I think I like this (almost single-use) pot even better than our fish pans… This copper jam pot was the item I was holding in this old post on Dehillerin in Paris (my favorite cooking utensils store). At the time, I was a bit crestfallen, and this pan was my “consuelo de bobo” after a brief possibility of acquiring a brilliant large copper ham braiser, that turned out to be mispriced by a factor of 7x. :(
Copper is the material of choice because it conducts the heat better and more evenly, avoiding super hot spots on the bottom of the pot. The wider top of the pot allows the moisture from the jam to evaporate faster, and prevents boiling over that tends to happen in a straight sided pot. It also looks just stunningly beautiful when it just sits around and can double as a flower vessel, fruit bowl, Christmas goodies bowl, etc. Surprisingly, it doesn’t need much polishing if you use it fairly often. The inside is brilliantly polished after a batch of jam or jelly, and the outside looks properly used and you can use copper polish in case you want that looks like new feel all the time. I also raise my eyebrows when I see “show kitchens” with all gleaming copper pots. Absurd.
In these photos, is a batch of native guava jelly in the making. Prior to the photo up top, several kilos of native guavas were washed and sliced up and placed in a large pot with water and brought up to a boil. After say 15 minutes, we turned off the heat, let the pot cool and carefully strained the liquid through cheesecloth, taking care not to press the solids to a mush so that the jelly is the clearest it can be. The straining took several hours so that we collected all of the flavorful liquid.
You then place that guava broth into the copper pan, turn on the heat, and reduce it by about 10-15%, to concentrate the intensity of the native guava. Add sugar (photo up top) and stir gently and some pectin mixed in with sugar as well. Stir every once in a while and bring to a boil, making sure you have a candy thermometer to keep track of the temperature of the mixture. Skim the scum off the surface. The color with turn a deep amber and the bubbles get much larger as it nears the ideal temperature around 220F. Do a freezer test on the jelly if you want to be sure.
Turn off the heat, let the bubbles all settle and after a few minutes, place in bottles and put the bottles in a pot of boiling water for say another 10 minutes to vacuum seal them and make them last well over a year in storage. We made several batches recently, to stock up of guava jelly for our new pasalubong outlet in Cebu. Here’s an insider tip. Every single bottle of guava jelly we sell is made in Marketman’s home kitchen, in this copper jam pot. Kalamansi marmalade and mango jam are now made in our commissary kitchens (still in small batches) but if you want a bit of this arte pot for your breakfast pan de sal, get the guava jelly that is only in stock for a couple of months a year. You’ll know I picked out each and every one of those guavas myself. :)
While I think the days of histrionic reactions to jam pans (or fish pans) are long over, here are the details for those of you raising your eyebrows. I bought this pan for roughly Euro110 or roughly USD130 at Dehillerin without VAT, as I was a tourist. You can order it online for just a tad more, here. It was hand carried on a train back to London, where it was safely packed into my luggage and hauled back to Manila. If you are in the U.S. and flush and impatient, you can order it here, for more than double the price at USD280++, and I’m sure other folks carry it as well.
So roughly PHP6,000 for the copper jam pot. If I make 600 bottles of jam in it, then roughly PHP10 per bottle is the amortized cost of the flashy copper pot. Hmmm, not bad at all. And I am pretty sure we make 500+ bottles of jam per year! Now if only I could say I would make 600 hams a year (instead of 2 or 3), that large copper ham braiser for nearly Euro800 that’s still on my bucket list might be easier to justify. :)