Friday, 19 December 2014

grapefruit jam!~ (&lemon)

     i have not posted in so long!  & i have a few things i have been meaning to make posts about before i totally forget about them!  BUT!  the other day i made some grapefruit jam, so i thought i would get that in & perhaps fit in the rest of my past jam making adventures.  (i have had a few because i am planning on giving jams out for christmas!)  I had previously made a whole bunch of pomegranate jam to give as gifts & then was intregued by a recipe for lemon jam that was in a book i had taken out from the library.
     So here it goes.

Grapefruit Jam.
      This batch i totally made up on my own, no recipe, no real research, i just went for it.  I originally was going to follow the steps that i took in making the lemon jelly i had previously made but decided that i did not like that idea.  I did something super simple instead!
#1.  I supremed some grapefruit, i did 4.  I actually have never supremed citrus before & it was a lot easier than i thought it would be, i think the key was using a sharp knife.  Pretty much you just slice off the top & bottom (this also helps it sit nicely) & then you start slicing off the peel from top to bottom.

Then, once all the peel is off, you cut out the little sections of fruit.  I also made sure to save all the juices & squeeze out any remaining stuff i could from the juicy parts that were left on the peel.  From 4 grapefruits i got 2.5cups of fruit/juice.

Next step, i put the fruit in a pot & added sugar & put it on med-high heat to cook away!

Originally i had added only 2 cups of sugar, but that was not enough & i added another 0.5 cup.  I had done an initial plate test & it was not quite done & it also did not taste quite sweet enough.  I think if you want a really really sweet jam then you need to add even more sugar.
     I was surprised at how much the fruit broke down while cooking, i had left it in big chunks at the beginning and with just light stirring the large pieces totally broke down.  (but this jam still has lots of pulp)
     After putting the pot back on the burner after the initial plate test it started bubbling up a lot more, this happened when i made my lemon jam as well, in fact my lemon jam ended up bubbling up so much it boiled over the pot!  I had read some where that jelly tends to boil up quite a bit, so i assume this is normal?  but both times this did not happen until after i had taken it off the burner to test it & then put it back on?  Just making a note.
     The next 4 photos are what the mix looked like at the start, how much it had broken down, the bubbling up after putting it back on the burner & the finished jam!

     After it was done i filled the jars.  This amount of jam only filled 5 little jars & about half of a 6th (these are 125mL jars), so it was a small batch.  I boiled them in a hot water bath for 15min & then turned off the heat & left it uncovered for an additional 5min.  I do not know if that extra step is needed or not or even if i should be doing it, but it allowed me to finish up with some other stuff i was doing at the same time, so it all worked out!  This jam was super pretty!  It was night time & the little bit of light from the stove just made it glow, so lovely!  I have not opened a jar yet but i did eat some of the left over bits from the pot & it was yummy! 

& super simply, equal parts grapefruit/juice & sugar, cook till it passes the plate test & you are good to go!

Lemon Jam
     The lemon jam i made i followed the instructions & recipe from this book: The Art of Preserving by Lisa Atwood,except that i shrunk it down to, i think, 1/3 of a batch.  A teeny tiny batch that only made 4.5 little jars.  This jam, or well, i guess it is actually jelly, took 2 days because it kinda makes a citrus pectin out of the peel.  You have to first thinly slice some fruit (2/3lb), with peel & boil it & allow it to drain overnight.

You are then left with some thick yellow liquid.  I actually got a little less then i was supposed to according to the recipe, but oh well.  You also then need to add some lemon juice (2/3c)!

mix this all together with 2c of sugar & ta-da! After i did the plate test & put it back on the burner it started boiling up&up&up&up & so i had to pour it into the GIANT pot in the second picture. I managed to clean things up pretty good it looks like, but there was lemon jam all over the burner & smoke everywhere, plus the jam was starting to set up quite quickly, it was not fun times.

This jam was very fast! From start to finish the cooking only took a bit over 15min & without the boil over disaster it would have taken less.  After the cooking i filled the jars & did the water bath thing.  This jam, like the grapefruit, was also very pretty!

     I was thinking that i should have made mandarin orange jelly for christmas time, since it is such a christmas fruit, but i think that lemon & grapefruit will do fine for now.  I also have the pomegranate, i have lots of that (& i will do a post about it later) & i think 4? jars of nectarine jam (since 3 of them did not seal and are in the freezer & i ate one) to give as gifts as well.  It will be a very jam-y christmas!