Woman's Institute Library of Cookery - novelonlinefull.com
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Fruit may be purchased purposely for jam, but for the most part, this form of preserve is made of imperfect or very ripe fruits that are not suitable for canning, preserves, and other processes that require almost perfect fruit. If this point is kept in mind, it will be possible, during the canning season, to make into a delicious jam fruit that would otherwise be wasted.
76. STRAWBERRY JAM.--As strawberries have very small seeds, this fruit makes an excellent jam.
4 qt. strawberries 2 lb. sugar
Wash and hull the strawberries. Then mash them in a preserving kettle and add the sugar to them. Place over the fire, and boil slowly until the mixture becomes thick, stirring frequently to prevent the jam from sticking to the kettle and scorching. When the jam is cooked to the proper consistency, the juice should test as for jelly. Pour the mixture into hot sterilized gla.s.ses, cool, and then seal and label.
77. RASPBERRY JAM.--Both red and black raspberries are much used for jam. Some persons like to remove the seeds from raspberry jam, but as very little pulp remains after the seeds are taken out, this plan is not recommended.
4 qt. raspberries 2 lb. sugar
Look over the raspberries carefully and then wash. Put them into a preserving kettle with the sugar. Heat to the boiling point, and cook slowly for a few minutes. Then mash the berries to a pulp, and continue to cook until the mixture thickens and the juice tests as for jelly.
Pour into hot sterilized jars, cool, seal, and label.
78. GREEN-GAGE JAM.--Green gages make a smooth, tart jam that appeals to most persons. The seeds of the plums are, of course, removed, but the skins are allowed to remain in the jam.
4 qt. green-gage plums 4 lb. sugar 1-1/2 c. hot water
Wash the plums, cut them in half, and remove the seeds, but not the skins. Dissolve the sugar in the water over the fire, and when it comes to the boiling point, add the plums. Cook slowly until the plums are mushy and the entire mixture is thick. Pour into sterilized gla.s.ses, cool, seal, and label. If sweet plums are used, decrease the quant.i.ty of sugar.
79. GOOSEBERRY JAM.--When gooseberries are well ripened, they make very good jam. As this fruit is rather tart, considerable sugar must be used if a sweet jam is desired.
4 qt. gooseberries 3 lb. sugar
Remove the stems and blossom ends from the gooseberries and wash thoroughly. Add the sugar to the berries in a preserving kettle. Bring to a rapid boil, cook for a few minutes, and then mash the berries to a pulp. Cook until the mixture thickens and tests as for jelly. Pour into hot sterilized gla.s.ses, cool, seal, and label.
80. BLACKBERRY JAM.--Probably no jam is so well liked as that made from blackberries. Some varieties of these are large in size and contain considerable pulp in proportion to seeds. These are especially suitable for jam.
4 qt. blackberries 1/2 c. hot water 2 lb. sugar
Wash the berries thoroughly, and put them over the fire with the water.
Bring to the boiling point, and boil slowly for a few minutes. Then mash the berries, add the sugar, and cook the mixture until, when tested, it is of a jelly-like consistency. Pour into hot, sterilized gla.s.ses, cool, and label.
81. FRUIT b.u.t.tERS are a form of preserves similar to jams, and are used in the place of preserves, jams, conserves, or marmalades. The fruit used for this purpose, which may be either large or small, is usually very ripe and somewhat soft. Therefore, as in the case of jams, imperfect fruits that are not suitable for other purposes can be used very well for b.u.t.ters.
b.u.t.ters made from fruits differ from jams in that both the skins and seeds are always removed. The completed mixture is smooth and thick, having been made thick by long boiling and evaporation, rather than by the addition of large quant.i.ties of sugar. In fact, less sugar is used for b.u.t.ters proportionately than for any other preserved fruit. Spices are generally used in b.u.t.ters, so that the mixture is very highly flavored.
To prevent b.u.t.ters from scorching, they should be stirred constantly for a long period of time. This stirring becomes very tiresome, but it should not be stopped or the mixture is certain to scorch. If they are properly cooked, b.u.t.ters keep well with very little care in storage.
Crocks are generally used for the storage of b.u.t.ters, but gla.s.ses or jars may be subst.i.tuted.
82. APPLE b.u.t.tER.--Apples are very often made into b.u.t.ter, but for this purpose sour apples that will cook soft should be selected. If the procedure explained in the accompanying recipe is followed, very good results may be expected.
4 qt. apples 8 qt. cider 1 lb. sugar 3 tsp. cinnamon 1 tsp. cloves 1 tsp. allspice
Peel the apples and quarter them. Boil the cider until it is reduced half. Add the apples to the cider, and cook slowly for about 3 hours, or until they are mushy, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon to prevent the apples from sticking to the bottom of the kettle. At the end of this time, the mixture should be thick and smooth and dark in color. If it gets too thick, more cider can be added. About 1 hour before the cooking is completed, add the sugar and the spices. Even greater care must be exercised from this time on to prevent scorching. If, after cooking 3 hours, the mixture is not sufficiently thick, continue to cook until more of the moisture is evaporated. Have hot sterilized gla.s.ses or crocks ready, fill them with the b.u.t.ter, cool, and seal.
83. PEACH b.u.t.tER.--Peaches are especially satisfactory when made into b.u.t.ter. This fruit does not require such long cooking as apples, as will be seen in the accompanying recipe.
4 qt. peaches 1 c. hot water 1 lb. sugar 1 tsp. cinnamon 1/2 tsp. cloves
Wash the peaches, rub them to remove the fuzz, cut them in half, and take out the seeds. Measure the peaches and put them with the water into the preserving kettle, bring them to a boil, and cook until they are thoroughly softened. Then press them through a sieve or a colander, return the pulp to the preserving kettle, and add the sugar and the spices. Cook slowly for 1 or 2 hours, or until it has become a rich dark, clear color. Pour the b.u.t.ter into hot sterilized gla.s.ses or crocks, cool, and seal.
84. PEAR b.u.t.tER.--An appetizing fruit b.u.t.ter can be made from pears in the same way that peach b.u.t.ter is made.
4 qt. pears, quartered 2 c. hot water 1 lb. sugar 2 tsp. cinnamon 1 tsp. cloves
Wash, cut, and core the pears, but do not peel them. Cut them into quarters, and put the quarters into a preserving kettle with the water.
Bring to the boiling point, and boil until soft or mushy. Remove from the kettle and force through a sieve or a colander. To the pulp, add the sugar and spices, return to the kettle, and cook slowly for about 2 hours, stirring constantly to prevent scorching. If 2 hours is not sufficient to cook the mixture dry, cook a little longer. Pour into hot sterilized gla.s.ses or jars, cool, and seal.
85. PLUM b.u.t.tER.--Another very good way in which to preserve plums for future use is to make b.u.t.ter of them. The accompanying recipe explains the correct procedure for b.u.t.ter of this kind.
4 qt. plums 1 c. hot water 3 lb. sugar 2 tsp. cinnamon 1/2 tsp. cloves
Wash the plums, cut them in half, and remove the seeds. Put the plums with the water into a preserving kettle, and boil until they are soft.
Press them through a sieve or a colander, return to the preserving kettle, and add the sugar and spices. Boil until the mixture is thick and jelly-like, stirring constantly to prevent scorching. Pour into hot sterilized crocks or gla.s.ses, cool, and seal. If very sour plums are used, increase the amount of sugar.
PRINCIPLES OF PICKLING
86. PICKLING consists in preserving fruits and vegetables in vinegar or brine. Each of these liquids acts as a preservative, so that the receptacles, or containers, for the food do not have to be sealed air-tight, nor does the preserved food require much care in order to have it keep perfectly.
The effect of the pickling liquids on both fruits and vegetables is very similar. The salt in the brine or the vinegar hardens the cellulose of the foods to such an extent that they are impervious to the action of bacteria. While this permits the foods to keep well, it also makes them difficult to digest, a fact that must be remembered when pickled foods are included in the diet.