On the menus of our restaurant in Florence, preserves and jams have an important role.
In the kitchen, summer fruits are definitely the ones that are the best to preserve. The term “preserve” is used on purpose and now we will tell you why.
Summer is the most generous season, offering, from gardens and orchards, great quantities of produce, although they are more likely to go bad quicker than in other seasons. Our farming tradition taught us the best way to not waste this generous abundance of fruits: we had to transform it.
How do you transform and preserve fruits? Easy: by making marmalade and jams in every season of the year. That’s what we do at our farm Podere la Croce, respecting the cycle of seasons and cooking the fruits slightly in such a way that it preserves all the properties of the produce.
Marmalade and jam are not synonyms: marmalade is made of citrus fruits, while jams use all the other fruits (chilli peppers included!).
The first element of success for good and healthy home-made marmalades and jams is cleanliness: you need sterilized jars and caps, that you should boil for 15 minutes and, once the water has cooled, pick up using a pair of pliers. Once overturned and completely dry (otherwise mould can grow) you can fill them up.
THE MAKING OF:
In order to obtain the best marmalades and jams it is necessary to use fresh and ripened fruits – without mould or dents. You need between 100g to 160g grams of fruit to obtain 100g of product.
After being washed, cleaned, cleared of seeds and stones, chopped into pieces – the size of the piece varies depending on how smooth you want it to be – the fruit gets quickly steamed in order to draw out the water, and then poured into metal pots to be cooked until the sugar dissolves completely.
We never add thickeners or pectins, but just a little amount of natural sweetener such as cane sugar, a maximum of 350g for every kilogram of fruit.
Marmalades and jams should be
used within 12 months.
Every jam produced at our farm Podere la Croce, from the more classic peach and strawberry jams, to the more peculiar grape jam and lemon marmalade, is part of the recipes we use to prepare our seasonal menus at Il Desco Bistrot.
Making jams and marmalades is a way to respect the abundance of fruit that summer gives to our lands and, at the same time, to preserve a little bit of its tastes and colours during the long winter months.
See you at Il Desco Bistrot farm-to-table restaurant in Florence!