macerating before canning fruit jam

i've recently read several recipes that tell me to macerate my strawberries and rhubarb for several hours before continuing to make jam. sounds like a nice touch, but i wonder what picklers find to be the difference in flavor, texture. is there a major advantage?

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4 Comments

Helen's A. June 14, 2011
I recently made several batches of rhubarb fig marmalade. The recipe was from a really old Fannie Farmer. You used equal parts sugar & rhubarb mixed together & let sit for 24 hours with the cut up dried figs. The rhubarb did not break apart and kept it's shape. Must be a chemistry thing. Turned out great!
 
Droplet June 14, 2011
A great piece of advice, AntoniaJames. Thank you very much.
 
AntoniaJames June 13, 2011
I always reduce the juice released from the maceration before adding the fruit. As HB notes, you can concentrate the strawberry flavor. Doing so before adding the fruit helps, a bit, to maintain the integrity of the fruit's structure. I cannot imagine not macerating rhubarb, by the way. The varieties we have here become stringy and slimy and so, so unappealing if you don't. I macerate overnight, at least, then reduce the copious amounts of liquid that are released, before letting the rhubarb get anywhere near the jamming kettle. ;o)
 
Hilarybee June 7, 2011
Chief advantage in my min: a runnier conserve, instead of a more set jam. I also think this creates a more concentrated strawberry flavor, as the juice has to reduce down more before it sets. I like to macerate the strawberries for 6-8 hours, and then puree some of the fruit and the sugar. I leave the littlest strawberries whole. When you macerate in sugar before hand, the end product is ultimately considered a conserve, not a jam.
 
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