Jams and jellies have been a staple when it comes to selecting a fruit spread for your bread. Aside from their delectable taste, fruit jams and jellies are easy to make and there are few jam recipes or jelly recipes that you can find online.
But what actually is a jam? In culinary, a fruit jam or fruit preserves are preparations of fruits whose main preserving agent is sugar and sometimes acid that are stored in glass jars and used as a condiment or spread. Many varieties of fruit preserves or fruit jams globally are recognized based on the method of preparation, type of fruit used, and place in a meal.
Jams would often result in a jelly-like substance due to the presence of pectin. It is a natural carbohydrate present in most fruits and vegetables that when combined with sugar and acid have a thickening effect on the cooked mixture. This is why pectin is commonly used as a thickener in cooking and baking. Some people even use natural pectin as a medicine for high cholesterol, high triglycerides, heartburn, and many other conditions. However, there is no scientific evidence that could prove its usage for those ailments.
If you are living in a community where whole fruits are usually rotten or if you own some fruit trees, you can support your local farmer’s market by turning those fruits into delicious jellies and jams. There are lots of ways for you to turn them into an amazing spread, from traditional strawberry jam and grape jelly recipes to homemade canned peach fruit butter to crabapple jelly or crockpot cranberry jam. The options are just endless, and it is up to your imagination on how you can recreate these fruit preserves and fruits spreads.
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Here are some of the commonly known types of fruit jam or fruit preserve techniques:
Different Types Of Jam
A chutney, or chutneys, is a gluten-free, spicy or savory condiment originating in India. It is usually made of several combinations of different ingredients such as fruits, vegetables, and/or herbs with vinegar, sugar, and spices. Chutney also comes in different forms that includes tomato relish, a ground peanut garnish, yogurt or curd, cucumber, spicy coconut, spicy onion or mint dipping sauce.
Since chutney is a wonderfully flavored jam, it is used to provide balance to an array of dishes and to provide a highlight for a specific flavor profile. Since it uses vinegar as a preserving agent instead of sugar like other fruit spreads, chutney is now applied to anything preserved in sugar and vinegar, regardless of its texture, ingredients, or consistency.
Curd is a weird type of jam as it does not contain crushed fruit, rather, it is made with zest and juice of citrus fruits, such as lemon, lime, orange, grapefruit or tangerine. Other variations of flavors include passion fruit, mango, and berries such as raspberries, cranberries or blackberries.
This spreadable thick creamy paste is made by mixing different zest or citrus peel and citrus fruit juice such as lemon juice. Homemade lemon curd is the most common variety of curds. It is usually combined with eggs, sugar, and butter simmered gently until the right consistency is achieved and allows it to cool, forming a soft, smooth, flavorful spread that can be used as a fruit preserve or fruit spreads.
Compote is a type of jam that uses whole or pieces of fruit in sugar syrup. It is almost a dessert made by cooking whole fruits or chopped fruit in water with sugar and spices. After cooking, what you will achieve is a thick syrup (almost like a concentrated fruit juice) with chunks of whole fruit, great to be served as a dessert with cream, chilled or hot.
Compared to the other types of jam, compotes are usually looser and less sticky. Also, compote is cooked but not to the point of setting like a jam. There are different varieties of compotes that include summer fruit blends, strawberry, rhubarb, raspberry, blueberry, and blackberry. Its syrup can also be flavored according to someone’s preferences but the most commonly used flavors are citrus peel, vanilla, cinnamon, and other spices.
Conserve is the most popular type of jam being consumed by the majority. It can be the mother of all types of jam as it can be made with different types of fruit. It is indeed a lesser known form of fruit spread. Chunky fruit conserve is most likely not available in most supermarkets or local stores, but it is decadent and truly an unique type of fruit spread.
Conserves are also made using different techniques and delicious jam recipes. You can combine more than one fruit such as cranberries, finely chopped oranges, and undrained pineapple (fruit pulp and fruit juice are intact). It can also include nuts, dried fruit, and spices. If you are considering making some homemade jams, fruit conserves or fruit preserve would be ideal for your family and friends.
Fruit spreads commonly use fresh sweet fruit simmered in sugar, long enough to turn it into a smooth, uniform paste. The most popular would be the spreads made from apples and prunes. Some of the homemade jam recipes would turn them into fruit butters such as prune butter and apple butter. Other flavors would include strawberries and other types of sweet fruits.
Though fruit spread is normally sweet, it is still low in calories as its sweetness comes from the minimum-sugar fruit concentrate and you don’t need to add sugar. If you are looking for the most amount of pure fruit flavor and 100% fruit sweetness with no sugar or artificial sweeteners added, then fruit spreads would work for you.
Though we are talking about the types of jam in this post, jams are just a sub-category of fruit preserves. Making jam would use crushed or chopped fruit gently cooked in a sugary syrup until it softens and loses its natural shape and texture. The consistency of the mixture would thicken as the amount of water gradually lessens and it forms into a spreadable consistency.
Once cooked, let the mixture cool and put it into a jar. Then you can store the fruit preserves in a freezer or fridge. It is a great addition for your fruit butter and bread. The proper jams would have fruit pulps in them, so when you see those little bits of chunks, that’s totally normal.
Other Types Of Jam
When we talk about fruit jam, these are types of fruit preserve that uses fruits that are gently cooked in a sugary form that forms into a spreadable mixture. Others would compare them as jam jellies due to their texture. Since it can use different kinds of fruits, jams can have a unique taste to them.
You can either preserve them in a water bath canner, a pressure canner or even a freezer jam. Talking about homemade types of jam, homemade apple jelly could be the most popular and commonly used in different jam recipes as the fruit is readily available in all supermarkets and grocery stores. When it comes to the varieties of chutney, mango chutney would be very ideal as the flavor is not common and it is deliciously good.
If you love apple butter on a hot homemade biscuit in the morning, then you might need to grab some apple butter or make one at your own kitchen. If munching blackberry cobbler and blackberry jelly is what makes you happy, then better make some of them during the summer season and you can enjoy them during winter. You only need four simple ingredients and that includes blackberries, sugar, lemon juice and water.
Citrus fruit is one of those fruits that can be available in all seasons, and it would be a shame if you won’t take advantage of making homemade lemon jam. It is like a seville orange marmalade that is yummy with the goodness of lemonade or lemon juice that you can spread on your toast. There are still lots of types of jam that you can explore and make them at your home. You can store them in half pints of jar and put them in a fridge for future usage.