CanningCraft Creates: Peach Melba Jam

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For several winters when I was a young kid, my family vacationed at Mount Tremblant, a ski resort a couple of hours north of Montreal.  I’ve heard it’s quite ritzy and modern these days, but when I was there, in the 70’s and very early 80’s, that was definitely not the case.  The dining room and lodge were formal in an old-timey kind of way, and just a touch shabby.  It was here, as a seven year old, dining at a table with starched white napkins, formal place settings, and an old-school fancy French menu, that I first encountered the Peach Melba–a luscious dessert of fresh peaches topped with vanilla ice cream and raspberry sauce.

Legend has it that this dessert was invented by the famous French chef Escoffier in the very late 1800s, and named for the famous opera singer Nellie Melba, who was a frequent guest at his restaurant.  Whatever the case, I was smitten with Peach Melba, and ordered it for dessert every night for the rest of vacation.  It’s still one of my favorite desserts, and I love the fact that its ingredients are simple and few.

With summertime offering up gorgeous, in-season, perfectly-ripe peaches and raspberries, it seems like a great time to make a jam reminiscent of the dessert. This jam is delicious any way you eat it, but for an amazing treat, enjoy a big dollop it on top of vanilla ice cream!

Peach Melba Jam
Yield: 4-5  half-pint (8 ounce) jars

To do ahead of time:
Prepare the calcium water.  To do this, combine 1/2 teaspoon white calcium powder (included in the Pomona’s Universal Pectin package) with 1/2 cup water in a small, clear container with a lid. Shake well before using.  Note that you will have more calcium water than you will end up using in this recipe; simply store it in the refrigerator for later use.

Ingredients:
2 pounds ripe peaches
1/2 pound raspberries (about 1 pint)
1 vanilla bean
3  1/2 teaspoons calcium water
3 tablespoons lemon juice
1  1/4 cup sugar
3 teaspoons Pomona’s Universal Pectin

 

Directions:
1.) Wash and rinse jars, lids, and screw bands.  Set screw bands aside until ready to use.  Place jars in boiling water bath canner with a rack, fill at least 2/3 of the way full with water, and bring to a boil.  Boil jars for 10 minutes to sterilize (add 1 additional minute of sterilizing time for every 1000 feet above sea level), then turn down heat and let jars stand in hot water until ready to use.  Place lids in water in a small pan, bring to a low simmer, and hold there until ready to use.

2.) Remove and discard peach peels and pits.  Then, in a large bowl, mash the peaches thoroughly.

3.) Pick over raspberries to remove any dirt or debris.  If raspberries look clean, rinsing is optional. Place raspberries in a bowl and mash thoroughly.

4.) Combine the mashed peaches and the mashed raspberries and mix well.  Measure out 4 cups of the mashed fruit mixture. (If you have extra, simply use it for something else). Pour the measured amount  of  fruit into a large saucepan.

5.) Using a paring knife,  slice the vanilla bean in half lengthwise and scrape out the seeds.  Add the vanilla bean seeds, as well as the bean pod itself, to the mashed fruit.  Add lemon juice and calcium water to the fruit, then stir to combine.

6.)  In a separate bowl, combine the sugar and the pectin powder.  Mix thoroughly and set aside.

7.) Put the sauce pan on the stove and bring the fruit mixture up to a rolling boil over high heat.  Add  the sugar-pectin mixture, then stir vigorously for 1 to 2 minutes, still over the highest heat, to dissolve pectin. Return the jam to a boil, then remove from heat. Using tongs, remove the vanilla bean pod and discard.

8.) Remove hot jars from canner and fill jars with jam, leaving ¼  inch of headspace.  Remove trapped air bubbles, wipe rims with a damp cloth, and put on lids and screw bands, tightening bands only to “fingertip tight” (until resistance is met, and then just the tiniest bit more).

9.) Place jars in the hot water, on the rack inside the canner.  (Make sure jars are upright, not touching each other or the sides of the canner, and are covered with at least 1-2 inches of water).  Place the lid on the canner, return the canner to a rolling boil, and boil for 10 minutes. (Add 1 minute additional processing time for every 1000 feet above sea level.)

10.) Turn off heat and allow canner and jars to sit for 5 minutes.  Then, remove jars from canner.

11.) Allow jars to cool undisturbed for 12-24 hours.  Then, confirm that jars have sealed.  Remove screw bands from sealed jars, rinse off outside of jars if necessary, label  jars, and store for later use.

Photos by Shelby Collings

Recipe by Allison Carroll Duffy

Allison Carroll Duffy

Allison Carroll Duffy

Jam Notes-May 2018: Strawberry Champagne Garlic Jelly

Strawberry Champagne Garlic Jelly
[Recipe by Allison Carroll Duffy]
Here in Maine, it’s pretty typical that April is still cold and wet, and this year is no exception. But, the birds are singing a lot more these days, and the snow is almost gone, so it at least feels like spring is in sight. Soon, no doubt, the earliest of the spring edibles will start to push up through the warming soil. Rhubarb, nettle, fiddleheads, asparagus….all are such welcome springtime treats. This strawberrychampagne-garlic jelly makes a delicious glaze for springtime veggies–especially asparagus. Try drizzling it over asparagus while it roasts! The garlic provides this savory jelly with a touch of earthiness, while the strawberry and the champagne keep it light and fresh–perfect for such tender, green shoots.

The first step in making this jelly, and most jellies, is to extract the juice from the juice from the fruit. It’s not difficult, but it can take a while. And, the amount of fruit required to yield the quantity of juice you will need can vary significantly depending on the fruit you are using. I’ve found that fresh, local, in season berries will often yield almost a cup of liquid per pound of berries. Using average grocery store berries, or frozen berries, is perfectly acceptable, but these berries typically yield quite a bit less juice– sometimes only half as much. To extract the juice, I typically heat the berries in a sauce pan with a very small amount of water to soften them before mashing them, as it helps to release the juices. As an alternative, if you are using very ripe, juicy berries, you could opt not to heat them, and mash them fresh instead. Either way, you’ll then put the mashed berries into a cheesecloth bag, suspend it over a bowl to collect the juice, and allow the bag to drip until you’ve collected enough juice–in this case, 2 1/2 cups.

Yield: 4-5 half-pint (8 ounce) jars

To do ahead of time:
***Prepare the calcium water. To do this, combine 1/2 teaspoon white calcium powder (included in the Pomona’s Universal Pectin package) with 1/2 cup water in a small, clear container with a lid. Shake well before using. Note that you will have more calcium water than you will end up using in this recipe; simply store it in the refrigerator for later use.

Ingredients:
3 (or more) pounds strawberries (enough to yield 2 1/2 cups of juice)
1/2 cup water
1 cup champagne
2 TBS minced garlic
1/2 cup champagne vinegar
1 cup sugar
2 teaspoons calcium water
2 teaspoons Pomona’s Pectin Powder

Directions:

1.) Wash and rinse jars, lids, and screw bands. Set screw bands aside until ready to use. Place jars in boiling water bath canner with a rack, fill at least 2/3 of the way full with water, and bring to a boil. Boil jars for 10 minutes to sterilize (add 1 additional minute of sterilizing time for every 1000 feet above sea level), then turn down heat and let jars stand in hot water until ready to use. Place lids in water in a small pan, bring to a low simmer, and hold there until ready to use.
2.) Rinse the strawberries, then remove and discard stems. Place strawberries and the 1/2 cup water in a sauce pan, then bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, for 2-3 minutes, stirring frequently. Remove from heat, then mash the berries.
3.) Transfer the mashed berries into a damp jelly bag or layered cheese cloth. Suspend over a bowl and allow the juice to drip into the bowl until the dripping stops–likely 3-4 hours–and you have accumulated 2 1/2 cups of juice. (Resist the temptation to squeeze the bag of fruit to make the dripping go faster! If you do, you will end up with cloudy, slightly pulpy juice, rather than clear juice.) Reserve the juice, and discard the pulp (or–even better–save it for some other use).
4.) Combine the champagne, garlic, and vinegar in a sauce pan. Cover, bring the mixture to a boil, then remove from heat. Allow the mixture to steep, still covered, for about 30 minutes. Then, pour through a fine-mesh strainer, collecting the liquid in a bowl. Reserve this infused liquid (covered, to prevent evaporation), and discard the solids that are in the strainer.
5.) In a separate bowl, combine the sugar and the pectin powder. Mix well and set aside.
6.) In a sauce pan, combine the 2 1/2 cups of strawberry juice, the infused liquid, and the calcium water. Bring this mixture up to a rolling boil over high heat. Add the sugar-pectin mixture, then stir vigorously for 1 to 2 minutes, still over the highest heat, to dissolve pectin. Return jelly to a boil, then remove from heat.
7.) Remove hot jars from canner and fill jars with jelly, leaving ¼ inch of headspace. Remove trapped air bubbles, wipe rims with a damp cloth, and put on lids and screw bands, tightening bands only to “fingertip tight” (until resistance is met, and then just the tiniest bit more).
8.) Place jars in the hot water, on the rack inside the canner. (Make sure jars are upright, not touching each other or the sides of the canner, and are covered with at least 1-2 inches of water). Place the lid on the canner, return the canner to a rolling boil, and boil for 10 minutes. (Add 1 minute additional processing time for every 1000 feet above sea level.)
9.) Turn off heat and allow canner and jars to sit for 5 minutes. Then, remove jars from canner.
10.) Allow jars to cool undisturbed for 12-24 hours. Then, confirm that jars have sealed. Remove screw bands from sealed jars, rinse off outside of jars if necessary, label jars, and store for later use.
The Jam Spot 
[Featuring Chris Wilson, Owner and Jam Maker of LunaGrown Jam]
Have you ever given your lovingly homemade jam to a friend or been selling your jelly at your local farmers market only to be confronted by: “oh gosh, I already have so much jam and never know what to do with it all,” or “I’m not much of a bread person…” Well, Chris Wilson of LunaGrown Jam now has the perfect response…

Back in 2013 we had the privilege of spotlighting Chris in our Jam Notes of that June. As a successful entrepreneur and jam maker, he can attest to the customers and friends that just don’t feel like they need any jam. He has now published his book Beyond the Bread as his answer to that rebuff. His book is chock full of recipes and pairing ideas that take delicious handcrafted jam off the toast and into cocktails, salad dressings, and more. With an in-depth list of wine and beer pairings, your jam will be a hit at your next party. Chris has been crafting his low-sugar jams and jellies since 2012, exclusively using Pomona’s Universal Pectin after a careful selection process. Today, for your culinary delight, he shares with us his recipe for a Strawberry Jam Vinaigrette (just in time for those delicious summer salads).

Strawberry Jam Vinaigrette
Ingredients:
 1⁄3 cup white wine vinegar
 3-4 tbsp Strawberry Jam (or jam of choice)
 1⁄4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
 1⁄8 tsp salt (optional)
Instructions:

1. 1⁄2 cup of Flaxseed or Hemp oil (keep in mind that you want oil with only a small hint of flavor as to not overpower your other ingredients)

2. It is preferable to let this dressing sit before serving to allow the flavors to combine well. Store in a sealed container in the refrigerator after use.

To get your hands on a copy of Chris’s brilliant new book, or to try some of his delicious jams, visit his website at www.lunagrown.com.

Did we mention there is whole section for summer beverages (with and without alcohol)?!

 

 

  • Pomona’s Universal Pectin as a Health Drink?
For the record, Pomona’s Universal Pectin is not meant to be consumed as a health supplement and we do not advise or recommend taking it as such. That being said, we get many questions about how much Pomona’s to use as a liquid supplement (in comparison to Certo). If you are drinking Certo pectin as a dietary/health supplement, here is a quick conversion for how much of Pomona’s Universal Pectin to use instead. But again, this product is not meant to be consumed in this fashion and you do so at your own risk.

Read the complete, original (Add Date) Jam Notes here.

Jam Notes: Holiday Pear Conserve

November 2017 – #27

 

CanningCraft Creates: Holiday Pear Conserve

By Allison Carroll Duffy

This pear conserve–studded with dried fruit and toasted pecans– is sweet, rich, and undeniably decadent.  Generously laced with warming spices and a touch of citrus, it’s one of my most favorite conserves, and it’s a perfect accompaniment for the holiday season.  The citrus notes in this conserve come primarily from fresh-squeezed orange juice and minced orange peel. To obtain the necessary amount of juice, you’ll need about four large oranges.  Though, just one of these oranges will probably provide you with the right amount of peel.  Select organic oranges if at all possible, especially since you’ll be using the peel.  I find it works best to prepare the minced peel before juicing the oranges.  To do this, use a vegetable peeler to remove the outer layer of the peel–primarily the orange part– from one (or more, if necessary) of the oranges.  Then, finely mince it.  Keep peeling and mincing until you have the required 1/4 cup of minced peel.  Then, slice all of the oranges in half and juice them, removing seeds as necessary.

The toasted pecans contribute additional depth and richness to this conserve.  I prefer to toast the pecans on the stove top, instead of in the oven, as this gives me more control over the heat, which helps to prevent burning.  I also like to toast the pecan halves prior to chopping them, as I find it easier to get them nicely browned this way. Place the pecan halves in a heavy-bottomed fry pan (cast iron is ideal), and toast them over medium or medium-low heat, stirring almost constantly, until the pecans are nicely browned.  Then remove them from the pan, allow them to cool, and coarsely chop them.

Besides being delicious, this conserve is extremely versatile, which makes it great to have on hand during the busy holiday season.  Overnight guests will enjoy it slathered on a warm muffin for breakfast, or you can serve it with crackers and a sharp cheddar for an easy evening appetizer. It’s also delicious on top of vanilla ice cream, or swirled into plain yogurt.  And for something a little different, try using this conserve in making baked goods.  It’s great as a filling for turnovers, spread between layers in a cookie bar, or on a rustic tart.

 

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Fun Fact: Historically, in Ireland, the two most popular flavors of jam made at home were Rhubarb/Ginger and Blackberry/Apple

 

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We want to hear from you…

The colder months are upon us now and we want to hear about all the fun creative ways you are using Pomona’s Universal Pectin in non-jam ways! As just an example, some of our customers have used Pomona’s in a DIY hair gel and a vegan cheese. What else have you tried? We want to hear about it! If you liked the results and want to share the recipe, we’d love to publish a few in our next Jam Notes! Email us your stories and lets keep the creativity going…

Have a very Merry Holiday Season…

CanningCraft Creates: Holiday Pear Conserve

By Allison Carroll Duffy

This pear conserve–studded with dried fruit and toasted pecans– is sweet, rich, and undeniably decadent.  Generously laced with warming spices and a touch of citrus, it’s one of my most favorite conserves, and it’s a perfect accompaniment for the holiday season.  The citrus notes in this conserve come primarily from fresh-squeezed orange juice and minced orange peel. To obtain the necessary amount of juice, you’ll need about four large oranges.  Though, just one of these oranges will probably provide you with the right amount of peel.  Select organic oranges if at all possible, especially since you’ll be using the peel.  I find it works best to prepare the minced peel before juicing the oranges.  To do this, use a vegetable peeler to remove the outer layer of the peel–primarily the orange part– from one (or more, if necessary) of the oranges.  Then, finely mince it.  Keep peeling and mincing until you have the required 1/4 cup of minced peel.  Then, slice all of the oranges in half and juice them, removing seeds as necessary.

The toasted pecans contribute additional depth and richness to this conserve.   I prefer to toast the pecans on the stove top, instead of in the oven, as this gives me more control over the heat, which helps to prevent burning.  I also like to toast the pecan halves prior to chopping them, as I find it easier to get them nicely browned this way. Place the pecan halves in a heavy-bottomed fry pan (cast iron is ideal), and toast them over medium or medium-low heat, stirring almost constantly, until the pecans are nicely browned.  Then remove them from the pan, allow them to cool, and coarsely chop them.

Besides being delicious, this conserve is extremely versatile, which makes it great to have on hand during the busy holiday season.  Overnight guests will enjoy it slathered on a warm muffin for breakfast, or you can serve it with crackers and a sharp cheddar for an easy evening appetizer. It’s also delicious on top of vanilla ice cream, or swirled into plain yogurt.  And for something a little different, try using this conserve in making baked goods.  It’s great as a filling for turnovers, spread between layers in a cookie bar, or on a rustic tart.

Get the full recipe here…

August 2017 Jam Notes: Peach Melba Jam and FAQ’s

CanningCraft Creates: Peach Melba Jam

By Allison Carroll Duffy

For several winters when I was a young kid, my family vacationed at Mount Tremblant, a ski resort a couple of hours north of Montreal. I’ve heard it’s quite ritzy and modern these days, but when I was there, in the 70’s and very early 80’s, that was definitely not the case. The dining room and lodge were formal in an old-timey kind of way, and just a touch shabby. It was here, as a seven year old, dining at a table with starched white napkins, formal place settings, and an old-school fancy French menu, that I first encountered the Peach Melba–a luscious dessert of fresh peaches topped with vanilla ice cream and raspberry sauce.

Legend has it that this dessert was invented by the famous French chef Escoffier in the very late 1800s, and named for the famous opera singer Nellie Melba, who was a frequent guest at his restaurant. Whatever the case, I was smitten with Peach Melba, and ordered it for dessert every night for the rest of vacation. It’s still one of my favorite desserts, and I love the fact that its ingredients are simple and few.

With summertime offering up gorgeous, in-season, perfectly-ripe peaches and raspberries, it seems like a great time to make a jam reminiscent of the dessert. This jam is delicious any way you eat it, but for an amazing treat, enjoy a big dollop it on top of vanilla ice cream!

Get the Recipe for Peach Melba Jam here

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Fun Fact: In the 1940’s, Joan Miró (Spanish painter, sculptor, and ceramicist) used blackberry jam as an art medium…

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Jammin Frequently Asked Questions

It’s summer time and the fruits are ripe and ready to be preserved for the year…but before you get to cookin’ here are a few FAQs to keep in mind…

Pomona’s Universal Pectin is unique, simple, and a must-have to those of us who put great care into what we fuel our bodies with. But with those qualities come some changes to the standard jamming process we follow in order to be successful in making our jams and jellies.

For a number of our customers it is very difficult to wipe the slate clean on how they THINK Pomona’s Pectin will/should work, and be open to learn HOW Pomona’s truly works and WHY.

Here are the Top 5 problem areas explained. {Our website is also an extensive resource for all your jam-related queries. }

1. What’s the deal with the Calcium?

Pomona Pectin is activated by calcium (yes, that little small packet in your box…it’s magic!), and unlike every other pectin on the market, it has not been mixed with sugar nor does it need sugar to beautifully set up your jams and jellies.

Now here is where a number of our customers get hung up…the making of the CALCIUM WATER. If you have never used Pomona’s this can be daunting and/or missed all together.

So take a peek at the bottom of your directions sheet before you begin and start every jam making process by making your calcium water (unless you already have yours made in the fridge like a pro!)

1/2 tsp. calcium powder, mixed with ½ cup water…I place mine in a small mason jar and shake well.

 

2. Mashing your fruit is an important step in the process of making jam with Pomona’s Pectin.

If your fruit is too course the pectin can bind to it instead of dissolving into your mixture and getting evenly dispersed…also resulting in gummy pectin clumps attached to your beautiful fruit.

Each recipe developed for Pomona’s has been tested with that SPECIFIC method for accurate proportions of ingredients.

If you prefer to have your jam with whole pieces (such as currants) or larger pieces (such as cherry chunks), that is totally fine…but make sure you have enough juice so that your recipe has enough liquid. We recommend filling your measuring cup with the chunky fruit, then adding some liquid (water or juice) so that it fills in all the gaps between the fruit pieces…imagine having a measuring cup filled with gravel and filling up all the extra space with water to make a full two cups.

3. Mixing Pomona’s Pectin with your sweetener of choice is the way to go! Whether it be traditional sugar, honey, juice concentrate, agave, Stevia, or something more exotic, with Pomona’s it’s a MUST to mix your sweetener with the pectin BEFORE adding it to your fruit…here’s why:

Since Pomona’s Pectin is activated by calcium, the moment the two come in contact with one another, they bind. This is GREAT when you do the process correctly because then you have a beautifully jelled product…but doing it out of order can lead to some very unappealing end results.

Mixing your pectin with your sweetener allows for the pectin to be dispersed with that sweetener so that when it gets mixed into the hot fruit mixture it can quickly dissolve without clumping (by binding to the calcium).

If you choose to not use any sweetener in your jam or jelly or are using a juice concentrate, you will still be mixing your liquid and pectin before adding it to the rest of your mixture- this is called “liquid pectin.”

To make liquid pectin you’ll use an immersion blender, food processor, or blender. You can make liquid pectin with boiling water, boiling unsweetened fruit juice, or boiling mashed fruit or juice if you have unjelled jam or jelly.

Use Table 1 below to determine the amount of water, unsweetened fruit juice, unjelled jam, or unjelled jelly that you will use to blend the pectin into. See examples below the table.

Table 1

Pectin to Add Amount of boiling liquid
Up to 3 teaspoons   –   ½ cup liquid
4 to 4 ¾ teaspoons   –   ¾ cup liquid
5 to 6 teaspoons   –   1 cup liquid
7 teaspoons   –   1 ¼ cups liquid
8 teaspoons   –   1 1/3 cups liquid

 

4. Lemon Juice, Lemon Juice, LEMON JUICE!

Lemon Juice, Lime Juice and Vinegar are very important ingredients in canning and food preservation. Knowing the pH (or acidity level) of your preserved product is valuable information that can tell you whether all your hard work will have a lasting shelf-life or not. The ideal pH level for safely canned items is between 2.9-3.8.

When it comes to making jams and jellies it is always recommended that you use STORE BOUGHT Lemon/Lime Juice. Always. Why, you ask? Aren’t all things better fresh? What if I don’t have a bottle of store bought lemon/lime juice?

Here’s why…bottled (store bought) lemon or lime juice is guaranteed to have a certain pH level which makes it ideal for safe, at home canning. We cannot guarantee that the lemons or limes you juiced today have the acidity level needed to make your jams and jellies safe for long term storage.

As a workaround for those of us who live in rural areas or have our own lemon/lime trees, you can test your fresh lemon juice to make sure it’s acidic enough. Purchase pH strips at just about any pharmacy or buy a digital pH meter and use it over and over again to test your fresh lemon/lime juice. Lemon juice should be between 2.00-2.60 pH. Lime juice should be between 2.00-2.35.

 

5. Give your jars a BATH!

Yep, that’s right; water bath canning is a must! According to the USDA it is safest to water-bath can your jam, jellies, preserves, pie fillings, etc.

Here is what they have to say in their wonderfully helpful document on Home Canning at: {http://nchfp.uga.edu/publications/usda/GUIDE01_HomeCan_rev0715.pdf}

Boiling-water canners

These canners are made of aluminum or porcelain-covered steel. They have removable perforated racks and fitted lids. The canner must be deep enough so that at least 1 inch of briskly boiling water will be over the tops of jars during processing. Some boiling-water canners do not have flat bottoms. A flat bottom must be used on an electric range. Either a flat or ridged bottom can be used on a gas burner. To ensure uniform processing of all jars with an electric range, the canner should be no more than 4 inches wider in diameter than the element on which it is heated.

Using boiling-water canners

Follow these steps for successful boiling-water canning:

1. Before you start preparing your food, fill the canner halfway with clean water. This is approximately the level needed for a canner load of pint jars. For other sizes and numbers of jars, the amount of water in the canner will need to be adjusted so it will be 1 to 2 inches over the top of the filled jars.

2. Preheat water to 140°F for raw-packed foods and to 180°F for hot-packed foods. Food preparation can begin while this water is preheating.

3. Load filled jars, fitted with lids, into the canner rack and use the handles to lower the rack into the water; or fill the canner with the rack in the bottom, one jar at a time, using a jar lifter. When using a jar lifter, make sure it is securely positioned below the neck of the jar (below the screw band of the lid). Keep the jar upright at all times. Tilting the jar could cause food to spill into the sealing area of the lid.

4. Add more boiling water, if needed, so the water level is at least 1 inch above jar tops. For process times over 30 minutes, the water level should be at least 2 inches above the tops of the jars.

5. Turn heat to its highest position, cover the canner with its lid, and heat until the water in the canner boils vigorously.

6. Set a timer for the total minutes required for processing the food.

7. Keep the canner covered and maintain a boil throughout the process schedule. The heat setting may be lowered a little as long as a complete boil is maintained for the entire process time. If the water stops boiling at any time during the process, bring the water back to a vigorous boil and begin the timing of the process over, from the beginning.

8. Add more boiling water, if needed, to keep the water level above the jars.

9. When jars have been boiled for the recommended time, turn off the heat and remove the canner lid. Wait 5 minutes before removing jars.

10. Using a jar lifter, remove the jars and place them on a towel, leaving at least 1-inch spaces between the jars during cooling.

Let jars sit undisturbed to cool at room temperature for 12 to 24 hours.

June Giveaway!

Congratulations to our 2 winners: Chandra Meyers and Melissa Schulman! Happy Jamming!

Click here for the new Nectarine-Cherry Jam recipe created specially for this Giveaway…

Summer is almost here and we’ve partnered with Fillmore Container to bring you our June Giveaway! On June 19th we will pick two lucky winners and we will share our newest summer recipe with you all.

Click below to enter the giveaway and please share with your friends…
a Rafflecopter giveaway

May 2017 Jam Notes

Link

CanningCraft Creates: Pineapple All-Fruit Jam

By Allison Carroll Duffy

Pineapple JamI don’t buy fresh pineapples all that often, but when I do I am always reminded of how much I love them, and how extraordinary delicious–and intensely sweet–a perfectly ripe pineapple can be.  I find that making jam with extra-sweet fruit like pineapple is particularly satisfying, as I can use very little added sweetener and still end up with amazingly sweet jam.  This pineapple jam is sweetened only with fruit sugar, and has only three ingredients–fresh pineapple, Pomona’s Universal Pectin, and unsweetened white grape juice concentrate.  And did I mention that it’s lusciously sweet?   It’s delicious swirled into yogurt, or on top of vanilla ice cream.

 

Read Allison’s complete blog post and get the recipe here!

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We Say Goodbye;
Casey and Sara Say Hello…

By Mary Lou Sumberg

Yes, the day has finally come when the Pomona’s Partners are ready to pass our business on to a new generation.

We (Connie Sumberg, Mary Lou Sumberg, and Paul Rooney) have recently sold our small, single-product, family-owned business to Casey and Sara Wolters. Casey and Sara intend to carry on the traditions of Pomona’s Universal Pectin and bring you the same superb pectin that we’ve been selling for 30+ years.

We’ve been struggling with how to say good-bye because we will miss all of you whom we have met, in so many different ways, over the years: talking on the Jamline, your comments and questions on the website, on our Facebook page, on our Twitter feed, and your responses to articles and recipes in this newsletter.

Connie and I have enjoyed, and sometimes been challenged by, the different questions that you have asked about using our pectin. We have done our best to share our knowledge and also to expand our knowledge. We are teachers and communicators at heart, and we sincerely hope that we helped you to have greater success with Pomona’s Universal Pectin.

We have also done our best to bring you pure and reliable pectin so that you can make well-jelled jams and jellies for your families and friends with that “rich full flavor undiluted by large amounts of added sugar,” as we say on our box.

Paul has worked behind the scenes, but without him steering the ship, we would have sunk many years ago.

The three of us are ready to retire and face the changes and challenges that retirement brings! Connie will have more time for her music (she plays the upright bass in a weekly “jam” session) and for beekeeping with her partner, as well as being a Grandmother. Paul and Mary Lou are looking forward to travel in their truck camper (starting with the Pacific Northwest and British Columbia) and more time with family and friends.

We’ll continue to make the low-sweetener jam that we have come to love – and we’ll continue working with Casey and Sara as long as is needed for a smooth and well-jelled transition!

Who Are Casey and Sara Wolters?

Casey and Sara are a young couple with an 18-month-old son, Charlie. They live in Oakhurst, California, the southern Gateway to Yosemite National Park. Paul and I first met them on a trip to Yosemite in the fall of 2016 and realized that we had found the proverbial needle in the haystack. We couldn’t ask for two more perfect people to carry on Pomona’s Universal Pectin.

Casey considers himself to be a “pectin geek.” He knows just about everything there is to know about pectin and how to use it. He is also an experienced and competent business person who has been managing another family-owned pectin business for the last 7 years.

Sara is smart and competent and a customer-service oriented writer and communicator. She is already taking care of the daily orders, the Pomona’s website and Facebook page, the Jamline, and producing Jam Notes.

Casey and Sara are so excited about taking over Pomona’s Universal Pectin. We hope that you join us in wishing them the very best with their new venture.

And finally, to all of you, our very best wishes — and Happy Jamming!

CanningCraft Creates: Pineapple All-Fruit Jam

I don’t buy fresh pineapples all that often, but when I do I am always reminded of how much I love them, and how extraordinary delicious–and intensely sweet–a perfectly ripe pineapple can be. I find that making jam with extra-sweet fruit like pineapple is particularly satisfying, as I can use very little added sweetener and still end up with amazingly sweet jam. This pineapple jam is sweetened only with fruit sugar, and has only three ingredients–fresh pineapple, Pomona’s Universal Pectin, and unsweetened white grape juice concentrate. And did I mention that it’s lusciously sweet? It’s delicious swirled into yogurt, or on top of vanilla ice cream.

For this recipe, you’ll need to start with one medium-sized fresh pineapple. To prepare it, I find it easiest to cut off the top and the bottom first, using a chef’s knife. Then, I stand the pineapple up on end and cut off the peel by slicing vertically down the sides of the pineapple, one side at a time, rotating the pineapple as I go. After the peel is off, vertically slice off the side sections of the pineapple, one side at a time, rotating as you cut, to remove the flesh from the core. Then, finely chop the flesh of pineapple. Finally, place the chopped pineapple in a large bowl and crush it thoroughly. A potato masher works well, for this.

Pineapple All-Fruit Jam

Yield: 3-4 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.

Pineapple All-Fruit Jam Ingredients:

3 cups peeled, crushed fresh pineapple
2 teaspoons calcium water
1 cup white grape juice concentrate
2 teaspoons Pomona’s Universal Pectin

Pineapple All-Fruit Directions

1. Wash and rinse jars, lids, and screw bands. Set screw bands aside until ready to use. Place jars in boiling water bath canner with a rack, fill at least 2/3 of the way full with water, and bring to a boil. Boil jars for 10 minutes to sterilize (add 1 additional minute of sterilizing time for every 1000 feet above sea level), then turn down heat and let jars stand in hot water until ready to use. Place lids in water in a small pan, bring to a low simmer, and hold there until ready to use.

2. Put the crushed pineapple in a sauce pan and add the calcium water. Set aside.

3. In a separate sauce pan, bring the white grape juice concentrate up to a boil. Then, pour it into a blender or food processor, and add the pectin powder. Blend until the pectin powder is fully dissolved–about 1-2 minutes. As the mixture will be hot, be sure to vent the lid while you are blending.

4. Put the sauce pan with the pineapple mixture on the stove and bring it up to a rolling boil over high heat. Add the pectin-white grape juice concentrate mixture, then stir vigorously for 1 to 2 minutes, still over the highest heat, to dissolve pectin. Return the jam to a boil, then remove from heat.

5. Remove hot jars from canner and fill jars with jam, leaving ¼ inch of headspace. Remove trapped air bubbles, wipe rims with a damp cloth, and put on lids and screw bands, tightening bands only to “fingertip tight” (until resistance is met, and then just the tiniest bit more).

6. Place jars in the hot water, on the rack inside the canner. (Make sure jars are upright, not touching each other or the sides of the canner, and are covered with at least 1-2 inches of water). Place the lid on the canner, return the canner to a rolling boil, and boil for 10 minutes. Add 1 minute additional processing time for every 1000 feet above sea level.

7. Turn off heat and allow canner and jars to sit for 5 minutes. Then, remove jars from canner.

8. Allow jars to cool undisturbed for 12-24 hours. Then, confirm that jars have sealed. Remove screw bands from sealed jars, rinse off outside of jars if necessary, label jars, and store for later use.

Recipe by Allison Carroll Duffy
Photos by Allison Carroll Duffy and Shelby Collings

Jam Notes: New Year, New Recipes, New Ideas

February 2017

Table of Contents

CanningCraft Creates: Lemon Marmalade & Meyer Lemon Marmalade

Conner holding marmalade jars

Lemon Marmalade on the left and Meyer Lemon Marmalade on the right, as you face the picture

 

Santa Barbara’s Organic Soup Kitchen

Marisa McClellan: Pineapple Orange Jelly with Fruit Juice Concentrate

Lindsay Landis: Triple Citrus Marmalade

Honeybell Hibiscus Jelly from Suwanee Rose

Learn to Make Jam with Rachel Adams

Read the Complete, Original February 2017 Jam Notes Here.

CanningCraft Creates: Lemon Marmalade & Meyer Lemon Marmalade

Allison Carroll Duffy

Allison Carroll Duffy

Without a doubt, February is the time for marmalade. Not only is it the height of the citrus season, when fresh, quality fruit is widely shipped and easily available, but the sunny nature of this yellow-orange spread is bound to bring on a bit of a smile during this often cold and bleak month.

I like most any kind of marmalade, but Lemon Marmalade is probably my favorite. I find it’s extra-sour nature an ideal complement to the slight bitterness of the peels when rounded out with a bit of sweetener. Standard, full-acid lemons – what you’ll generally find in the lemon section of the grocery store – are ideal for the Lemon Marmalade recipe. Eureka and Lisbon lemons are the commonly available varieties.

Meyer lemons and box of pectin

Meyer Lemons

Meyer lemons are a popular alternative, and many people enjoy using them as they are not as acidic as standard lemons, and are a bit sweeter. They are native to China, and are believed to be a cross between a lemon and a Mandarin orange.

Despite their name, I find that Meyer lemons look and taste more like oranges than they do like lemons. They are typically rounder and slightly smaller than regular lemons, and while they are yellow when less ripe, they become increasingly orange as they ripen.

Both types of lemons are great for marmalade, but, as you might expect, the marmalades they yield are a bit different from each other. Likewise, the recipes are slightly different, to account for differences in acidity and bitterness, and to highlight each fruit’s best qualities.

Conner holding marmalade jars

Lemon Marmalade on the left and Meyer Lemon Marmalade on the right, as you face the picture

So, should you make the Lemon Marmalade, or the Meyer Lemon Marmalade? If you like assertive flavors and are a fan of sweet and sour, go for the Lemon Marmalade.

If, on the other hand, you prefer a marmalade that’s less sour and a bit orange-y, with a touch of bitterness, then you’ll likely love the Meyer Lemon Marmalade.

Or, give them both a try! Both have a delightful sunny-yellow color, and a soft-set consistency. Any way you go, these marmalades are delicious served alongside scones, or swirled into vanilla yogurt. Enjoy!

Lemon Marmalade recipe is here.

Lemon Marmalade

Lemon Marmalade

Meyer Lemon Marmalade recipe is here.

Meyer Lemon Marmalade

Meyer Lemon Marmalade

Recipes and photos by Allison Carroll Duffy

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