why remove foam/scum?

ilovepoco(z5 Boston USA)September 10, 2007

Here's an idle question... why does a recipe instruct you to remove the foam or scum before canning? Is it just to make the end product prettier? Or is there a practical reason for it? And what IS that foam/scum anyway?



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dgkritch(Z8 OR)

'Cuz that's the first "sample"!!! LOL
I put it in a bowl and make toast once I get all the jars in the canner.

Seriously, it's pretty much cosmetic. The bubbles form and don't pop when the jam starts to gel. If you use a tiny bit of butter or margarine it greatly reduces the foaming. I've also found that I can stir slowly after removing from the heat for just a couple of minutes and much of the foam is re-absorbed (bubbles pop).


    Bookmark   September 10, 2007 at 7:35PM
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readinglady(z8 OR)

It's mainly aesthetic, though I don't think it tastes very good. (Just me, LOL.)

You could skim off the foam and heat it in the microwave about 1 minute, just to the boil. The bubbles will disappear and it will look pretty much like regular jam or jelly. Then just stick in the fridge and eat.

I wouldn't add it to the canning batch. This is the "extra."


    Bookmark   September 10, 2007 at 8:34PM
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lol o great now i get told all of this after i been wasting jelly like that for years by putting it either in the garbage or down the drain lol come to find out i can save all my grape jelly now lol thanks for the info

    Bookmark   September 10, 2007 at 9:14PM
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I'm not sure about this, but I'll speculate. Perhaps when one, years past, was making large batch after large batch, the foam held enough air that if too much was ladled into a jar, you would end up with too much head space?

Or, perhaps when one was making large batch after large batch, and without the luxury of modern sinks and tap water to clean off the fruit, things like bugs and bird poop and dirt that got on the fruit would tend to float off in the foam?

    Bookmark   September 10, 2007 at 10:09PM
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led_zep_rules(5 WI)

I made strawberry jam today. There was a noticeable amount of foam, so I scooped a bunch off, and added a smidge of butter for the first time ever to one of my jams. Strawberry jam seems more prone to foam than other types. I think you don't want the foam in the jar because it looks weird, and the air in it complicates the head space measuring.

But the foam tastes great, this thread made me remember it and I just went and ate the most foamy part. I put it into a separate container. It was a bit like strawberry mousse. Haven't put it on bread yet, the bread I made today isn't rising very well, might have to bake it in the morning. Just made brownies with bananas in it instead of oil, too. Obviously I spend too much time making food . . .


    Bookmark   September 11, 2007 at 12:25AM
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sandy0225(z5 Indiana)

Because my mom made some for grandpa and he refused to eat it because it had foam on top. He said any good jelly won't have that. It made her so mad!!!

    Bookmark   September 11, 2007 at 7:37AM
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ilovepoco(z5 Boston USA)

all great answers!!!


    Bookmark   September 11, 2007 at 9:06AM
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ksrogers(EasternMass Z6)

I had a batch of strawberry jam that had a foam at the top. It also had floating berries. Not very appealing when opened and spread on something. Not sure why it foamed so much, but must have been in there when it was being poured into jars, it just all surfaced and made the jar appearance look a bit poor.

    Bookmark   September 11, 2007 at 11:33AM
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We used to use wax to seal our jams and jellies. If you had foam on top, you wound up with bubbles in the wax, and it was more likely to have a poor seal. I suspect that now that we use the snap lids, it is mainly a cosmetic issue.

    Bookmark   September 11, 2007 at 12:30PM
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The foam is mostly salts and impurities and on its own doesn't taste all that good. It also produces a cloudy jelly or jam if stirred in. Skimmed into a sauce dish, some jelly will settle out on the bottom and can be used fresh. The scum doesn't have a good flavor.

    Bookmark   September 11, 2007 at 5:47PM
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