This guide to basic kit when making jam making takes some of the mystery out of essential preserving kit and why you want to have these at the ready for your next preserving.
Preserving Pan or Maslin Pan
A Preserving pan or Maslin Pan is a wide, conical shaped, low pot made with a conductive metal (ideally Copper). Copper is especially good for jam-making because it is highly conductive, which allows for very careful control of temperature. This ability to control the heat, more than anything else, will help you adhere to that golden rule of speed. Another essential feature of your preserving or maslin pan is the shape, you want a wide conical pan, designed to maximize water evaporation which minimizes your cooking time keeping fresher flavour in your preserves.
There are very good Stainless Steel versions available too, which have a heavy base with a thick-layer of aluminium that will conduct well and work for induction hobs. They’re also much more versatile as you’re not limited in what you can cook to foods compatible with copper, so you can make stock, pickle, cook pasta sauces and more. They will often include additional features like a measurement indicator inside the pan, a pouring rim, lid and a carry handle.
Jam (Candy) Thermometer
If you want to take the guesswork out of it, buy a candy thermometer when the thermometer hits 105ºC (220ºF), the jam is set. We recommend a ruler style thermometer, like Wilton or CDN's that sits in your pan and you can watch the temperature change while you’re cooking. Also perfect when making Italian or Swiss meringue, candy, fudge, and more.
Long Wooden Spoon
A collection of good quality wooden spoons, are always handy in the kitchen but are essential for preserving. A long 40cm mixing spoon is especially good if you’re using your stockpot and not a shallow preserving pan.
Jam is a science primarily focussed on creating the perfect sugar ratio, so make sure to have some scales at hand that have a large enough weighing capacity to measure your fruit, so you know exactly how much sugar you need to add for setting.
Sterilising your jars is essential when preserving and keeping from transferring any nasties on to your jars is easier when you have jar tongs. These allow you to easily remove your jars and lids during the sterilisation process keeping your hands safe from the heat.
Preserving Wax is the perfect airtight sealing agent for jams, pickles, chutneys and relishes. The airtight seal it creates ensures freshness and longevity, especially favoured for those preserves with a high vinegar content, such as pickles and chutneys.
Jelly bag with Stand
Of course you can carefully balance wrapped jelly mixtures to strain hanging from cupboard handles or broomsticks, however this specially designed Jelly Bag with Stand is the simplest and easiest way to secure all of your mixture in an easily accessible place.
Decanting your jams and jellies in to your jars is the work of moments when pouring straight from your preserving pan in to the jar using this funnel, which is wide enough to allow for chunky mixes in to large or regular mouth jars. Ideally S/S or silicone, so you can decant hot mixtures without tarnishing your jam.
Pectin is a jelling substance that occurs naturally in many fruits, it is most concentrated in pips, cores and skin. You can add pectin to your recipe when using low-pectin fruits such as blackberries, blueberries, strawberries, rhubarb, elderberries, peaches, sweet cherries, dessert apples, pears, figs or marrow.
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