Tuesday, July 12, 2011

How To Make Organic Low Sugar Raspberry Jam

Make jam that tastes like fruit, not sugar!

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Raspberries are in Season
Whole Foods had a big sale on raspberries last Saturday. My friend Mitzie loves raspberries and I knew that I would be seeing her the next day so I bought her 1/2 a flat. She was excited! The following day, about 45 minutes into the drive to her house, I noticed a cherry stand which made me think of fruit which made me remember that I left all her raspberries back at the house! I was so upset that she would be disappointed but it would have taken an hour and a half to back track. I begged her forgiveness and hoped that she would find beautiful raspberries nearby.
When I got home, I realized that I had nearly an entire flat of these beautiful berries - the ones we bought for her and the ones we bought for ourselves! After 3 days of eating as many as we possibly could eat, I decided to make a few jars of low sugar, raspberry jam! 
I've written a number of times about Pomona's Universal Pectin. This wonderful product has allowed me to make healthy jam over the years. Other pectins call for more sugar than fruit! 

With 4 cups of mashed fruit (about 2 lbs of fresh raspberries), you can use less than a cup of sugar when you use Pomona 

What You'll Need
* 4 one cup jars with 2 piece caps. Although the bands can be reused, always use new lids.
* A boiling water canner - since I only was making 4 small jars, I just used a deep pot with a rack inside. The pot should be deep enough so that the jars are submerged at least 1 to 2 inches under boiling water.
* A small masher to mash the fruit.
* Measuring cups and spoons.
* A wooden spoon.
* A saucepan to cook the jam.
* A jar lifter (my favorite tool to move hot jars around without burning your hands).
* A plastic funnel to help you fill the jars.
* A small ladle to transfer the jam into the jars.

Directions to make 4 cups of organic, low sugar, raspberry jam - Instructions from Pomona
4 cups mashed raspberries (I started with about 2 pounds of berries)
3/4 cups organic cane sugar
2 teaspoons pectin powder
2 teaspoons calcium water
A boiling water canner full of boiling water (make sure you have it boiling by the time you are filling the jars with hot jam!)

1. Make calcium water by putting 1/2 teaspoon of the white calcium powder into a small clear jar with a lid and adding 1/2 cup of water. Shake well before using and store in the refrigerator between uses. 

This makes much more calcium water than you will be using. It will last several months in the refrigerator. Discard if the white powder discolors or gets moldy.
This recipe only calls for 2 teaspoons of calcium water.

2. Wash and rinse jars (run them through the dishwasher if you have one to get them sterilized).
Pomona says you should let them stand in hot water but I generally take them out of the dishwasher and turn them upside down on a clean towel until I need them.
Bring the lids and rings to a boil in a small saucepan: turn down the heat and let them stand in hot water.

3. Mash the raspberries until you get 4 cups of mashed fruit. 
Raspberries are fragile and mash very easily.
4 cups of mashed raspberries

4. Place the mashed raspberries into a pan and add 2 teaspoons of calcium water. Stir well.
Stir calcium water into the mashed raspberries.

5. Measure sugar into a separate bowl. 
Add 2 teaspoons of the tan pectin powder to the sugar and mix them thoroughly.
Thoroughly mix the pectin into the sugar.

6. Bring fruit to a boil.
Once boiling, add the pectin-sugar to the boiling raspberries.
Stir vigorously for 1 - 2 minutes, until the pectin-sugar mixture dissolves. 
Return to a boil and remove from heat.
It only took me a minute to dissolve the small amount of pectin-sugar mixture into the boiling raspberries.

7. Fill jars to 1/4" to the top. 
Wipe rims clean and screw on 2 piece lids.
You can use a plastic funnel to help you ladle the hot jam into the jars or you can just carefully spoon it in. 

8. Using a jar lifter, place filled jars into boiling water canner. Make sure they are covered with at least 1 to 2 inches of boiling water. 
Cover the pot and boil 10 minutes (add 1 minute more for every 1,000 feet above sea level). 
This isn't a boiling water canner. Since I was only making 4 one cup jars, I just used a deep pot with a circular rack on the bottom.

9. Carefully lift the hot jars from the boiling water bath with a jar lifter.
Let jars cool on a rack. When they cool, they will make a big popping sound! That means they are sealed but check the seals to make sure. They should be sucked down.
Carefully remove jars from boiling water.
Cool on a rack. They will POP when they seal. I love that sound!

10. Now for the best part. Eat the jam on toast, muffins and bagels. It also makes a great topping for pancakes and waffles. For a treat, use it as a topping for ice cream!
Eat on toast
What's better than chocolate ice cream and raspberry jam?

You can use this same recipe for Strawberry, Kiwi, Currant, Gooseberry, Sour Blackberry, Sour Cherry, Sour Plum and Pineapple!
Other fruits may require the addition of lemon or lime juice and varying amounts of calcium water and pectin. You'll find these instructions inside each box of Pomona Universal Pectin.


teawithhazel said...

this jam looks amazing..i will have to look into whether i can source some of the ingredients here in australia as it's not the typical way we make jam..we tend to just boil the fruit with sugar to setting point and put it in sterilized jars..jane

Amy said...

I just used Pomona's to make a bunch of strawberry jam, thanks to your earlier blog. Thanks so much for the recommendation. I love that the jam tastes like fruit not sugar.

Dr. Joanne L. Mumola Williams said...

On the website http://www.pomonapectin.com/whlse_retail.html they have international sales information. I hope that includes Australia. You can send them an email. Good luck!
Amy, I'm so glad you are enjoying your low sugar jam. It's really changed my life with respect to how good I feel now about eating jam and gifting it to others!

Marcia said...

Thank you for the tips! I use Pomona. I have made strawberry jam, tangerine marmalade, and plum jam. I've tried to decrease the sugar a bit. I will try again. With the plum...eh, I decreased it too much. Too tart.

Dr. Joanne L. Mumola Williams said...

Hi Marcia,
On the Pomona instructions, it says you can reheat to boiling and add more sugar. You can try it with one jar and see if it resets. I also made plum jam with very little sugar and it was also tart. Some plums just aren't very sweet!
Good luck,

Ari Karpel said...

Thank you for posting this! I'm curious if I can do the same recipe but in 2-cup jars, which is what I have. Thanks. - Novice Jammer

Dr. Joanne L. Mumola Williams said...

Hi Ari,
I'm sure the jam will set in pint jars rather than 1 cup jars but make sure you put it in a water bath the covers the larger jar. You may even want to leave it in the water bath for an extra minute or two. Give it a try!

Ari Karpel said...

Success! Thank you for helping make my first foray into jamming so easy - and delicious.

Dr. Joanne L. Mumola Williams said...

Congratulations Ari!

Jon said...

I have a question, and Google isn't helping me to find the answer, so I thought I would ask some real people, as Google DID bring me here....

I have many pounds of frozen raspberries from my yard last year... I want to make jam without added sugar, or preserves, and I was thinking.... can't I just reduce the berries under low heat in a non-scorching pan until they're really thick, add pectin and boil for a couple minutes and get jam?

Dr. Joanne L. Mumola Williams said...

Hi Jon,
You can use Pomona universal pectin for this. Unlike other pectin products, It doesn't depend on sugar to jell. It's made with citrus pectin that is activated by a rock mineral source of calcium. It think it would be perfect for what you are trying to do.
Give it a try!

Jon said...

Pomona Universal Pectin, with calcium activation... that sounds interesting...

I can only imagine how intensely raspberrISH such a concoction would taste... reducing 5-6 lbs of berries by 3/4... into a thick THICK sauce... then gelling....

I'll look the stuff up, thanks for the suggestion!

Anonymous said...

What are the storage options for your low sugar recipe? I see so many blogs advising to use equal amounts of fruit and sugar because sugar is the preservative that allows the jam to stay on the shelf for a year (if properly processed). thanks!

Dr. Joanne L. Mumola Williams said...

Acidity and proper sterilization is needed for safe canning, not sugar. You'll notice that the Pomona recipes for low acid fruits require the addition of lemon or lime juice to boost the acidity. High acid fruits do not require lemon or lime juice. And of course good sterilization techniques such as boiling the jars and lids and using a hot water bath are critical to safely storing your jam.
After all, we can tomatoes and all kinds of vegetables without sugar!
Thanks for the question.

Anonymous said...

Thank you! Off to Whole Foods to find Pomona's for what sounds like the perfect solution for low sugar raspberry jam that will actually taste like raspberries!

Anonymous said...

Would anyone know the calories for 1 tablespoon
of homemade Raspberry Jam or sugar content for
1 tablespoon?
Greatly appreciated,

Dr. Joanne L. Mumola Williams said...

This recipe (with 2 pounds of raspberries and 3/4 cups of sugar), comes to about 17 calories per tablespoon of jam. It contains a bit over 1/2 teaspoon of sugar per tablespoon of jam, far less than conventional recipes.

Lisa Conner said...

I'd like to make this seedless. Do I need to change anything to the recipe to do that?

Lisa Conner said...

oops, one more question. What does the calcium water do? What's it's purpose?

Dr. Joanne L. Mumola Williams said...

Hi Lisa,
I've never tried that but I would guess that you would measure out your crushed fruit after removing the seeds.
You can also go to the Pomona website and look at their FAQ, recipes, or send them a note.
Good luck!

Dr. Joanne L. Mumola Williams said...

The calcium allows the pectin to set without lots (or any) sugar. That's what is great about Pomona Universal pectin.

Fizzy Jones said...

Where do you get the calcium powder? I'm so excited to try this.

Dr. Joanne L. Mumola Williams said...

The Pomona box comes with two packets. One contains the pectin and the other contains the calcium powder.