeze out the juice. Place the pith and pips (the white part of the fruit) into a muslin bag. Shred the peel and soak it in the water overnight, along with the muslin bag. Place the peel, muslin bag, and water into a pressure cooker and bring it up to 15 pounds of pressure. Cook for about 15 minutes. Reduce the pressure once the water reaches room temperature. Test the peel for tenderness by pinching a cooled piece between your thumb and forefinger. If the peel is soft, remove the muslin bag from the water and wring it out into the cooker. Then add the sugar. Stir over gentle heat until the sugar is dissolved, then boil it rapidly in the open cooker until it reaches 221° F. Skim away any foam that forms, and allow the marmalade to cool until a skin starts to form. Pour it into warm, dry jars. Cover each jar with a waxed disc until cool, then replace the discs with permanent lids.