This morning was a jam making morning! Someone had asked if I have a juicer. Yes, I have a Breville juicer and I love it but don’t use it for making jams and jellies.
There’s no right or wrong way to do most things . . if you’re happy with your end result, then you’re doing it correctly. So, please don’t take this past as “my way or the highway”.
For jellies, I boil the fruit, with just a tiny bit of water. Probably, it’s more like simmer the fruit in their own juices. Some fruits I leave the peeling on and some I remove the peeling. Plums I would boil with the peeling on because a lot of the tartness that I love comes from the peeling, as well as the beautiful bright color. For peaches, because I don’t want to find even a little bit of fuzz in my jelly, I peel them first.I
Once the juice has cooked out of the fruit, I will strain it with a bouillon strainer. This thing is expensive but I’ve had it since 2014 and I use the heck out of it. It strains out everything and leaves a crystal clear juice.
If you’re making a ton of juice, the Mehu Liisa steam juicer is amazing. Another expensive gadget but so worth it when you have gallons of juice to extract. We use this with the cactus fruit here and it makes easy work out of a big job. The juice shouldn’t need to be strained after coming through this but, when making cactus juice, I do strain it just to be sure.
The only drawback to this is that it does heat the juice up and that probably destroys some nutrients but since the jelly/jam has to be cooked anyway, I don’t let the heat worry me. If I were juicing to make smoothies, I would not use a steam juicer.
For jam, I use a food mill. For a soft fruit like plums, I simply wash them and dump them into the food mill. For a harder fruit, like apples or pears, I would cook them in a little water first.
You can see that the “juice” is a nice, thick pulp and this is what I use to make jam.
Today’s batch produced 13-1/2 jelly jars of jam so we have 26-1/2 jars. I’ll take Chad as much as he wants and we’ll keep the rest. But, I’m done with making plum jam for this year (I think).