I've been making an utter ton of jams, preserves and other fruity concoctions due to winter. Yes winter. It depresses me and in using the local delicious and oh so very in season fruits at the moment (note: cherries(!!!) and strawberries and soon to come raspberries) my theory is that when winter rolls around, then I will have some remnants of sunshine in the form of these preserves.
A lot of the jams using summer berries requires pectin which helps thicken the mixture as these tasty fruits don't have a large amount of pectin in them. I do use some powdered pectin but I'm really trying to use natural pectin donated by green apples instead. The idea is that the pectin derived from boiling down whole apples (simply quarter them and then put them in a pot just cover them in water and boil them slowly. Then strain the water - but make sure you keep it. Add some sugar and cook it down and then jar it. You should be good for pectin for a while) is enough to thicken a jam. I think it does. But the consistency is never that hugely dense, 'you can barely flick the stuff off a spoon' kinda thickness. Instead it's a soft gel. One that sometimes boarders on a syrup. But it's so good, and it's soaks your toast oh so well in it's sugar goodness.
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