I don’t buy fresh pineapples all that often, but when I do I am always reminded of how much I love them, and how extraordinary delicious–and intensely sweet–a perfectly ripe pineapple can be. I find that making jam with extra-sweet fruit like pineapple is particularly satisfying, as I can use very little added sweetener and still end up with amazingly sweet jam. This pineapple jam is sweetened only with fruit sugar, and has only three ingredients–fresh pineapple, Pomona’s Universal Pectin, and unsweetened white grape juice concentrate. And did I mention that it’s lusciously sweet? It’s delicious swirled into yogurt, or on top of vanilla ice cream.
For this recipe, you’ll need to start with one medium-sized fresh pineapple. To prepare it, I find it easiest to cut off the top and the bottom first, using a chef’s knife. Then, I stand the pineapple up on end and cut off the peel by slicing vertically down the sides of the pineapple, one side at a time, rotating the pineapple as I go. After the peel is off, vertically slice off the side sections of the pineapple, one side at a time, rotating as you cut, to remove the flesh from the core. Then, finely chop the flesh of pineapple. Finally, place the chopped pineapple in a large bowl and crush it thoroughly. A potato masher works well, for this.
Pineapple All-Fruit Jam
Yield: 3-4 cups
Before You Begin:
Prepare calcium water. To do this, combine ½ teaspoon calcium powder (in the small packet in your box of Pomona’s pectin) with ½ cup water in a small, clear jar with a lid. Shake well. Extra calcium water should be stored in the refrigerator for future use.
Pineapple All-Fruit Jam Ingredients:
3 cups peeled, crushed fresh pineapple
2 teaspoons calcium water
1 cup white grape juice concentrate
2 teaspoons Pomona’s Universal Pectin
Pineapple All-Fruit Directions
1. Wash and rinse jars, lids, and screw bands. Set screw bands aside until ready to use. Place jars in boiling water bath canner with a rack, fill at least 2/3 of the way full with water, and bring to a boil. Boil jars for 10 minutes to sterilize (add 1 additional minute of sterilizing time for every 1000 feet above sea level), then turn down heat and let jars stand in hot water until ready to use. Place lids in water in a small pan, bring to a low simmer, and hold there until ready to use.
2. Put the crushed pineapple in a sauce pan and add the calcium water. Set aside.
3. In a separate sauce pan, bring the white grape juice concentrate up to a boil. Then, pour it into a blender or food processor, and add the pectin powder. Blend until the pectin powder is fully dissolved–about 1-2 minutes. As the mixture will be hot, be sure to vent the lid while you are blending.
4. Put the sauce pan with the pineapple mixture on the stove and bring it up to a rolling boil over high heat. Add the pectin-white grape juice concentrate mixture, then stir vigorously for 1 to 2 minutes, still over the highest heat, to dissolve pectin. Return the jam to a boil, then remove from heat.
5. Remove hot jars from canner and fill jars with jam, leaving ¼ inch of headspace. Remove trapped air bubbles, wipe rims with a damp cloth, and put on lids and screw bands, tightening bands only to “fingertip tight” (until resistance is met, and then just the tiniest bit more).
6. Place jars in the hot water, on the rack inside the canner. (Make sure jars are upright, not touching each other or the sides of the canner, and are covered with at least 1-2 inches of water). Place the lid on the canner, return the canner to a rolling boil, and boil for 10 minutes. Add 1 minute additional processing time for every 1000 feet above sea level.
7. Turn off heat and allow canner and jars to sit for 5 minutes. Then, remove jars from canner.
8. Allow jars to cool undisturbed for 12-24 hours. Then, confirm that jars have sealed. Remove screw bands from sealed jars, rinse off outside of jars if necessary, label jars, and store for later use.
Recipe by Allison Carroll Duffy
Photos by Allison Carroll Duffy and Shelby Collings