I’m a bit peculiar with regard to jams. I had by no means heard of utilizing pectin to gel them till I got here to the USA. As I used to be rising up in Belgium, my mother made a whole lot of strawberry and rhubarb jams with the bounty of our backyard, and the same old methodology was to cook dinner the sugar and fruits over the boiling level, till the combination reached the “set level” at 220°F (104°C).
Over time, I’ve made a whole lot of jams utilizing each strategies (including pectin or excessive temperature), however the extra I began utilizing wild components, the much less I used to be thinking about both of those strategies. I believe boiling as much as 220°F is extreme and never optimum for flavors.
Utilizing Wild Components: Let the Crops Discuss to You
I’ve a special philosophy, and I all the time inform this to my college students: Let the vegetation discuss to you. If you wish to create a real unique and native delicacies, your cooking concepts and recipes ought to come from the components themselves and their atmosphere.
Presently I exploit the identical philosophy with my “jams”; they’re usually extra like syrups, and I wish to let the components do their very own factor.
Making Jams and Syrups: Pascal Baudar’s Methodology
My methodology is solely to create a considerably heavy syrup (3 components sugar for 4 components components) for wild berries equivalent to blackberries, wild currants, gooseberries, and elderberries. Some berries, equivalent to elderberries, shall be cooked complete whereas others, equivalent to our native wild currants, shall be juiced first, as a result of great amount of seeds they include.
I don’t overcook the syrup—I merely carry it to a temperature of 200°F (93°C) for 12 minutes, then place the contents in half-pint (250 ml) jars and course of them for quarter-hour in a boiling-water tub. For pint (500 ml) jars I course of for 20 minutes.
Components for Making Jams and Syrups
My elderberry jam by no means units correctly; it’s a thick syrup with a lot of berries, and that’s utterly tremendous with me. It’s scrumptious with recreation birds equivalent to quail or pigeon. Different components, equivalent to our native ardour fruit, will set correctly like an everyday thick jam if I exploit the entire fruit, together with the pores and skin.
I additionally like so as to add attention-grabbing wild aromatics to a number of the jams or syrups I make. Fairly often they arrive from the identical location. A leaf of mugwort or black sage in elderberry syrup provides a whole lot of refined taste. The identical is true with a tad of white fir needles when making a manzanita berries syrup.
Native Chia Seeds Jam
You can also make a strong jam with out overcooking or including pectin by utilizing chia seeds and (in all probability) plantain seeds—though I’ve not tried the latter but. Each seeds have gelatinous properties.
The approach is easy. Warmth berries and sugar in a saucepan as defined above. If vital, relying on the berries you’ve gotten domestically and use, you could have to flippantly crush the berries with a fork.
Add the chia seeds (foraged or bought) into the recent syrup on the finish of the cooking. Begin with 2 tablespoons (20 g) per cup (236 ml) of liquid; cook dinner for an additional couple of minutes whereas stirring the seeds. Take away from the warmth and let the jam sit for five minutes, then examine the consistency. If vital, add extra chia seeds, however normally 2 tablespoons (20 g) is sufficient. Place in a jar and shut the lid. This jam ought to preserve within the fridge for as much as 2 weeks.
There are numerous recipes obtainable on-line for any such jam, some utilizing contemporary fruits or juice and honey as a substitute of sugar.