I know that y'all are super sick of canning so I promise this will be my last post on canning for a bit. Every time I write about canning I feel like I age anyway, at this rate I'll be 80 before I know it. I told you during my week of canning adventures there was some jam involved. Macie has started eating PB&Js for lunch a lot and after spying how much sugar is in jam I decided it was time to look for some alternatives.
I am a sucker for Simple Bites and Aimee had a killer strawberry honey jam that demanded to be pinned. I had planned to try my hand at the recipe but I found that the jam itself still had sugar in the pectin and I really wanted to try one that didn't have any. Somewhere in the thread of comments (yup, I'm a comments reader) people were mentioning Pomona's Pectin and I was super intrigued. I had heard tales of this pectin from other bloggers and I really wanted to try it out.
After getting a TON of berries and some honey, I decided it was time to get to work. I read up a lot on Pomona's because I was freaked out that I would screw something up and destroy all those berries. After measuring out all of the berries, I put them in a pot to simmer just enough to be mashed. It didn't take a lot of heat, I just didn't want huge chunks in my jam. After mashing the berries, I measured them again to determine the ratios for the pectin. Pomona's is odd because there are two packets in the box, one is the pectin and one is calcium concentrate that you mix with water.
Before you go any further with the jam, you have to mix the calcium water so it's ready to roll. Got it ready? Good. Now add your fruit back into a pot and add the lemon juice. After you stir it in, you measure the calcium water and add it to the pot as well. Stir it well. This is where I got nervous because I had no idea what the calcium water would do - I'm not sure what I was thinking, its calcium not nitro-glycerin. Stop being nervous and add the honey to a bowl and then add the pectin to the honey and stir away. It will change colors to an odd cloudy mix.
Take the mix and add it to the fruit that's been laced with calcium water and stir like mad. You need the honey to dissolve. Return the fruit to a full boil and remove it from the heat. Fill your handy dandy jars that you have ready (I run my through the dishwasher to keep them warm) and process and you get jam, a nice thick jam that isn't full of sugar. Yeah, I was skeptical too, but man is it good. It's not too sweet and it's not too tart. It's perfect on a toast in the morning and I love that Macie gobbles it up.
I may feel like an 80 year old canning everything that stays still, but 80's the new 30 right?? I'm all for that.
Honey Berry Jam
original recipe - printable version
9 C mashed berries (I used strawberries, raspberries, blueberries and blackberries)
1 C honey (I used local)
1/4 C lemon juice (really a tad less because I was running low)
3 Tbsp calcium water
4 1/2 tsp pectin (Pomona's Pectin)
Place berries into a pot and simmer long enough to mash. Measure the mashed berries and put them back into the pot. Stir the lemon juice into the berries and then add the calcium water as well. Add the honey in a separate bowl and then stir the pectin into the honey until completely mixed. Add the honey mixture to the berries and stir vigorously until dissolved. Let the berries come to a full boil and then remove from the heat. Fill your prepared jars with the fruit leaving 1/4" headspace. Screw on the lids and rings and process in a boiling water bath for 10 minutes. Remove jars from the water and allow the jars to cool and check seals. Crack one open and eat away!