The Jam (S)Pot: Adventure Jamming! Jammin’ with Marguerite

Seared Scallops with Blueberry Thai Basil Preserves

Seared Scallops with Blueberry Thai Basil Preserves

“I never would have thought a simple gift-giving idea would turn out to be such an amazing adventure,” says Marguerite Riker of Jammin’ with Marguerite in Holland, Michigan.

“My jam and jelly making started as an idea to give gifts for Christmas in 2011. I wanted to offer something special for my family and friends. After making traditional jams, I thought it would be fun to add a twist to recipes and add a bit of savory herb or citrus zest.” So she did.

“Now my niche is savory jams and jellies, and I love using herbs in as many as possible. It didn’t happen at first, but now I can just think of a combination and literally taste it in my head!”

Marguerite got so much encouragement from the jam eaters in her life, and believed so strongly in her jam-making vision and love of sharing her creations, that she was emboldened, even in a difficult economic time, to make a career transition to full-time jam-making businesswoman.

Marguerite making jam

“Now I have customers who order my jams and jellies to send to their families and friends as gifts,” she says. Visit her website, Jammin’ with Marguerite, to see the wide variety of her selections or to purchase some of her delicious low-sugar concoctions. If you live in Michigan, you can also learn on her website about where you can buy her jams and jellies around Holland and Detroit.

As part of Marguerite’s passion for jam making and love of sharing, she has contributed one of her most favorite and very popular blueberry recipes for us to share with you: Blueberry Vanilla Lavender Preserves.

Read more about Marguerite’s business and her advice for starting one of your own here.

The Jam (S)Pot: Jammin’ with Marguerite — Building a Successful Jam-Making Business

Marguerite selling her jam at the farmer's market.

Sampling and selling jam at the farmer’s market.

“Jam making is a lost art that has become my passion,” says Marguerite Riker of Jammin’ with Marguerite.

“All recipes are mine or handed down from my great grandmother. What makes my product stand out is that I’m the only one who has a hand in what goes into each batch and the preparation. Since I use the finest ingredients, very little sugar, and no preservatives, my jams are a natural accompaniment to everything from a simple breakfast bread to your favorite seafood or savory entree.”

“It’s been a little over three years since I started my business and I’ve had so much fun developing new and unique flavors. I’ve enjoyed the experience and take pride in being able to pick most of the fruit used in every batch of my gourmet jams and jellies.”

Some of Marguerite's jars of jam

Some of Marguerite’s jars of jam

“As my business continues to grow I will have to hire additional people to help. For right now I do everything solely by myself starting with picking and or purchasing the fruit from local farms or buying from local farmer’s markets to making my product. This way I can be in control of every ingredient that goes into each batch making sure that nothing is compromised. All of the herbs and heirloom tomatoes used are from my own 7.5 acre farm in Holland, Michigan.”

Marguerite started out using regular pectin, but then learned about Pomona’s Pectin at her local health food store. She says, “Now I wouldn’t use anything else and I recommend your product to many other men and women who have my passion. Pomona’s Pectin is one of the main reasons that my products have a perfect set, perfect sweetness, and vivid color.”

If you’re thinking of starting a jam-making business yourself, Marguerite has some helpful words of wisdom to share with you: “My advice is don’t compromise on product, don’t give up, write down every recipe, every time you make it, and make sure you don’t leave anything out when jotting down what you used each time. Label and date each jar so that you know which recipe you used. When a recipe is obsolete, remove it from your recipe file; it will just confuse you.”

Marguerite's Spicy Chipotle Drizzle over salmon

Marguerite’s Spicy Chipotle Drizzle over salmon

Marguerite looks forward to what the future will bring for her jammin’ business. She says, “Being able to share what I have made from the heart and watch people enjoy it is such a great feeling.”

An on that note, Marguerite shared with us one of her most favorite and very popular blueberry recipes: Blueberry Vanilla Lavender Preserves.

Read more about Marguerite’s passion for jam making and how that passion developed here.

Mixed Fruit Jams – Combining Fruits Without a Recipe

You can make a jam that is a mix of different fruits by referring to the basic recipes on the recipe sheet that comes with the pectin or to the instructions on the Get Creative page on this website, and then doing the math. You will use the amounts of lemon or lime juice (if called for), calcium water, and pectin appropriate for each cup of mashed fruit you will be jamming.

For example, if you want to make a combination Peach-Raspberry Jam using 3 cups of mashed peach and 1 cup of mashed raspberry, this is how you would figure out the additional ingredients for a safe recipe that will jell.

Lemon Juice: 1 Tablespoon is required for each cup of mashed peach (3 Tablespoons for 3 cups), while no lemon juice is required for the cup of mashed raspberry, for a total of 3 Tablespoons of lemon juice.

Calcium Water: 1 teaspoon is required for each cup of mashed peach (3 teaspoons for 3 cups), while ½ teaspoon is required for the cup of mashed raspberry, for a total of 3½ teaspoons of calcium water.

Pomona’s Pectin: ¾ teaspoon is required for each cup of mashed peach (2¼ teaspoons for 3 cups), while ½ teaspoon is required for the cup of mashed raspberry, for a total of 2¾ teaspoons of pectin.

The sugar and honey ranges always remain the same for 4 cups of mashed fruit: ½ cup up to 1 cup honey or ¾ cup up to 2 cups sugar.

Besides Peach-Raspberry, you might also want to play with combining 3 or 4 different types of berries for a Mixed Berry Jam, or blackberries and nectarines for a delicious combination.

As long as you do your math correctly, you should have no problem with jelling.

We’d love to hear about combinations you’ve tried that you like.

Small Jars of Jam and box of Pomona's Pectin

Jam-Making Success! Photo by Linda Bailey

 

Fig Pizza

Fig pizza before cooking

Fig Pizza ready for the oven. Photo by Darcie Durr.

Fig Pizza, which uses Fig Jam in place of tomato sauce, was submitted by Darcie Durr, who made Balsamic Fig Jam using Pomona’s basic Fig Jam recipe, with the addition of 1 Tablespoon of Balsamic Vinegar per cup of mashed fig. General directions for making Balsamic Vinegar Jams can be found on our website.

Darcie says: I love figs! And lucky for me, fig trees do surprisingly well in my little corner of the Pacific Northwest (not far from where Pomona’s Universal Pectin was born in Arlington, WA).

Our two fig trees were dripping with luscious green and purple figs this September and October, and I wanted to make them last. I also wanted to find a less-sweet alternative to the commercial fig jam we’ve been buying for our family’s favorite weeknight dinner – Fig Pizza!

In searching online for fig jam recipes, I came across Pomona’s Universal Pectin. I was intrigued. And so the Pomona’s recipe for Balsamic Fig Jam was the first thing I canned. Ever.

For my first batch, I used 4 cups of mashed figs, ¼ cup balsamic vinegar, and ½ cup of honey, in addition to the other ingredients called for in the recipe. For my second batch, I used ¾ cup turbinado sugar in place of the honey. Both are the minimum recommended amounts of balsamic vinegar and sweetener. The results are exactly what I wanted.

The jam is perfect for making Fig Pizza – fresh tasting, sweet but not cloying, and so satisfying. It is noticeably less sweet than the Fig Pizza I used to make with commercial fig jams, but my five-year old eats it without a single complaint!

Fig Pizza Ingredients

1 recipe of your favorite pizza dough or 16 oz. prepared ball of dough (I use Essential Baking Company’s organic frozen pizza dough or I make my own cauliflower crust)
1 to 1 ½ cups of Fig Balsamic Jam
2-3 cups of shredded mozzarella cheese
Blue cheese crumbles (optional)
Prosciutto cut into 1” strips (optional)

Fig Pizza Directions

1. Preheat oven and prepare dough according to recipe or package directions. Roll out dough according to your personal preference for thickness.

2. Spread an even layer of fig jam on the dough as you would tomato sauce.

3. Top with mozzarella cheese. Sprinkle with blue cheese crumbles, prosciutto, or figs, if desired. Bake according to recipe/package directions. Enjoy!

Cooked Fig Pizza

Fig Pizza ready to eat. Photo by Darcie Durr.

 

Option: I had been gifted with many figs this year and had made some Balsamic Fig Jam, so had to try this pizza. I topped the jam with caramelized red onions, sautéed mushrooms, and crumbled blue cheese. Amazingly delicious! Paul was skeptical, but he loved it too. – Mary Lou

Green Tomato Jam

Closeup jar of Green Tomato Jam

Photo by Vivian Solomon

Green Tomato Jam is a low-sugar or low-honey cooked jam made with Pomona’s Pectin and contributed by Vivian Solomon. Pomona’s Pectin contains no sugar or preservatives and jells reliably with low amounts of any sweetener. See below for where to buy.

Vivian, who adapted this recipe from a high-sugar Green Tomato Jam recipe on Food.com, says: “This is a wonderful, delicately flavored jam. The lemon gives it bright notes, the cinnamon can’t be tasted but gives it depth, and the vanilla grounds it with a sweet base note. No one will guess that the main ingredient is tomatoes!”

Yield: 4 to 5 cups

Before You Begin:
Prepare calcium water. To do this, combine ½ teaspoon calcium powder (in the small packet in your box of Pomona’s pectin) with ½ cup water in a small, clear jar with a lid. Shake well. Extra calcium water should be stored in the refrigerator for future use.

Green Tomato Jam Ingredients

2 pounds green tomatoes
1 lemon
¼ cup lemon juice (bottled or fresh)
½ of a vanilla bean (or 1 teaspoon vanilla extract)
½ of a stick of cinnamon (or ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon)
4½ teaspoons calcium water
½ cup up to 1 cup honey or 1 cup up to 2 cups sugar*
4 teaspoons Pomona’s pectin powder

Green Tomato Jam Directions

1. Wash jars, lids, and bands. Place jars in canner, fill canner 2/3 full with water, bring to a boil. Turn off heat, cover, and keep jars in hot canner water until ready to use. Place lids in water in a small sauce pan; cover and heat to a low boil. Turn off heat and keep lids in hot water until ready to use.

2. Wash tomatoes and cut into chunks. Pulse chunks briefly in a food processor. Do this in batches so you have more uniformly sized pieces. You don’t want mush.

3. Measure 4 cups of processed green tomatoes into a sauce pan and set aside.

4. Wash the lemon. Zest half of the lemon into the sauce pan with the tomatoes. Remove the white pith and any seeds from the zested half of the lemon. Chop the flesh but not so fine that you lose the juice. Add the chopped lemon pulp and juice to the sauce pan.

5. Add ¼ cup more of lemon juice to the sauce pan.

6. Slice the half of vanilla bean in half lengthwise and scrape out the seeds into the sauce pan with the tomatoes. Add the pod also. Alternatively, add vanilla extract.

7. Add calcium water, cinnamon stick (or ground cinnamon) to the sauce pan, and mix all together well.

8. Measure sugar or room temperature honey into a bowl. Thoroughly mix pectin powder into sweetener. Set aside.

9. Bring fruit mixture to a full boil. Add pectin-sweetener mixture, stirring vigorously for 1 to 2 minutes to dissolve the pectin while the jam comes back up to a boil. Once the jam returns to a full boil, remove it from the heat.

10. Remove the cinnamon stick and vanilla bean pod (if using) from the jam.

11. Fill hot jars to ¼” of top. Wipe rims clean. Screw on 2-piece lids. Put filled jars in boiling water to cover. Boil 10 minutes (add 1 minute more for every 1,000 ft. above sea level). Remove from water. Let jars cool. Check seals; lids should be sucked down. Eat within 1 year. Lasts 3 weeks once opened.

*Note about sweetener: Vivian used about 2 cups of sugar; I used 1½ cups, which was the right sweetness for me. 1 cup of honey is equivalent to 2 cups of sugar; ¾ cup of honey is equivalent to 1½ cups of sugar. Remember that green tomatoes are usually not sweet at all.

You may also like: Tomato Jam, Strawberry-Tomato Jam, or Tomato Marmalade.

Jar of Green Tomato Jam

Photo by Vivian Solomon

 

Orange Marmalade – Light & Fresh

Jar of marmalade, cup of tea, marmalade on crackers

Tea Time – Orange Marmalade on Coconut Toasts – so good!

Orange Marmalade – Light & Fresh is a low-sugar or low-honey cooked marmalade made with Pomona’s Pectin. This is the same recipe you’ll find on the direction and recipe sheet that comes with the pectin. Pomona’s Pectin contains no sugar or preservatives and jells reliably with low amounts of any sweetener. See below for where to buy.

Yield: 7 to 8 cups

Before You Begin:
Prepare calcium water. To do this, combine ½ teaspoon calcium powder (in the small packet in your box of Pomona’s pectin) with ½ cup water in a small, clear jar with a lid. Shake well. Extra calcium water should be stored in the refrigerator for future use.

Orange Marmalade Ingredients

4 oranges (see option below)
½ grapefruit (see option below)
3 cups water or orange juice
3 teaspoons calcium water
3 Tablespoons lemon or lime juice
1 cup up to 1½ cups honey or 2 cups up to 3 cups sugar
4½ teaspoons Pomona’s pectin powder

Orange Marmalade Directions

1. Wash jars, lids, and bands. Place jars in canner, fill canner 2/3 full with water, bring to a boil. Turn off heat, cover, and keep jars in hot canner water until ready to use. Place lids in water in a small sauce pan; cover and heat to a low boil. Turn off heat and keep lids in hot water until ready to use.

2. Peel 2 of the oranges. Scrape the white from the back of the peel. Thinly slice the peel and cut into strips about 1 to 1½ inches long. Put peel slices into sauce pan and set aside.

3. Peel the remaining 2 oranges and the grapefruit. Remove seeds and membrane from all 4 oranges and ½ grapefruit, and finely chop the pulp of all, retaining as much of the juice as possible. Add chopped pulp and juice to the sauce pan with the peel.

4. Add 3 cups water or juice to the sauce pan. Bring fruit to a boil, then turn heat down and simmer covered for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and measure out 6 cups of fruit mixture. Save any extra for another use. Return 6 cups of fruit mixture to the sauce pan.

5. Add calcium water and lemon or lime juice, and mix well.

6. Measure sugar or room temperature honey into a bowl. Thoroughly mix pectin powder into sweetener. Set aside.

7. Bring fruit mixture to a full boil. Add pectin-sweetener mixture, stirring vigorously for 1 to 2 minutes to dissolve the pectin while the marmalade comes back up to a boil. Once the marmalade returns to a full boil, remove it from the heat.

8. Fill hot jars to ¼” of top. Wipe rims clean. Screw on 2-piece lids. Put filled jars in boiling water to cover. Boil 10 minutes (add 1 minute more for every 1,000 ft. above sea level). Remove from water. Let jars cool. Check seals; lids should be sucked down. Eat within 1 year. Lasts 3 weeks once opened.

Option: Other citrus can be used in place of the orange and grapefruit.

You may also like: Orange-Chocolate Marmalade, Margarita Marmalade, Strawberry-Lemon Marmalade, or Sunrise Marmalade.

We have been using Pomona’s Pectin for years . . .

Our small bakery cafe in rural Alaska features as many products from our family farm as possible. In cooperation with my husband’s vegetable operation (Talkeetna Grown at Birch Creek Ranch), we make jams, jellies, and other canned and fermented vegetables for sale to farm stand customers as well as for use in the bakery.

We have been using Pomona’s Pectin for years and truly find it to the be the best product out there – not just for using less sugar, but for really showing off the amazing flavors of our Alaska grown fruits such as red currants, black currants, rhubarb, raspberries, strawberries and apples. Thank you!

Anita Golton, Owner
Flying Squirrel Bakery Cafe
Talkeetna, Alaska
October 4, 2016

Our jams and preserves have been super delicious.

I have used Pomona’s Pectin with my neighbors the past two summers and we love it as our jams and preserves have been super delicious. Love the fact it uses less sugar!!! I just went to our local health food store (Paso Robles Health Foods) and purchased all of the ten boxes they had in stock (5 for me, and 5 for my neighbor). Thanks for making such a great pectin.

Kerin B.
Paso Robles, CA
September 28, 2016

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