Saturday, October 13, 2012

Copper Preserving Pan - WOW

Did I mention that I had gone to a jam demonstration given by jam expert and small business success story, Rachel Saunders? I also bought her cookbook, Blue Chair Fruit, She recommends as an essential piece of equipment, the copper preserving pan, saying it is the game changer.  I wanted one very much, but told myself that I had to earn it. When my jams won ribbons at both county fairs that I entered. I decided that after many years of canning, I deserved it and I would make the huge investment. I spent so much on the pot, that i didn't have money left to buy fruit to make the jam. I couldn't wait to try it out and reap the rewards of better equipment and Rachel's example.

However, the first attempt was rather a disaster... in trying to make a grape jelly with homegrown grapes generously given me by my friend, with the plan to return the grapes in the form of sparkling sweet/tart white grape jelly. In my enthusiasm to use the pot, I disregarded all the guidelines that I had learned in the last  few years. Fruit too green, not enough sugar, not adding pectin for jelly, cooking way too long, not reaching the jel point - that just about covers everything about preserves. Here is how it turned out.  I didn't blame the pot ( just at first) - they were all my mistakes.

Getting up and right back on the horse, so to speak, I made a super Peach Jam with Lime and everything turned out according to my hopes. The peaches were pretty ripe, being at the end of their season, and needed a little zing to balance the flavor. This time, I followed Rachel's method exactly, and with my own experience guiding me too, I made a low sugar, no- added- pectin, softly textured sweet and peachy jam. The copper pot really really made a difference in the cooking and it is possible, that for jams, jellies and preserves, this is the right piece.
The copper pot takes up a lot of space on the stove top.

Skimming the foam off the top is easier with the wide shallow pan size.

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