Hi folks, there have been a number of questions and comments on jams and conserves over on Rose’s Blog under Cake Questions Too. I thought I’d move them over to the forum and see what develops.
Here’s the discussion so far:
I am a bit puzzled with Cordon Rose Strawberry Conserve. It turns out pretty thin and watery. I use frozen strawberries (California premium). Is this happening because I don’t let the strawberries completely thaw and drain its juices? I thaw until the frozen strawberries become bite able but firm, and there is very little juice drained. Should I instead thaw until mush so there is more juice collected thus faster to reduce?
A week after canned, the conserve thickens, but still not too much.
Also, do you blend or strain the conserve or just leave the strawberries whole?
Posted by: Hector | April 16, 2008 1:45 PM #
or should the recipe be changed? strawberries now look so giant and full of water more than anything!
Posted by: Hector | April 16, 2008 1:50 PM #
haven’t made this for a long time but i always let berries thaw completely when using frozen berries so i’m sure this would help. i don’t do anything other than what i wrote in the cake bible.
Posted by: rose levy beranbaum | April 16, 2008 2:02 PM #
I let my frozen strawberries thaw overnight in a strainer over a bowl in the oven with the pilot light on. This works really well for me b/c they never seem to thaw quickly enough during the day when I’m waiting for them! I leave them as is after cooking them down.
They are extremely large, you are right, nowadays. One of the fruits with the largest water content. As my very healthy friend comments, too, unfortunately we grow them out here (CA) with a ton of pesticides, etc., which makes that water content even more relevant….but for another discussion…
Hope you get them to gel a bit more. They are so incredible!
Posted by: Cathy | April 16, 2008 8:00 PM #
I just thought of a hint for those who are making conserves or jam. I have found that once you reduce the juices from the frozen/thawed or briefly cooked fruit, it helps if you combine fruit, reduced juice and most of the sugar. Pour into a large non-reactive bowl or pan and let them sit overnight or a bit longer in the refrigerator, covered.
The fruit tends to give up some of its color along with the juices. The “resting” period allows the fruit to reabsorb the concentrated juice & sugar blend, which really helps the flavor, color and consistency of the jam.
I generally use less sugar in jams, so I need to add some no-sugar pectin to get a complete jell. I reserve about 1/4 cup of sugar per 4 cup batch of jam. After the jam has “rested,” bring it back up to a boil, and add the pectin mixed with the reserved sugar. Then process it as you usually do (can, freeze, or whatever).
I think I got this resting idea from an Farm Journal cookbook although I can’t quite recall. Anyway, it has worked well for me.
Posted by: Barbara A. | April 16, 2008 11:53 PM
I would love to learn how to can or jar preserves. Are their such a thing as Fig preserves? My fig tree/bush is filled every year and I need to figure out how to make use of them. ..although this year I plan on selling them fresh picked at the Farmer’s Market.
Is preserve/jam making difficult?
Posted by: MarkMc | April 17, 2008 12:28 AM
Barbara, thanks for sharing your tip, should help me.
It sounds almost like not consuming your canned conserves for a few months, it does flavor and gel more during this ‘rest’
Posted by: Hector | April 17, 2008 1:38 PM