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Am very new to cooking and baking. Trying on homemade organic ones.. everytime I make jams, the taste differs in spite of using the same ingredients.. when I ask around everyone says that's what makes homemade food 'special'.. but to attain perfection, I feel that everytime I make the taste should be the same.. It would be great if anyone can guide me..

  • What's the source of your fruit? How consistent is that? – Chris H Aug 30 '18 at 16:22
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    My thought is that the raw fruits might taste different and have different amounts of sugar = different ripeness, different orchard/field, different cultivars, different amounts of sunshine/rainfall, etc. – Cynetta Aug 30 '18 at 16:45
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I think that may be unavoidable.

Even if (as @Chris H is hinting with his question) your fruit is coming from the same place every time, even if its the same farm, your raw fruit is unlikely to have the exact same taste and sugar content every time. That will always lead to differences in taste.

Sweeter fruit will need less sugar, but if you're always adding the same amount then some batches will come out sweeter than others.

Differences in the taste of the raw fruit are likely, as you're purchasing at different times of the year. Even just a couple of weeks can affect the taste of fruit significantly-- compare early season berries to mid- or late season ones, for instance.

In my experience those differences only be come more pronounced with cooking, especially when its done in small batches. Mass-produced jams have consistent taste by using large quantities of fruit, so the differences between each individual farm's fruits become smoothed and averaged out.

In my opinion the difference in each batch of homemade is part of the charm, but if consistency is really what you're after I would suggest making slightly larger batches and combining the fruit from several different sources.

  • In this way, you can think of it almost like vintages in wines. You want all to be good, but some vintages will really excel. Getting all to come out good is a matter of feel as is this year they taste a bit tart, I think I should add extra sweetener. For the truly excellent, you need the fruit, weather, timing, variety, etc. to all help you out though. – dlb Aug 30 '18 at 22:55
  • @dlb I completely agree, but OP is asking specifically about consistency. What you're talking about is more like how to have the absolute best product with the fruit you have, not about how to make each batch made with different fruit taste exactly the same. – senschen Aug 31 '18 at 12:56
  • I think that absolute consistency can only be achieved by the mass production averaging you refer to. I am afraid to me that also equates to mediocrity. With home made small batch, experience and feel leads to being able to reach consistency at a very good level though, while still leaving the flexibility for the great batches when everything works perfect. Part may be to learn varieties that work best for you or how to get good consistent fruit and compensate when things out of our control like weather do not cooperate. Those vintage years seem worth the hassle to me though. – dlb Aug 31 '18 at 13:30
  • P.S. with market fruit, it becomes especially tough because often we do not know varieties. Consistency can be increased when you do know as some varieties simply do better when processed while others do better fresh. Knowing the source helps, but unless you are able to grow yourself are get direct from farm, that can be tough so typically again leads to blending and the dreaded "add a pinch of this" fixes that can only be learned through years. – dlb Aug 31 '18 at 13:35
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The ingredients are not always the same, especially if using organic produces where there will be lot more variance in quality because they should not use synthetic fertilizers, herbicides and other things like that.

The fruits might have different sugar content, different water content, different maturity when picked up.

So the end result will be different.

IMO, this is what makes cooking and baking with organic produce more interesting.

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