Marmalade quantities to cook

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Maura

Marmalade quantities to cook

Could I ask anyone on here who makes jam/marmalade what do they consider is a good amount of fruit to use when making jam and marmalade.
I only ask because I see so many variations in recipes and so many times I have ended up with a huge pan of mix that takes forever to boil down to a good set. In my opinion this isn't good for the flavour of the jam or marmalade and on a personal level I prefer to use a max of 1.5g of fruit for jam.
Seville orange season is in full swing and yes once again I followed a recipe and ended up with 5 litres of marmalade mix in my maslin pan which took a very long time boiling before I got a set. A lovely book by Vivien Lloyd for beginners recommends using 675g (1 1/2lb)only for marmalade which produces 5 lbs. BUT loads of other recipes state up to 3lbs of fruit.
What weights do you use and do you find the recipe variations annoying. I think it goes a long way to explaining why so many people cannot achieve a good set.

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Rasdora

MARMALADE

Hello Maura, I make marmalades frequently and usually use 1 kg of fruit because it is a manageable quantity and is perfect for my personal use and the odd present. I prepare the fruit in the processor, cook with 1 litre of water for an hour to soften the peel and then add 1 kg of sugar and boil until a set is reached so it's all prepared very quickly. There are so many variations of the classic orange marmalade, pink grapefruit gives a very good result and colour and clementines/mandarins make a lovely light, fruity marmalade. I also add a spoonful to fruit cakes,

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Maura

marmalade quantities.

Hi Rasdora - thanks for your reply. I agree that 1kg is a good amount for personal use and you see that quantity in recipes frequently. I should have added that I make jams and marmalades now for raising funds for a couple of charities we support so I'm making large quantities throughout the year. This all began about 2 years ago and we sell at local markets etc. Its hard work but great fun. I used to only make small quantities for my family and friends but it snowballed so we now run a very small non profit making business called pots of pleasure. All our takings go to Great Ormond St Hosp for children and 2 local animal rescues. Its hard to make a lot of profit from selling jams etc but it has given us a great hobby in our retirement and we meet such lovely people along the way. I am building up a collection of recipes I use as I keep a log of everything I make and sell but some of the quantities baffle me. You would need a huge pan to cook these down successfully or be prepared to boil for hours which isn't great for economy or taste. My maslin pan holds quite a good amount but no way would I fill it more than half way so I have no idea how they manage these larger quantities.

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Rasdora

MARMALADE

Hello again Maura, very interested to hear about your work for your various charities but I can't think of a way round your problem. The only thing that comes to mind is a very large burner/gas ring under the pan but that might increase the chance of burning. When I used to make jams and marmalades for a shop I always used 1 kg of fruit because any more was just too much to control. As you said boiling for hours does not improve flavour and can turn into caramel. I have arrived at the fruit/sugar ratio I use by experimenting. Most recipes indicate twice the amount of sugar to fruit but I find this too sweet for my taste and my version keeps perfectly. What do you use? Would be interested in hearing your
view.

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Maura

sugar to fruit ratio

Well at first I was a complete novice and got a lot of help on here from various people with more experience than me.Gradually I have learned to be more confident and not to expect all recipes to be a success just because you follow their instructions to the letter. I guess its like all cooking - you have a few basic rules that should be followed to ensure the cake rises or the jam sets/keeps but then you have to add to that what you can see and taste for yourself. As we are all individuals with our own methods and taste buds I don't think one size fits all. I have had a few failures but nothing that couldn't be salvaged once I realised I could tip it all back in the pot and add a few other ingredients and voila it generally works.The failures are less and less now so I must be doing something right. I have a great book by Vivien Lloyd called First Preserves and she recommends 1.4kg (3lb)for virtually all of the jam recipes which produces a yeild of 5lb jam. She also suggests a pan with capacity of 7-9 litres. I am looking out for another pan to do my marmalade in which has a lid for the simmering stage and will probably buy a good heavy stockpot for this.

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Maura

sugar content

Sorry - forgot to answer about sugar content. I always use the recommended amount of sugar for the fruit because I need to know it will keep and not go mouldy as I am selling it. I add more lemon or lime juice to reduce the sweetness - not less sugar. I know it is essential to stick to this rule after making 5 batches of jam using a Frensh Citron Melon given to me recently. The only recipe I could find for this unusual fruit said to use only 450g of sugar to 1 kg melon.It was also virtually impossible to get this mix to boil due to its consistency but I assumed it was a bit like a fruit cheese and would be ok. Opened a pot of it made on the 7th Jan this year and it has mould on it :-( This is the first time I have ever had mould on anything I have made and for it to happend so quickly tells me my concerns on the recipe were not unfounded. Now I have to open all 5 batches and if no mould then re-do the recipe somehow. I cannot let all that jam go to waste. Citron melon is grown a lot in France so I must contact a friend who lives out there and see if she can advise me what they do with.So my answer to you would be to use correct amount of sugar but add lemon or lime juice to lower the sweetness or to make a fruit cheese or butter which uses half the ratio of sugar to fruit pulp but wont keep as long as jam.

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Rasdora

MARMALADE

Hi Maura, many thanks for your reply and suggestions. For the moment - as everything seems to be working and, most importantly, keeping - I think I will stick to the method I am using. i will bear in mind your tip on using more lemon or lime juice, this also will increase the pectin level so it should be quicker to get a set. Thanks again,

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Anastasia

Mould

Mould can be dangerous.
When the mould forms it can have threads on it that stretches down the jar, so even if you scoop the top off it can have gone far down in the jar.
My Brother in law is a Scientist , so have got this firsthand from him a long time ago.

I imagine a lot of people will say it is safe to scrape off the top of the marmalade , but I would bin it.it.
The usual cause of mould forming so fast is possibly a dirty lid , that will be true if the rest of the batch is mould free.

I appreciate that you probably have your own system to deal with this situation Maura ,, just thought I would add what I have learned over the years .

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Maura

Mould

Hello Ana - lovely to hear from you. I was very concerned about the mould issue myself as we now sell our produce. Thankfully none of the Citron Melon Jam has gone on sale yet due to there being no markets till February that we can get to. My local EH officer came to inspect us for our Hygiene Rating and she also came from scientific background (parents & brother all in that profession) plus she has degree qualifications for her job and she was telling me all about the little thread roots that they now know spread down from the actual mould that you can see on the surface but which are invisible to the eye.I am going to phone her for further advice but I believe she told me that boiling at high temperature removes this but obviously I need to be sure. The mould was only on the top of the wax disc so I'm not sure if the roots can penetrate this after such a short time but I will definitely not be selling any of it whatever the outcome - I got a Hygiene Rating of 5 and I value that and my customers health too much to risk any potential problems. We did actually remove the wax disc with the mould and tasted the jam without any side effects so might just keep it for ourelves. (It was scrummy).I don't use old lids any more, I buy everything from a local factory that supplies jars and lids so I think it must have been the lack of sugar but definitely want to get to the bottom of it as they make it every year in France where the melon came from with no problems. Have you heard of Citron melon jam at all? Thanks for your advice as always - wouldn't still be making jam if it hadn't been for all your help in the past. I'm still rubbish at the soda bread tho :-(

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Anastasia

Mould.

You have come a long way Maura , well done you.
No , never made Citron Melon preserves.
Good Luck with your business
X .

 
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