The Next Level
It may be considered a luxury but a copper jam pan is one of the keys to really successful jam making. Yes, they are an investment piece but a host of our jam experts recommend that we resist undervaluing the benefits one of these French masterpieces. French chefs have revered copper cookware for centuries, we know that. It’s standout features are superior heating and cooling abilities. But how is this relevant to jam? What we’re aiming for with jam is as rapid as possible evaporation of moisture from the fruit, which is necessary for ideal setting consistency. But it’s a fine line between a good boil to remove moisture and achieve setting and not boiling it for so long that you risk caramelising the sugars (great for meats and roasting – not so hot for jam. A jam maker's pun!). Too long on the heat can often result in dark, sticky jam with an overly sugary taste and which can crystalise on storage. To achieve bright, clear fruit flavour and brilliant jewel like colours worthy of the Jam Maker’s Guild a quick rise to temperature, rapid boiling and a very quick cool down i.e. as little time processing as possible is the ideal and copper is the best material for this by a country mile.
How to Use and Keep Your Copper Jam Pan
All copper will tarnish with time. Some people are not fazed with this and, indeed, a well-loved piece of copper can look very rustic and ‘used’ – a look that some, including me, love. But if that’s not you there are a few tricks and tips to keeping your pan looking as good as new.
1. We recommend rinsing your pan right after you use it then cleaning it with a very mild detergent and drying it at once. These simple precautions will help to prevent any unwanted reactions such as oxidation or staining from debris left on the surface. If you do ever notice evidence of oxidation on your pan — a sort of greeny, mustardy ick, you can use a very gentle scouring pad to carefully get rid of it. Beware of scratching the surface though. That being said, copper pans can take some abuse too. From a safety perspective, there’s no need to worry about some scratches or scorching. Feel free to crank your copper to the highest heat. That’s what it’s made for.
2. If you wish to keep your copper pan sparkling we recommend using Mauviel copper cleaner which is a paste style cleaner that is applied with a sponge, then gently rinsed off and the pan polished with a soft cloth.
3. If you do not use your pan often you need to wash it at least once a month. One of the traps is that kitchen grease can settle on your pan, then dust covers it and it will start to eat into your pan’s surface resulting in permanent damage.
One other thing – these are JAM pans, they are for sugared fruit preserves only. You must never try to cook chutneys and other acidic ingredients involving tomatoes or vinegar in an unlined copper pan. This would result in ruined and very dodgy tasting ingredients and a thoroughly ruined pan.
Most of all, enjoy your pan, use it and keep it out to bring a little ray of sunshine to your kitchen!
We love our Mauviel pans – come in and see us to find out why these pans will take you to the next level in jam making excellence.
- Tags: use-and-care