Out of all the products on the Wares of Knutsford website, one of the niftiest is this cute jam straining kit. If you’ve ever wondered how to strain fruit, cheese or home brew of any kind without making a mess, this handy gadget is the answer.
Jam straining kits from Wares of Knutsford
The kit features a robust red plastic stand with adjustable feet to secure it to the rim of the bowl you are straining into. The top of the stand has little hooks at each corner to which you attach a cotton straining bag using the metal eyelets around the top. The straining bag provided is of 100% cotton and hand washable, but spare bags can also be bought for the device. The whole folds flat for ease of storage.
An alternative kit is available with a washable canvas bag and a stainless steel frame with flexible legs to fit different size pans and bowls. There is also a simple cotton straining bag with straps to hang over your pan or bowl. The conical shaped bag is machine washable.
All of the straining kits work to strain the seeds and pips from preserves when making clear jellies and jams, but can also be used to strain cheese, wine and beer.
How to use jam straining kits
While gooey lumps of fruit are part of the joy of traditional jam, sometimes you need to make a clear jelly, which is essentially the jam but without any lumps of fruit, seeds or pips. Seed removal is easy enough to do for fruit with large stones such as peaches, but blackberries and grapes for example have lots of small seeds that can be very difficult to remove any other way.
You use the strainer with lightly cooked, softened fruit, by placing it over a clean bowl, pan or other receptacle and pouring the warm fruit mush into the straining bag to a maximum of about three quarters full. Leave the juice to seep through the bag and the seeds and any lumps will remain neatly in the bag. This process can take some time – up to several hours depending how thick or lumpy your mixture is.
At this point you can add the sugar to the fruit juice and cook as normal until you reach setting point – you may well find you need added pectin to achieve a setting point with clear jelly.