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Summer in a jar <<FOR ZA please use "Nothing quite like homemade">>

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Capture the taste of summer and enjoy these sweet treats all year round <<For ZA please use: "Pull out your iCook cookwear and delight in three flavourful easy-to-make jams">>

Summer is slowly coming to an end. But this doesn’t necessarily mean bad news. Hang on to those warm summer breezy mornings by capturing your favourite fruits in a jar – we’re talking about sweet, delicious fruit preserves of course! <<For ZA please use: "Winter is slowly coming to an end, which is great news for your taste buds! Celebrate with an early taste of warmer climes by making three sweet, delicious fruit preserves!">>Jams and marmalades are a great way of preserving fruit and reducing waste, especially if you find yourself with far too much at one time. Keep reading for helpful pro jam-making tips and three of our favourite fruit preserve recipes.

Our favourite summer-fruit preserve recipes <<For ZA: "Our favourite fruit preserve recipes">>

Cinnamon plum jam

This is a great jam to prepare in advance for winter because the subtle cinnamon scent makes it a great Christmas biscuit or cake filling. Otherwise, it’s simply a wonderful jam to enjoy all year round, no matter the season.

<<For ZA please use: "With full-bodied plums mixing with the comforting notes of cinnamon, this jam is a people pleaser. Use it to fill your wintery cakes and biscuits or enjoy it all year round, no matter the season.">>

Too-easy raspberry jam

We especially love this jam because it’s incredibly easy to prepare and both adults and kids love it. Its old-fashioned fruity flavour wins the hearts of the former group. As to the latter? Simply use a sieve to remove the raspberry seeds during preparation and the youngest members of the family will be sure to love the silky-smooth consistency and zesty sweetness.

Delicious orange marmalade

Although this recipe is slightly more complex to make than jam, it’s certainly worth the effort! The orange peels in this marmalade are what help give it a different texture and a slightly bitter taste, which makes for a great flavour combination with the sweetness of the citrus fruit. It’s another fresh preserve you can enjoy all year round.

Essential tips for making fruit preserves:

Saucer set test

Place five saucers in your freezer for at least 15 minutes and then set a teaspoon of your preserve onto a saucer. Push the edges of the preserve with your spoon or finger. You will know if it’s set when it wrinkles. If your jam or marmalade is runny, it’s not ready. Continue to cook and check every few minutes with a new saucer.

Sterilise your jars and equipment

Preheat your oven to 120°C. Wash your jam jars and equipment, including ladles and spoons, in warm water, using Dish Drops TM Concentrated Dishwashing Liquid . Thoroughly rinse them and then place the jars on an oven tray. Place the jars in the oven for 10 minutes or until completely dry and dry your equipment with a clean cloth. Sterilising is important to remove any yeast, bacteria or fungi, which can cause your jam to spoil very quickly.

The importance of pectin

Jams, jellies and marmalades set because of the level of pectin in the fruit. When cooked with sugar, the naturally occurring acid in the fruit thickens and sets the preserve. Fruits high in pectin include apples, citrus fruits and berries. Soft fruits such as peaches and plums have lower levels, but adding a few tablespoons of lemon juice will help set the preserve. When possible, use slightly under-ripe fruit, as pectin levels will be at their highest.

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