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

Featured

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 here.

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, Amazon, and other online sellers. Or ask your local bookstore to order it for you.

 
See the complete, original Jam Notes here.

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

Jam Notes Update: 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 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: 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.

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

September 2014 -- Recipes: Rose Hip-Apple Jelly, White Nectarine-Lavender Jam, Pear-Cranberry Conserve with Almonds & Crystallized Ginger -- What's a Conserve anyway? Read & find out!

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.

Jam Notes: Sandra Lee’s Country Goodness: Her 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 Sandra Lee's Country Goodness

Sandy Breininger 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.

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.

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

August 2014 - Jam Notes Update
Celebrate Pomona's Day! Enter our Give Away: Books, Pectin, Jars, Funnel

(Details Below)

CanningCraft Creates: Seedless Raspberry-Honey-Vanilla Jam

By 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.

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.

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 Recipe here.

 

~~~~~

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.

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.

~~~~~
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 in Shelburne Falls, MA.

Copyright © , All rights reserved.
You are receiving this email because you signed up to receive Jam Notes, Pomona's Pectin's E-Newsletter. Jam Notes is published 3 times each year: February, June, and September,  with occasional short updates containing new recipes in April, August, and November.Our mailing address is:

 

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

Jam Notes: Rhubarb & Cherries — Oh So Good!

 

June 2014 - #9

Rhubarb & Cherries -- Oh So Good!

By Allison Carroll Duffy young boy 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.

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.

plate of 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.
trimming rhubarb stalks
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.

As 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.

Typically, 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! 

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
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Strawberry-Vanilla Preserves from Preserving with Pomona's Pectin by Allison Carroll Duffy

Did You Know?

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 above. 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

Puts the Spotlight on a Pomona's Jam Maker
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.

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

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

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

Pomona's News

Connie and Mary Lou had 2 winter projects:

1. My Jam Didn't Jell -- Can I Fix It? is now available for your problem-solving pleasure on the Learn Page of our website. Feel free to give it a look before calling the Jamline. But, as always, we are happy to speak with you when you call.

2. We re-organized the website FAQs. Our goal was to make it easier for you to find answers to your questions. We hope we accomplished it!

Canadians can now buy Pomona's directly from our website. Just go to the Order Page and click on Canada.

Looking for more summer jam recipes? Here are some good ones from our website:

Chocolate Berry Jam
Raspberry-Blueberry Jam
Strawberry-Jalapeno Jam
Ginger-Peach Jam
Strawberry Jam Sweetened with Juice Concentrate
RhubyRazz Jam
Apricot-Pineapple Jam
Honeyed Strawberry-Ginger Preserves
Gooseberry Jelly
Chokecherry Jelly

or just visit our website Recipes page for many more!

~~~~~ We Love Your Feedback! Let us know what you think of Jam Notes. Are there jamming-related topics you would like to read more about? Do you have a recipe for jam, or anything else you make with Pomona's, to share? Email info@pomonapectin.com, and Happy Jamming!

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!

Tales 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?"

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.

Photo by warrenski flickr.com

With Turbinado, or any other large-crystal sugar, first you need to pulverize it to a smaller grain in your food processor or blender, and THEN measure out the amount of sugar you want. This both insures that your measurements are accurate and that the pectin mixes in well.

If your pectin clumped when you added it to your fruit mixture, and you have chewy clumps in your jam or your jam didn't jell well, visit the new page on our website: My Jam or Jelly Didn't Jell -- Can I Fix It? And scroll down to the Sweetener Problems section.

Photo by warrenski flickr.com http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/ 

~~~~~

Pomona's Partners

Pomona's is a small, family-owned and run enterprise. Three of us do it all (Connie Sumberg, Mary Lou Sumberg and Paul Rooney), along with our wonderful packaging and fulflillment partner in Denver, CO, Western Innovations.

~~~~~

Copyright © , All rights reserved. Jam Notes is published 3 times each year: February, June, and September,  with occasional short updates containing new recipes in April, August, and November.                                        

 

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

Jam Notes: 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 Update: Kumquat Marmalade

 

April 2014 - Jam Notes Update

Kumquat Marmalade -- Winter Calls to Spring

By Allison Carroll Duffy, author of Preserving with Pomona's Pectin

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!
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 Ingredients

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

Full blog post & recipe here.

Additional new recipes on our website:
Strawberry Jam Sweetened with Juice Concentrate
Strawberry Jam -- Unsweetened, Sweetened with Stevia Concentrate, or Very Lightly Sweetened
Guava Jam
Guava Jelly
Frozen Lemon or Lime Pie 

Have you or a friend had a problem with jell fail?
Take a look at our new website page: My Jam or Jelly Didn't Jell -- Can I Fix It?
First figure out why it didn't jell; then learn, step-by-step, how to fix it.

Did you miss the February issue of Jam Notes with Allison's Cold Comfort Jelly recipe and Becky Hoff's recipes for Rose Hip Jam and Blue Spice Rombauer Jam Cake? It's not too late!

Spring is on its way, finally -- thank you for subscribing to Jam Notes and, of course, Happy Jamming from the Pomona's Partners -- Connie, Paul & Mary Lou.

Write to us at info@pomonapectin.com

Copyright © , All rights reserved.

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!

I am a fan for life!!!

I ordered Pomona's Pectin online a few months ago after someone posted on another canning site that this is the only way they will make their jams and jellies because it had very little sugar. I ended up giving all my jams and jellies away because it was way too sweet for me, so yesterday I tried the pectin for the first time and made a blackberry blueberry jam and blueberry lemon jam . . . Omg I am sold for life!!

Now I wonder why I waited so long to try it. My jams now taste like fruit and not sugar . . . happy happy girl! Can't wait for summer to try some more different flavors, and now I definitely have to order your book. Thank you for this wonderful product.

And did I mention how many attempts at jam failed? And people would say just use it as syrup. Well I didn't want syrup; I wanted jam. I now know that I will no longer have that problem.

Sue Duncan
Orangevale, CA
February 28, 2014

Jam Notes Winter Jam Greetings: Cold Comfort Jelly, Rose Hip Jam, and Jam Cake for Valentine’s Day

 

February 2014 - #8

Greetings from the Frozen North--

Let's Make Jam!

Photo from UnofficialNetworks.com
We at Pomona's hope that you are surviving this historic winter. For a little diversion from shoveling snow, we bring you some great jam recipes.

Allison Carroll Duffy, from Maine, brings us Cold Comfort Jelly; and Becky Hoff, from Minnesota, shares recipes for Rose Hip Jam and Jam Cake -- perfect for Valentine's Day.

 

CanningCraft Creates: Cold Comfort Jelly

by Allison Carroll Duffy

When I was a kid, whenever my siblings or I were in bed with a cough, sore throat, or otherwise nasty cold, my stepmom would make us a big mug of honey-lemon-ginger "tea." Nothing more than boiling water and lemon juice infused with ginger root and sweetened with a bit of honey, it was a simple concoction, but it provided welcome comfort -- at least a little bit -- when we were sick.

When I met my husband, I learned that he had long relied on a similar anti-cold brew that also included garlic and cayenne pepper . . . Because we drink this tea a lot, I thought it would be handy to adapt it into a jelly -- a tea "concentrate" of sorts. . . .

Read More and Get the Cold Comfort Jelly Recipe Here.

 

Harmony Garden Club: Learn, Jam, Eat

by Becky Hoff

The first snowfall in Harmony coincided with the November meeting of the Club this year. Harmony, a small town in SE Minnesota, population 1,020, is known as “The Biggest Little Town in Southern Minnesota.” In warm months, tourists bike on the Harmony-Preston Valley State Bike Trail, take tours of Niagara Cave, and learn about the Harmony-Canton Amish, an old order Amish community living in the country near Harmony. (Check out www.exploreharmony.com if you are curious about our town!)                                                     Becky at the Garden Club

We meet once a month to discuss all things garden related: vegetable gardening, fruit trees, landscaping, straw bale gardening, cooking with fresh herbs, garden art -- you name it, we’ve talked about it. The club serves as a study group for those who want to learn about and promote amateur gardening. As a member for the last three years, I can testify that I have learned a lot from the wealth of knowledge and talent in this group! So I was quite flattered when asked to lead a discussion on home canning.

All levels of canning expertise were represented in the room. Some have been canning for years, others used to but don’t anymore, and still others have never tried. Regardless of experience level, I tell everyone the same thing when I talk about canning: Read your instructions and do as they say!

This may seem simple but so many mistakes can be prevented if you read through your recipes and instructions before even turning on the stove. It is equally important to have your tools and ingredients laid out and ready so you are not scrambling around when it’s time to fill the jars.

I love to talk about low-sugar canning. People want homemade preserves like their mom or grandma used to make, but they don’t want the 5 or more cups of sugar that go into a typical batch of jam. Traditional recipes were developed at a time when sugar was needed to help preserve the food, but also more calories were burned through the course of a day. We just don’t need that kind of caloric intake these days! Fortunately we can get away with using a lot less sugar thanks to new products and modern canning processes.
Becky's Canning Shelves

If you don’t want to go overboard on the sugar, I recommend Pomona’s Universal Pectin.  Over the past few years I have switched exclusively to Pomona’s for all of my jam making. The jams turn out great, and no one even notices that the sugar is cut at least in half. The end products in no way remind you of “diet jam,” they are just plain good preserves.

In Garden Club we traditionally end the evening with coffee and dessert, and so I made a Rombauer Jam Cake from the classic cookbook, Joy of Cooking. I made it with Blueberry Jam instead of the usual Raspberry or Blackberry -- Blue Spice Cake never tasted so good! I also made a batch of Any Kind of Jam & Oatmeal Bars with a combination of Rose Hip and RhubyRazz jams.


Becky's Blueberry and RhubyRazz Jams

I love sharing information, ideas, and good food with friends. And I’m very happy to share my recipes for Rose Hip Jam, Blue Spice Rombauer Jam Cake, and Any Kind of Jam & Oatmeal Bars with all Pomona’s Jam Notes readers. Hope you have as much fun learning, jamming, and eating as we do at the Harmony Garden Club.

Pomona's News

We are working on a new page for our website: My Jam Didn't Jell -- How Can I Fix It? If you'd like to volunteer to read our draft and give us feedback, email info@pomonapectin.com.


Preserving with Pomona's Pectin makes a wonderful gift for yourself, a friend, or family member, any time of the year. If you like Pomona's, you'll LOVE our book.
Available everywhere books are sold.

New recipes have been added to our website recently. Here are a few:

Lilikoi Jelly
Red Wine Jelly
White Wine Jelly
Lemon Jelly
Orange Jam
Ground Cherry Jam
Apple Pie Jam

We hope you enjoyed this issue of Jam Notes. We are always interested in any comments, questions, or ideas you'd like to share with us: info@pomonapectin.com.

 

  ~~~~~

Copyright © , All rights reserved.
Jam Notes is published 3 times each year: February, June, and September. We send "Updates" when we have a new blog post from Allison Carroll Duffy.Our mailing address is:                                           

CanningCraft Creates: Cold Comfort Jelly

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:

When I was a kid, whenever my siblings or I were in bed with a cough, sore throat, or otherwise nasty cold, my stepmom would make us a big mug of honey-lemon-ginger "tea." Nothing more than boiling water and lemon juice infused with ginger root and sweetened with a bit of honey, it was a simple concoction, but it provided welcome comfort -- at least a little bit -- when we were sick.

When I met my husband, I learned that he had long relied on a similar anti-cold brew that also included garlic and cayenne pepper. Sipping a hot liquid of most any kind feels good when you have a cold, but beyond this, most of these ingredients have anti-bacterial properties, which certainly doesn't hurt when it comes to fighting a cold.

Even when I'm not sick I enjoy this "tea," and these days my favorite version of it includes a lot of lemon and ginger, along with honey and a bit of cayenne pepper. It's a favorite around our house, especially this winter when it's been so cold here in Maine. Sipping a hot mug by the wood stove is a delightful way to warm up.

DSCN3445Because we drink this tea so much, I thought it would be handy to adapt it into a jelly -- a tea "concentrate" of sorts. This way, we simply scoop a couple of spoonfuls of the jelly into a mug, add boiling water, mix well, and enjoy a quick and easy mug of tea!

The jelly by itself is pretty intense (very lemony and with a bit of heat), though I do, on occasion, eat it plain or on toast. For tea, I find that 2 tablespoons of jelly per cup of boiling water works well, though you might want more or less jelly depending on your taste.

Cold Comfort Jelly

Cold Comfort Jelly is a low-honey 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.

Cold Comfort Jelly Ingredients

DSCN3429¼ pound fresh ginger root
2½ cups water
10-15 lemons (enough to yield 2 cups of freshly squeezed lemon juice)
¼ teaspoon cayenne powder
4 teaspoons calcium water
1½ cups honey, divided
4 teaspoons Pomona's Pectin powder

Cold Comfort 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.

DSCN34402. Slice the ginger root into thin pieces--1/4 inch thick or less. Place the sliced ginger into a sauce pan, add the 2 1/2 cups water, cover with a lid, and bring the mixture to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat slightly and continue to cook, still covered, for 15 minutes. Then, remove from the heat.

3. Pour the mixture through a strainer into a large, heat-proof measuring cup or bowl. Discard the ginger pieces (or use them for something else). Measure out 2 cups of the ginger-infused liquid. If you have more liquid than you need, remove as much liquid as necessary to meet the 2 cup measurement. If you don't have enough of the ginger-infused liquid, simply add more water to meet the 2 cup measurement.

4. Juice the lemons. Pour the freshly-squeezed lemon juice through a fine mesh strainer. If necessary, use your fingers to press the pulp against the strainer, extracting as much juice as possible. Discard any seeds or pulp remaining in the strainer. Measure out 2 cups of the lemon juice. (If you have extra, you can use it for something else.)

DSCN3423

5. Combine the 2 cups of the ginger- infused liquid and the 2 cups of lemon juice in a sauce pan. Add the cayenne powder and calcium water, then stir to combine.

6. In a separate bowl, combine 3/4 cup of the honey and the pectin powder. Mix well and set aside.

7. Bring the ginger-lemon liquid to 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 pectin. Add the remaining 3/4 cup honey, and stir to dissolve the honey while returning the mixture to a boil. Then, remove it from the heat.

8. 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).

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

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

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

Recipe and Photos by Allison Carroll Duffy.

Printable Copy of the Cold Comfort Jelly recipe only.

To learn more about Allison, visit her CanningCraft blog.

Thank you so much for offering this product.

It is nice to have a low sugar option available, that is truly low sugar! Measuring out the sugar for recipes made by other pectin companies always put me in a bad mood because I knew I was hurting my family’s health with so much sugar. I just ordered six boxes of your pectin online and can’t wait until it arrives!!!

This is the first time I will be using your product and I thoroughly enjoyed watching your 8 minute video before making the purchase. My husband and mother are thrilled about your product, as well, because they are tired of jams and jellies that are too sweet.

Keep doing what you are doing. :)

Hessy Williams
Clemson, SC
December 4, 2013

Jam Notes Update: Honeyed Pear-Lemon Marmalade

 

November 2013 - Jam Notes Update

It's pear season and Allison Carroll Duffy, author of Preserving with Pomona's Pectin, is offering us a new delight:
Allison says:  "Sweet, sour, and delicious . . . the honey contributes a bit of warmth and depth, and the lemon peels add a very subtle touch of bitter. Perfect slathered on a piece of toast with a bit of butter on a cold, late Fall morning."

Here are some other good holiday recipes, newly added to our website:
Apple Pie Jam
Pomegranate Jelly
Persimmon Jam
Cranberry Jelly
Cranberry Sauce
Cranberry-Habanero Jelly
Jelled Fruit Candy

Pomona's Pectin is proud to be a sponsor. To see the list of participants, click here.

This is our last Jam Notes in 2013. You'll hear from us again in February 2014. Connie, Paul, and Mary Lou wish you Happy Holidays and a Happy New Year!

Thank you for subscribing to Jam Notes and, of course, Happy Jamming!

Copyright © Workstead Industries , All rights reserved.
                

 

CanningCraft Creates: Honeyed Pear-Lemon 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:

I love apples, but if I had to choose, I'd have to say that pears are my favorite fall fruit. I love the intense sweetness and creamy flesh of a perfectly ripe pear.

But this relatively short window of perfection comes and goes quickly. Eat a pear too soon and it's likely to be hard and not all that sweet, but wait too long and your pear will become a whole lot of sweet mush.

Pears, unlike apples, are best picked when not yet ripe, and need some time off the tree to develop ideal texture and sweetness. So, when you buy your pears – whether it be from the grocery store or a local orchard – they'll likely need a few days on your counter before they're ready to use.

It's pretty easy to tell when Bartletts are ripe: they turn from green to yellow as they ripen. But with most other types of pears, color doesn't change much, so you need to rely on feel to determine when they're ready. If the pear feels firm in your hand but will yield just slightly to gentle pressure from your fingertips around the stem area, it’s ripe.

DSCN1847

You'll want to use your newly ripe pears quickly so they don't become mushy. It's possible to make a good jam with mushy, overripe pears, but for this recipe it's important to use pears that are still firm. This is because the recipe calls for pear chunks (rather than mashed pear, which is what's usually needed for jam), and the chunks need to be firm enough to remain mostly intact when cooked. I used Bartletts when I made this recipe, but any variety will work well as long as the pears are ripe and firm.

This recipe also calls for lemons, which offset the sweetness of the pears in a lovely way. Use organic lemons if possible, especially since you'll be using some of the peel. The resulting marmalade is sweet, sour, and delicious. Honey contributes a bit of warmth and depth, and the peels add a very subtle touch of bitter – perfect slathered on a piece of toast with a bit of butter on a cold, late Fall morning.

Honeyed Pear-Lemon Marmalade

DSCN1963Honeyed Pear-Lemon Marmalade 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.

Honeyed Pear-Lemon Marmalade Ingredients

2 ¼ pounds pears
4 lemons, divided
1 cup water
1 cup honey
4 teaspoons calcium water
2 ½ teaspoons Pomona's Pectin powder

Honeyed Pear-Lemonade 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. Peel the pears and remove cores. Discard peels and cores. Slice the pears into small (about ¾ inch) chunks, then set aside.

DSCN1851

3. Wash lemons thoroughly. Using a vegetable peeler, remove the yellow part of the peel from 2 of the lemons. Then slice these peels into thin, length-wise strips about 1 inch long and place in a sauce pan.

DSCN1826

4. Remove and discard the remaining white pith from the two peeled lemons. Pull these lemons apart into segments, and slice these segments into small pieces. Remove and discard any seeds, then add these lemons to the sauce pan.

5. Slice the remaining 2 lemons in half and squeeze out their juice. Set aside ¼ cup of the lemon juice. Add any remaining lemon juice to the sauce pan.

6. Add the 1 cup of water to the lemon mixture in the sauce pan. Cover mixture and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat slightly and cook, covered, for 12 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the pears and turn the heat up to high to bring the mixture back up to a boil. Reduce the heat slightly and cook the mixture, still covered and stirring occasionally, for another 5 minutes.

7. Remove the pan from the heat, empty the pear-lemon mixture into a bowl or other heat-proof container, then measure out 4 cups of the mixture. (If you have any left over, you can use it for something else.) Pour the measured quantity of the mixture back into the sauce pan. Add the remaining ¼ cup lemon juice and the calcium water, then stir to combine.

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

9. Bring the pear-lemon mixture to a full boil over high heat. Add the honey-pectin mixture and stir vigorously for 1 to 2 minutes, still over the highest heat, to dissolve the pectin. Return the marmalade to a full boil, then remove from heat.

10. 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).

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. Eat within 1 year. Lasts 3 weeks once opened.

DSCN1968

Recipe and photos by Allison Carroll Duffy

Printable Copy of The Recipe Only Here!

I made 7 – 1/2 pints and 1 full pint of the BEST EVER Concord Grape Jam!

Hello, fellow real food home cooks! I did it! I made my first-ever batch of homegrown, truly organic Concord Grape jam! With Mary Lou's encouragement, I plunged into doubling the Concord Grape Butter - left out the spices; cause I wanted Concord Grape Jam; and Voila! I made 7 1/2 pints and 1 full pint jar of the BEST EVER Concord Grape jam! I gifted the pint jar & 3 1/2 pints to the friend who gifted me with her Concord Grapes, and kept the rest!

Everything went well. I used 3 cups of sugar for 6 pounds of grapes; and if I do it again, I will reduce the sugar by a cup...the grapes were that sweet! The jam is so good, it's disappearing F.A.S.T.! I've been invited to strip all the rest of this season's Concords off the vines, if I want to make more jam...I'm still deciding, but only because I'm in school & I have to budget my time to have time to "JAM"...Hahahah!

Thanks, Mary Lou, for a wonderful, preservative-free product that even a newbie jammer like me can use & have success with! I'm inspired to continue!

Joy Massa
Carlsbad, CA
October 17, 2013

Jam Notes: It’s Fascinating What People Do With Jam!

 

September 2013 - #7

Community Jamming

It’s fascinating what people do with jam! How about community service? If you’ve thought about turning your interest in local food and your jam-making skills into a socially beneficial project – Read On!
Jammin' For the Hungry . . .

was started and is coordinated by Sara Power, in Corvallis, Oregon. She says: “We make top of the line jams, jellies, and syrups and donate them to our local food banks. I was thrilled to discover Pomona's Pectin because it cut our sugar costs dramatically, and makes a healthier product.  It is also less expensive for us to buy in bulk.”Sara Power prepares a
jar of wild blackberry jam.
Jammin’ for the Hungry celebrates 5 years on September 20.  They will have canned jar #12,000. Sara says, "It's hard to believe that when I started I thought 300 jars was optimistic!"They produce the jam in their church’s kitchen most Monday nights for 2 to 3 hours. In addition to the regular volunteers, students from a sustainability class at Oregon State University help out -- usually 4 to 6 new students each week. Sara says: “The students are discovering how easy it is to make great jam, and also how great it tastes when it is mostly fruit with just a little bit of sugar.”  
Click here to watch a short video about Jammin’ for the Hungry and Sara Power.Click here for tips on starting your own Jammin’ for the Hungry Project.

League of Urban Canners . . .

An economically independent urban food production cooperative. Keeping fruit off the street and safely in jars, where it belongs!
 

In the spring of 2012, owners of fruit trees throughout Cambridge and Somerville, Massachusetts, began receiving flyers reading: “Got Fruit? Want Jam?” Distributed by a start-up food co-op called the League of Urban Canners (LUrC), the flyers offered tree owners the chance to have their unwanted fruit turned into preserves at no cost. By the end of its first season, LUrC had harvested and canned over two tons of fruit.In addition to making jam, members of the co-op have also made sweet and hard cider, apple and pear sauce, vinegar, chutney, and fruit leathers. Whatever product they make, roughly 10 percent of it goes back to the tree owners, 20 percent goes to the harvesters, and 70 percent goes to the canners.“Harvesting fruit from neighborhood trees is a great way to meet people in your community," says LUrC member Matthew Schreiner. LuRC Founder Sam Christy points out other benefits of the LUrC model. "LUrC is about learning to work together and share responsibility for food production in our city," Christy says. According to Christy, LUrC provides many additional services for the harvest sites, including pest management and pruning to improve production.Want to start a harvesting and canning cooperative in your own city? It’s easy. As a cooperative organization, LUrC has no staff and very little overhead. All that’s needed is some flyers and the courage to knock on a few doors.More than 200 people have harvested and canned with LUrC since its founding last year. Today, LUrC has its own harvesting tools and a custom database that keeps track of fruit trees, harvests, and canning sessions.LUrC is happy to share its knowledge and resources with anyone interested in starting a harvesting co-op in their own city. For more information, visit LUrC's Facebook page here or contact the group directly at urbanapplesauce@gmail.com.
Photos:
Above Left is Zach in the cherry tree, using his climbing gear to get up high.
Above Right is 
Sylvia plucking cherries by hand, pinching and twisting to avoid damaging the fruit spur so it can bear fruit again next year.
Left is Angela with the first mulberry harvest.
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Did You Know?

You can make Canned Pie Filling with Pomona's Pectin! We've received so many requests for canned pie filling recipes using Pomona's. Unfortunately, we are not expert pie makers, but some of our Pomona's customers are, and they've helped us come up with recipes that work. You'll find an Apple Pie Filling recipe here; a Cardamom Peach Pie Filling recipe here; and a Blueberry Pie Filling recipe here.The Cardamom Peach Pie recipe was created and contributed by Pomona's user Ashley Baugh. Thanks so much Ashley!If you're a pie maker and these recipes inspire you to create a pie filling recipe -- email it to info@pomonapectin.com and we'll be happy to share and give you credit.
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  The
  Jam
  (S)pot

Puts the Spotlight on a

Pomona's Jam Maker

Renee Joslyn, Freakin' Flamingo jams

Tickle Your Tastebuds Pink!
Renee Joslyn, who created Freakin' Flamingo jams, lives and makes jam in South Miami, Florida. She says of her jams, "Some people paint and some people sculpt, but I play with my food. That's my niche. You don't come to Freakin' Flamingo (the name should be your first clue!) for anything ordinary or normal." (Get her recipe for Blue Sunshine Jam below.)

Renee says she talked about making jam for so long, that her husband finally put together a "kit" (canning kettle, jar lifter, canning funnel, fancy lid rack, etc.) and gave it to her for her birthday in December 2009.

She made her first jam (a marmalade) in January 2010, as part of the "Can Jam" challenge.  About 100 people signed up - from all over the world - to make a jam or pickle every month with a seasonal ingredient that was pre-chosen.

Hooked From the Start  
After reading and studying everything she could about jam making, Renee started playing with different fruits, herbs, and alcohol, originally inspired by others' recipes. She discovered she had a knack for making unusual combinations, and that her tropical and Latin inspirations were unique.

Renee says, "When people began telling me that I should sell them (and my husband began to object to the pantry being filled with jam instead of food), I decided to test the waters at a farmers market near my house. I found that even total strangers were intrigued and delighted by the unusual combinations - even inspired to play with my jams in ways that had nothing to do with breakfast!  I started the business officially in 2011."

Although she didn't start out with Pomona's, once Renee discovered it, she never went back. She now uses Pomona's exclusively and when she teaches the occasional canning class, she tells her students why it's superior.

Want to Start a Jam-Making Business?
Click here for Renee's advice.

If you'd like to try one of Renee's combinations, you'll find her recipe for Blue Sunshine Jam hereShe is also sharing her recipe for Jam Muffins here.

Renee and Freakin' Flamingo have both a website and a Facebook page. You can order her unique and freakin' jams online.

~~~~~
Pomona's Jam Manufacturers: If you'd like to be in the Jam (S)pot, email info@pomonapectin.com,

If you're interested in learning more about the benefits of a vegan diet and looking for easy, tasty recipes, try this new e-book written and self-published by Joanne Mumola Williams. It includes a chapter of jam recipes using Pomona's Pectin. You can read more about the book and get a taste of Joanne's recipes on her blog, Foods for Long Life.

~~~~~

Virtual Vegan Potluck -- You're Invited!
Have you attended the Virtual Vegan Potluck yet? The 4th potluck will be held on November 16.  Each potluck brings you a vast array of delectable vegan dishes to choose from. And Pomona's is a proud sponsor. Click on the link above to learn more.

Pomona's Preserving Book & Pectin & Recipe "Give Away"

Enter the Give Away plus get the recipe for Sunrise Marmalade (pictured above) here. Give Away is open to residents of the U.S. and Canada.

Here is what Allison says about Sunrise Marmalade: “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."

Read Allison's September Guest Blog Post and get her new recipe for Seedless Blackberry Jam here.

Preserving with Pomona's Pectin is available in bookstores everywhere as well as online at Amazon or Barnes & Noble. Find additional online sellers or independent brick & mortar stores here. For countries other than the US and Canada, click here.

~~~~~


Tales from
the Jamline . . .

Rrrrring! goes the telephone.  "Help!" says the caller -- "I have condensation on the inside of my jars after removing them from the water-bath canner. What did I do wrong and is my jam safe to eat?"

You didn't do anything wrong and yes, your jam is safe to eat. Sometimes condensation happens, but you don't need to worry about it because the water in the jar has been sterilized during the water bath. So no mold or bacteria should be able to grow in the jar.

It is, however, always a good practice to examine a jar when you take it off the shelf, before you eat it.

First, be sure that you "pop a seal." A jar that was safely sealed a few months ago can lose its seal on the shelf, although this rarely happens. Then look for identifiable fuzzy mold, a moldy smell, or a fermented (alcoholic) smell. If any of these are present, throw the jar away. It's not a good idea to eat moldy jam or scrape the mold off and eat what's below it.

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

~~~~~

 

We're Going on VACATION!!!!
Yes, all 3 of us are taking a week off, from September 28 through October 6.What does this mean to you?????
No online orders will be filled that week. No Jamline calls will be taken that week. No website or Facebook comments will be answered that week. Yes, a real vacation. Please get your orders and your questions in by September 26, or wait until October 7.

~~~~~

We now have a Store Locator on our website with 2,500 stores across the U.S. and Canada that carry Pomona's. Just type in your zip code, postal code, or city and state or province and Voila! you will know right where to go to get your next box of Pomona's Pectin.

You'll find the Store Locator here.

No store near you? Feel free to email us information about a store you think would be interested in carrying Pomona's, and we'll call them up: info@pomonapectin.com.

~~~~~

Many new recipes have been added to the website recently. Here are a few:

Strawberry-Jalapeno Jam
Ginger-Peach Jam
Merry Mulled Merlot Jam
Special Plum Jam
Herb Jelly
Gooseberry Jelly
Any Kind of Jam & Oatmeal Bars
Chokecherry Jelly
Prickly Pear Cactus Jelly

Cranberry Season is approaching. Buy an extra cranberry bag or two and freeze. That way you'll have fresh/frozen cranberries to add to jam recipes all year round.

~~~~~

Seven Springs, Pennsylvania hosts the Mother Earth News Fair, Sept. 20 to 22, featuring workshops, speakers, exhibits, and lots of books for sale -- including Preserving with Pomona's Pectin. You'll find the book at our publisher's table --  Fair Winds Press. If you're in the area and looking for a good time, stop by and say hi.

~~~~~

Pomona's is a small, family-owned and run enterprise. Three of us do it all (Connie Sumberg, Mary Lou Sumberg, and Paul Rooney), along with our wonderful packaging and fulflillment partner in Denver, CO, Western Innovations and our talented website partner, Jeremy Jones.

~~~~~

We Love Your Feedback!
Let us know what you think of Jam Notes.  Email info@pomonapectin.com and Happy Jamming!

Copyright © 2013 Workstead Industries,
All rights reserved.

CanningCraft Creates: Honeyed Tomato-Jalapeno 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:

It always seems to me, here in Maine, that our yearly growing and harvesting time frame lags a bit behind that of our neighbors in warmer climates. With April frequently cold and rainy, and consistent heat rare before June, heat-loving crops like tomatoes, peppers, and eggplants that are grown outdoors often don't reach their peak until late August, and sometimes even early September.

At least that's the case in my family's garden. This has been a fantastic tomato year for us, and we enjoyed eating a few of them here and there during August, but true to form, it wasn't until Labor Day weekend that we started to haul in real quantities of these red beauties. September has been a whirlwind of picking and canning--about 110 pounds down so far (made into sauce, salsa, and crushed tomatoes, primarily), with more to go.

DSCN1106

Now that it's October, and the vines are still surprisingly full, the big question is how much time is left--for the remaining tomatoes to ripen, and for me to get them inside before the first frost, which could come any day now. Even still, with lots of our tomato staples put up now, these past few days have felt a little less pressured, and I've found myself itching to make something new and different. So I thought I'd work up a tomato jam to use up some of our extra, along with some lovely green jalapenos we have growing in the garden as well.

This jam definitely has a good strong kick, but the honey tempers the heat quite a bit, and adds a pleasing complexity to the jam. It's delightful on a whole wheat cracker, along with a piece of sharp cheddar cheese.

Honeyed Tomato-Jalapeno Jam

DSCN1280Honeyed Tomato-Jalapeno 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.

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.

Honeyed Tomato-Jalapeno Jam Ingredients

3¼ pounds tomatoes
¼ cup finely chopped jalapeno peppers
2/3 cup bottled lime juice
4 teaspoons calcium water
1¼ cups honey
4 teaspoons Pomona's Universal Pectin Powder

DSCN1098

Honeyed Tomato-Jalapeno 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. Remove skins from tomatoes. To do this, heat a pot of water to boiling, place tomatoes in boiling water -- just a couple of tomatoes at a time -- for 30 to 60 seconds, or until the skin splits. Remove tomatoes from boiling water and immediately submerge them in a large bowl of ice water. The skins will slip right off. If the skin did not split during blanching (which occasionally happens), simply nick the skin with a paring knife and peel the skin off. Discard the skins.

3. Slice tomatoes in half, remove and discard the cores, then dice the tomatoes.

DSCN10894. Place diced tomatoes and the finely-chopped jalapeno peppers in a large sauce pan and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat slightly and cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

5. Remove the pan from the heat, empty the tomato mixture into a bowl or other heat-proof container, then measure out 4 cups of the tomato mixture. (If you have any left over, you can use it for something else.) Pour the measured quantity of the tomato mixture back into the sauce pan. Add lime juice and calcium water, then stir to combine.

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

7. Bring the tomato mixture 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 pectin. Return the jam to a full boil, then remove from heat.

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

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

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

11. Allow jars to cool undisturbed for 12 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. Eat within 1 year. Lasts 3 weeks once opened.

Recipe by Allison Carroll Duffy. To print the recipe only, click here, scroll to the bottom of the page that comes up, and click the Print button.

My husband is delighted — as a diabetic, he can now enjoy good tasting jam without all the sugar.

I made raspberry-blueberry jam for the very first time using your product. I'm a long time "canner" so was used to measuring out mega amounts of sugar for my jam recipes. I was pleasantly surprised by your wonderful product. Not only was it super easy to use, but the results happened sooner than expected and I ended up with an outstanding batch of almost sugar-free jam.

My husband is delighted because, as a diabetic,  he can now enjoy good tasting jam without all the sugar. Thanks, love this product!

Christy S.
October 9, 2013

So excited about freedom in making my jams and jellies . . .

I had just finished the jamming season, making 20 different jams and jellies, using the slow cook method and commercial liquid and dry pectin. Yesterday, while at a bookstore in Montreal, Canada, I came across the book, Preserving with Pomona's Pectin. I bought it and just now ordered your pectin product.

I am so very excited about the prospect of so much more freedom in making my jams and jellies. Not only is the reduced sugar a huge plus, the fact that I can keep a quantity of your product on hand indefinitely, without having to run to the store constantly for more boxes of pectin, is also outstanding. With boxes of pectin costing about $6 now, and sugar continuing to rise in price, your product will also cut down significantly on my costs of producing.

I was extremely impressed with the book as a whole. The recipes are wonderful, as I like making my jams and jellies slightly out of the ordinary. I found answers to many questions I had always wondered about (like whether I had to wipe warm water from the lids before placing them on the jars); and I enjoy the way the illustrations are done.

While I am sorely disappointed that I did not know about your product at the beginning of the summer, I really look forward to getting to use it soon.

Sandra Dafler
Montreal, Quebec Canada
October 7, 2013