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A jam question

(37 Posts)
gorionine Tue 15-Sep-09 10:46:49

Has anyone made jam using light brown sugar instead of the white stuff? How did it taste? Did it keep as well?

Lilymaid Tue 15-Sep-09 10:49:45

I haven't tried, but my cookery books all say that using brown sugar will produce a lot of scum (and obviously will affect the colour of the jam).

gorionine Tue 15-Sep-09 10:52:49

Thanks Lilymaid. none of my cokery books even mention the possibility of using brown sugar so i was wondering why.

ProfYaffle Tue 15-Sep-09 10:55:01

This is what Pam Corbin says re brown sugar:

"These dark sugars are not highly processed and are full of natural molasses flavour. THey can overpower delicate ingredients but are wonderufl wehn used with citrus fruit ... or with vinegar and spices in savoury chutneys and pickles."

Elsewhere she says that golden, unrefined sugar is good with strong flavoured fruit such as blackcurrants.

I've not tried it myself though.

overthemill Tue 15-Sep-09 10:59:07

i used it at weekend for chutney and mixed some with preserving sugar for jam last week when i didnt have quite enough. it may also affect setting qaulity for low pectin fruit (jam sugar has added pectin)

gorionine Tue 15-Sep-09 10:59:51

Oh thank you Profyaffle, I will give it a go with brambles soonsmile.

ProfYaffle Tue 15-Sep-09 11:02:19

Just looked in another book, it says brown sugar will affect the flavour but that's all. I've been thinking of trying it in plum jam, I imagine the taste would go quite well.

What fruit are you using? There aren't very many fruits that need preserving sugar, I've never bought the stuff!

midnightexpress Tue 15-Sep-09 11:02:45

I often use light molasses sugar for marmalade (usually half-and-half with a golden granulated or jam sugar). I love really dark marmalade, and it works very well to produce that (I also add a tbs of treacle), but I would imagine it might be too strong a flavour for fruit jams, with the possible exceptions of plum or rhubarb, which are more 'wintery' flavours, the sort of thing you might have with cinammon or ginger.

And I haven't noticed any more scum - you can get rid of it anyway with a knob of butter added at the end.

ProfYaffle Tue 15-Sep-09 11:03:47

Brown sugar and brambles sounds nice, they should set fine for you.

gorionine Tue 15-Sep-09 11:08:05

I have never used preserving sugar either, only normal granulated one. I read somewhere that if you really need added pectin you can just add a bit of lemon juice when cooking the jam. I must say I have never had to.

I did not know about the butter tip either, When there is too much scum I just "scoop it" out. Do you add the cinamon or ginger while you are making the jam or when you eat it? It sounds really good!

midnightexpress Tue 15-Sep-09 11:11:15

I was thiking more generally about cinammon and ginger with plums and rhubarb actually, But I have seen recipes for rhubarb and ginger jam online.

Be aware that preserving sugar adn jam sugar are two very different things. Jam sugar has added pectin to help the jam set, so it's good for fruit like strawberries that are naturally low in pectin. Preserving sugar has larger grains and is intended for fruit that is naturally high in pectin, like blackcurrants. It dissolves more slowly and apparently gives a clearer looking jam. I've used jam sugar occasionally, but frankly don't care if my jam is crystal clear so wouldn't bother with preserving sugar.

gorionine Tue 15-Sep-09 11:23:05

When I was in "ecole enfantine" (equivalent of nursery in the Uk) we made Strawberry and rhubarb jam, I can still remember the taste now!mmmmhgrin

I usually make jam in quite small quantiyies when I have fruit that will go off if I don't or when my very nice neighbours share the produce of their garden with me! Now I want to make lots of it and try "adventurous" combinations. What jam have you made that you were not sure would work and was actually fantastic?

A friend of mine back home once made chestnut jam OMG it was nice! so nice actually that I seem to have eaten the entire jarre without breadblush!

midnightexpress Tue 15-Sep-09 11:24:53

Boiling sugar at nursery school? Blimey - that's a bit hardcore.

I was desperate to make blackcurrant jam this year, but couldn't find blackcurrants anywhere. I blame the ribena people for buying them all up.

ProfYaffle Tue 15-Sep-09 11:26:31

My big discovery, taste wise, this year has been elderberry and pear jam. V nice, had a hard time getting it to set though, next time I try I might use jam sugar. For this year I've called it a soft set conserve grin

ProfYaffle Tue 15-Sep-09 11:27:18

Chestnut jam sounds interesting, don't fancy peeling the chestnuts though.

midnightexpress Tue 15-Sep-09 11:28:02

Oh. Always woner what to do with elderberries - the flavour is so powerful, but pears would be nice and sweet with that. Hmm might give it a go. What were your quantities?

overthemill Tue 15-Sep-09 11:30:53

all these jams sound fab! teh jam i made at the weekend was plum jam (and plum chutney too - huge tray of plums for £4 at boot sale). It was great.
i used pres sugar as i had it left over - usually use jam sugar if i can gett it or if not add lemon juice i think
plum chutney very spicy with cillies and cinnamon - really trying hard to wait for the month before it has 'matured'.
i will be making hedgerow jelly soon as i collect all the odds and ends of berries around on my walks, it's good and includes elderberrries, i pick and freeze until i have enough.
tip for blackcurrants: plant your own bush!

cremolafoam Tue 15-Sep-09 11:31:37

chestnut jam is delish- you get it in jars in France as Creme de Marron. great in crepes

midnightexpress Tue 15-Sep-09 11:34:01

I know overthemill, but we have a very..erm.. 'challenging' garden as far as growing soft fruit goes. Might give it a go though if I can find a space.

cremolafoam Tue 15-Sep-09 11:34:06

do you not find that elderberries have a very 'dry ' flavour. I have had trouble with them before.
Has anybody seen any sloes yet?
I am working my way through a pile of rowan berries for jelly ATM. I just love the colour of it. I's like a sunset in a jar.grin

Bettymum Tue 15-Sep-09 11:34:06

I had the most incredible pineapple and basil jam in a cafe in Amsterdam once. I still think about that jam...


ProfYaffle Tue 15-Sep-09 11:34:23

Here's the recipe I used for pear and elderberry jam

Plus Another elderberry recipe

gorionine Tue 15-Sep-09 11:35:38

We also fried slices of apple in batter! It was over 30 years ago though and health and safety was not really the main preoccupation at the time!grin.

I did not think about the peeling out of the chestnut but about the amount of time she must have cooked it for. I once tried to make my own "marrons glace" (desastrous operation!)It took ages and they did not even get really soft!

I have a problem with elderberry as my Gran used to make a cough mixture with them and I hated the thing (the mixture, not my lovely Gran[smile!)

ProfYaffle Tue 15-Sep-09 11:35:50

Cremola - certainly v strong but nice so long as you don't use too many.

We've been picking purple bullace which are devilishly similar to sloes. Got bullace gin and damson gin on the go atm.

ProfYaffle Tue 15-Sep-09 11:37:16

What's rowan jelly like btw? I was thinking about making some this year. Is it a cold meats type of thing or can it go on toast like normal jam?

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