Take the fear and uncertainty out of the jam making process – will it set? Do I need pectin? – by investing in a full service jam kit from jam pan to labels. Buying all the essential components of jam making in a simple kit form is not only reassuring to novices but also makes a great gift idea.
With a leg up the ladder from a jam making kit you’ll feel confident exploring the wider world of preserving, which apart from jams includes chutneys, pickles, jellies, herbs, flavoured butters, liqueurs, cordials and even cheeses, whether you’re preserving for pleasure or hoping to sell your produce.
Jam Pan and Other Essentials
The cornerstone of any jam making kit is a jam pan, also known as a maslin pan. These are typically made in stainless steel and are large enough to make substantial quantities of jam. You should also expect to find a selection of jam jars with lids, a thermometer, wax sealing discs, some labels and a wooden spoon. A funnel is another handy implement to avoid spilling your jam everywhere while jarring up! Wares of Knutsford offers two jam making kits including all the essential tools; a basic kit and a plush, deluxe version.
Books to Accompany your Jam Pan
Out of the endless variety of cook books on the market, you’ll find a few dedicated preserving book that can really guide you through either taking your first steps or help you to expand your repertoire beyond the basic strawberry jam level. Many jam making kits include one of the following:
First Preserves: Marmalades, Jams, Chutneys by Vivien Lloyd
Useful for preservers at any level of experience, this book features both the stalwart recipes and a selection of unique ones. Notable features include some really helpful advice on selecting the best quality fruits and vegetables and an introduction to the concept of competitive jam making.
Preserves: River Cottage Handbook No2 by Pam Corbin
A comprehensive guide to the history and science behind preserving, this book also touches upon some more unusual preserving ideas, including apple butter, nettle pesto and cucumber pesto. There is also a healthy and varied selection of more traditional recipes including sloe gin, quince cheese, vinegars, liqueurs and cordials. The preserving process is simplified and explained with the help of seasonal tables, diagrams and regional maps.
Let’s Preserve It by Beryl Wood
This traditional style book from 1970 features an amazing 579 recipes. It is written in an exuberant encyclopaedia style and includes a guide to preserving equipment and a very handy hints and tips section.