You’ve probably been eating conserves all your life without realizing it. It takes two for all those delicious fruits to create a fruity tango that you would surely enjoy. While jams consist of a single fruit, conserves are fruit preserves with 2 or more fruits mixed for that awesome fruity punch without the overwhelming sweetness. All the flavors complement each other and would make you love the flavors of conserves.
- Food preservation has been around since man has existed. Even before numerous technological inventions, man used natural ingredients such as sugar, lemon, and salt to reduce bacteria and preserve natural flavors. Meanwhile, food preservation methods such as smoking, drying, and freezing were possible with the aid of Mother Nature.
- There is nothing new about food preservation. It’s all about science and chemical reactions. However, new inventions only made food preservation easier, better, longer, and more convenient for man.
Conserves Buying Guide
Buy the best conserves from artisan makers, farmer’s markets, and small, local producers so you can be assured of high-quality and all-natural flavors.
Conserves Production & Farming in Texas
Buy conserves from artisan makers to assure that you are getting the ones made from the best local and seasonal ingredients. If you want to make your conserves, simply go to the farmer’s market or your local producers and ask which seasonal ingredients can be made into lovely conserves. Now, you can do homemade conserves for your family or give them away as edible presents.
Preservatives and Chemicals
Jams, jellies, preserves, and conserves are made with four basic ingredients: fruit, pectin, acid, and sugar.
Fruit or vegetable is the base for any jams, jellies, or preserves. It is essential to use firm and ripe fruit for jams as over-ripe fruits will result in a liquidy set. Meanwhile, an under-ripe fruit will have fewer juices and under-developed flavors. Taste the fruits first before using them on your jam.
Pectin is essential to achieve the gel-like consistency of the jam. In simpler terms, pectin is necessary to set the jam. It is important to know the difference between pectin and gelatin. Pectin is a natural starchy substance usually found in fruits while gelatin is derived from animals. Certain types of fruits have different pectin levels. Strawberries, blueberries, and peaches are low in pectin meanwhile blackberries, currants, cranberries, and eastern concord grapes have a high pectin content.
Sugar is another essential ingredient in jams, jellies, and preserves. While people think sugar is just a sweetener, it is much more than that. Sugar is essential in retaining the shape and texture of the fruit. In the case of low-sugar jams, they have a shorter shelf-life because of their consistency. Low-sugar jams should also be paired with low-sugar pectin to successfully achieve the texture. Otherwise, the unsuccessful chemical reaction would result in a less desirable texture.
Citric acid, malic acid, and tartaric acid are commonly used in jams and jellies. Acids are essential to bind and form the pectin. Most people can easily purchase powdered forms of acid, but the acid of lemon juice or other citrus fruits would suffice
Commercially produced conserves are packaged in airtight sterilized glass or plastic containers that and sealed to preserve the contents. Most of these dessert sauces are then adorned with the branding components of the manufacturer such as the company name, the quantity and weight of the products, information regarding the ingredients, nutritional information, and allergy risks. The best before date is also included to guide the consumers about the spoilage of the conserves.
Eat is like how you would eat other food preserves such as jams, jellies, and compotes! Their compositions might be different but they can be enjoyed the same way as other preserves are eaten.
Unopened conserves can be stored at room temperature, as long as it is kept in a cool, dry place away from the direct heat of the sun. Once opened, conserves must be refrigerated at all times. They must not be let out at room temperature for long periods to preserve their flavor and prevent contaminants from spoiling the product.
APPLE, PEAR & WALNUT CONSERVES
4 cups finely chopped peeled tart apples
4 cups finely chopped peeled ripe pears
3 clementines, peeled and chopped
1/2 cup lemon juice
2 packages (1-3/4 ounces each) powdered fruit pectin
6 cups sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 cup chopped walnuts, toasted
- In a Dutch oven over medium-high heat, bring apples, pears, clementines, and lemon juice to a boil, stirring constantly. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, 10 minutes or until fruit is tender, stirring occasionally.
- Stir in pectin. Bring to a full rolling boil over high heat, stirring constantly. Stir in sugar and cinnamon; return to bring to a full rolling boil. Boil and stir for 1 minute.
- Remove from heat; skim off foam. Stir in walnuts. Ladle hot mixture into eight hot half-pint jars, leaving 1/4-in. headspace. Remove air bubbles and adjust headspace, if necessary, by adding a hot mixture. Wipe rims. Center lids on jars; screw on bands until fingertip tight.
Place jars into canner with simmering water, ensuring that they are completely covered with water. Bring to a boil; process 10 minutes. Remove jars and cool.