I asked the people what they wanted me to talk about and although I was responded by one person, they gave me two responses. I decided to make that person happy and answer (one of) their questions.
So I am probably just as confused about the difference between jam, jelly, and preserves as most of you are. I know there will be the one person who reply with a valid answer!! One of my favorite things to do with fruit, is make jam, jelly, or preserves…
my interpretation.. with a little help from my “Food Lovers Companion” (they are out of alphabetic order because of the labor involved):
- jelly (time and labor = level 3) - takes the longest time to make; is like the consume of fruit spreads; clear and bright; tender, but firm; made from fruit juice, sugar and sometimes pectin. pg. 355
- jam (time and labor = level 2) – middle of the line; has fruit, sugar, and sometimes pectin; cooked until fruit is almost formless. pg. 352
- preserves (time and labor = level 1) – easiest to make; has fruit, sugar, and usually pectin; defers from jam because the pieces are left thick and chunky, not puréed. pg. 542
Local Cherry Chia Preserves
Ken’s Beautiful Cherry’s which just happened to finish their season :-/, but you can find other cherry’s somewhere else :-). Let me explain something to every one of you. Local fruit most often always costs more money than that which doesn’t grow around here, but the flavor of local is superior on so many levels. It might not be as sweet to eat without any processing, but the natural and real flavor of the fruit, OM…
…AHHHHHHHHH!! So do what you can to always find out what fruit is in season and either buy it all (and freeze some) or wish you had it 6 months later. They store well raw, after cleaning of course, and cooked into the product, most of the time.
WHAT TO DO:
- The first thing I always do with fresh local fruits and vegetables is clean it and remove any debris.
- Take the seeds out of the fruit and way out both sides for records so you know about how much you need to make.
- On average (check **note at bottom) I use a ratio of 2:1 fruit to sugar and for the chia seeds two tablespoons per recipe of about one pound of fruit. There is always the freezer test!!
- Put the fruit in the pot you are cooking it in… and add the sugar!!
- Heat until you bring to a simmer. Finally add the chia and let cook on low to allow the chia seed powder to expand and act as a natural of pectin.
**NOTE: this is not a sugarless recipe, a decent amount of sugar is recommended!! But it really depends on the sugar content of the fruit itself.
I think… this is how I made it, I will test this recipe when I can and figure it out. Good Luck :-)