During my Cooking Classes in Tuscany Villas, I often give suggestions and tips on how to make a perfect jam. In fact, everyone who spends the vacations here in Tuscany, cannot fail to notice the beautiful ripe fruit at the end of Summer.
Furthermore at my bed and breakfast Dolce Vita, in the Lucca countryside, you can taste these exquisite jams, surely accompanied by homemade cakes, tarts, and local delicacies.
Actually here in Tuscany at this moment it is not really a good season: it is windy and it rains almost every day.
Yet a couple of days ago the sun was still shining like in Summer. This is why I went to make blackberries and strawberry grapes around the fields with my husband.
Well, we love going for walks in the countryside, in late Summer. To pick the fruits that the earth offers us before autumn comes. Many families especially in Tuscany take delight in making blackberry jam. In fact, in Tuscany, there are many varieties of plants of the Mediterranean scrub; well, the blackberry is one of these and you can make exquisite jams but also liqueurs.
So, at the end of August and in September, in Italy, we’re not only making bottled tomato sauces or in a jar, but also many kinds of jams. In fact, in addition to blackberries, I really like strawberry grapes. The procedures are slightly different but what interests me is to give you the main tips and tricks so that each of your jams can be delicious.
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Cooking Classes in Tuscany Villas
During our cooking classes in Tuscan villas, you can learn not only the tricks of tradition but also what I learned at the academy for professional chefs in Florence. You will also have a lot of fun with your friends or family. We’ll drink together with a good prosecco and you will learn how to make the best dishes of traditional Tuscan and Italian cuisine.
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TIPS AND TRICKS
First of all, never add pectin or substances chemicals to your homemade jam. It is natural and it must remain natural. Otherwise, you might as well buy it at the supermarket. So even when you make strawberry jam do not use pectin or chemicals, just add small pieces of apple to make any jam soft and creamy.
The second tip to give you is that in general, it is always better to add sugar to the fruit in a bowl, cover it with a film and let it macerate for about half an hour. In fact, this allows the sugar to enter the fruit but also allows to release fruit juices itself so that your work is already halfway through.
Another trick advice that you must absolutely follow is to cook the fruit as little as possible. This not only preserves the aromas, the perfumes the vitamins, and minerals but obviously makes it aesthetically much more beautiful. The colors in fact remain almost intact.
But how to preserve the colors of the fruit and above all to obtain a jam even with little cooking time?
Well, we find the answer in the type of container, in the type of pot you have to use while cooking. So here’s the trick: do not use tall and long high pots and narrow but prefer wide non-stick pans where all the fruit can be safe without being superimposed too much. In this way, the juices will evaporate very easily and quickly. So with about 20-25 minutes, you will have obtained a perfect excellent delicious jam!
Just a note: I do not pass the blackberries in a vegetable mill. Actually, I prefer to preserve the seeds which are very useful for our health and clean the intestines. Anyway, you can use the mill after the first 15 minutes of cooking, or as the blackberries appear softer.
- 2 pounds, 1 kg blackberries
- 1,40 pound; 650 gr sugar
- 1 lemon
- First wash jars and caps then STERILIZE:
- the jars in the oven (put the glass jars in the oven at 212°F, 100°C for 8-10 minutes)
- the caps in a water bath (boil them in for 10 minutes)
- Wash the blackberries
- pour about ⅓ of the sugar on the blackberries, add the juice of the lemon, mix well
- cover with a film and put in the fridge to macerate for about 1 hour.
- After this time drain the blackberries and set them apart, in a bowl
- Pour all the juice that remains in a large pot, add the sugar that you didn’t use before, and put on medium heat mixing continuously.
- Cook over high heat for 15 minutes until a medium-thick syrup is formed
- add the blackberries and let them cook, stirring for 10 minutes
- At the end of cooking, turn off the heat and stir again to incorporate the foam
- pour the jam in the jars screw the caps tightly on and boil the jars for about 20 minutes. I use a cotton tea towel to keep the jars from colliding