Preserving fruit pulp. Jam is mashed fruit pulp combined with water and sugar and cooked until thick. It should have a bright color end a soft consistency that spreads easily, but has no runny juice.
The thickening occurs when the correct proportions of pectin and acid (which are present in all fruits in varying degrees) and sugar are combined and cooked to a certain temperature. If sufficient pectin is not present for a good jell, you’ll need to add commercial pectin, available as a liquid or a powder. (The powder must be added to fruit before cooking.) Some people prefer to use pectin in all their jam and jelly making; the cooking time is less and a jell is guaranteed. However, pectin does affect flavor and generally necessitates the use of more sugar.
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Making them clear and firm. Jelly is made from fruit juice, sugar, and sometimes added pectin. Jelly should be clear and firm but not rubbery. Although any fruit can be used, the best are crab apples, tart apples, quinces, Concord grapes, cranberries, blackberries, gooseberries, and citrus fruits.
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Making a dried-meat snack. With a sharp knife, cut lean, raw beef or venison into strips about 1 inch wide, 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick, and 6 to 10 inches long. Trim away all fat. Freezing the meat for about 20 minutes makes slicing easier. One pound of meat yields 1/4 to 1/3 pound of jerky.
For each pound of meat, combine 1 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon each of pepper and marjoram, and 1/8 teaspoon garlic powder. With a meat mallet, pound this mixture into both sides of the strips. Or soak the strips for 1 to 2 days in a solution of 11/2 cups pickling salt in 1 gallon of water. Remove the strips and wipe dry.
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