Those product in which the fruit retains its form and flavour with crispness when fully permeated with sugar syrup is termed as “Fruit Preserves” .
A preserve is made from properly matured fruit, by cooking it whole or in large piece in a heavy syrup till it becomes tender and transparent. In its preparation not less than 45 lbs of the fruit are used for every 55 lbs of sugar, and cooking is continued till a concentration of at least 68 percent of soluble solids is achieved.
Freshly made preserves are wholesome and attractive. Preserves made from frozen, fruits are generally superior in colour and flavour to those made from fresh fruits stored at room temperature.
Fruits used for preserves are mango, apple, aonla, pears, peaches, apricot, cherries and vegetables used for preserves are ash gourd, carrot, bottle gourd.
Fruits or vegetables, sugar, Citric acid, Fork or Needle, Water, etc.
Procedure of Preparation of Fruit Preserves:
1. Select fully developed, firm and slightly underripe fruits. Unripe or fruits with loose pulp should be rejected.
2. Wash the fruits thoroughly and remove the damaged portions if any.
3. Peel the fruit and cut into large and good looking pieces. Take out the seeds or stones.
4. Keep the piece or slices in brine of water to prevent from browning.
5. Puncture the fruit or fruit slices uniformly so that sugar syrup may permeate properly.
6. The punctured materials are generally soaked in water, lime water, brine or alum solution before blanching and cooking. Soak the peeled slices for half an hour in lime water. The time to water ratio should be 1:3.
7. Wash the soaked slices thoroughly with water. Wrapped the wash slices in muslin cloth and dip it in boiling water for 5 to 10 minutes, till they become tender 2-3 percent alum solution may be used for boiling.
8. Sugar, equal to half the weight of fruit, is then put on the boiled piece in alternate layers, and the mass allowed to stand for 24 hours ( 36 to 38 0 Brix). The fruit gives out excess of water, and the sugar goes into solution giving a syrup of about 37-38 0 Brix.
9. More sugar is added to raise the strength of the syrup to about 60 0 Brix. A small quantity of citric acid or Tartaric acid ( 1.5 to 3 gm/kg weight of sugar) is also added to invert a portion of the cane sugar. The whole mass is then boiled for 4-5 minutes and left for 24 hours.
10. On the third day, , the strength of the sugar is raised to about 60 0 Brix and the mass boiled again for 4-5 minutes. The fruit is then left in the syrup for 3-4 days. Finally, the strength of the syrup is raised to 70 0 Brix.
11. Allow the piece to remain in syrup for 4-6 weeks in case of vegetables and 2-3 weeks in case of fruits.
12. The fruit is drained from the syrup and put into dry containers. Freshly prepared boiling syrup of 68 0 Brix is then poured into the containers which are exhausted for 8 -10 minutes at 212 0F and thereafter sealed air tight.
Important Hints of Preparation of Fruit Preserves:
1. In case of pineapple, apple, under ripe mango fruit of sweet variety, the pricked fruit piece should be dipped in 2 % common salt solution for 24 hours.
2. The proportion of fruit to sugar should be 45 to 55.
3. Sodium sulphite may be added to the alum solution while cooking to get perfectly white pieces.