Saturday, April 27, 2013

Reduced Sugar Strawberry Jam

Strawberry season is here and this year I promised my family I would make some strawberry jam. Last year I made lots of jam but somehow never got any strawberry made and I had a lot of unhappy eaters in my house. They wanted strawberry jam. So, strawberry season is here and I delivered.

However, I like my jam to taste like the actual fruit. Not just sugar and so while I added plenty of sugar to this jam it is a reduced sugar jam using about half the amount of sugar most recipes call for.

I used my go to pectin for reduced sugar jams. Pomona Pectin is amazing. You can use little to no sugar or even honey or another sweetener and it still gels up. I love this stuff. It uses some calcium water to help the process. The calcium powder and directions comes with the Pectin. I get my Pomona pectin from my health food store. Sometimes they even order it in special just for me. But you can also purchase it online here.  In addition you can half or double the recipe and still get good results. It is like a little jam miracle. I think I should be their spokesperson.

Sound complicated? It is not. I had a batch of 5 jars of jam done in an hour.

As a culinary sidenote: Look at those mini Triscuits. I am never buying the full size ones again. Loving these, especially for little jam bites.

Another sidenote: I canned all my jam but this gels up really fast and I wish I had left some uncanned. It was amazing fresh out of the pot.

Makes about 5 cups of jam or 5 half pints.
 4 Cups mashed strawberries  which is really closer to 6 cups of chopped strawberries. (I hull and chop and then mash with a potato masher, finished off with a few turns of my emulsifier to break up some of the bigger chunks.)
2 Cups sugar (you can use less if you want).
2 tsp of calcium powder (comes with the Pomona pectin)
2 tsp of  pectin

While preparing jam make sure you are heating your half pints, lids and rings in hot water. I run my lid rings and jars through the dishwashe
r and time it so I am pulling steaming clean jars out of the dishwasher when the jam is done. I place the lids in simmering (not boiling water) while I am preparing the jam. Follow the directions on your lid box.

Also if you use a water canner you should get this water boiling. I use a steam canner (and have for 14 years with great and safe results.)

Chop and mash strawberries.
Add strawberries and calcium water to a saucepan.
combine pectin and sugar in a small dish.
Bring strawberries to a boil.
Add sugar/pectin mixture and stir vigorously to dissolve sugar. Return to boil and allow to boil for 1-2 minutes.
Remove from heat.

Pour or spoon into jars. Fill to 1/4 inch from the top. Add lids and rings. Tighten rings to finger tight. You still want to be able to remove later.

 Process in a water bath or steam canner for 10 minutes. Add 1 minute for every 1000 ft elevation over sea level.

I am at a little over 6000 ft and I process for 17 minutes.

Remove from canner and cool.
Remove rings and clean in sticky residue if you are storing your jam.

Eat it up. It is delicious. The great part was that I opened up a jar later the same night and it was perfectly jelled.

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