Water Bath Canning: Step-by-Step

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Knowing the steps for Water Bath Canning is important if you want shelf-stable jam or jelly that you can store for up to one year at room temperature.

Before you start making your jam or jelly --

 

Supplies

1. Gather your supplies (clockwise from left):

  • Canning funnel
  • Canning jars & rack
  • Pomona's Pectin and directions
  • Large canning pot and lid
  • Headspace measuring/bubble freeing tool
  • Flat lids and screw-on bands
  • Jar lifter
  • Magnetic lid lifter

2. Wash jars, lids, and bands.

 

Filling canner and jars with water

3. Put jars on rack in water bath canner; fill jars and canner with water at least 1 to 2 inches above the tops of the open jars. Depending on how big your canner is, you may want to use a pitcher or tea kettle to finish filling it on the stove.

4. Lower rack into pot. Cover and bring to a boil. Turn heat down or off and keep cover on in order to keep jars and water hot.

If you want to sterilize your jars, boil for 10 minutes then turn heat down or off and keep cover on in order to keep jars and water hot.

The USDA guidelines say that if you plan to water bath process your jam or jelly for at least 10 minutes, it isn't necessary to sterilize empty jars prior to filling. Since all of our recipes call for processing for at least 10 minutes, sterilization prior to filling is not required.

 

Lids warming in sauce pan

5. Put lids in a small sauce pan, cover with water; bring to a simmer; turn off heat and put cover on pan to keep the water warm. You are softening the circle of sealing compound to help get a good seal.

 

Bands laid out on dish towel

6. Keep the bands nearby.

 

When you have removed your jam or jelly from the heat and are ready to put it in the jars --

 

Lifting empty jar out with jar lifter

1. Using a jar lifter, remove all of the jars from the canner one-by-one.

Pouring jar water back into canner

2. Dump the water in each jar back into the canner. Place the jars on the counter ready to be filled.

3. Turn the heat up under the canner and put the lid back on. You want the water in the canner to be boiling when you put the filled jars back in. This is important because if it takes too long to bring the water back to a boil, the pectin could be de-activated from too much heat exposure.

 

Filling jar with ladle and funnel

4. Using a funnel and a ladle, fill all the jars.

 

Measuring headspace of filled jar

5. Leave 1/4" of head space in each jar.

 

Wiping rim with damp paper towel

6. Wipe the rim of each jar with a damp cloth or paper towel.

 

Removing lid with lid lifter

7. Using a magnetic lid lifter, remove one lid at a time from the warm water.

 

Placing lid on jar

8. Place a lid on top of each filled jar.

 

Tightening band to fingertip tight

9. Using your fingertips, screw a band onto each jar until you meet resistance -- then a little bit more. This is called "fingertip tight." Use a hot pad to hold the jar.

 

Placing filled jar on rack in canner

10. When all jars are filled and banded, put them all on the rack in the canner. The water in the canner should be boiling when you put the jars in. This is important because if it takes too long to bring the water back to a boil, the pectin could be de-activated from too much heat exposure. 

Lowering rack into canner

11. The jars should be upright, not touching each other, and covered by 1 to 2 inches of water after you lower the rack into the canner, if using this type of rack.

12. The water will likely lose its boil as you put the jars in. Put the top on the canner and bring the water back to a boil as quickly as possible. Once you have a rolling boil, set a timer, and boil for 10 minutes at sea level.

13. For altitude: Add 1 minute for every 1,000 ft above sea level. For example, if you are between 1,000 and 2,000 ft, boil for 11 minutes; 2,000 to 3,000 ft, boil for 12 minutes, and so on. If you don't know your elevation, you can find it by putting in your an address or your city name at this website.

.

Removing filled jar from canner

14. Remove jars when the time is up. 

 

Placing jar on counter

15. Place hot jars right side up on a mat or a towel. Leave jars alone to seal and begin cooling. 

If you are concerned about fruit float, read this FAQ on fruit float.

 

Remove band and check seal

16. When jars are thoroughly cool (12 to 24 hours), remove bands and check seals. Lids should be sucked down and not come off if you pull up gently with your fingertips. Jam reaches its full jell when thoroughly cool.

17. Clean off any jam on the outside of the jars or lids. Label and store jars, preferably in a dark location. Dark storage can help preserve color in low-sweetener jam. Sealed jars should be stored without the rings.

18. Properly water bathed and sealed jam is best eaten within 1 year.

19. It is always a good practice to examine the contents of a jar when you open it. First, be sure that you “pop a seal.” A jar that was safely sealed a few months ago could lose its seal on the shelf, although this rarely happens. Then look for identifiable fuzzy mold, a moldy smell, a fermented (alcoholic) smell, or fizziness that could be a sign of fermentation. If any of these are present, throw the contents of the jar away. It’s not a good idea to eat moldy jam or fermented jam or to scrape the mold off and eat what’s below it.

20. An open jar of low-sweetener jam or jelly can be expected to last about 3 weeks in the refrigerator.

21. If jam or jelly is thoroughly cool and has not jelled, visit our page: My Jam or Jelly Didn't Jell -- Can I Fix It?

Note: If you don't want to process your jam or jelly in a water bath canner and you have freezer space available, you can freeze jam for long-term storage. Leave 1/2" of headspace in your freezer-safe containers and freeze filled containers when jam is cool. Defrost before eating. Best eaten within 1 year of freezing.

I am so happy that I found this pectin. It has made such a difference in my life!!!

I have just started using Pomona’s Pectin this summer -- and so far, I love it!!! I am excited to find a pectin that I can use less sugar with from now on.

I love the way my Peach Ginger Jam turned out with a lot more peaches in it. I plan to make another batch or two this week -- one batch was just not enough to share!!

I saw the recipe in the Preserving with Pomona’s Pectin book for the Chocolate Cherry Preserves, and it looks so good that I will make that one too, probably today, while cherries are still in the stores. And then many more, to come!!!

I am so happy that I found this pectin. It has made such a difference in my life!!!

Earlene Boyd
Walnut Creek, CA
July 22, 2015

Our June Giveaway Has Two Winners . . .

The winners of our June Giveaway are: Abigail LaLonde of Troy, NY and Sandra Taniguchi-James of Rio Linda, CA.

Each will each receive a copy of Preserving with Pomona's Pectin and a box of pectin from us; and a case of 6 Orchard Road 8-oz jelly jars and lids from Fillmore Container. For everybody who didn't win, here are three delicious summer fruit jam recipes from our website that you may have missed.

Apricot-Pineapple Jam -- a Pomona's original

White Nectarine-Lavender Jam -- created and contributed by Karen Killebrew

Maple-Vanilla-Peach Jam with Pomona's boxMaple-Vanilla-Peach Jam
Excerpted from Preserving with Pomona’s Pectin by Allison Carroll Duffy (Fair Winds Press, June 2013)

Allison says: "If I were to eat any jam by the spoonful . . .The deep intensity of maple and vanilla, combined with the lusciousness of fresh peaches, is just heavenly."

 

 

And now for a little more about our winners.

Abigail: "OH, WOW! THANK YOU! 😀  I've been canning for about two years now. I do mostly small batches since we don't have a lot of storage room. My husband LOVES Grapefruit Marmalade so that's what I've made the most of, but I also enjoy Strawberry & Lemon Marmalade and Raspberry-Lime Jam made from my mother-in-law's home-grown raspberries.

"I've never used Pomona's Pectin before. I've read the book and love the idea, and all the recipes looked so delicious! I'd love to be able to make super-low-sugar jams for gifts (my mother-in-law is diabetic, and my parents are borderline, so everyone has to watch their sugar intake). I'm quite excited about being able to work with Pomona's Pectin, and if I really enjoy it, I won't have to worry about ordering a larger amount online because I know it will get used!

"I've herd a lot of good things about Fillmore Container but have never used any of their products before."

Sandra:  "Yea!!! Thank you!!! Don't know if you can tell or not, but I don't often win anything. But I just learned about your pectin and was looking forward to ordering some to make lower sugar jam and jellies.

"I also like the idea that your pectin doesn't have an expiration date like other pectin. We are diabetics and have to currently limit our preserve consumption. I have already put up 25 half pints and 12 pints of jam from fruit (plums, raspberries, loganberries, boysenberries, blueberries),from our backyard this year, which is mostly shared with family and friends.

"Still have Asian pears, nectarines, pluots, apples, oranges, grapefruits, and pomegranates to do by the end of the year. Currently have juice prepared for another 40 half pints of jelly, I am going to wait until I receive my Pomona's Pectin to start making the jelly.

"I have been making jams & jellies for about 25 years, but not with lower sugar or sweetener other than pure cane sugar; your pectin will give me that option. Learned preserving from my parents."

Our next Giveaway will be in August to celebrate Pomona's Day and will be announced in the August Jam Notes. Thanks so much to everyone who participated and congratulations to our two winners.

Jam Notes: Enter Our Giveaway and Jump into Jamming!

book cover Preserving with Pomona's PectinNot just one, but two winners. Each will receive: Preserving with Pomona's Pectin cookbook; a box of Pomona's Pectin; a case of 6 Orchard Road 8-oz jelly jars with lids from Fillmore Container. Giveaway runs from June 10 through June 17, 2015.

Enter Here Now!

CanningCraft Creates: Mint-Lemon Jelly with Honey

Allison Carroll Duffy

Allison Carroll Duffy

At this time of year in Maine – late May and early June – there's not much to be had when it comes to locally grown fresh fruit. . . . Fortunately, though, a number of edible greens really do begin to take off in late spring, and some of them make delicious jellies. . . . Mint is particularly abundant . . . Indeed, my parents' garden is loaded with it, and I picked some to make this jelly the other day. . . . 

Read Allison's Complete Blog Post and Recipe Here.

Mint-Lemon Jelly Recipe Only Here.

New Video: Learn to Make No-Cook Strawberry Freezer Jam

with Allison Carroll Duffy and her two young boys

Watch Here Now!

New Recipes Now on the Website

 Plum-Strawberry-Rosemary Jam -- One of the best jams ever!
Adapted and contributed by Vivian Solomon

Rhubarb-n-Zest Jam -- A zesty Pomona's Pectin original.
Created by Connie Sumberg

Rhubarb Lovers! Check out Clean Slate Farm's post on Rhubarb Trivia, including a recipe for Strawberry-Rhubarb Jam made with Pomona's Pectin.

Fresh Pineapple Jam -- It's fresh pineapple season!

Pineapple-Strawberry Jam -- Can be made with fresh or canned pineapple; a sweet combination requiring less added sweetener.

How to Thicken Homemade Kefir with Pomona's Pectin -- Not a recipe for making kefir but a process for thickening it, created and contributed by Kristin Caufield.

How to Thicken Homemade Yogurt with Pomona's Pectin -- Also not a recipe for making yogurt but a process for thickening it.

See the complete, original Jam Notes.

Enter Our Giveaway — Jump Into June Jamming!

Winners have been chosen.
Read about them and get recipes for Apricot-Pineapple Jam, White Nectarine-Lavender Jam, and Maple-Vanilla-Peach Jam. 

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

We will choose 2 winners; each will receive 3 prizes.

 

Preserving with Pomona's Pectin, by Allison Carroll Duffy

book cover Preserving with Pomona's Pectin

A case of 6 Orchard Road 8-oz jelly jars from Fillmore Container

Orchard Road 8 oz jar

A box of Pomona's Pectin

box of Pomona's Pectin

GIVEAWAY DETAILS

This Giveaway is open to residents of the U.S. and Canada, 18 years and older. Everyone gets 2 free entries; additional entries are also possible.

The entry dates are from June 10 through June 17, 2015.

Winners will be randomly chosen. We will email the winners to send us their mailing address, and they will have 48 hours to respond or we will choose new winners. The names of the winners will be posted on this Pomona's Pectin website blog 48 hours after the giveaway ends.

Enter the Giveaway using the Rafflecopter widget above. If you've never entered a Rafflecopter giveaway, click here for a video of how it works.

Leaving a comment on this blog post does not enter you into the Giveaway. But we do love your comments if you care to make one.

This Giveaway is also being hosted on:

Fillmore Container's blog

Allison Carroll Duffy's CanningCraft blog

The Quarry Spoon blog

Joanne Williams FoodsforLongLife blog

CanningCraft Creates: Mint-Lemon Jelly with Honey

Allison Carroll Duffy

Allison Carroll Duffy

If you want to be notified when Allison Carroll Duffy’s guest blog posts arrive, subscribe to Jam Notes in the sidebar to the right of this page. Subscribers get “updates” via email.

Here’s Allison:

At this time of year in Maine – late May and early June – there's not much to be had when it comes to locally grown fresh fruit. Strawberries, the first to come into season in these parts, are still a few weeks off; while other berries and stone fruits won't make even their first appearance until sometime in July.

Mint fieldFortunately, though, a number of edible greens really do begin to take off in late spring, and some of them make delicious jellies. Many perennial herbs are quite green and lush, and I find that mint is particularly abundant at this time of year. Indeed, my parents' garden is loaded with it, and I picked some to make this jelly the other day.

One of the things I really like about mint is that it's extremely versatile, and can be used in both savory and sweet ways. Slather this jelly on a scone with a little bit of butter, or use it as a glaze for chicken or tofu in an Asian-inspired meal.

Mint's versatility is due partially to the fact that it is a fairly assertive flavor, which allows it to combine with and complement other flavors without being overpowered. This jelly is a perfect example; mint, honey, and lemon are all pretty powerful flavors, but here they each hold their own, without drowning the others out, and complement each other beautifully.

Mint in bowlIf your mint is clean, there is no need to rinse it before using it. For this recipe, you can use both the stems and leaves, and you don't need to remove the leaves from the stems. However, if you are dealing with particularly long stalks of mint, you may want to cut them into slightly smaller pieces with scissors so that you can pack them more easily into your measuring cup.

Enjoy!

Mint-Lemon Jelly on bread

 

Mint-Lemon Jelly with Honey

Mint-Lemon Jelly with Honey is a low-honey cooked jam made with Pomona’s Pectin. Pomona's Pectin contains no sugar or preservatives and jells reliably with low amounts of any sweetener.

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.

Mint-Lemon Jelly with Honey Ingredients

2 cups fresh mint leaves and stems, well packed
4½ cups very hot (but not boiling) water
½ cup lemon juice
4¼ teaspoons calcium water
¾ cup honey
4¼ teaspoons Pomona's pectin powder

Mint-Lemon Jelly with Honey 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.

Pouring hot water on mint leaves2. Pick through your mint to be sure that it's clean, and rinse it if necessary. Measure out 2 well-packed cups of mint leaves and stems. Transfer the mint to a heat-proof bowl and pour the hot water over the mint. Make sure that the mint is fully submerged in the water, and allow the mixture to steep for 20 minutes.

 

3. Pour the mixture through a fine-mesh strainer or cheesecloth into another container, reserving the mint-infused liquid, and discarding the mint leaves and stems.

4. Measure out 4 cups of the mint-infused liquid. (If you don't have quite enough, just add a little bit more water.) Pour the measured amount of the mint-infused liquid into a large sauce pan. Add the lemon juice and calcium water, then stir to combine.

Conner adding calcium water to mint infusion

 

 

Stirring pectin into honey5. In a separate bowl, combine the honey and pectin powder. Mix well and set aside.

6. Bring the mint-infused mixture up to a rolling boil over high heat. Add the honey-pectin mixture, then stir vigorously for 1 to 2 minutes, still over the highest heat, to dissolve the 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 to 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 and photos by Allison Carroll Duffy

Printable Copy of the Recipe Only here!

Jam Notes: Strawberry-Banana Jam — Kids Love It – And Adults Do Too!

April 2015

CanningCraft Creates:  Strawberry-Banana Jam

By Allison Carroll Duffy, Author of Preserving with Pomona's Pectin (Fair Winds Press, June 2013)

picture of Allison Carroll DUffy

Allison Carroll Duffy

No doubt some folks in mild climates have fresh, locally-available fruit in April, but here in Maine, that's still a long way off.  It's a lovely thought for sure, but somehow it seems a particularly humorous one at this moment, given that it's April 1, and we still have over a foot of snow on the ground.

So, what to do when it comes to jam?  Well, it seems to me to be a good time to give a little love and attention to a fruit that is pretty much a permanent fixture in my fruit bowl, no matter the season, but that I often overlook: the banana.  Dense, sweet, and filling, if there was ever a fruit that could qualify as a comfort food, the banana would be it.

Bananas sound great for jam, but where are the recipes? . . . 

Strawberry-Banana Jam on Toast

Strawberry-Banana Jam on Toast

CanningCraft Creates: Strawberry-Banana JamComplete blog post with recipe from Allison Carroll Duffy

Strawberry-Banana JamRecipe only

 

 

More Recipe Ideas

If you live in Prickly Pear Cactus country and the tunas are ripe, check out our recipe for Prickly Pear Cactus Jelly.

If you still have lots of lemons or limes to "do something with," here's our recipe for Frozen Lemon or Lime Pie.

Or if your Rhubarb is ready, or almost ready, try our low-sugar or honey straight-up Rhubarb Jam recipe. Strawberry-Rhubarb is also a perennial favorite.

phone ringingTales from the Jamline . . .

Rrrrring! goes the telephone. "I'm wondering," says the caller -- "Is it necessary to add the amount of lemon or lime juice or vinegar called for in your recipes?"

Very good question. And the answer is YES.  Click here to learn why.

Pomona's News

Exciting Announcement:  Pomona's Pectin will be available very soon in Sur La Table stores across the country and on their website. They are excited about carrying Pomona's and are expanding their canning department. They will be offering jam-making classes at some point this season also.

We have added their stores to our website Store Locator. You can fill in your zip code on our website store locator (link just above) or go to their website to find a Sur La Table store near you.

Also, you may have noticed a few changes on our website. We've been working on making it as "user-friendly" as possible. One of the biggest changes is that we have put the recipes on our Recipes Page in alphabetical order within their categories (Jam, Jellies, Marmalades, etc.). We hope this will make it easier for you to find the recipes you are looking for.

You may see more changes as the season progresses. If you have any comments or thoughts about our website, we would love to hear them. Just hit reply to this newsletter or email us at info@pomonapectin.com.

Preserving with Pomona Pectin coverGiveaways Coming . . . with June Jam Notes. If you need the book sooner, you can always purchase it online or ask any bookstore to order it for you: Preserving with Pomona's Pectin by Allison Carroll Duffy (Fair Winds Press, June 2013).

Pomona's Pectin is available at your local natural food store, food coop, or farmstand in the U.S. or Canada, or online from us or many other web sellers. Our website store locator will help you find a store near you.

Outside the U.S., go to the Order Page on our website to order online from our partners in Canada, Australia, or the UK. Click on International on our order page for our UK partner, Cream Supplies, for shipping all around the world.

See the complete, original Jam Notes.

CanningCraft Creates: Strawberry-Banana Jam

picture of Allison Carroll DUffy

Allison Carroll Duffy

If you want to be notified when Allison Carroll Duffy’s guest blog posts arrive, subscribe to Jam Notes in the sidebar to the right of this page. Subscribers get “updates” via email.

Here’s Allison:

No doubt some folks in mild climates have fresh, locally-available fruit in April, but here in Maine, that's still a long way off. It's a lovely thought for sure, but somehow it seems a particularly humorous one at this moment, given that it's April 1, and we still have over a foot of snow on the ground.

So, what to do when it comes to jam? Well, it seems to me to be a good time to give a little love and attention to a fruit that is pretty much a permanent fixture in my fruit bowl, no matter the season, but that I often overlook: the banana. Dense, sweet, and filling, if there was ever a fruit that could qualify as a comfort food, the banana would be it.

Bananas sound great for jam, but if you've been making jam for a while, you might have noticed that there are not a lot of recipes out there for banana jam. The primary reason is that a straight banana jam would be too dense to safely can. Additionally, unlike most fruits, bananas are considered "low-acid," which means that a specific amount of acid (usually in the form of lemon juice) would need to be added to the bananas to make them safe for boiling water bath canning.

To address both of these issues, I've used a good quantity of strawberries in this recipe in combination with the bananas, along with some lemon juice. To ensure safe canning, please don't adjust the quantities of either of the fruits, or of the lemon juice. However, if you are crazy about bananas and absolutely must include more banana in your jam, then just be sure that you freeze your jam rather than can it.

For this recipe, you can of course use fresh strawberries if you have them, but I used frozen berries and they work just as well. And, for the bananas, be sure they are ripe enough that you can mash them easily. Enjoy!

Strawberry-Banana Jam on Toast

Strawberry-Banana Jam on Toast

Strawberry-Banana Jam

Strawberry-Banana Jam is a low-honey cooked jam made with Pomona’s Pectin. Pomona's Pectin contains no sugar or preservatives and jells reliably with low amounts of any sweetener.

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.

Strawberry-Banana Jam Ingredients

 bananas and frozen strawberries2¾ cups mashed strawberries
1¼ cups mashed bananas
¼ cup lemon juice
3 teaspoons calcium water
½ cup honey
3 teaspoons Pomona's Pectin powder

Strawberry-Banana Jam 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. If you are using fresh strawberries, place them in a colander, rinse them well, then remove and discard stems. If you are using frozen strawberries, defrost the berries.

3. Place fresh or defrosted strawberries in a mixing bowl and mash well. A potato masher works well for this.

4. Measure out 2¾ cups of mashed strawberries. (If you have extra, simply use for something else.) Pour the measured amount of strawberries in a large saucepan, then set aside.

mashing bananas with fork5. Peel the bananas and discard the peels. Place bananas in a mixing bowl and mash well. A fork works well for this.

6. Measure out 1¼ cups of mashed banana. (If you have extra, simply use for something else.) Pour the measured amount of bananas into the large saucepan with the strawberries. Add lemon juice and calcium water, then stir to combine.

7. In a separate bowl, combine the honey and pectin powder. Mix well and set aside.

8. Bring the strawberry-banana mixture up to rolling boil over high heat. Add honey-pectin mixture, then stir vigorously for 1 to 2 minutes, still over the highest heat, to dissolve pectin. Return jam to a boil, then remove from heat.

9. 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).

10. 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.)

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

12. 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 and photos by Allison Carroll Duffy

Printable Copy of the Recipe Only here!

I am a retired physician with borderline diabetes . . .

I am a retired physician with borderline diabetes, and the ability to produce sugar-free freezer jams and jellies is really important to me, recent research particularly implicating sugar consumption in the cause of diabetes.

In trying to make sugar-free orange marmalade, I have tried other ‘jelling’ agents such as gelatin (which doesn’t really produce the right consistency), guar gum (which produces a glue-like mixture which coats the mouth and lips unpleasantly) and cornflour (which produces a custard-like result that deteriorates badly on freezing).

Pomonas’ pectin is a great discovery for me, producing a sugar-free orange marmalade with the consistency, appearance and taste of the original item.

Many thanks and best wishes --

Dr. Richard Camp
Manton, Rutland, England
March 25, 2015

Jam Notes: Jam Recipes You Can Make Now!

March 2015

Jamming with Max & Anna

By Mary Lou Sumberg

Max & Anna with jam and cookbook

We made two recipes from Preserving with Pomona's Pectin:  Apple-Maple Jam and Honeyed Strawberry-Rhubarb Jam. Max and Anna helped with squeezing the lemon juice and stirring the fruit in the pan,

Max & Anna squeezing lemon juice
but most importantly taste testing and eating the final product. Yes, they liked it and happiness reigned.

Max feeding Anna leftoversYou too can share the joy of homemade low-sugar jam with your children and grand-children and nieces and nephews and neighbors and friends right now. Here are some recipes to get you started.

 

Jam Recipes You Can Make Now!

Sunrise Marmalade -- excerpted from Preserving with Pomona's Pectin by Allison Carroll Duffy. This jam is a kid favorite because it tastes just like Carrot Cake. As Allison says, "I'm a huge fan of carrot cake, and if it's possible to have a marmalade version of that delectable dessert, this is it. It's lightly spiced and lusciously sweet, and spread generously on dark bread with a bit of butter, this delicious marmalade is a perfect way to greet the morning."

Orange Jam -- Feel free to use any type of oranges or a mixture of oranges -- valencia, navel, cara cara, blood oranges, mandarins, tangerines, satsumas, mineolas.

Apple Pie Jam -- Apple Pie in a jar!  Use this recipe for plain Apple Jam also.

Kumquat Marmalade -- Another recipe from Allison Carroll Duffy, who says: "If you are not normally a fan of marmalade but are craving a bit of citrus, this is the marmalade to try!"

Terry's Chocolate Marmalade -- created by Sarah Reid, in case you missed the February Jam Notes. This recipe isn't approved for water bath processing, so make a small batch and eat it, freeze it, or give it away. Your friends and family will love you for it.

Black Tea Jelly -- also in February Jam Notes, from Allison Carroll Duffy: a much requested recipe finally here.

box of Pomona's PectinNeed some Pomona's Pectin? In the U.S. and Canada, use our Store Locator to find a store near you.

Or, go to the Order Page on our website to order online from us or one of our partners in Canada and Australia. Click on International on our order page for our UK partner, Cream Supplies, for shipping all around the world.

Preserving with Pomona's Pectin, by Allison Carroll Duffy, is available online from Barnes & Noble and Amazon, and other online sellers. Or ask your local bookstore to order it for you.


See the complete, original Jam Notes.

Jam Notes: New Recipes for Black Tea Jelly & Chocolate Marmalade

February 2015

We've Had So Many Requests for a

Black Tea Jelly Recipe

Happy Valentine's Day from Pomona's Pectin!

 

CanningCraft Creates:  Black Tea Jelly

By Allison Carroll Duffy

Allison Carroll Duffy

Allison Carroll Duffy

In the dark, cold, snowy days of February, a cup of hot tea is about the best pick-me-up I know.  This is not news, of course . . . folks have been enjoying this warming beverage in various forms for a very long time.  It's just that any time I sit down to enjoy a cup, taking a few brief moments to pause, breathe, and look out the window, I am reminded how wonderful and restorative something as simple as a cup of tea can be.

. . . since I love tea (and I'm guessing I'm not the only one), why not figure out more ways to enjoy it?  So, here you have it -- Black Tea Jelly.

CanningCraft Creates: Black Tea Jelly: Complete blog post with recipe from Allison Carroll Duffy

Black Tea Jelly: Recipe only

Tea Jelly & Toast & Tea

 

Terry's Chocolate Marmalade:
A Perfect Winter Flavor Combination

picture of Sarah Reid

Sarah Reid, blogger and recipe creator

Sarah Reid of Oshawa, Ontario, Canada created this recipe for Chocolate Marmalade. We made it and it was so good we asked her if we could share it. Lucky for all of us, she said yes!

Terry's Chocolate Marmalade Recipe

Sarah's blog, What Smells . . . So Good?, is a wealth of all kinds of jam and jelly recipes, as well as many other goodies to tempt your taste buds.

Terry's Chocolate Marmalade

Did You Know?

We have Guidelines for Developing or Converting Recipes.

New Pomona's Pectin Ordering Options

Canadians: You can now buy Pomona's Pectin in several different sizes directly from our website. Go to our Order Page and click on Canada.

Australians:  You can now buy Pomona's Pectin and our book, Preserving with Pomona's Pectin, in Australia from Green Living Australia, our new Australian partner. We hope you are as thrilled as we are!

New Zealanders: You can purchase Pomona's Pectin from Lenabosa Farm near Christchurch.

UK Jam Makers: If you have questions about using Pomona's Pectin, visit Branwen Farbrother at Branwens Kitchen. She is an expert and would love to help you!

All other countries: Our fantastic partner in Portsmouth, England, Cream Supplies, ships all over the world.

See the complete, original Jam Notes here.

CanningCraft Creates: Black Tea Jelly

picture of Allison Carroll DUffy

Allison Carroll Duffy

If you want to be notified when Allison Carroll Duffy’s guest blog posts arrive, subscribe to Jam Notes in the sidebar to the right of this page. Subscribers get “updates” via email.

Here’s Allison:

In the dark, cold, snowy days of February, a cup of hot tea is about the best pick-me-up I know. This is not news, of course . . . folks have been enjoying this warming beverage in various forms for a very long time. It's just that any time I sit down to enjoy a cup, taking a few brief moments to pause, breathe, and look out the window, I am reminded how wonderful and restorative something as simple as a cup of tea can be.

I really enjoy herbal teas, especially right before bed, but when it comes to an afternoon pick-me-up, I'm all about strong, black tea. So, when Mary Lou at Pomona's mentioned the idea of a tea jelly, that really got me thinking . . . since I love tea (and I'm guessing I'm not the only one), why not figure out more ways to enjoy it? So, here you have it – Black Tea Jelly.

When I was first working on this recipe, I thought that I might need to include some sort of fruit to make the jelly more interesting. But when I made a straight-ahead, plain black tea version, it quickly became clear that no fancy, extra ingredients were necessary. With nothing but tea, sugar, and lemon juice, this simple jelly is truly delicious.

Since there are few other ingredients to hide behind, the tea you use will make a difference. I used Irish Breakfast tea for this recipe, but most any variety of black tea is fine, as long as it's fresh and of good quality. Also, use loose leaf tea, not tea bags. Often tea that is in a bag is granular or powdery, as is some loose tea. You'll want to avoid any granular or powdery tea, and instead use loose leaf tea. The reason for this is simply that the strength of tea can vary quite a bit depending on how it was processed.

I created this recipe using loose leaf tea, and so to end up with a jelly of the right tea flavor and strength, you'll want to use loose leaf tea as well. Also, even if you don't typically use lemon in your tea, be sure to use it in your tea jelly as called for, as lemon juice is important in making this jelly safe to can.

I have a half-full jar of this jelly in my refrigerator at the moment, and I have to admit that I've been enjoying it by the spoonful. It's delicious slathered on toast as well – for breakfast or an afternoon snack – alongside a cup of tea, of course.

Tea Jelly & Toast & TeaBlack Tea Jelly

Black Tea Jelly is a low-sugar cooked jelly made with Pomona’s Pectin. Pomona's Pectin contains no sugar or preservatives and jells reliably with low amounts of any sweetener.

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.

Black Tea Jelly Ingredients

6 Tablespoons loose black tea leaves
4¼ cups boiling water
¼ cup lemon juice
4½ teaspoons calcium water
1 cup sugar
4½ teaspoons Pomona's Pectin powder

Black Tea Jelly 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. Place the tea leaves in a heat-proof bowl, then pour the boiling water into the bowl. Allow tea to steep for 10 minutes. Then, pour the tea through a fine-mesh strainer or cheesecloth into another container, reserving the tea liquid, and discarding the tea leaves.

3. Measure out 4 cups of the tea. (If you don't have quite enough, just add a little bit more water.) Pour the measured amount of tea into a large sauce pan. Add the lemon juice and calcium water, then stir to combine.

4. In a separate bowl, combine the sugar and pectin powder. Mix well and set aside.

5. Bring the tea mixture up to a rolling boil over high heat. Add 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.

6. 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).

7. 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.)

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

9. 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 and photo by Allison Carroll Duffy

Printable Copy of Black Tea Jelly recipe.

We had a crisis yesterday . . .

My mother-in-law recently returned home from a hospital stay and I'd brought over a meal to share. She asked me to get something from her freezer in the shed out back of her house.

We'd had a wind and rain storm here in Kitsap County Wednesday and evidently the breaker had tripped. I discovered her freezer was off and all the items were defrosted (albeit still cold) - including the harvest from her raspberry bushes she'd spent hours tending and picking last summer.

I knew we needed to preserve them right away, but it's been years since I'd made jam and we're trying to reduce our sugar - using agave and stevia instead. Anyway . . . I went online, found your site, and watched your video!

With renewed confidence, I dug out and dusted off my canning supplies, put my jars through the dishwasher, then went to the market for some Pomona's Pectin! By 9:00 last night, my daughter and I had a dozen jars of Christmas Raspberry Jam!

My family and neighbors will be receiving the fruits of our labors, along with scone
mix . . . all thanks to you, Connie, and your wonderful Pomona's Pectin.

Merry Christmas . . . and thank you!

Deby Berkimer
Poulsbo, Washington
December 20, 2014

I’m on a non-sugar, anti-fungal diet, but still wanted something sweet . . .

I just had to write and tell you how much I love your pectin and your recipes. I had never canned before but wanted to. My mother did some when I was real young.

I recently canned using Pomona's Pectin and your recipe for Apple Pie Jam. I used Xylitol for sweetener and did not use the allspice because I didn't have any. I also put it in the small 4-oz jars. Those are great as gifts, but then I started putting half in my yogurt each morning -- so it won't last long. (I'm single and I guess that's why I used the small jars!!! lol) I'll only use those again for something I'm not too sure about. . . .

But the jam tastes great!  And your pectin is fantastic. I'm on a non-sugar, anti-fungal diet, but still wanted something sweet -- and discovered Xylitol. My continued searching brought me to your website and and I love it.

Thank you so much for your recipes. They gave me the courage to can for my first time. It was somewhat time consuming -- but well worth it. I look forward to canning other foods, using Pomona's Pectin.

Betty Squyres
El Dorado, Arkansas
November 24, 2014

What Is a Conserve?

A Conserve is like a jam but, in addition to a primary fruit, a conserve usually contains other ingredients such as nuts or dried fruit, or even vegetables. Conserves can be sweet or savory, or a combination of both.

Some conserves, for example the Savory Spiced-Mango Conserve in Preserving with Pomona's Pectin, are very similar to chutneys. Some other examples from our cookbook include Savory Blueberry-Ginger Conserve, Apple-Raisin-Walnut Conserve, and Cherry-Amaretto Conserve.

pear-cranberry conserveTo give you a taste of a conserve, we are sharing this yummy fall recipe for Pear-Cranberry Conserve with Almonds and Crystallized Ginger, also from Preserving with Pomona's Pectin.

Enjoy!

My Jam or Jelly Is Too Thick

If your jam or jelly is too thick, the first question to ask is: Is it spreadable? The Pomona’s jell could be stiffer or firmer than you are used to, but it should be spreadable. If it’s not spreadable, then something went wrong.

The most usual cause for a too firm or rubbery texture with Pomona's is that you used less fruit than the recipe called for. Our recipes are calculated for mashed fruit. So if you use pieces of fruit or whole berries, you are actually using less fruit than if it were mashed, or cooked to a mash and then measured, and you will get a firmer jell.

MeasuringSpoonsOr you may have used more pectin than the recipe called for. For example, if you used Tablespoons of pectin rather than teaspoons.

Cooking can also affect the amount of fruit you are working with. For example, if you cook the fruit mixture for too long before adding pectin, you could reduce the fruit volume and make the pectin amount too high for the fruit you have left.

It is less likely that your jam would be too firm from overcooking after adding the pectin. Usually if you cook jam made with Pomona's for too long after adding the pectin, it will de-activate the pectin and you will get a poor jell.

Preserves on bagel

Strawberry-Vanilla Preserves from Preserving with Pomona's Pectin

If you want to use cut up pieces of fruit or whole berries and suspend them in a jelled syrup, that is what we call a preserve.

Strawberry-Vanilla Preserves, a recipe from our cookbook that is on our website, is an example of how to make a preserve with Pomona's. You'll notice that less pectin is used in this recipe for 4 cups of strawberry fruit mixture than for 4 cups of mashed strawberries. There are a couple of other preserve recipes on our website Recipe Page also.

All of this being said, the typical Pomona's jell is more like a fruit spread than a gloppy high-sugar jam. If you prefer a softer set, you can always use less pectin than called for in our recipes. We would suggest you experiment by using ¼ to ½ teaspoon less pectin than the recipe calls for, or perhaps up to a teaspoon less for recipes that call for 4 teaspoons of pectin. You would keep the calcium water amount the same.

If you jam or jelly didn't jell, you can learn more about why that might be and how to fix it here.

Jam Notes: Autumn Challenges & Holiday Recipes

November 2014

CanningCraft Creates:  Pear-Vanilla Jam

By Allison Carroll Duffy, Author of Preserving with Pomona's Pectin (Fair Winds Press, June 2013)

picture of Allison Carroll DUffy

Allison Carroll Duffy

Autumn is always an emotionally powerful– and often emotionally contradictory – time of year for me. On one hand, it feels like a time of new beginnings – due largely, I think, to the school calendar being so ingrained. I still find myself, oddly, thinking of September as “the beginning of the year,” and these new beginnings are often exciting and joyful. . . .

. . . Admittedly, this is a bit of a digression from jam. But all of this is to say that, when it comes to jam making – and cooking in general, for that matter – all I really care about right now is making food that's nourishing, delicious, and simple. Somehow that's what seems to be most important. And frankly, it's all I can manage at the moment anyway. Fortunately, this delicious jam fits the bill perfectly. Enjoy!

CanningCraft Creates: Pear-Vanilla Jam:  Complete blog post with recipe from Allison Carroll Duffy

Pear-Vanilla JamRecipe only

English Toffee — A Vegetarian Chocoholic’s Dream

English Toffee ready to be eaten

English Toffee ready to be eaten

by Kathleen Allison Johnson

When I was in high school I always brought my own lunch, but as the child of two chocoholics, I'd buy a slice of English Toffee dessert whenever it was offered in the cafeteria. . . . Continue reading blog post.

English Toffee, Recipe only

Blissini Jelly, an easy jelly created and contributed by Mari Morgan, made from equal parts Prosecco, pomegranate juice, and orange juice.

And on a final holiday note, Connie, Paul, and Mary Lou wish you the happiest of holidays over the upcoming season. Our wish for you is lots of good family time and lots of good, low-sugar-jam-eating time. You'll hear from us again in February 2015.

Connie, Paul, Pomona, and Mary Lou

Connie, Paul, Pomona, and Mary Lou

 

See the complete, original Jam Notes.

 

Jam Notes: English Toffee — A Vegetarian Chocoholic’s Dream

English Toffee ready to be eaten

English Toffee ready to be eaten

by Kathleen Allison Johnson

When I was in high school I always brought my own lunch, but as the child of two chocoholics, I'd buy a slice of English Toffee dessert whenever it was offered in the cafeteria. I got to know the "lunch ladies," and when I graduated (in a class of 814), I asked if I could have the recipe. They generously gave it to me, but their recipe made 300 servings.

I've always loved math as well as a challenge, so I figured out how to cut the recipe down to a more manageable size (an 8"x 8"x2" dish). I've been out of high school for (ahem) a while, so I'm guessing the lunch ladies are long gone and the recipe is probably no longer served.

In college, I became a vegetarian and never made English Toffee again because it called for gelatin, which is made from collagen in the connective tissue found in animals' skin, tendons, and ligaments – ick!

Fast-forward to today. Friends were coming over for dinner and a decadent chocolate dessert was expected. But what could I make that I hadn't already made countless times before? I'd recently read about Pomona's Pectin and decided to try the English Toffee, but substituting Pomona's Pectin for the gelatin. I read through Pomona's website for tips on how much to use and sent an email requesting advice. Mary Lou suggested using between ½ teaspoon and 1½ teaspoons. I chose the middle route and used 1 teaspoon.

The resulting dessert looked as I'd remembered, but I was a little worried my tastes had changed with time and exposure to other cultures. It seemed rather sugary to me; gratifyingly, my friends loved it.

Fearing my test subjects' – er, friends' – reactions may have been an anomaly, I made it again to serve at an Iceland travelogue I recently presented with my husband. Results were shockingly similar, with one woman declaring it to be chocolate mousse in disguise.

When I make English Toffee again, I'll cut back on the sugar – but that's just my taste. For all you other non-recovering chocoholics out there, consider giving it a try on your own test subjects, especially those who are vegetarians.

Get the English Toffee recipe here.

CanningCraft Creates: Pear-Vanilla Jam

Allison Carroll Duffy

Allison Carroll Duffy

If you want to be notified when Allison Carroll Duffy’s guest blog posts arrive, subscribe to Jam Notes  in the sidebar to the right of this page. Subscribers get “updates” via email.

Here’s Allison:

Autumn is always an emotionally powerful – and often emotionally contradictory – time of year for me. On one hand, it feels like a time of new beginnings – due largely, I think, to the school calendar being so ingrained. I still find myself, oddly, thinking of September as “the beginning of the year,” and these new beginnings are often exciting and joyful.

What's more, in some ways the natural world is at its most spectacular – late season fruits and vegetables are abundant, ripe, and ready for harvest; leaves turn brilliant, fiery shades of red and orange; and the light seems to have a rich, golden quality to it.

Yet, in the midst of all this beauty, so much around us is slowing down or dying – trees lose their leaves, plants wither, and animals prepare to hibernate – as we move closer and closer to winter. And of course, the flip side of fall’s new beginning is the inevitable change that comes with it, so the passage of time feels especially acute at this time of year. For me, it's a time when joy often overlaps with challenge and sadness. An emotionally complicated season for sure.

And this fall has been no exception. I am homeschooling both of our boys for the first time this year, and I've been working toward making this happen for quite some time. I'm thrilled that they are finally back home much of the time now – and so are they (admittedly, my oldest more so than my youngest). And yet, at times, it has been surprisingly difficult and emotionally trying as we all settle into our new routines.

On top of that, one of my closest family members suffered a life-threatening medical event a few weeks ago. After some extremely scary and upsetting days, he is now recovering well, and I am deeply, deeply grateful. Indeed, autumn is putting us through our paces this year; her complex nature is in full-flower . . . at least around these parts.

Admittedly, this is a bit of a digression from jam. But all of this is to say that, when it comes to jam making – and cooking in general, for that matter – all I really care about right now is making food that's nourishing, delicious, and simple. Somehow that's what seems to be most important. And frankly, it's all I can manage at the moment anyway. Fortunately, this delicious jam fits the bill perfectly. Enjoy!

bowl of pearsPear-Vanilla Jam

Pear-Vanilla Jam is a low-sugar cooked jam made with Pomona’s Pectin. Pomona's Pectin contains no sugar or preservatives and jells reliably with low amounts of any sweetener.

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.

Pear-Vanilla Jam Ingredients

3¼ pounds ripe pears
1 vanilla bean
¼ cup lemon juice
4 teaspoons calcium water
1 cup sugar
3 teaspoons Pomona's Universal Pectin powder

Pear-Vanilla Jam 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. Peel pears and remove cores. Then, place pears in a large bowl and mash them thoroughly (a potato masher works well for this).

3. Measure out 4 cups of the mashed pear (you may have some left over; if so, you can use it for something else.) Pour the measured amount of mashed pear into a large sauce pan.

4. Slice vanilla bean pod in half lengthwise, then scrape out the seeds (a paring knife works well for this). Add the vanilla seeds, along with the pod itself, to the mashed pear. Add the lemon juice and calcium water, then stir to combine.

5. In a separate bowl, combine the sugar and pectin powder. Mix well and set aside.

6. Bring the pear mixture up to rolling boil over high heat. Add sugar-pectin mixture, then stir vigorously for 1 to 2 minutes, still over the highest heat, to dissolve pectin. Return jam to a boil, then remove from heat. Using a pair of tongs, carefully remove and discard the vanilla bean pod.

7. 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).

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 to 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 to 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 and photos by Allison Carroll Duffy

pear-vanilla jam

Printable Copy of The Recipe Only Here!

Jam Notes: Our Giveaway Is Over, But the Recipes Go On, and On, and On . . .

September 2014

Two winners were chosen from our August Giveaway: Bernadette S. of Houston, Texas, and Sarah C. of San Mateo, California. You can read more about them in: And the August Giveaway Winners Are . . .

CanningCraft Creates: Rose Hip-Apple Jelly

By Allison Carroll Duffy, Author of Preserving with Pomona's Pectin (Fair Winds Press, June 2013)

Allison picking beach rosesBeach roses are a common sight here in coastal Maine, and I've always had a fondness for them – they remind me of salty air, sand, and the ocean.

Rose hips can be used in all kinds of ways, but one of my favorite things to do with them is to make jelly. For something a little different this year, I thought I'd combine them with apples, as apples are in season here now as well, and I find that their sweetness offsets the tartness of the rose hips beautifully. . . .

CanningCraft Creates: Rose Hip-Apple Jelly: Complete blog post with recipe from Allison Carroll Duffy

Rose Hip-Apple Jelly: Recipe only

More Recipe Ideas

White Nectarine-Lavender Jam, recipe created by Pomona's Jam Maker Karen Killebrew

Pear-Cranberry Conserve with Almonds and Crystallized Ginger, excerpted from Preserving with Pomona's Pectin by Allison Carroll Duffy

What Is A Conserve?

Find out here . . .

 

phone ringingTales from the Jamline . . .

Rrrrring! goes the telephone. "HELP," says the caller -- "I see you have a page on the website My Jam or Jelly Didn't Jell -- Can I Fix it? but I'm having the opposite problem. My jam is too thick. What did I do wrong?" Read more . . .

 

The Jam (S)Pot
Puts the Spotlight on a Pomona’s Jam Maker

Sandy Breininger of Sandra Lee’s Country Goodness wears a multitude of hats. She is a Nurse/RN and she works in retail, in addition to being a Master Food Preserver who makes and sells homemade jams and other good things to eat in her home state of Wisconsin. Continue reading about Sandy’s business . . .

More about Sandy’s creative process and advice for starting your own jam-making business . . .

Pomona's News

Connie's son Galen's wedding is over; Galen and Caitlen are back in New York City after a honeymoon to Nova Scotia; and we are back to work. Thank you to everyone for your congratulations and good wishes, and for your patience while we celebrated.

Here is a picture of Galen and Caitlen, affectionately known as Gaitlen, right after the ceremony.Galen & Caitlin

If you enjoy wedding and family pictures, we've posted a few more on our website, including all of Connie and Mary Lou's siblings; Galen's father Brian Summer, the original mastermind behind Pomona's Pectin, and Galen's cousins on Connie and Mary Lou's side of the family. Take a look here.

See the complete, original Jam Notes.

Some Family Pictures from Galen and Caitlin’s Wedding

Galen Summer, Connie's son, and Caitlin Dourmashkin were married on September 6, 2014, in Northampton, Massachusetts. Here are a few pictures for you to enjoy from our celebration.

Galen and Caitlen relaxing in preparation for the ceremony

Galen and Caitlen relaxing in preparation for the ceremony

 

Connie, Piyali (Galen's stepmother), and Brian (Galen's father). Brian is also the original mastermind behind Pomona's Pectin.

Connie, Piyali (Galen's stepmother), and Brian (Galen's father). Brian is also the original mastermind behind Pomona's Pectin.

 

All of Connie and Mary Lou's siblings attended the wedding -- 8 of us all born within 10 years of each other -- no twins!

All of Connie and Mary Lou's siblings attended the wedding -- 8 of us all born within 10 years of each other -- no twins!

 

Galen and Caitlin with Galen's cousins on Connie's side of the family

Galen and Caitlin with Galen's cousins on Connie's side of the family

 

Making their vows

Making their vows

CanningCraft Creates: Rose Hip-Apple Jelly

A picking rose hips

Allison gathering her rose hips

Beach roses are a common sight here in coastal Maine, and I've always had a fondness for them – they remind me of salty air, sand, and the ocean.

When we visit the shore in June and early July, these wild, hardy shrubs (technically called Rosa Rugosa) are covered with pretty pink or white flowers. In August, as the flowers fade, the plant's small, edible, round-ish fruits – or rose hips – become more prominent, growing larger and more colorful as they ripen. My feeling is always a little bittersweet when I notice that the rose hips have turned a deep, reddish-orange and have started to soften; it's a sure sign that summer is nearing its end.

Of course, the silver lining is that these gorgeous, sour-sweet rose hips are at their peak and ready to pick! Ripe rose hips are red and slightly soft, so when you are picking, look for these. Under-ripe rose hips are hard and quite sour, while over-ripe rose hips are often mushy and bug-infested . . . you'll obviously want to avoid both of those. Also, steer clear of any rose hips that may have been sprayed with pesticides.

bowl of rose hips

Rose hips can be used in all kinds of ways, but one of my favorite things to do with them is to make jelly. For something a little different this year, I thought I'd combine them with apples, as apples are in season here now as well, and I find that their sweetness offsets the tartness of the rose hips beautifully.

One thing to keep in mind when making this recipe (or any jelly recipe, for that matter) is that the amount of water you need for cooking the fruit in order to end up with the necessary amount of juice can vary a bit depending on the ripeness and juiciness of the fruit.

If, after a few hours, you find that your fruit mash is not yielding enough juice, simply dump the fruit back in the sauce pan, add a little bit more water, cover it, turn up the heat, and cook it for a couple of minutes. Then return the fruit mash to the jelly bag, hang it up again, and allow the bag to keep dripping until you have enough juice.

Tempting as it is to squeeze the jelly bag to get more juice out of it, try not to, as you'll end up squeezing some of the pulp into your juice, and that will result in a cloudy jelly.

 

jars of jelly on stepsRose Hip-Apple Jelly

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.

Rose Hip-Apple Jelly Ingredients

3 pounds rose hips
3 pounds apples
6 cups water
2 Tablespoons lemon juice
4 teaspoons calcium water
1 cup sugar
4 teaspoons Pomona's Pectin powder

Rose Hip-Apple Jelly 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. Cut off and discard the stems of the rose hips, along with any damaged spots. Rinse well.

3. Rinse the apples and coarsely chop. There is no need to remove the peels or the cores.

4. Combine rose hips, chopped apples, and the 6 cups of water in a large sauce pan. Cover and bring to a boil. Reduce heat slightly and simmer, stirring occasionally, until fruit is soft and mashable – about 15 to 20 minutes.

rose hips-apple in bowl

5. Remove pan from heat and thoroughly mash the fruit (a potato masher works well for this).

dripping juice6. Transfer mashed fruit into a jelly bag. (If you don't have a jelly bag, an impromptu bag made from layers of cheesecloth wrapped around the mashed fruit and gathered at the top works equally well.) Suspend the jelly bag over a large bowl and allow the mashed fruit to drip juice into the bowl until you have accumulated the necessary quantity. This will likely take 2 to 4 hours.

7. Measure out 4 cups of the juice. If you have any extra juice, save it for another use. Pour the measured amount of juice into a sauce pan, then add the lemon juice and calcium water. Stir to combine.

8. In a separate bowl, combine the sugar and the pectin powder. Mix well and set aside.

9. Bring juice mixture 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 mixture to a boil, then remove it from the heat.

10. 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).

11. 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.)

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

13. 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.

Rosehip-Apple Jelly

Rose Hip-Apple Jelly on whole wheat toast

 

Recipe and photos by Allison Carroll Duffy

Printable Copy of Rosehip-Apple Jelly Recipe only.

The Jam (S)Pot: Sandra Lee’s Country Goodness

Sandra BreiningerSandy Breininger of Sandra Lee’s Country Goodness wears a multitude of hats. She is a Nurse/RN and she works in retail, in addition to being a Master Food Preserver who makes and sells homemade jams and other good things to eat in her home state of Wisconsin.

As a jam maker who uses Pomona’s Pectin, Sandy proudly proclaims on her website: “My specialty foods are canned with low sugar, no corn syrup, and natural ingredients. My products are tasty and can be made to fit special needs or requests.”

To Sandy, her jars are jewels. She finds it incredibly rewarding to set jar after jar in a neat row on her pantry shelf – months of good eating – and she thinks you will find the same deep satisfaction in putting up your own food.

Jar of Sandra Lee's jam

As a Master Food Preserver, she is on a mission to teach others safe and proper food preservation techniques. As a young girl, Sandy watched and helped her grandmother can; then as a farmer’s wife and mother in Richland County, she started making jam and has never stopped. When she told her Extension Agent that she didn’t like all that sugar in jam, her agent recommended Pomona’s Pectin. Sandy tried it and was hooked.

Sandy has sold her products at farmers’ markets and craft fairs in Wisconsin, and has built up a clientele for whom she prepares custom orders, ranging from canned meats and soups to jams, jellies, sauces, and salsas. Her simple and beautiful website, Sandra Lee’s Country Goodness, will give you the details about her classes and how to order from her.

Sandy’s Creative Process and Advice for Starting Your Own Business . . .

The Jam (S)Pot: Sandy Breininger’s Creative Process and Advice for Starting Your Own Jam-Making Business

cropped2 Sandra BreiningerSandy Breininger, creator of Sandra Lee's Country Goodness in Wisconsin, enjoys the taste of food. Her creative juices start flowing when she’s eating and imagining a jam or jelly to complement the meal. She compares her process to picking a wine to go with a meal.

She likes to think outside the box when it comes to how to use her products – how about a jam as a cake frosting or filling, or a marinade or a condiment to go with a particular main dish? Her jams may combine cranberries and cherries, or strawberries and lemonade, or fruit and wine, for example.

Sandy thinks two excellent places to go for help if you want to start your own jam-making business are your local Extension Office and local Chamber of Commerce. Her advice is to keep it local – scout out farms and farmers’ markets for local fruit, wineries in your area, and grocery stores with high-quality produce. She employed a local graphic arts college student to design her logo, label, and website.

crancherryjam

Another tip: Sandy always hands out samples when she’s selling her products. She pairs crackers and cheese with some jams, chips and salsa with others, and bread with others.

As Sandy says, starting and running a jam-making or canning business is hard work and a long process. But for her, it is built on love. She started with feeding her family, then making for others and giving it away, until friends told her she had to start a business. So she did.

More information about Sandy and Sandra Lee's Country Goodness.

 

Your product has made our life SO much easier and more delicious.

We do love Pomona's. We are so incredibly thankful for Alana Chernila's book "Homemade Pantry," which introduced us to you. Your product has made our life SO much easier and more delicious. We have a small farm and a small orchard. We make jams with our fruit and honey and that was almost impossible with ordinary grocery store pectin products. Pomona's has been a lifesaver and a stress-reducer! THANK YOU so much for making this product and for making it available to people like me.

Peace be with you,

Hannah Larsen
Strasbourg, Saskatchewan, Canada
September 10, 2014

Thanks to Pomona’s Pectin, I can now “can” my own jam and jelly again.

I purchased Pomona's Pectin from our local co-op and can't wait to try all my jams and jellies with low sugar.  I have declined to make jam for myself and my daughter because of the high quantity of sugar specified.

My daughter uses low-grade maple syrup for sweetener and I have used agave sweetener, due to low sugar requirements.

Thanks to Pomona's Pectin I can now "can" my own jam and jelly again.  I will definitely be getting the cookbook.

JoAnn Luck-Johnson
August 27, 2014

And the August Giveaway Winners Are . . .

Pomona full sizeTwo names were randomly chosen by Rafflecopter on the day after Pomona's Day.

We are happy to announce that Bernadette S. from Houston, TX, and Sarah C. from San Mateo, CA, will each be the recipient from Pomona's Pectin of a copy of Preserving with Pomona’s Pectin and a box of Pomona's Pectin; and from Fillmore Container a case of 6 Orchard Road Jelly Jars, lids, and bands, and a stainless steel funnel.

Bernadette says: "I have been using Pomona's Pectin to make vegan cheese since October 2012, when I read about it in a blog post (Vedgedout.com). I have had consistently good results using Pomona's Pectin, with no set-up issues.

"This led me to use it in jam making, also with consistently good results. I stick to simple recipes since that is what I enjoy eating: strawberry, blueberry, peach, grape, orange. I peruse your website for ideas and tips, and follow you on social media.

"Fillmore Container was new to me until I read about them via the link on your site. Looking forward to trying their products.

"Upon receiving my gifts, I plan to make Pepper Jack Cheese, try Watermelon Jelly again and, once citrus is in season here in southeast Texas, beginning late fall/early winter, try a cranberry orange preserve, since those fruits go so well together. Maybe a blood orange jam. (Note from Pomona's: For Bernadette and the rest of us who didn't win, we have now added Watermelon Jelly and Watermelon Jam recipes to our website!)

"Also I will share Pomona's Pectin info at our monthly vegan potluck since people are looking for ways to make vegan eating easy and good. Again, thank you."

Gratefully, graciously, gracefully,
B

And Sarah says:  "I've only canned jam a handful of times. I heard about Pomona's soon after my first time, when I used traditional pectin. I wish I could remember exactly where, I think it was on a blog, and then I saw it in Williams Sonoma.

"I'm interested in a low-added-sugar diet (only partially successfully achieved), so Pomona's, with its low sugar compatibility, seems like a great resource I haven't tried yet.

"I hadn't actually heard of Fillmore Container until I saw the giveaway posted. I don't actually own any specialty canning equipment except for a small assortment of jars.

"I'm not a huge jam-eater so for a while I was doing an occasional splurge on artisan jam from my local Farmers' Market. I love cooking though, and canning/jamming seems to be an exciting new field for my experimentation.

"I'm really looking forward to reading Preserving with Pomona's Pectin and trying out the pectin and jars and funnel. Thank you so much!!"

Best,
Sarah

Our congratulations to both Bernadette and Sarah and thank you to everyone who participated. That’s all for now, but stay tuned, we may try this again!

I bought two boxes of Pomona’s Pectin and have had wonderful successes ever since.

Even though I've been canning for a few years, I recently took a local class on canning to see what tips I could pick up. Our instructor recommended Pomona Pectin to me when I mentioned to her that I had never been successful at getting my jams and jellies to set up. She suggested I not double or triple batches, but make one small batch at a time and use Pomona's Pectin for successful results. I went right out and bought two boxes of Pomona's Pectin and have had wonderful successes ever since. It's easy to use, a usage chart is included, and with the reduced sugar levels I now taste the flavor of the fruit instead of the sugar. I never have any trouble getting my jams/jellies to set up since using Pomona's Pectin.

I did have one problem when I forgot to mix the dry pectin in with the dry sugar and instead added it to the cooked fruit at the end. Strictly operator error, but your website and response to my phone call helped me solve that problem! Thank you for the help.

I now recommend Pomona's Pectin to my friends. I think it's the best pectin to use.
Thank you for a great product.

Your loyal customer,
Jackie Veats
Washington State
August 15, 2014

Jam Notes: A Giveaway to Celebrate Pomona’s Day! New Recipes Too . . .

August 2014

CanningCraft Creates: Seedless Raspberry-Honey-Vanilla Jam

By Allison Carroll Duffy, Author of Preserving with Pomona's Pectin (Fair Winds Press, June 2013)

Allison Carroll Duffy

Allison Carroll Duffy

I must admit to a somewhat sentimental attachment to raspberries. As a kid, I spent summers on an island (aptly named Raspberry Island) overflowing with wild raspberry bushes.

My brother and I would spend hours amidst the brambles picking the bright red, sweet-tart, little gems. . . .

CanningCraft Creates: Seedless Raspberry-Honey-Vanilla Jam: Complete blog post with recipe from Allison Carroll Duffy

Seedless Raspberry-Honey-Vanilla Jam: Recipe only

Celebrate Pomona's Day! Enter our Give Away:

Book, Pectin, Jars, Funnel!

The Roman Goddess Pomona and her husband Vertumnus shared the Roman festival, Vertumnalia, on August 13. In honor of Pomona, we are choosing 2 winners, each to receive a copy of Preserving with Pomona's Pectin, by Allison Carroll Duffy, and a box of Pomona's Pectin. Fillmore Container is joining with us and giving each winner a case of 6 Orchard Road 8-oz jelly jars, lids, and bands, and a stainless steel funnel. Click on the link below to enter.

Statue of Pomona

Pomona was the goddess of fruitful abundance in ancient Roman religion and myth. Her name comes from the Latin word pomum, "fruit," specifically orchard fruit. Pomona was the goddess of fruit trees, gardens, and orchards. She watches over and protects fruit trees and cares for their cultivation. She was not actually associated with the harvest of fruit itself, but with the flourishing of the fruit trees.

 

Give Away is open to anyone with a mailing address in the U.S. or Canada. Everyone gets 2 Free Entries. We will announce the winners on our website by August 15 and in the September Jam Notes.

Enter the Giveaway Here!

And Get the Recipe for Gingered Lemon-Fig Preserves here.

Pomona's News

We have a wedding in the family. Connie's son, Galen, is getting married to Caitlin on September 6 in Northampton, Massachusetts. The whole family will be there (and we have a big one!), which means Connie and Mary Lou have lots of preparation to do, and after that lots of celebrating. In honor of the wedding, we are:

Closing Pomona's for all business, both Shipping and Jamline, from Thursday, 9/4 through Tuesday, 9/9.

We will reopen on Wednesday, 9/10.If you know you will be needing pectin, please order NOW!

Caitlin, Galen, and Connie

Caitlin, Galen, and Connie in Shelburne Falls, MA

See the complete, original Jam Notes.

CanningCraft Creates: Seedless Raspberry-Honey-Vanilla Jam

Allison Carroll Duffy

Allison Carroll Duffy

I must admit to a somewhat sentimental attachment to raspberries. As a kid, I spent summers on an island (aptly named Raspberry Island) overflowing with wild raspberry bushes.

My brother and I would spend hours amidst the brambles picking the bright red, sweet-tart, little gems. Occasionally we'd pick enough berries that we'd need to use our t-shirts as makeshift baskets to carry them back to the house, but mostly we would just eat them as we picked.

Sentimental attachments aside, raspberries are just plain delicious – the quintessential summer fruit. So when we moved to our new home a few years ago, one of the first things we planted was a good-sized patch of raspberry bushes. Finally this summer, the canes are starting to bear a decent quantity of fruit.

Our boys are thrilled; recently they've gotten in the habit of running down to the raspberry patch at various points during the day to see if there are any newly ripe berries . . . and if there are, they eat them immediately. They've become such berry fans that I had to ask them to hold off on the eating part for just a bit so that I could have enough berries to make this recipe! A good problem to have, of course.

Connor, Dylan, and the raspberries

Connor and Dylan in the raspberry patch

 

Raspberry seeds don't really bother me (they aren't nearly as annoying as blackberry seeds), so I generally just ignore them. On occasion, however, I've thought that it might be nice to indulge in a bit of raspberry goodness totally unencumbered by seeds. So the boys and I made this recipe the other day.

 

Jar of jam

To remove the seeds, I pressed mashed raspberries through a fine mesh strainer. It's a bit of a time-intensive process, but the results are totally worth it. This jam is smooth in the way that a jelly is, but has much more body since it's made from the pulp of the fruit, not just the juice (as is the case with most jellies).

For the sweetest, richest-tasting jam, be sure to use berries that are fully ripe.

 

 

Seedless Raspberry-Honey-Vanilla Jam

cropped raspberry jam on breadSeedless Raspberry-Honey-Vanilla Jam is a low-honey cooked jam made with Pomona’s Pectin. Pomona's Pectin contains no sugar or preservatives and jells reliably with low amounts of any sweetener. See below for where to buy. This recipe was created by Allison Carroll Duffy for Pomona’s Pectin.

She says: "This jam is smooth in the way that a jelly is, but it has much more body since it's made from the pulp of the fruit, not just the juice (as is the case with most jellies). For the sweetest, richest-tasting jam, be sure to use berries that are fully ripe."

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.

Seedless Raspberry-Honey-Vanilla Jam Ingredients

3 level quarts of raspberries
1 vanilla bean
2 teaspoons calcium water
1 cup honey
2 teaspoons Pomona's Pectin powder

Seedless Raspberry-Honey-Vanilla Jam 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.

Baskets of berries

2. Pick through raspberries, discarding any stems. If raspberries look clean, rinsing them is optional.

3. Place berries in a large bowl and mash them thoroughly (a potato masher works well for this).

cropped Mashing raspberries

4. Place a mesh strainer over a large bowl, and transfer mashed berries into the mesh strainer. Press the mashed berries through the strainer (the back of a wooden spoon, as well as clean fingers, works well for this), so that the raspberry pulp goes through the strainer into the bowl below, while the seeds remain in the strainer.

Mashing with little sieve

5. Measure out 4 cups of the raspberry pulp (you may have some left over; if so, you can use it for something else.) Pour the measured pulp into a large sauce pan.

6. Slice vanilla bean pod in half lengthwise, then scrape out the seeds (a paring knife works well for this). Add the vanilla seeds, along with the pod itself, to the raspberry pulp. Add the calcium water as well, and stir to combine.

7. In a separate bowl, combine the honey and pectin powder. Mix well and set aside.

8. Bring raspberry pulp to rolling boil over high heat. Add honey-pectin mixture, then stir vigorously for 1 to 2 minutes, still over the highest heat, to dissolve pectin. Return jam to a boil, then remove from heat. Using a pair of tongs, carefully remove and discard the vanilla bean pod.

9. 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).

10. 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.)

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

12. Allow jars to cool undisturbed for 12 to 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 and photos by Allison Carroll Duffy

You will find the recipe only (with fewer pictures) here.

You will find our Pomona's Day Give Away (book, pectin, jars, funnel), which is happening August 5 through August 13, 2014, here.

August 2014 — Giveaway to Celebrate Pomona’s Day! Scroll Down to See Winners . . .

Pomona full size

Pomona, our namesake, was the Roman goddess of fruitful abundance. Her name comes from the Latin word pomum, "fruit," specifically orchard fruit. Pomona watches over and protects fruit trees and cares for their cultivation. Her festival day is August 13.

In her honor, Pomona's Pectin and Fillmore Container have put together a gift pack for 2 lucky winners. Each winner will receive --

From us:
~ A copy of Preserving with Pomona's Pectin by Allison Carroll Duffy (75 inspiring low-sugar jam, jelly, preserve, conserve, and marmalade recipes)
~ A box of Pomona's Pectin.

Preserving with Pomona Pectin cover

 

From Fillmore Container:
One case of Orchard Road regular mouth 8-oz jelly jars (6 jars)
~ One pack of Orchard Road regular mouth lids and bands (6 per pack)
~ One regular mouth stainless funnel

Orchard Road jars & funnel

Orchard Road jars & funnel

Also in the spirit of celebration, we are sharing with you the recipe for Gingered Lemon-Fig Preserves from Preserving with Pomona's Pectin (see below for the recipe).

This Giveaway is open to anyone with a mailing address in the U.S. or Canada who is 18 years or older. The entry dates are from August 5 through August 13, 2014 (Pacific Daylight Time).

There is nothing special you need to do to enter the Giveaway. Everyone gets 2 free entries.

If you've never entered a Rafflecopter Giveaway, click here for a video and diagram of how it works.

Leaving a comment on this blog post does not enter you into the Giveaway, but of course we always love to get your comments!

Winners will be randomly chosen. We will email the winners to send us their mailing address. The names of the winners will be posted on the Pomona's Pectin website blog 48 hours after the giveaway ends.

Enter the Giveaway using the box below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Get the Gingered Lemon-Fig Preserves recipe.

Gingered Lemon-Fig Preserves from "Preserving with Pomona's Pectin" by Allison Carroll Duffy.

Gingered Lemon-Fig Preserves from "Preserving with Pomona's Pectin" by Allison Carroll Duffy.

 

Read Allison's August 2014 guest blog post and brand new recipe for Seedless Raspberry-Honey-Vanilla Jam.

Visit Fillmore Container's website. They are a purveyor of all kinds of containers & closures, canning accessories, party supplies, and candle supplies. They also sell Pomona's Pectin!

What to do? Make jam with Pomona’s!

With a bumper crop of berries hanging on our bushes, our freezer was soon too full to accommodate any more. What to do? Make jam with Pomona's!

I have been a fan of this pectin since 2005 and can't say enough about how easy it is to use and how helpful Connie has been on the Jamline when I got myself into a wee bit of a jam jam.

I'm impressed with how the website has grown to be even more informative and organized! Good job!

Carol Entin
Rehoboth, MA
August 2, 2014

Master Food Preservers Have a Mission — Teaching About Canning Safety

With the current explosion of interest in home food preservation – be it pickling, jamming, fermenting, or freezing – where are home preservers supposed to go for answers to their questions? Who out there has the most up-to-date understanding of food safety issues and approved practices?

Yes, you guessed it – your local Master Food Preserver (or MFP), trained by your local County Extension Office, and now a willing volunteer to answer your questions over the phone; teach classes; staff tables at Farmers’ Markets, County Fairs, and other such venues; and even make presentations to church groups and other organizations.

Never heard of a Master Food Preserver? Well, either had I until I started working with my sister Connie to bring you Pomona’s Pectin. So I decided to interview a few MFPs to find out who they are, how they got to be MFPs, what they do, and how you, if you’re interested, can follow in their footsteps.

I heard from MFPs in Washington, California, Idaho, Indiana, and Maine. Below is a summary of what I learned. For more detail about a particular state, click on that state. For information about states not included, search the internet, give a call to your County Extension Office, or go to their website.

What is an MFP and how do you become one? MFPs complete extensive training: usually spending around 40 hours in the classroom, studying assigned reading materials, and participating in hands-on training. The focus is food safety and food preserving methods. To be certified, an MFP must pass a written exam and commit to a number of volunteer hours in the community.

An MFP’s mission is then to help educate the public in a variety of ways, under the supervision of their Country Extension Office. To become an MFP, you need to learn about your local County Extension program, sign up, and likely pay a small fee for materials.

What are the qualities of a good MFP? Good MFPs: (1) have more than a passing interest in food safety and food preservation; (2) have the desire and time to volunteer for community service; (3) are curious, analytical, and personable; (4) like to teach and can communicate well; (5) have a passion for food preservation, people and fun!

Becoming an MFP means joining a community of like-minded individuals, both men and women. If you’re interested, there’s no time like the present!

Jam Notes: Rhubarb & Cherries — Oh So Good!

June 2014

CanningCraft Creates: Sweet Cherry-Rhubarb Jam

By Allison Carroll Duffy, Author of Preserving with Pomona's Pectin (Fair Winds Press, June 2013)

Allison's son cutting rhubarb

Allison's son cutting rhubarb

I love rhubarb season. Here in Maine, rhubarb is one of the earliest fresh green edibles to emerge from the soil each spring, so it's always a much-anticipated treat.  It's delicious in pie, in jam, or simply stewed with a little honey.

Allison Carroll Duffy

Allison Carroll Duffy

Its sour, slightly astringent tang also makes it a perfect partner for sweeter fruits.  Strawberries and rhubarb are a classic combination, but lately I've been itching to try some other pairings.  Sweet cherries are a favorite of mine, and while they're not in season here in Maine yet, some readers in warmer climates may have local cherries available, so I thought I'd give Cherry-Rhubarb Jam a go. . .

CanningCraft Creates: Sweet Cherry-Rhubarb Jam: Complete blog post with recipe from Allison Carroll Duffy

Sweet Cherry-Rhubarb Jam: Recipe only

What Is A Preserve?

Preserves on bagel

Strawberry-Vanilla Preserves from Preserving with Pomona's Pectin

Learn about Preserves and get the recipe for Strawberry-Vanilla Preserves.

 

 

 

 

phone ringingTales from the Jamline . . .

Rrrrring! goes the telephone. "HELP," says the caller -- "I used Turbinado sugar to make my jam and the pectin clumped when I added it to the hot fruit mixture. What happened?"

large sugar crystals

Example of large sugar crystals. Photo by warrenski flickr.com
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/

Because Pomona's Pectin is pure pectin powder and not already mixed with sugar or dextrose, it will clump when it comes into contact with liquid.

That's why it's necessary to mix the pectin thoroughly into the sweetener or dissolve it in hot water or juice in a blender before adding it to the hot fruit mixture.

More about how to use Turbinado or other large-crystal sugars.

 

Master Food Preservers Have a Mission –

Teaching About Canning Safety

With the current explosion of interest in home food preservation – be it pickling, jamming, fermenting, or freezing – where are home preservers supposed to go for answers to their questions? Who out there has the most up-to-date understanding of food safety issues and approved practices?

Yes, you guessed it – your local Master Food Preserver (or MFP), trained by your local County Extension Office, and now a willing volunteer to answer your questions over the phone; teach classes; staff tables at Farmers’ Markets, County Fairs, and other such venues; and even make presentations to church groups and other organizations.

Learn more about Master Food Preservers and how to become an MFP.

The Jam (S)Pot
Puts the Spotlight on a Pomona’s Jam Maker

Katharine at the market

Katharine Salzberger, Jam Maker in Chief for her small and successful business (Oh, Wow! Gourmet Foods) in Longmont, Colorado, began making jam in 2013. Looking for a way to preserve her garden produce, especially the fresh herbs, she came up with low-sugar "herbal fruit spreads," like Blueberry Basil, Strawberry Mint, Peach Ginger, and Four Berry Rosemary.

Continue reading about Katharine's business and her advice for starting your own jam-making business . . .

See the complete, original Jam Notes.

California Master Food Preserver Program

Four Master Food Preservers from California shared their experiences with us. The information below is a composite of their answers to the interview questions.

What exactly is a Master Food Preserver?
In California, University of California Cooperative Extension Master Food Preserver volunteers (MFPs) are unpaid staff members of the University of California and work through the UC Cooperative Extension program (UCCE) to educate the community on the safe practices of food preservation, including pickling, fermenting, dehydrating, canning and more. We are under the umbrella of the University of California Department of Agriculture and Natural Resources (UCANR).

A Master Food Preserver has participated in a training program (includes reading materials, lectures, tests, and hands-on training) taught by the cooperative extension office in their county. The program’s purpose is to promote safe home food preservation by training individuals (MFP’s), who then become volunteer teachers/advisors in the community. The emphasis of the program is volunteerism. There is an annual commitment to volunteer and continuing education hours that must be maintained to be a certified Master Food Preserver.

Some of the activities MFPs are chartered with:
• Answering consumer phone and email questions about food preservation
• Working in the community as local food preservation specialists
• Staffing information booths and demonstrating USDA-approved home food preservation methods at local fairs and events
• Writing articles for local publications and newsletters
• Teaching classes on various food preservation and food safety topics
• Testing pressure canner gauges for accurate use

Who do you recommend to become an MFP?
Anyone who enjoys, or thinks they would enjoy, learning about food preservation and also sharing that knowledge in and around their community. But, it's important to have more than just a passing interest in food preservation because the purpose of the program is to become certified to teach others and the instruction (lectures, quizzes, final exam, etc.) is approached a bit like a college class. Also, there is a charge for materials. Unless a person is prepared to complete the requirements and then “give back to the community” upon completion, I would not recommend it. The MFP program is not recommended for someone who is simply looking for food preservation classes; the MFP program is designed to give back to our community.

What do you love about being a Master Food Preserver?
I love being an MFP – for a long list of reasons! Contributing to the community in the role of “trusted advisor” is very gratifying. I get to talk to a diverse group of people about their different preserving interests and projects. Living where we do in California, we have a wonderful legacy of agriculture and home food production, and I see the richness of it in these conversations. For example, last summer we staffed a booth at a local pumpkin festival and I had a conversation with a gentleman who described his grandfather’s recipe for pickled figs. (Fig trees grow here like weeds.) The pride that the gentleman had in his heirloom recipe was clear and it was awesome to hear about it.

Did it lead to a paying job or a volunteer job for you?
For all, it is a volunteer job. In California, MFPs are technically not permitted to make any income or earnings if we advertise ourselves as members of the MFP group.

Where can someone get more information about the U. of California Cooperative Extension Master Food Preserver program?
Currently, the process to become a certified MFP in California varies among the counties that have the program (Humboldt, Central Sierra, Sacramento, San Bernardino, Orange County, and Los Angeles). Effective the first of this year it is now a “state-wide” program and there will be more counties coming on-line in the future. Statewide standards are in process and will be in place next year. Because of the recent surge in interest in food preservation, UC Extension is ramping up to start new MFP volunteer programs throughout the state. Sacramento County was the first in California in 1983.

This link will take you to the U. of California Cooperative Extension Master Food Preserver webpage.

Idaho Master Food Preserver Information

Eight Master Food Preservers (also known as Master Food Safety Advsiors) from Idaho shared their experiences with us. The information below is a composite of their answers to the interview questions.

What exactly is a Master Food Preserver?
A volunteer who has attended 6 weeks of classes taught by trained food safety faculty of the University of Idaho Extension program in order to be certified to educate others in food safety, food preparation and preservation, and food-related emergency preparedness. They have passed the final test and completed the required 30 hours of volunteer work in the community in their first year. After that, they are required to complete 20 hours of volunteer work each year.

Who do you recommend to become an MFP?
Someone who loves food and is interested in food safety. It's important to have good people skills, be willing to work with anyone, and be able to explain information clearly. An MFP needs to have the time to complete the volunteer hours required and the desire to give back to the community.

What is enjoyable to you about being a Master Food Preserver?
Ongoing monthly trainings on a wide variety of topics; knowing how to preserve food that is safe for me and my family and feeling knowledgeable to share safety information with others; friendships with other volunteers; doing the volunteer work itself; networking with other preserving "foodies."

Did it lead to a paying job or a volunteer job for you?
For all, it is a volunteer job.

Where can someone get more information about the U. of Idaho Extension Master Food Preserver program?
Look in the newspaper; watch the website for signup times; the Western Idaho Fair; visiting the extension office; a flyer in the library.

This link will take you to the U. of Idaho Extension Master Food Preserver webpage.

Indiana Master Food Preserver Information

Jody Taylor, a Master Food Preserver in Franklin, Indiana, and member of the Johnson County Homemakers' Extension Club since 2010, had this to say about the Indiana Master Food Preserver program.

What exactly is a Master Food Preserver?
Someone who has successfully completed the Master Food Preserver Training Program. The program in our area is offered by the local extension educator through the Purdue Extension Service/Johnson County Indiana. The course consists of a 40-hour training program, which includes lecture, group discussion, hands-on lab, and preservation processing, and concludes with a written exam assessing one's knowledge of the information learned. The purpose of the class is to increase the participants knowledge of the following areas:

a. Food Safety
b. Freezing Foods
c. Boiling Water Bath Canning
d. Pressure Canning
e. Drying Foods
f. Fermented and Pickled Products
g. Jams and Jellie Products

How did you become a Master Food Preserver?
I originally found out about our local MFP program in our local newspaper. I became interested in order to further my knowledge of food safety and canning. I grew up watching and helping my aunt with canning on her farm during the summers of my childhood. After moving to the country with my own family and growing fruits and vegetables, I had the desire to preserve the food we were raising and pursue a level of self-sufficiency.

By taking the MFP course, I began my journey with home canning, which has led to my involvement with other courses offered by our state extension program. These have included: Backyard Fruit Growers, Home Based Food Vendor, Introduction to Starting a Specialty Food Business in Indiana, Master Gardening Program, and a Pastured Poultry Series Webinar. However MFP is definitely an onsite, hands-on, learning experience and requires a substantial time commitment, but is well worth the effort. Indiana is blessed with Purdue University, which offers a wealth of knowledge and resources to our state.

What do you do as an MFP?
As an MFP, I utilize the training I received to make products for our family that include salsas, pickes, relishes, canned fruit, pie fillings, flavored vinegars, jams/jellies, fruit syrups and sauces, and dried fruits/vegetables and herbs.

Who do you recommend to become an MFP?
Anyone with an interest in the area may apply for the class whether she/he is a beginner or experienced home food preservationist. I would recommend becoming an MFP to anyone with a desire to can whether for family or the public. Through the years, canning has become a "dying art." No longer is it a necessity for survival and those who grew up with it are dying.

It is really time for those of us remaining to revitalize the spirit of independence and self-sufficiency that comes with growing and/or preparing our own food. Not only is it more fresh, delicious, and economical, but it grounds us to the world we live in. No longer must we be just consumers, we can produce!

Did it lead to a paying job or a volunteer job for you?
Being an MFP has given me critical food safety knowledge so I can provide safe, delicious products to my family and our local community through my involvement with our local farmers' market. This has led to my own small business start-up company known as Boys And Berry Farm, LLC. The primary products offered by my company are a wide variety of jams and jellies. Current inventory includes over 40 varieties of fruit-based jams and also pepper jellies.

As a home-based vendor, I am limited in what I can sell to the public based on our Indiana legislation, House Enrolled Act 1309. This states that home-based vendors are limited to high-acid canning via boiling water bath due to public safety concerns, primarily regarding botulism. For example, home pressure-canned green beans are not allowed. Canning of that nature requires a retail procedure and a commercial kitchen for processing.

My bio includes being a physical therapist, but I have been a stay-at-home mom for a number of years, raising our three boys. Launching my home-based business has turned my hobby into a profitable endeavor from which I receive a tremendous amount of enjoyment and creative fulfillment. It has been a very rewarding experience as a way of connecting with our local community.

 

Maine Master Food Preserver Information

Allison Carroll Duffy, author of Preserving with Pomona's Pectin and her own CanningCraft website, and a Master Food Preserver in Maine, had this to say about the Maine Master Food Preserver program.

What exactly is a Master Food Preserver?
A Master Food Preserver is someone who is trained through a Master Food Preserver Program, offered through certain state extension offices. It is an in depth program, about 40 or so hours of training, over a period of several months. Training includes many aspects of food preservation, such as canning, drying, freezing, fermenting, and root cellaring. After completing the training, first year MFPs are required to give at least 20 hours of volunteer service as an MFP. In subsequent years, MFPs are required to give a minimum of 10 hours of volunteer service per year to remain in good standing as an MFP.

How did you become a Master Food Preserver?
I had been growing and preserving food for almost 10 years prior to my MFP training, but all of my food preservation learning had been through books or learning by doing on my own. I always loved preserving and decided I wanted more in-depth knowledge on the subject, so I decided to take the MFP training course.

How did you find out about the program in Maine?
I found out about the MFP program though a mention on a group listserve I participate in. Someone who is interested can call the Maine MFP program at the University of Maine Cooperative Extension in Falmouth, Maine or visit the U. of Maine Master Food Preserver web page.

What specifically do you do as an MFP?
I volunteer at various events organized by our local MFP program -- for example, I might staff the MFP booth at a fair or do a preserving demo at a local event.

Who do you recommend to become an MFP?
Anyone with at least a little bit of food preservation experience who is interested in deepening their knowledge of food preservation, and who has an interest in sharing their knowledge with others. The MFP training does not require any previous knowledge, but because it's a very in-depth course and requires an additional volunteer commitment, I think it's a good idea to be sure that you really enjoy food preservation before making the commitment.

Did it lead to a paying job or a volunteer job for you?
I continue to do some volunteer work as an MFP, but my hope in becoming an MFP was always that it would eventually lead to paying work. And fortunately it did. I wrote a book on canning and jam-making in partnership with the folks at Pomona's Pectin, and I teach classes and workshops on food preservation. Prior to taking my MFP course, I already had a background in food, and my MFP training was a great addition to my education, really contributing to getting my food-related work/business off the ground.

Washington Master Food Preserver Program

Four Master Food Preservers from Washington shared their experiences with us. The information below is a composite of their answers to the interview questions.

What exactly is a Master Food Preserver?
In Washington State, Master Food Preservers are trained volunteers who conduct outreach education through Washington State University (WSU). In order to be a trained volunteer, a person must complete the training program (over 30 hours of classroom instruction plus laboratory), and complete oral and written exams. Once certified as a volunteer, an MFP is considered an unpaid employee of WSU, and so is covered by liability insurance while conducting business.

MFPs commit to 50 hours of volunteer time as part of the program, providing assistance to County and State Extension faculty in educating the public on up-to-date, research-based food safety/preservation techniques, with an emphasis on handling and preserving food safely for optimum quality. No specific education is necessary, but you must be 18 years old.

Volunteers must be re-certified every year. The MFP program was started in Washington State, being modeled after the Master Gardener program. The first year of the program was 1976.

What specifically do MFPs do?
We staff information booths at farmers' markets, county fairs, and festivals; teach classes; give demonstrations; mentor new canners; write blogs; do Facebook and Pinterest pages. We answer questions from phone calls, test pressure gauges, distribute print materials, do television and radio shows. We may do presentations to church groups or other volunteer organizations

Who do you recommend to become an MFP?
Anyone who has a passion for food preservation, people, and fun! Someone who can deliberate and is curious, analytical, and personable. Our job is serious business, but we can have fun while doing it!

What do you love about being a Master Food Preserver?
Talking to the public about their experiences and how they might improve their food preservation practices. The sense of community and the willingness of MFPs to help others. Being a "citizen scientist" with expertise in food preservation.

Where can someone get more information about the Washington State Master Food Preserver program?
Contact your county Cooperative Extension office. Twenty-five years ago there were MFP programs all across the state. Today there are only two active offices – Benton County and Clark County – call one of those.

This link will take you to the Clark County Master Food Preserver webpage. This link will take you to the Benton County Master Food Preserver webpage.

CanningCraft Creates: Sweet Cherry-Rhubarb Jam

Allison Carroll Duffy

Allison Carroll Duffy

I love rhubarb season. Here in Maine, rhubarb is one of the earliest fresh green edibles to emerge from the soil each spring, so it's always a much-anticipated treat. It's delicious in pie, in jam, or simply stewed with a little honey.

Its sour, slightly astringent tang also makes it a perfect partner for sweeter fruits. Strawberries and rhubarb are a classic combination, but lately I've been itching to try some other pairings. Sweet cherries are a favorite of mine, and while they're not in season here in Maine yet, some readers in warmer climates may have local cherries available, so I thought I'd give Cherry-Rhubarb Jam a go.

 

cherries

And what a treat it is! The jam is a beautiful deep, rich red, and the cherries are sweet enough to offset the tartness of the rhubarb without having to add a lot of extra sugar. Be sure to use sweet cherries (Bing cherries, for example), not sour cherries.

To remove the cherry pits, you can use a pitter if you have one, but it's not necessary; simply slice the cherries in half with a paring knife and pick out the pits. To chop the pitted cherries, I use a chef's knife, but you can also chop them in a food processor.

cutting rhubarbAs for the rhubarb, select fresh, firm stalks. Most rhubarb for sale at farmers’ markets or grocery stores has already been trimmed, but if not (or, if you're harvesting it yourself) be sure to trim it thoroughly, completely removing and discarding all leaves. The stalks are the only part you want to use, as the leaves themselves are poisonous.

 

trimmed rhubarbTypically, the stalks are similar in size to celery stalks, though this can vary. The color varies also, from green to red and anywhere in between. For the deepest red jam, select stalks that are red rather than green. In terms of taste and texture, though, both work equally well – and both make delicious jam.

 

Try this jam swirled into yogurt or on top of vanilla ice cream . . . oh so good!

cherry-rhubarb jam-yogurt

 Sweet Cherry-Rhubarb Jam

Sweet Cherry-Rhubarb Jam is a low-sugar cooked jam made with Pomona’s Pectin. Pomona's Pectin contains no sugar or preservatives and jells reliably with low amounts of any sweetener. This recipe was created by Allison Carroll Duffy for Pomona’s Pectin.

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.

Sweet Cherry-Rhubarb Jam Ingredients

1¼ pounds sweet cherries
1 pound trimmed rhubarb stalks
½ cup water
2 tablespoons lemon juice
3 teaspoons calcium water
1¼ cups sugar
2 ½ teaspoons Pomona's Universal Pectin Powder

Sweet Cherry-Rhubarb Jam 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 cherries, remove and discard stems and pits, then chop the cherries.

3. Rinse the rhubarb stalks, slice them into thin, length-wise strips, then dice. In a saucepan, combine diced rhubarb with the ½ cup of water and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer, stirring occasionally, for approximately 5 minutes, or until rhubarb is soft. Remove pan from heat, then mash the rhubarb.

4. Measure 2 cups of the chopped cherries, and 2 cups of the mashed rhubarb. If you have extra, save it for another use. Pour the measured amounts of cherries and rhubarb into a sauce pan. Add lemon juice and calcium water and stir to combine.

5. In a separate bowl, combine the sugar and the pectin powder. Mix well and set aside.

6. Bring the cherry-rhubarb mixture 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 mixture to a boil, then remove it from the heat.

7. 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).

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. 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 and photos by Allison Carroll Duffy

What Is a Preserve?

Preserves on bagel

Strawberry-Vanilla Preserves from Preserving with Pomona's Pectin

A preserve is different from a jam! "In a preserve the fruit remains more whole; small berries or cherries are left as is, and larger fruits, such as apples or peaches are cut into uniform chunks," says Allison Carroll Duffy in Preserving with Pomona's Pectin.

The fruit is then suspended in jelled liquid, as you can see in the photo to the right. When making a preserve, you can use a smaller amount of Pomona's Pectin because you are only jelling the liquid not the fruit.

To illustrate, here are the ingredients for Allison's recipe for Strawberry-Vanilla Preserves, excerpted from Preserving with Pomona's Pectin.

Strawberry-Vanilla Preserves Ingredients

2¼ pounds strawberries
½ cup water
1 vanilla bean
1½ teaspoons calcium water
1¼ cups sugar
1½ teaspoons Pomona’s Pectin powder

And here is the complete recipe -- Enjoy!

The Jam (S)Pot: Katherine Salzberger of Oh Wow! Gourmet Foods in Colorado

Katharine at the market

Katharine Salzberger, Jam Maker in Chief for her small and successful business (Oh Wow! Gourmet Foods) in Longmont, Colorado, began making jam in 2013.

Herbs in a potLooking for a way to preserve her garden produce, especially the fresh herbs, she came up with low-sugar "herbal fruit spreads," like Blueberry Basil, Strawberry Mint, Peach Ginger, and Four Berry Rosemary.

After starting with grocery store pectin, Katharine got frustrated and found Pomona's Pectin online. She says, "Using Pomona's changed my business. . . .We were no longer slaves to thermometers and could easily scale our recipes. Now our products set properly each and every time. We love the idea of making a very small test batch and then being able to instantly scale the recipe as needed.

"Our most popular flavor is Four Berry Rosemary. When people taste it, they can't help but exclaim 'Oh, Wow!'"

Blueberry Basil Frozen Margarita

Blueberry Basil Frozen Margarita

Blueberry Basil is popular too. Katharine's recipe for a Blueberry Basil Frozen Margarita is made with her jam.

Oh, Wow! Gourmet Foods jams are available online on Facebook and their website and at local farmers' markets in Boulder, Longmont, and Frederick, CO.

Read Katharine's advice for starting your own jam-making business . . .

The Jam (S)Pot: Oh, Wow! Gourmet Foods — Starting a Jam-Making Business

Katharine at the marketKatharine Salzberger of Oh, Wow! Gourmet Foods responds to a few questions about her business and her tips for getting started on your own.

When did you first make jam?
We began making jam in 2013 as an exercise in canning food from our own garden. When we gave it to friends and family, they all insisted we should sell it. Our business started almost immediately after. We make low sugar herbal fruit spreads, not “traditional sugar” jams. When we are doing a tasting demo, we tell customers that with the low amount of sugar and the addition of fresh herbs, our herbal fruit spreads can be used in recipes both sweet and savory, from breakfast to cocktails. They are always amazed when we suggest “cocktails.” (See Katharine's recipe for Blueberry Basil Frozen Margaritas.)

Would you like to share something about your creative process?
The herbs really are the inspiration for our flavor combinations. We grow our own herbs for our products and we are working with Colorado farmers to source fruit from as nearby as possible. It’s an important component for our customers to know where their food came from. There are quite a few “Locavores” in Colorado.

Fruit n Herbs for Logo

Do you have any advice for someone just getting started in the jam-making business?
Make sure you have a pretty good sized savings account if you want to go commercial. Keep in mind all the licenses, tests, equipment, graphic design, and labels needed. Also try to get into a certified commercial kitchen with a large kettle and filling machine as soon as possible to bring down your overall costs per jar. It will also reduce the amount of time you spend making your products, thereby allowing more time to round up more business.

Four Berry RosemaryAnything else you'd like to share with our readers?
Our exquisite spreads are generously packed with at least twice as much fruit as sugar, allowing the natural sweetness and fragrance of the fruit to come through in every luscious bite. The layered flavors are achieved by leaving the fresh herbs in the spread to provide the maximum herbaceous flavor experience possible.

We were able to secure a vendor space at the Boulder County Farmers Markets, the most popular and prestigious Farmers Markets in Colorado … and we did it on our first attempt after less than a year in business with the help of Pomona Pectin!

We at Pomona's Pectin say, Congratulations Katharine -- and thanks for sharing your story!

WOW — Where Do I Start?

I have just finished processing my first batch with Pomona's Petcin and it looks lovely. It is especially nice that I can try small batches before jumping in with both feet.

I haven't tasted it yet and can't imagine how it can be sweet with HALF the sugar, but it is surely worth a try.

It seemed like a lot of fussing around when I first read the instructions, but as you know, it is NOT. Now I am excited to try some other jams and use up the calcium water. I have shared what little I know with others who are into 'jams'.

The flexbility that your product gives us is unknown with other pectins and I have a feeling this will be a long and happy relationship.

The Next Day:  We had the jam this morning with our breakfast in the back yard and it was even more amazing than I had hoped for!!! It was plenty sweet enough (even for old 'sweet tooth me'). I will actually cut the sugar down even more next time (I had used the maximum being so sure it wouldn't be enough!) and see how that is; I am guessing I won't even notice the difference.

I made the Blueberry-Lavender Jam (with last year's sad looking blueberries and some organic lavender) and it blew our minds. Next it will be the Apricot-Lavender. This is definitely the best tasting jam I have ever had.

This product should revolutionize how people make jam. I was an old school cook and believed that we needed all that sugar to preserve the product and achieve gel. Boy, was I wrong! I will never look back and am now in search of someone I can offload my 'regular pectin' to as well as the huge bag of sugar I bought. I won't be using very much for my yearly jam making.

This product allows us to experiment and use different sweeteners, which was NEVER possible the old way. And it is also good value for money as you can keep the calcium water for months and make more than one batch per package depending on size and type.

You have really made my day/week/month/year!

Thanks for a GREAT product -- and I love the recipes and blog!!

Yours truly,

Judi Gibbs
Vancouver, BC, Canada
May 15, 2014

Jam Notes: Kumquat Marmalade

April 2014

Winter Calls to Spring --

CanningCraft Creates: Kumquat Marmalade

By Allison Carroll Duffy, Author of Preserving with Pomona's Pectin (Fair Winds Press, June 2013)

plate of kumquats
When my mom came to visit a few weeks back, she stashed a good-sized bag of kumquats in my refrigerator, and mentioned off-handedly that maybe I could make marmalade. . . . In the midst of a very snowy Maine winter (yes, we still had a lot of snow and freezing temperatures throughout March!) the small golden-orange oval-shaped fruits were truly lovely to behold. . . .

kumquat marmalade jar and toastCanningCraft Creates: Kumquat Marmalade: Complete blog post with recipe from Allison Carroll Duffy

Kumquat Marmalade: Recipe only

 

 

 

See the complete, original Jam Notes.

CanningCraft Creates: Kumquat Marmalade

Allison Carroll Duffy

Allison Carroll Duffy

If you want to be notified when Allison Carroll Duffy’s guest blog posts arrive, subscribe to Jam Notes in the sidebar to the right of this page. Subscribers get “updates” via email.

Here’s Allison:

Every so often, a package of fresh fruit will arrive on my parents' doorstep – an unexpected gift from their friend Garo who lives in California. He's sent them fresh figs from his backyard tree several times, and a month or so ago they received a box full of gorgeous orange kumquats. They love getting the fruit but, not being jam makers, they sometimes find themselves with more than they can use.

Fortunately, I often end up with their extras! When my mom came to visit a few weeks back, she stashed a good-sized bag of the kumquats in my refrigerator, and mentioned off-handedly that maybe I could make marmalade. Later, my husband pulled out the bag and sliced up a couple of the fruits for all of us to sample. What a welcome treat they were!

DSCN3812

In the midst of a very snowy Maine winter (yes, we still had a lot of snow and freezing temperatures throughout March!) the small golden-orange oval-shaped fruits were truly lovely to behold. What's more, never having tried kumquats before, I was very surprised to discover that the peel is slightly sweet, and not at all bitter, while the flesh is a little sour – quite unlike other types of citrus. As soon as I tasted one, I realized that marmalade was exactly what I wanted to make with them.

I'm a big fan of marmalade, but there's no question it can be a little bitter – especially if the recipe includes a lot of peel. Kumquat marmalade typically uses the whole fruit, including all the peel, and yet I find it to be much less bitter than other marmalades, due to the sweetness of the peel. What's more, kumquat peels are quite thin, so they get very soft and break down a lot during the cooking process, making the texture a bit more like jam than most marmalades are.

So, if you are not normally a fan of marmalade but are craving a bit of citrus, this is the marmalade to try! I used Nagami kumquats for this recipe, one of the more popular and widely available varieties, but other types will work as well. If your local grocery store does not carry them, specialty food stores and Asian markets often have a good selection during the winter and spring months.

Kumquat Marmalade

DSCN3858Kumquat Marmalade is a low-sugar cooked marmalade made with Pomona’s Pectin. Pomona's Pectin contains no sugar or preservatives and jells reliably with low amounts of any sweetener.

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.

Kumquat Marmalade Ingredients

2 pounds kumquats
2 cups water
¼ cup lemon juice
2 teaspoons calcium water
1½ cups sugar
3 teaspoons Pomona's Pectin powder

Kumquat Marmalade 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. Thoroughly rinse the kumquats. Then, slice each kumquat width-wise into several thin, quarter-sized rounds (a small, serrated knife works well for this). Remove and discard the seeds as you are working.

DSCN3829

3. Combine the sliced kumquats and the 2 cups of water in a saucepan, cover with a lid, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 15 minutes, then remove from the heat.

4. Measure 4 cups of the cooked kumquat mixture. If you have extra, save it for another use. Pour the measured amount of the kumquat mixture into a sauce pan. Add lemon juice and calcium water and stir to combine.

5. In a separate bowl, combine the sugar and the pectin powder. Mix well and set aside.

DSCN38366. Bring the kumquat mixture 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 mixture to a boil, then remove it from the heat.

7. Remove hot jars from canner and fill jars with marmalade, 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 to 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 and photos by Allison Carroll Duffy

Printable Copy of The Recipe Only Here!