Since we started making jams and preserves there have been two major developments in kitchen technology. The microwave oven which can be used to make jam and automatic jam making machines or bread makers which can also make jam.
Although you can use a microwave oven to make jam successfully, personally I do not advise making jam in the microwave for two reasons.
Firstly: heating a fairly large amount of liquid carries a risk that, if you don’t stop stir as advised, a pocket of super-heated liquid can develop. This causes a sudden expansion, a mini-explosion, of extremely hot and sticky jam.
Secondly: you are frequently moving a large bowl in and out of the microwave full of boiling jam. This must increase the risk of a nasty accident.
You can make small amounts of jam in a microwave. You must use a large bowl, as large as will fit into the chamber for jam making. At a minimum it needs to be twice as large and preferably three times as large as the final jam volume. It is important to remember that when you add the sugar to the boiled fruit, the bulk will double.
- Cook the fruit on full power for around 4 minutes until it is soft.
- Stir in the sugar until it has dissolved and then cook again on high power for 3 minutes, before stirring thoroughly.
- Continue to do this until the jam has cooked for about 18 minutes, or until the jam sets when a little is placed on a chilled saucer.
- Stir in a small knob of butter or a few drops of glycerine to get rid of any scum.
- Leave to stand for 5 minutes and then pour into hot sterilized jars and seal.
NB Never use a sugar thermometer in a microwave!
Jam Making Machines
Like bread making machines, they tend to produce a pretty good result so long as you follow the recipes to the letter. They tend to make smaller quantities than most ‘hand made’ recipes.
Whilst they give fairly consistent results, we feel jam making machines limit your ability to experiment which is what separates the art of cooking from food processing.
More in Jams, Jellies & Marmalades
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- Jam and Jelly Making – Fruit, Acid, Sugar and Water
- Equipment Required for Jam and Jelly Making
- How to Make Marmalade
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- Pectin for Jam, Jelly & Marmalade Making