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FRUITS : Basically, my jam uses fruits that are commonly available in Japan. I myself had trouble cooking vegetables and fruits when I was in the States because they looked similar to those sold in Japan but in fact very different in many ways. I hope the recipes will help foreigners living in Japan who may love to cook delicious fruit spread but don't know what fruits they should choose in Japanese stores.
SUGAR : My jam uses beet granulated sugar since it tastes milder. You can use usual granulated white sugar made from sugar cane.
You can also use one of those raw / brown / unprocessed types of sugar, but I'm afraid it will make your jam taste "heavier" or look "less clear" (this is only my personal opinion and taste).
SUGAR CONTENTS : Somewhere between 50 - 55 % of the total amount. You can use less sugar, but be careful, if the percentage goes down below 45 %, you can't keep your jam for a longer period of time.
To make a 50%-sugar jam, I usually make the sugar amount 40 % of the amount of fruit. (However, I make it 25 % in the case of blueberry spread cause I frequently lick it while I am doing my job, to keep my brain and eyes work well!)
STORAGE PERIOD : My fruit spreads can be kept (in a relatively dark place at room temperature) for more than two months before they are opened if they are properly sterilized and canned. Once you open them, you have to keep them in the refrigerator and eat them up in a week, or a little longer depending on the conditions of storage.
Unless you are really sure that you have correctly done your sterilization and canning, please keep them in the refrigerator and eat within a week.
Note that the definitons and laws concerning food preservation are different depending on where you live, so please follow proper canning procedures taken or recommended in your country.
You can see some examples of canning methods at such websites as :
・the "HOW TO CAN" page in the Ball's website (USA)
・National Center for Home Food Preservation (USA)
UNITS USED IN MY RECIPES : Basically, they are represented by kilograms, grams, Japanese cups and spoons. I'll try to calculate and place American units (e.g. ounce) when I can.
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