Magazine article Sunset

Fresh Fruit Jamboree

Magazine article Sunset

Fresh Fruit Jamboree

Article excerpt

Sweet preserves in 30 minutes or less

* Preserving time and energy in the pursuit of fresh flavor is the triumph of these jams and marmalades. For speed, start with commercial preserves; they hold up when heated and reheated. Then add fresh fruit to personalize the results. Boiling the two together gives you homemade taste in minutes. And the product is hot enough to be sterile without any processing. Return the mixtures to the preserves' original jars. If you misjudge the consistency during cooking, a simple step saves the day: Tilt the jars of cool jam or marmalade. If the mixture is runny, return it to the pan, bring it to a rolling boil, stir often, and test again for firmness (see "Fresh jam tips," right) about every minute.

Plum-Apricot Jam

PREP AND COOK TIME: About 30 minutes, plus about 6 hours to cool

MAKES: About 4 3/4 cups

1. Rinse and thinly slice 1 orange (about 1/2 lb.), discarding end slices and seeds; coarsely chop orange. In a 5- to 6-quart pan, combine pieces and juice with 1/2 cup sugar and 1/4 cup water. Boil over high heat, stirring often to prevent scorching, until liquid is almost gone, 4 to 5 minutes.

2. Remove from heat and add 2 cups finely chopped firm-ripe red-skinned plums and 4 jars (10 oz. each) apricot jam; set unwashed empty jars and lids aside. Return pan to high heat and stir until jam is melted. Stirring often to prevent scorching, boil for 10 minutes, then test and boil until jam is firm enough (see test at right), about 5 minutes longer. Seal and store as directed at right.

Per tablespoon: 45 cal., 0% (0 cal.) from fat; 0.2 g protein; 0 g fat; 12 g carbo (0.3 g fiber); 6 mg sodium; 0 mg chol.

Blueberry-Currant Jam

PREP AND COOK TIME: About 30 minutes, plus about 6 hours to cool

MAKES: About 4 cups

1. Rinse and thinly slice 1 lemon (4 to 5 oz.), discarding end slices and seeds; coarsely chop lemon. In a 5- to 6-quart pan, combine pieces and juice with 1/2 cup sugar and 1/4 cup water. Boil over high heat, stirring often to prevent scorching, until liquid is almost gone, 5 to 8 minutes.

2. Remove from heat and add 2 cups rinsed, drained blueberries and 4 jars (10 oz. …

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