How To Make Fruit Jam

Fruit preserves are any fruit that has been traditionally prepared using pectin and sugar to aid in long-term storage. Generally, jam contains both the fruit juice and pieces of flesh, while jelly is simply solid fruit juice made firm through the use of pectin, a natural product made from apples. The most common fruits used to make jam are strawberry and grape, although berries, citrus fruits, and mint are also gaining popularity.

Pinoys are know for their sweet tooth, and are always in search of a good palaman for their breads. For this reason, fruit jam is a common staple in every household and is consumed by every family member. And because the Philippines is teeming with tropical fruits, it is easy to make a variety of jam.

Start-up capital is P5,000 for 12 bottles. One batch will take an hour to cook, but will need to be set overnight. Fruit jam is best when made in small batches. Large quantities take longer to boil, which can lead to a darker, tougher jelly, and loss of flavor.

Materials Needed

  • 12 8oz Sterilized glass bottles with cap, P300-500
  • Strainer (cheesecloth or colander), P200
  • 2 Large pots (preferably non-stick for easy cleanup), P400
  • Large stainless steel bowl, P150
  • Potato masher, P100
  • Ladle, P50
  • Metal tablespoon, P!0
  • Tongs, P50
  • 2.2 kg of Fruits, P200-400
  • 1 cups of Sugar, P40-60

If you already have some of the kitchen utensils above, you can already save at least P1,000 of the material cost.

Getting Started

  1. Wash your bottles and lids thoroughly in hot, soapy water. Rinse and then sterilize them in a large pot of boiling water for 10 minutes. Leave them in the pot until you’re ready to fill them.
  2. Wash the fruit and place them into the stainless steel bowl. Using the potato masher (a food processor or fork will also work), crush the fruit into fine pieces.
  3. Transfer the fruit pulp to the other pot, adding just enough water to immerse the fruit. (Juicy fruit will need about 0.5 cup of water for each kg. of fruit.) Add calamansi if the fruit you are using isn’t acidic enough.
  4. Boil over low to medium heat, stirring frequently to prevent burning. This helps release the juice and break down the fruit. Soft fruits should be boiled for 3 minutes, while firmer varieties may require more time. Make sure not to overcook the fruit, as this reduces the quality of the jam.
  5. Pour the fruit through the cheesecloth strainer to clear the jelly. Allow the juice to drain completely, twisting the bag slightly to squeeze the remaining drops. Strain again. (If you want fruit chunks, you may opt to let the fruit stand in the pot for 10 minutes and then pour off the clear liquid, leaving the solids behind.)
  6. Place the juice back into the pot, and add sugar. (Add 1 cup of sugar for every cup of high pectin fruit juice. Only add 3/4 cup of sugar for those with moderate or low pectin levels.) If the juice is pale, add the sugar before boiling. If not, add the sugar after boiling. Don’t stir, as the mixture comes to a boil.
  7. To test consistency, take a cold tablespoon and scoop half a spoonful of the fruit. Let it cool to room temperature. If it thickens to your desired consistency, the jam is done. If not, boil for another minute. Do this until the optimum consistency is reached.
  8. Now, remove the bottles from the pot, filling them with 1/4 inch from the top. Place the lid on the bottles, and return them to the pot to boil for 5 minutes. (Make sure the bottles are fully immersed in water.)
  9. Lift the bottles out using your tongs, and let them cool in a draft-free area overnight. Once cooled, you may stored them for up to one year.

Tips:

  • Choose fruit with a deep color and rich flavor, as lighter fruits (i.e. white grapes as opposed to red) will yield a bland tasting jam. A blend of ripe and slightly under-ripe fruit works best.
  • If a particular fruit is not in season, you may use concentrated fruit juice (no sugar added). Simply skip step 1 to 3.
  • It is best to consume the jam in 6 to 8 months, as the flavor and texture are best. They are still edible, however, for one year.

How Much Will You Make

Locally produced jam sell at about P50 per bottle. This price increases for special combination fruits or sugar-free concoctions. You can opt to sell in bulk to stores at a 50% profit, or direct to customers with a 100% markup. Depending on the size of your operations and number of customers, expect to make your return on investment in a maximum of 6 months.

source:Katrina Tan, www.entrepreneur.com.ph

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