Friday, July 22, 2011

Low/No Sugar Jam

Apricot Jam

Testing the Apricot Jam
Low Sugar/No Sugar Pectins
Our Apple Tree

Our Italian Plum Tree
I managed to fit in not one, but two batches of jam today as well as several hours of yard work, laundry, and packing. I could get used to spending an entire day at home! The first batch I made was apricot jam and the second was freezer jam made with a mix of whatever I had around the kitchen that needed to be used up (apricots, peaches, and strawberries). Freezer jam is a relatively new discovery of mine and it is SO easy, but it's a story for another post.

I've been wanting to spread the word about pectins that require little or no sugar. My mom usually made low sugar jam when I was growing up so it's what I am used to and what I prefer. Some regular pectin recipes call for as much or even more sugar than fruit. So, if you prefer low or no sugar jam, there are options! You can also use artificial sweeteners with these pectins. I usually use somewhere between 1/2 and 1 cup of sugar per batch of jam depending on the sweetness of the fruit. For the apricot jam I actually used 1 3/4 cups because the fruit wasn't ripe and it was VERY tart.

Both of the canning cook books I own suggest using Pomona's Universal Pectin which is also a low sugar option. I've never tried it though because it's not available in most grocery stores. I've always used (up until today) the Sure Jell because it can be bought anywhere. Today I noticed the Ball brand low sugar pectin at Fred Meyer for the first time. That little jar is about the same price as a pack of Sure Jell, but it makes at least three times as much jam. That's what I used for the apricot jam and I think it worked perfectly. The jam set up very well and it tastes like apricot candy (see photo of spoon in jar). Yum!

Our apple and plum trees both have fruit this year. The first year we lived here we only had plums (tons of them). We didn't even know the other tree was an apple tree! Last year we had gallons of apples but not a single plum. This year we have both. I know nothing about fruit trees, being from Kodiak and all, so I have absolutely no idea why some years we have fruit and others we don't. Nor have I (or Ryan) done anything to these trees (like trimming, or....I have no idea what else you're supposed to do to fruit trees!) Our raspberries are also producing fruit like crazy. Makes me sad to leave. Then again, I have SALMONBERRIES to look forward to in Kodiak!!


  1. And the salmonberries are ripe! I also just saw your brother out at the Bells Flats AC - back in town due to pushki burns! We laid out the grid on the Amak site and i am happy to say there is NO pushki on the site. And for the record - I use the sure jell for my jellies.


  2. Boy am I glad to hear there is no pushki on the site!!! And I'm feeling terrible for my brother!