FAQ

1. Where Can I Buy Pomona's Universal Pectin? (1)

Is there a store in my neighborhood or area where I can purchase Pomona’s Pectin?

Pomona’s Pectin is available at natural food stores (like Whole Foods, Sprouts, and many others), food co-ops, farm stands, some specialty stores (like Williams-Sonoma and Dean & DeLuca), and a growing number of conventional grocery stores with natural food sections (like Wegmans, Fred Meyers, and others). Use our store locator to find a store near you.

We are making an effort to get Pomona’s Pectin into more stores. If your local natural food store, independent grocery store, food co-op, or farm stand doesn’t carry it, please request that they do. Learn how to help us get Pomona’s into your local store. 

If necessary, you can buy it from us on our website or through the mail. Pomona’s is also sold by a variety of other online sellers.

2. What's in My Box of Pomona's Universal Pectin: Pectin & Calcium Questions (17)

Two packets came in my box of Pomona’s Pectin – what’s in them and what do I do with them?

The thicker packet is tan-colored pectin powder and the thin packet is white monocalcium phosphate powder.

The directions on the recipe sheet that comes with your box of Pomona’s Pectin tell you how to use the pectin powder – either by stirring it into the sweetener before adding it to the hot fruit mixture, or by blending it with hot liquid to make liquid pectin. Because Pomona’s is pure pectin powder, if you add it directly to the fruit, it will clump and be unable to dissolve and do its job of jelling the fruit.

The recipe sheet that comes with your box of Pomona’s Pectin tells you how to make calcium water with the calcium powder. The pectin’s jelling power is activated by calcium, which must be present in the fruit mixture either naturally or added by you. Each recipe tells you how much calcium water to add to your fruit.

How much jam or jelly can I make with a 1-oz. box of Pomona’s Pectin?

A 1 oz. box of Pomona’s Pectin will make 2 to 4 batches. A batch is usually 4 cups of mashed fruit or juice plus sweetener and will make 4 to 5 cups of jam or jelly. We say 2 to 4 batches because jelly (made from fruit juice) requires more pectin than jam (made from mashed fruit).

How is Pomona’s Pectin made?

The pectin is extracted from the dried peel of lemon, lime, and orange, after the fruit has been juiced and the oil has been pressed out of the peel.

Where is Pomona’s Pectin made?

Pomona’s Pectin is made in Denmark.

What are the ingredients in Pomona’s Universal Pectin?

Pomona’s Universal Pectin contains only 100% pure citrus pectin, which is vegan, gluten free, and GMO free. There are no additives, preservatives, sugar, or dextrose. There are no corn or apple by-products.

Do I have to add calcium water to my jam or jelly?

Pomona’s Pectin is activated by calcium, so calcium has to be present in the mixture either naturally or added by you. Since most people don’t know the calcium content of their fruit, we recommend a calcium water amount in every recipe to be sure there is calcium in the mixture. If your fruit has calcium in it naturally, you don’t need to add the calcium water.

Is Pomona’s Pectin vegan, gluten free, GMO free, organic?

Pomona’s Pectin is vegan, gluten free, and GMO free. Pomona’s Pectin is not organic. There is no commercially available organic pectin at this time.

Is Pomona’s Pectin kosher?

Pomona’s Pectin is kosher certified at the plant where it is manufactured. We receive the pectin in large bags and re-package it into smaller sizes. We do not have the pectin kosher certified when we re-package it.

What is the nutritional information for Pomona’s Pectin?

One teaspoon (3 grams) of Pomona’s Universal Pectin contains:
10.2 Total Calories
2.55 grams carbohydrate (from soluble fiber)
2.5 grams soluble fiber
90 mg sodium

One tablespoon of an average jam made with Pomona’s Pectin contains:
1.9 calories from the pectin
480mg carbohydrate from the pectin
470mg soluble fiber from the pectin
17mg sodium from the pectin

These numbers do not account for the fruit, sweetener, or any other ingredients in your jam.

The calcium water is calcium, phosphorus, and water — no calories, protein, carbohydrate, sugar, fat, or sodium.

How long will Pomona’s Pectin keep?

Pomona’s Pectin is a shelf-stable product. It keeps indefinitely. Store it cool and dry in an airtight container.

Why is Pomona’s Pectin called “Universal”?

Pomona’s Pectin is called Universal because it is able to jell fresh, frozen, or canned fruit or juice with low amounts of any sweetener, including white sugar, less processed & organic sugars, fructose, xylitol, honey, agave, concentrated fruit sweetener, maple syrup, frozen juice concentrate, stevia, Splenda, and other artificial sweeteners. With Pomona’s, you are free to sweeten to your taste and dietary requirements.

What are the ingredients in the monocalcium phosphate powder that comes with Pomona’s Pectin?

The monocalcium phosphate powder that comes in its own packet when you purchase Pomona’s is a food-grade rock mineral source of calcium made up of two minerals, calcium and phosphorous. The food industry uses it as a yeast nutrient in baking, an acidulant in baking powder, and a mineral supplement.

Why does a packet of calcium powder come with Pomona’s Pectin?

Calcium powder comes with Pomona’s Pectin because the pectin is activated by calcium.

What is calcium water?

Calcium water is a solution of some of the monocalcium phosphate powder that comes with Pomona’s Pectin and water.

How do I make calcium water?

Put ½ teaspoon white calcium powder and ½ cup water in a small, clear jar with a lid. Shake well before using. Store in the refrigerator between uses. Calcium water lasts many months in the refrigerator. These same instructions are on the recipe sheet that comes with Pomona’s Pectin.

How long will calcium water keep?

Stored in the refrigerator, calcium water will last many months; it can be frozen for even longer storage. When you take your jar out of the refrigerator, look at it before shaking it. You should see white powder settled at the bottom and floating near the bottom of the jar, with clear water above that. If you see any colors or mold in the jar, discard the calcium water. Always shake well before using.

Where do I get calcium powder?

When you buy Pomona’s Pectin, it always comes with a packet of calcium powder (monocalcium phosphate).

3. Questions About How to Use Pomona’s Pectin (14)

Is Pomona’s Pectin easy to use?

Both beginning and seasoned jam-makers have been successful with Pomona’s. You can be too. Pomona’s Pectin comes with comprehensive directions and recipes. Many additional recipes are available on our website.

Do I need to follow the directions and recipes that come with Pomona’s Pectin?

We recommend that you read and understand the directions and recipes that come with Pomona’s Pectin before you start jamming. Pomona’s is different from other pectins because it is not pre-mixed with dextrose. This means that the pectin powder is more potent and it also means you cannot add the pectin powder directly to the fruit or the pectin will clump. If you plan to develop your own recipes, it is important to follow the appropriate directions for how much pectin to use and for how to add the pectin to the fruit.

Also, Pomona’s must be dissolved in a low-sugar mixture because it cannot fully dissolve in a higher-sugar mixture. The sugar and honey ranges in our recipes give you a low-sugar mixture. Always stir the pectin into an amount of dry sweetener that is no more than ½ the amount of mashed fruit or juice. Always stir the pectin into an amount of liquid sweetener that is no more than ¼ the amount of mashed fruit or juice. Add any remaining sweetener after the pectin is dissolved.

Additionally, Pomona’s must be dispersed into enough sweetener to prevent the pectin grains from clumping together when added to the hot fruit mixture. Table 1 below gives you the minimum amounts of dry or liquid sweetener for adequately disbursing Pomona’s Pectin.

TABLE 1
Pectin to add                          Minimum amount of sweetener required
1 teaspoon (or less)                 2 Tablespoons sugar or honey
2 teaspoons                            ¼ cup sugar or honey
3 teaspoons                             3/8 cup sugar or honey
4 teaspoons                             ½ cup sugar or honey
5 teaspoons                            5/8 cup sugar or honey
6 teaspoons                             ¾ cup sugar or honey
7 or 8 teaspoons                      1 cup sugar or honey

And finally, because Pomona’s is pure pectin, with no added acid, it is essential to add the correct amount of acid (lemon or lime juice or vinegar) for safe water-bath canning to lower acid fruits, as you will see in the recipes.

See Get Creative to read more about developing your own recipes or converting recipes written for another pectin.

Why are there asterisks after some fruits on the recipe sheet that comes with Pomona’s Pectin?

The small asterisks that appear by some fruits and then appear again in the measured ingredients column of that recipe (next to ¼ cup lemon or lime juice) are telling you that the fruits with the asterisk, like Sweet Blackberry, require the ¼ cup lemon or lime juice. The addition of lemon or lime juice is required for canning safety, and sometimes for jelling.

Pomegranate is a special case. It doesn’t require the ¼ cup lemon or lime juice, but some people feel the addition of a small amount of lemon juice improves the pomegranate flavor. So we offer the option of adding 4 teaspoons of lemon juice to your pomegranate jelly.

Can I double or triple a Pomona’s cooked recipe? Are there any potential limits or pitfalls when doubling or tripling a recipe?

Yes, you can double or triple a Pomona’s cooked recipe. Be sure to double or triple all of the ingredients in the recipe.

Potential Limits and Pitfalls when doubling or tripling a recipe:

1. You must have a water-bath canner that is large enough to hold ALL of the jars you are filling. It is not safe canning practice to let some of the filled jars sit on the counter while you water bath others. As soon as all the jars are filled and have their lids on, they should ALL go into the boiling water in the canner.

2. You must have a pot that is large enough to hold all of the fruit in the recipe plus the added ingredients, with enough extra room to stir vigorously while the mixture is boiling and not have the contents spill over.

3. You must have a stove that is powerful enough to bring the fruit mixture to a full boil and to bring it back to a full boil in a few minutes after you stir in the pectin-sweetener mix. If the fruit mixture with the pectin in it takes too long to return to a full boil, the pectin can be de-activated and you will get runny jam.

4. You must have a stove that is powerful enough to bring a large water bath canner with all of the filled jars in it back to a rolling boil in a few minutes so as not to de-activate the pectin by extended exposure to heat while waiting for the boil to come back.

We do not recommend quadrupling a recipe unless you are specifically set up for it!

 

Do I have to add calcium water to my jam or jelly?

Pomona’s Pectin is activated by calcium, so calcium has to be present in the mixture either naturally or added by you. Since most people don’t know the calcium content of their fruit, we recommend a calcium water amount in every recipe to be sure there is calcium in the mixture. If your fruit has calcium in it naturally, you don’t need to add the calcium water.

Can I halve or quarter Pomona’s cooked jam recipes?

Yes, if you want to make a small batch, our cooked jam and jelly recipes can always be halved or quartered. Be sure to halve or quarter all of the ingredients in the recipe.

What is the shelf life of cooked and processed jam made with Pomona’s Pectin?

The shelf life for cooked and processed jam made with Pomona’s is one year. Once opened, cooked and processed jam lasts 3 weeks in the refrigerator.

Do I need to do a jell test before jarring cooked jam or jelly made with Pomona’s Pectin?

You don’t need to do a jell test with Pomona’s. If you have followed a Pomona’s recipe and the directions, your jam should jell when it is completely cool – 12 to 24 hours after removing it from the water bath.

If you’d like to do a jell test, this is what we recommend: Put a Tablespoon of the hot mixture on a little saucer. Put the saucer in the freezer to thoroughly cool the mixture. Remove the saucer from the freezer when the mixture is thoroughly cool and check the jell. It is a good idea to turn off the heat and put a lid on your pot while doing the jell test.

Can I make freezer jam with Pomona’s Pectin?

Yes, you can make freezer jam with Pomona’s. See the recipe sheet that comes with every box of Pomona’s. For additional information and questions, see the FAQ section: Questions About Making Freezer Jam with Pomona’s Pectin.

Freezer jam keeps for one year in the freezer. Because it is raw, freezer jam lasts about 1 week in the refrigerator after defrosting.

Do you have guidelines for developing my own recipes?

Get Creative tells you how to develop your own recipes or convert a recipe written for a different pectin to a Pomona’s Pectin recipe.

How can I convert a recipe written for a different pectin to a Pomona’s recipe?

Get Creative tells you how to convert a recipe or develop your own recipes.

What can I make with Pomona’s Pectin besides jam or jelly?

Other uses for Pomona’s Pectin include: Fruit Syrup, Fruit Juice Jello, Jelled Pie, Jelled Milk Dessert, Jelled Fruit Candy, and Aspic (can be made with shrimp or vegetarian/vegan).

Pomona’s Pectin can also be used to help thicken homemade yogurt

Check the Miscellaneous Recipes section of the Recipes page for interesting ideas of what to do with your already made jam or jelly.

Can I use Pomona’s Pectin to help thicken my homemade yogurt?

Yes, Pomona’s Pectin can be used to help thicken homemade yogurt. We recommend using 1 teaspoon of pectin per 1 quart of milk (see Note below). Adding calcium water is not necessary if the milk is calcium fortified or has calcium in it naturally.

When you have heated the milk to its hottest point, take a cup of the hot milk and put it in a cup for an immersion blender or in a food processor or blender. Add the appropriate amount of pectin.  It is very important to vent the lid (if there is one) to let steam out. Don’t use an enclosed blender that can’t be vented. Run the machine for a good solid minute. Lift the lid and look for undissolved clumps of pectin stuck to the sides. Push any clumps onto the milk and run the machine until there are no undissolved clumps of pectin and the milk is perfectly smooth.

Add the pectinized milk to the rest of the milk and stir to get the pectin well distributed throughout all the milk. Proceed with your yogurt recipe.

NOTE: If you are using a non-animal milk or a non-fat milk, you may need up to 2 teaspoons of pectin per quart.

4. Questions About Making Freezer Jam With Pomona's Pectin (11)

Is it possible to make freezer jam with Pomona’s Pectin?

Yes, you can make freezer jam with Pomona’s. See the recipe sheet that comes with every box of Pomona’s. For additional information and questions, see this FAQ section: Questions About Making Freezer Jam with Pomona’s Pectin.

Freezer jam keeps for one year in the freezer. Because it is raw, freezer jam lasts about 1 week in the refrigerator after defrosting.

Which fruits make the best freezer jam?

Strawberries are the premier freezer jam fruit.

Raspberries can be less responsive to the no-cook jelling process.

Blueberries have to be well processed in a blender or food processor to make a nice freezer jam.

Peaches and apricots have to be cooked before they can be made into freezer jam because they contain the enzyme “pectase,” which will destroy the jell if it is not de-activated by boiling.

Can I make freezer jam with frozen fruit?

Using previously frozen fruit is not the best way to make freezer jam. Freezing breaks down the cell structure of the fruit. This makes the fruit more difficult to jell when using the no-cook jelling method.

You can try making freezer jam with frozen fruit but if it doesn’t jell well, put the runny jam in a pan, bring it to a boil and stir 1 to 2 minutes. Put in containers, leaving ½” of headspace. Jell will appear when the jam cools. Store cooled jam in the freezer. Lasts 2 to 3 weeks in the refrigerator.

Can I double or triple a Pomona’s freezer jam recipe?

We don’t recommend doubling or tripling the freezer jam recipes as doubling or tripling increases the chance of a failure to jell.

If you want to try it anyway, follow these guidelines.

1. Double or triple all of the ingredients in the recipe except the water and the calcium water.

2. Use the following quantities of water for making the hot liquid pectin:
For 6 teaspoons pectin use 1 cup water
For 8 teaspoons pectin use 1 1/3 cups water
For 9 teaspoons pectin use 1 ½ cups water
For 12 teaspoons pectin use 2 cups water

3. When adding the calcium water, start with just 4 teaspoons and see if the jell appears. If not, add more, 1 teaspoon at a time. Once you have reached 12 teaspoons and the jell is still insufficient, adding more calcium water may be problematic as the calcium water may have reached the limit of what it can do and will start to water down the jam.

We do not recommend quadrupling a freezer jam recipe.

 

Can I halve or quarter Pomona’s freezer jam recipes?

We don’t recommend halving or quartering a freezer jam recipe as the water for making the hot liquid pectin cannot be halved or quartered. It is too small an amount of water in which to dissolve the pectin.

Can I add more sweetener to my freezer jam than the recipe calls for?

Yes, it is okay to add extra sweetener beyond our range when making freezer jam with Pomona’s Pectin. The pectin is dissolved in the boiling hot water, so extra sweetener in the fruit mixture will not prevent the pectin from dissolving.

Adding extra liquid sweetener, however, can soften the jell, so consider adding a little extra pectin in Step 4 of the freezer jam directions if you know you are going to add extra liquid sweetener.

How long does freezer jam last in the freezer?

Freezer jam will keep for 1 year in the freezer.

Low-sugar, uncooked freezer jam is just like fresh produce. It has a limited shelf life of one week in the refrigerator. It is best to put freezer jam in small containers in order to ensure that you eat it before it goes moldy.

Cooked jam that you store in the freezer will last for 3 weeks in the refrigerator once opened.

How long does freezer jam last in the refrigerator once thawed?

Low-sugar, uncooked freezer jam is just like fresh produce. It has a limited shelf life of one week in the refrigerator. It is best to put freezer jam in small containers in order to ensure that you eat it before it goes moldy.

Cooked jam that you store in the freezer will last for 3 weeks in the refrigerator once opened.

If I add corn syrup to my freezer jam will it prevent sugar crystals from forming and will my jam last longer once thawed?

The formation of sugar crystals can be a problem in high-sugar jam. Since Pomona’s jells with low amounts of sugar, sugar crystals do not form. Corn syrup can be used as a sweetener in place of honey, but the jam won’t last longer.

My freezer jam hasn’t jelled enough. What can I do?

1. Put the bowl of freezer jam in the refrigerator. Chilling the mixture may bring on a sufficient jell. If it does, put the jam into the containers, leaving ½” of headspace, and freeze.

2. If chilling doesn’t bring on a good jell, put the freezer jam into a pan, bring the mixture to a boil, and stir for 2 minutes. Turn off the heat. Jam will be runny because it is hot. Put the hot mixture into the freezer containers leaving ½” of headspace. Jell will appear when the jam is thoroughly cool. Store cooled jam in the freezer. Once thawed, boiled jam lasts 2 to 3 weeks in the refrigerator.

When making freezer jam, I added the pectin powder directly to the fruit instead of making hot liquid pectin. Should I add the calcium water and just go ahead?

No. Put the fruit mixture in a pan, add 4 teaspoons of calcium water, and bring to a boil, stirring vigorously to dissolve the pectin.

If the pectin forms clumps and you can’t seem to get the clumps to dissolve, turn off the heat and try to fish out the pectin clumps as much as you can. Remove 1 cup of the hot fruit mixture. Put the pectin clumps and the 1 cup of hot fruit mixture into a blender or food processor, vent the lid, and blend 1 minute until the pectin is completely dissolved. Bring the fruit in the pan back to a boil, add the 1 cup fruit with the dissolved pectin, and stir and boil for 1 minute. Put in containers, leaving ½” of headspace. Jell will appear when the jam cools. Store cooled jam in the freezer. Lasts 2 to 3 weeks in the refrigerator.

5. Questions About Ingredients: Fruit, Acid, Sweeteners, and Making Jam with No Sweetener (17)

Can I use frozen fruit for the cooked jam recipes?

Yes, you can use frozen fruit for the cooked recipes. It’s best to use unsweetened frozen fruit. Defrost, but don’t drain, frozen fruit before using. Generally you use the liquid from the frozen fruit along with the fruit unless you notice that there is an excessive amount of liquid, in which case you would ladle off some of the excess liquid before measuring your mashed fruit. If you are going to juice the fruit for jelly, then you would use all of the liquid.

Can I use canned fruit for the cooked jam recipes?

Yes, you can use canned fruit for the cooked recipes as long as no sweetener has been added to the fruit.

Can I substitute Citric Acid or Ascorbic Acid for the lemon or lime juice or vinegar called for in a Pomona’s recipe?

Citric Acid can be substituted – it will adjust the acidity (lower the pH) of the fruit, which is what you want to do. 1/2 teaspoon powdered Citric Acid is equivalent to 1 Tablespoon lemon juice. 2 teaspoons powdered Citric Acid is equivalent to ¼ cup lemon juice (4 Tablespoons). Citric Acid lowers pH and imparts tartness to the fruit mixture, but it doesn’t add a particular flavor.

Ascorbic Acid cannot be substituted for lemon or lime juice or vinegar in a Pomona’s recipe. It is simply Vitamin C powder. It will not lower the pH of the fruit. It is commonly used to prevent browning in cut fresh fruit or fruit that will be canned.

Citric Acid and Ascorbic Acid are two different acids, with different chemical compositions. Both are present in lemon juice.

If I don’t have enough lemon or lime juice for a recipe, can I substitute vinegar?

Yes, but the vinegar must be standardized to 5% acidity and it likely will have some affect on the taste.

Can I add more sweetener than the range given in the Pomona’s recipe I am following?

In the Pomona’s Cooked Recipes – Low Sugar or Honey, it is essential to stir the pectin into an amount of sweetener in the range given in the recipe because the pectin will only dissolve in a low-sugar mixture. Any additional sweetener should be held aside until after you have added the pectin-sweetener mix to the boiling fruit in Step 5 and stirred vigorously for 1 to 2 minutes to get the pectin dissolved. Once the pectin is dissolved, you are free to add extra sweetener above the range. Stir in the extra sweetener well and bring the mixture back to a full boil before turning off the heat.

Be aware that adding extra liquid sweetener can soften the jell, so consider adding a little extra pectin in Step 4 if you will be adding extra liquid sweetener.

Can I use raw, unfiltered honey with Pomona’s Pectin?

Yes, it is fine to use raw, unfiltered honey with Pomona’s Pectin.

Can I use Agave as the sweetener when making jam or jelly with Pomona’s Pectin?

Yes, Agave can be used just like honey. Unlike honey, however, Agave doesn’t impart any taste, just a nice sweetness.

Can I use Turbinado Sugar, Maple Sugar, Demerara, Moscavado, Coconut, or other large grain sugars when making jam or jelly with Pomona’s Pectin?

Yes you can, but because the pectin won’t mix well with the larger crystals and is therefore more likely to clump, you need to granulate these sugars in a food processor before measuring out the amount you want. This will insure both that your measurements are accurate and that the pectin mixes well with the sugar. These sugars can add a lovely warm flavor to jams & jellies.

Can I use stevia that measures like sugar as the sweetener when making jam or jelly with Pomona’s Pectin?

Yes, stevia that measures like sugar (cup for cup stevia) can be used just like sugar in all of our recipes.

I am using concentrated stevia for my sweetener in a Pomona’s cooked jam or jelly recipe. How do I get the pectin to dissolve properly and not clump?

When using concentrated stevia as the sweetener in a cooked recipe, you get the pectin to dissolve properly by making liquid pectin with boiling water or unsweetened fruit juice. Follow the directions and recipes for Cooked Jam & Jelly – Low Sugar or Honey on the recipe sheet that comes with Pomona’s Pectin. You won’t be able to follow Steps 4 & 5 (stirring the pectin into the sweetener). Substitute Steps 4 & 5 found on the other side of the recipe sheet in the upper left-hand corner for making liquid pectin and adding it to the fruit mixture.

When using concentrated stevia to add more sweetness to a jam or jelly sweetened with juice concentrate, add stevia to taste after you add the blended mixture of juice concentrate and pectin to the boiling fruit or juice in the pan.

Can I use Truvia or similar sweeteners when making jam or jelly with Pomona’s Pectin?

Yes, Truvia and similar sweeteners can be used in all of our recipes. ½ cup Truvia Baking Blend is equal in sweetness to 1 cup of sugar. So when a recipe calls for a certain amount of sugar, you would use half that amount. For recipes that give a sugar range, pick the amount of sugar you would want to use and then cut it in half for the Truvia Baking Blend.

Truvia Spoonable says that 3/4 teaspoon is equivalent to 2 teaspoons sugar, so if you are using that product, you could use slightly less than half the amount of sugar you would use, or go with half to make it easier and it should be just fine.

The thing to be aware of is that you need to stir the pectin into a minimum amount of sugar or Truvia in order for the pectin to get dispersed adequately. Table 1 below gives you the minimum amounts:

 

TABLE 1
Pectin to add                          Minimum amount of sweetener required
1 teaspoon (or less)                 2 Tablespoons sugar or honey
2 teaspoons                            ¼ cup sugar or honey
3 teaspoons                             3/8 cup sugar or honey
4 teaspoons                             ½ cup sugar or honey
5 teaspoons                            5/8 cup sugar or honey
6 teaspoons                             ¾ cup sugar or honey
7 or 8 teaspoons                      1 cup sugar or honey

Can I use sorghum as the sweetener when making jam or jelly with Pomona’s Pectin?

Yes, sorghum can be used just like honey. Just be sure that you want the flavor of sorghum in your jam or jelly.

Can I use unsweetened juice in place of juice concentrate as the sweetener for cooked jam or jelly?

Yes, you can use unsweetened juice as the “sweetener,” but unsweetened juice does not have the sweetening power that juice concentrate has and can’t be classified as a sweetener for jam & jelly.

Can I make my own juice concentrate from juice?

Yes. Put 4 cups of unsweetened white grape juice or unsweetened apple juice in a sauce pan and boil down to 1 cup. You will then have the equivalent of 1 cup of no-sugar-added frozen juice concentrate that you buy in the grocery store.

How do I make jam with no sweetener at all?

Please note: We don’t recommend making jam or jelly with absolutely no sweetener. The final product is likely to be tart and bland. Sweetener, even in a small amount, brings out the flavor of the fruit.

If you want to try it, however, this is what you do: For 4 cups of mashed fruit or juice, use either ½ cup water or unsweetened fruit juice (if you’re using 2 or 3 teaspoons of pectin) or ¾ cup water or unsweetened fruit juice (if you’re using 4 teaspoons of pectin).

Make liquid pectin by measuring the correct amount of water or juice into a small sauce pan and bringing it to a boil. Put boiling liquid in cup for immersion blender, or in food processor, or in blender. Add pectin. It is very important to vent the lid (if there is one) to let steam out. Don’t use an enclosed blender that can’t be vented. Blend for 10 seconds, then stop and scrape down the sides so all pectin clumps are in or on the liquid. Blend for a full minute until all powder is totally dissolved.

Add the liquid pectin to the boiling fruit or juice mixture, which should already contain the calcium water and lemon juice (or lime juice or vinegar) if called for in the recipe. Stir while mixture returns to a full boil. If you taste your jam before jarring and it isn’t sweet enough, you can add however much sweetener you want at this point. Stir well and return mixture to a boil, remove from heat, jar and process according to the recipe sheet that comes with Pomona’s Pectin.

These instructions are also on the recipe sheet that comes with your box of Pomona’s Pectin – back side, upper left-hand corner.

Is it possible to dissolve Pomona’s Pectin in water or unsweetened juice if I don’t have a blender or food processor?

Yes. You can bring the water or juice to a boil, put it in a canning jar and add the needed pectin powder. Screw on the lid, pick up the jar with a hot pad and shake well to get the pectin saturated with liquid. Shake the jar every so often while the liquid is still hot. When the liquid cools down, put the jar in the refrigerator overnight. In the morning you should find fully dissolved liquid pectin (no pectin clumps whatsoever).

What is the minimum amount of sweetener I can use and still disperse the pectin adequately?

Table 1 below gives you the minimum amount of sweetener required for adequate disbursement of the pectin.

 

TABLE 1
Pectin to add                          Minimum amount of sweetener required
1 teaspoon (or less)                 2 Tablespoons sugar or honey
2 teaspoons                            ¼ cup sugar or honey
3 teaspoons                             3/8 cup sugar or honey
4 teaspoons                             ½ cup sugar or honey
5 teaspoons                            5/8 cup sugar or honey
6 teaspoons                             ¾ cup sugar or honey
7 or 8 teaspoons                      1 cup sugar or honey

6. Questions About Jam-Making Equipment and Water Bath Canning (4)

Can I use Pomona’s Pectin to make jam in my electric jam maker or bread machine?

Yes, you can use Pomona’s to make jam in your electric jam maker or bread machine. You will need to follow a Pomona’s recipe and the basic directions for Cooked Jam – Low Sugar or Honey for it to work properly.

You need to mash & measure the fruit into a bowl. If our recipe is too big for your machine, then you can do a half recipe. Add the calcium water & lemon juice (if called for) and stir well. Then mix the pectin into the sugar (or other sweetener) and then add the pectin-sweetener mix into the bowl of fruit and stir well. Then put the bowl of jam mixture into the machine and turn it on.

Do I have to do a water bath to preserve my cooked jam or jelly?

No – if you have freezer space, cooked jam and jelly can be stored in the freezer. Follow the directions as if you were going to do a water bath, but leave ½” of headspace in the jars (instead of ¼”). This extra space allows for expansion when the jam freezes. Allow jars to cool on the counter, then store in the freezer. Defrost in the refrigerator before eating.

Is it okay to use TATTLER reusable canning lids with Pomona’s Pectin?

Yes, TATTLER reusable canning lids are okay to use with Pomona’s Pectin. The USDA does not recommend Tattler reusable lids. Our understanding is that the USDA has never tested them.

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. Therefore, the water will not cause mold or bacteria to grow in the jar.

On another note, it is always a good practice to examine a sealed jar when you take it off the shelf to eat.

First, be sure that you “pop a seal.” A jar that was safely sealed a few months ago could possibly 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 contents of 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.

7. Troubleshooting (16)

What if I make a mistake?

The good news is: if you make a mistake, it can usually be fixed. Pomona’s Pectin is thermoreversible, which means that your jam or jelly can be put back in the pan, ingredients can be added, and the mixture can be re-boiled and then re-jarred and re-processed. When the jam or jelly thoroughly cools, the pectin will re-jell.

See My Jam or Jelly Didn’t Jell – Can I Fix It? for specific problems and their fixes.

What if I forgot the lemon juice and my jars are all sealed?

If your recipe called for lemon juice and you forgot to put it in, your mixture will not be acid enough for safe canning. You have to open the jars and put the mixture into a sauce pan. (If you made the jam or jelly recently and you carefully remove the lids without damaging them, you can re-use the same lids.) Add the missing lemon juice and stir well. Bring the mixture to a good boil. Boil and stir for 2 minutes. Jar and process according to the Recipe sheet that comes with Pomona’s Pectin.

What if I forgot the calcium water and my jars are all sealed?

Some fruits have calcium in them naturally. This natural calcium will activate the pectin. Wait until the next day to see if your mixture jells when thoroughly cool. If it has jelled, you don’t need to do anything.

If it hasn’t jelled, open the jars and put the mixture into a sauce pan. (If you made the jam or jelly recently and you carefully remove the lids without damaging them, you can re-use the same lids.) Add the missing calcium water and stir well. Bring the mixture to a good boil. Boil and stir for 2 minutes. Jar and process according to the Recipe sheet that comes with Pomona’s Pectin.

What should I do if I put too much calcium water in my jam or jelly?

Usually there is nothing you can do or need to do because it doesn’t cause serious problems. The jam or jelly is still safe to eat. You might notice that your jam or jelly is weepy (liquid seeps out of the jell and forms a puddle) or that the jell is stiffer than normal. It’s also possible you could experience a more acid taste.

I added Pomona’s Pectin directly to the boiling fruit and now I have clumps of pectin in the pan of fruit mixture. What can I do?

Pure pectin powder, like Pomona’s, will clump together when it comes in contact with wetness. That is why the directions say to stir the pectin powder into the sweetener. This spreads the pectin out and prevents it from clumping together when it is added to the boiling fruit. Your vigorous stirring causes the pectin to dissolve without any clumping. Some of our recipes require you to pre-dissolve the pectin in a boiling liquid in a blender or food processor to prevent clumping.

The Fix: Turn off the heat and fish out the pectin clumps as much as you can. Put ¾ cup up to 1 cup of hot fruit mixture into a cup for immersion blender, or in food processor, or in blender. Add the pectin clumps that you fished out. It is very important to vent the lid (if there is one) to let steam out. Don’t use an enclosed blender that can’t be vented. Blend for a full minute until all clumps are totally dissolved.

Bring pan with fruit mixture back to a boil, add blended pectin-fruit, and stir well. Stir vigorously to break up any pectin clumps still in the fruit mixture. Bring fruit mixture to a full boil. Remove from the heat. Jar and process according to the Recipe sheet that comes with Pomona’s Pectin.

Note: For this fix to work, your fruit mixture needs to be a “low-sweetener mixture” — that is, the sweetener that is already mixed in with the fruit has to be within the sweetener ranges on our recipe sheet. The pectin clumps can only fully dissolve in a low-sweetener mixture.

If the sweetener in your mixture is above the sweetener range, turn off the heat and fish out the pectin clumps as much as you can. Put ¾ cup up to 1 cup of boiling water or boiling unsweetened fruit juice into a cup for immersion blender, or in food processor, or in blender. Add the pectin clumps that you fished out. It is very important to vent the lid (if there is one) to let steam out. Don’t use an enclosed blender that can’t be vented. Blend for a full minute until all clumps are totally dissolved.

Bring pan with fruit mixture back to a boil, add blended pectin, and stir well. Bring fruit mixture to a full boil. Remove from the heat. Jar and process according to the Recipe sheet that comes with Pomona’s Pectin.

Why did the Pomona’s Pectin powder clump when I added it to the pan of boiling fruit and what can I do about it?

There are several scenarios that can cause the pectin to clump together when it is added to the fruit mixture.

1. The pectin was stirred directly into the fruit mixture.
2. The pectin was stirred into an amount of sweetener below the low end of the sweetener range.
3. The pectin was not well mixed throughout the sweetener.
4. The pectin was stirred into a sugar with larger crystals, like turbinado sugar. The pectin may not mix well with these larger crystals.

The Fix: Turn off the heat and fish out the pectin clumps as much as you can. Put ¾ cup up to 1 cup of hot fruit mixture into a cup for immersion blender, or in food processor, or in blender. Add the pectin clumps that you fished out. It is very important to vent the lid (if there is one) to let steam out. Don’t use an enclosed blender that can’t be vented. Blend for a full minute until all clumps are totally dissolved.

Bring pan with fruit mixture back to a boil, add blended pectin-fruit, and stir well. Stir vigorously to break up any pectin clumps still in the fruit mixture. Bring fruit mixture to a full boil. Remove from the heat. Jar and process according to the Recipe sheet that comes with Pomona’s Pectin.

Note: For this fix to work, your fruit mixture needs to be a “low-sweetener mixture” — that is, the sweetener that is already mixed in with the fruit has to be within the sweetener ranges on our recipe sheet. The pectin clumps can only fully dissolve in a low-sweetener mixture.

If the sweetener in your mixture is above the sweetener range, turn off the heat and fish out the pectin clumps as much as you can. Put ¾ cup up to 1 cup of boiling water or boiling unsweetened fruit juice into a cup for immersion blender, or in food processor, or in blender. Add the pectin clumps that you fished out. It is very important to vent the lid (if there is one) to let steam out. Don’t use an enclosed blender that can’t be vented. Blend for a full minute until all clumps are totally dissolved.

Bring pan with fruit mixture back to a boil, add blended pectin, and stir well. Bring fruit mixture to a full boil. Remove from the heat. Jar and process according to the Recipe sheet that comes with Pomona’s Pectin.

I added the pectin-sweetener to the pan of boiling fruit and stirred vigorously and now when I taste my fruit mixture, it’s grainy. What happened?

If you stir the pectin powder into an amount of sweetener that is beyond the range shown in our recipes, or have too much sweetener already added to the fruit, the pectin powder will be inhibited from dissolving and may go grainy. Pomona’s Pectin can only properly dissolve in a low-sugar environment, so it is necessary to keep the sweetener low (within our range) while you are dissolving the pectin in the boiling fruit mixture. Additional sweetener can be added after the pectin is fully dissolved.

If your jam or jelly is grainy, see My Jam or Jelly Didn’t Jell – Can I Fix It? Scroll down the page to “Fix Your Jam or Jelly” and click on Fix F: Made jam or jelly with more sweetener than specified in the recipe and the jam or jelly IS grainy or gritty.

Or go directly to Fix F: Made jam or jelly with more sweetener than specified in the recipe and the jam or jelly IS grainy or gritty.

My jam has separated. I have all the pulp at the top of the jar and juice underneath. What did I do wrong and how can I fix it?

What you have is called “fruit float.” When the jars of jam are very hot and there is no jell yet, the pulp, which is lighter than the juice, is able to float to the top of the jar. Strawberries are prone to fruit float although it doesn’t always happen. Other fruits can have fruit float also. You are not doing anything wrong.

In the future, when you take the jars out of the water bath, leave them for about an hour to start cooling and seal. Then come back and check to make sure they are all sealed. If you see that you have fruit float, turn the jars upside down to force the pulp to redistribute through the jar. Come back in about 45 minutes and turn the jars right side up to once again force the pulp to redistribute through the jar. Check again in another 45 minutes and if you have a distinct dividing line, turn the jars upside down again. Turn the jars right side up again in about 30 minutes. You always want the jars to end up right side up. By keeping the pulp well distributed throughout the jars, there will not be a dividing line when the jell finally starts and locks everything into place.

If your jam has jelled in a separated state, you can gently stir the pulp and juice back together when you open the jar to eat it. Separated jam in sealed jars will store safely.

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. Therefore, the water will not cause mold or bacteria to grow in the jar.

On another note, it is always a good practice to examine a sealed jar when you take it off the shelf to eat.

First, be sure that you “pop a seal.” A jar that was safely sealed a few months ago could possibly 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 contents of 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.

I just opened a jar of jam that I made a few weeks ago and there is a thin, white film on top of the jam. What is the problem and is it safe to eat?

Usually that thin, white film is jelled foam. If your fruit was foamy in the sauce pan and you didn’t skim the foam off, or if your mixture had a lot of air in it and you didn’t do air releasing before putting the jam in the jars, the foam or tiny air bubbles rise to the top of the jar and form that white film.

It is always a good idea to inspect a jar of jam that has been stored on the shelf before eating it. Do you see mold? Does the jam smell moldy or fermented (have a smell of alcohol)? If yes, throw it away. If not, taste it and if it tastes okay, it is fine to eat it.

What if I open a jar of my jam or jelly and it isn’t sweet enough to suit my taste?

For an immediate fix, gently stir some additional sweetener into the jar.

Another option is to empty the jar into a small saucepan. Add the sweetener you want to the mixture in the pan and bring to a boil, stirring well for 1 minute. Put the hot mixture into a clean, hot jar and put on a washed lid. Eat when thoroughly cool and the mixture has re-jelled.

If you want to fix a whole batch at once, pour the contents of all the jars into a pan – remove lids carefully if they haven’t been on the jars for very long and you want to re-use them. Add more sweetener. Bring the mixture to a good boil. Boil and stir for 2 minutes. Jar and process according to the Recipe sheet that comes with Pomona’s Pectin.

Is it possible to destroy the jelling power of Pomona’s Pectin by overcooking?

Yes. Pomona’s Pectin will start breaking down if it is subjected to extended cooking. After you have added the pectin to your boiling fruit mixture, you can continue to cook for up to 10 minutes without harming the pectin. After 10 minutes you risk breaking down the pectin.

An extended boiling water-bath of the filled jars also risks breaking down the pectin. The pectin is likely to be totally broken down by pressure canning. If you follow the cooking times in the directions and recipes that come with Pomona’s, the pectin will retain its full jelling power.

If you overcooked your jam or jelly and it didn’t jell, you may be able to fix it. Learn how on our page: My Jam or Jelly Didn’t Jell – Can I Fix It? Scroll down the page to “Fix Your Jam or Jelly” and click on How to Choose Fix A, B, or C: Need to Add More Pectin.

Or go directly to How to Choose Fix A, B, or C: Need to Add More Pectin.

 

Can the vibration and heat from shipping break down the jell in a jam or jelly made with Pomona’s Pectin?

If the jell in a jam or jelly made with Pomona’s Pectin has broken apart during shipping, you may be able to restore it.

Empty the jar into a sauce pan. Heat the jam or jelly until it becomes totally liquid. Pour the hot mixture into a clean, hot jar. There is a good chance that it will be nicely jelled when thoroughly cool in 12 to 24 hours.

I am looking at jars of jam or jelly that I made several months ago. The color has lost its brightness and is a brownish shade of the original color. Can I still eat the jam or jelly and can I prevent this from happening in the future?

Low-sweetener jam or jelly that is a bright color at first will begin to fade over time and with exposure to light. This is a process of color loss and does not mean the jam or jelly is going bad. The browning starts at the top of the jar and slowly works its way down. If your jars were properly sealed and the seal is still intact, the jam or jelly, although not as pretty as it once was, is safe to eat.

To slow down the process of color loss, store your sealed jars in total darkness. You can also add some lemon juice even when a recipe does not require it (1 tablespoon per cup of mashed fruit or juice at the most). Freezing your fruit and then making the jam or jelly closer to the time when you are going to eat it or give it away is also recommended.

I don’t know how long my jar of partially eaten low-sweetener jam or jelly has been in the refrigerator. How do I know if it is still good to eat?

When you open the jar, look for identifiable fuzzy mold, a moldy smell, or a fermented (alcoholic) smell. An open jar of low-sweetener jam or jelly can only be expected to last about 3 weeks in the refrigerator.

What can I do if I still have trouble or questions after reading the recipe sheet that came with my box of Pomona’s Pectin, reading these FAQs, watching the Pomona’s video, and reading My Jam or Jelly Didn’t Jell – Can I Fix It? on the Pomona’s website Learn page?

Pomona’s Pectin operates a JAMLINE. A real person is available to answer questions and hear comments. The number is 413-772-6816. If we don’t answer, please leave a message and someone will return your call as soon as possible.

8. What Can I Make With Pomona's Pectin Besides Jam & Jelly? (7)

Can I Make Fruit Syrup with Pomona’s Pectin?

Yes — you can make low-sweetener fruit syrup with Pomona’s using our Fruit Syrup–Low Sweetener recipe.

Can I Make Jello with Pomona’s Pectin?

Yes, we have recipes for both Unsweetened Fruit Juice Jello and Low-Sweetener Fruit Juice Jello made with Pomona’s Pectin.

Can I Make a Jelled Pie with Pomona’s Pectin?

Yes, we have a recipe for a Frozen Lemon or Lime Jelled Pie made with Pomona’s Pectin.

Can I Make a Jelled Milk Dessert with Pomona’s Pectin?

Yes, we have a recipe for Jelled Milk Dessert made with Pomona’s Pectin.

Can I Make Jelled Fruit Candy with Pomona’s Pectin?

Yes, we have a recipe for Jelled Fruit Candy–Low Sweetener made with Pomona’s Pectin.

Can I Make Aspic with Pomona’s Pectin?

Yes, we have a recipe for Tomato-Shrimp Aspic made with Pomona’s Pectin. This same recipe can also be used to make a plain vegan tomato aspic.

Can I use Pomona’s Pectin to help thicken my homemade yogurt?

Yes, Pomona’s Pectin can be used to help thicken homemade yogurt. We recommend using 1 teaspoon of pectin per 1 quart of milk (see Note below). Adding calcium water is not necessary if the milk is calcium fortified or has calcium in it naturally.

When you have heated the milk to its hottest point, take a cup of the hot milk and put it in a cup for an immersion blender or in a food processor or blender. Add the appropriate amount of pectin.  It is very important to vent the lid (if there is one) to let steam out. Don’t use an enclosed blender that can’t be vented. Run the machine for a good solid minute. Lift the lid and look for undissolved clumps of pectin stuck to the sides. Push any clumps onto the milk and run the machine until there are no undissolved clumps of pectin and the milk is perfectly smooth.

Add the pectinized milk to the rest of the milk and stir to get the pectin well distributed throughout all the milk. Proceed with your yogurt recipe.

NOTE: If you are using a non-animal milk or a non-fat milk, you may need up to 2 teaspoons of pectin per quart.

B. Leena Newcomb Photography

B. Leena Newcomb Photography

Click to view, download, or print the directions & recipes that come with every box.

99 thoughts on “FAQ

  1. I am making Crab Apple Jelly for the first time with Pomona’s knowing that the sugar can be much less. Question: the pectin content in crab apples is high on its own. Will the added pectin make it too tough to spread?

    • Dear Nancy,
      If you follow the recipe on the direction sheet that comes with the pectin, your crab apple jelly should be spreadable. The Pomona’s jell sometimes may appear very firm, but should always be spreadable if you have followed the recipe and the directions for making the jelly.

      If you’re concerned, you could consider making a half batch first and see how you like it. If it is too firm for you, you could reduce the amount of pectin in the full batch by up to 1 teaspoon.

  2. I want to make jam, but I don’t want to can it. Can I just keep in the fridge or freezer? And if it gets added to a cake for example, is it safe for at least a few hours out of the fridge? Just came to this site from the loveandoliveoil.com blog and would like to start right away making delicious fruit spreads or jams.

    • Dear Doris,
      Yes, you can freeze cooked low-sugar jam for long-term storage. When you freeze a container of jam, you want to leave 1/2″ of head space instead of the 1/4″ needed for water bath canning, in order to give room for expansion. When the containers are cooled enough, you can put them in the freezer. Low-sugar jam stored in the freezer is best eaten within 1 year. After being defrosted, it will keep in the refrigerator for 3 weeks.

      Keeping jam in the refrigerator is not long-term storage. The refrigerator is for jam you want to eat in the next 3 weeks.

      It is safe to leave low-sugar jam out of the refrigerator for a little while in a cake or whatever else you make with it. It’s just that if you leave an opened container of low-sugar jam at room temperature for long periods of time, you will likely shorten its keeping time, even once it’s refrigerated again.

  3. Hi there,

    I started using Pomona recently. I absolutely love the product.
    I was wondering if I could use coconut sugar as well.
    Have you tried it or heard of someone who did? How was the result?

    • Dear Sabine,
      Yes, we have had customers use coconut sugar and be happy with the results.

      If the coconut sugar you want to use has large crystals, consider processing it in a food processor or blender to make the crystals smaller and allow the pectin to get mixed into the sugar better. This is what one of our customers said:

      “BTW, I find that Turbinado, Maple Sugar, Demerara, Moscavado, and other large grain sugars often add a lovely warm flavor to jams, particularly to apricot, peach, and pear; but first you need to pulverize them to a smaller grain in your processor, 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.”

      We have not had a lot of experience with coconut sugar ourselves — we are just beginning to experiment with it.

      Please consider sharing your experience if you try it. We are eager to learn more about how it works with the pectin and how it tastes with the fruit.

  4. If my jars are “popping” without a water bath, is it necessary to do one? When I used to can with Certo pectin, we were usually able to do jam without water bathing, unless the jars were not hot enough and some didn’t “pop.” I don’t like the condensation that forms under the lid when I do a water bath, as it makes me a little nervous regarding mold (especially since this method has less preservatives).

    • Hello Elizabeth,
      The USDA/National Center for Home Food Preservation now recommends water-bath processing for jams and jellies that are going to be stored at room temperature, whether made with high sugar or low sugar. This is a change from the past.

      What the water-bath process does is super-heat the air space at the top of the jar and kill any mold spores or yeast that may be in the air. You don’t want to seal in any live mold spores or yeast as they will grow in the low-sugar jam or jelly if they are not killed. The extra heat of the water bath also does create a stronger seal than if you just let the jars cool and pop.

      Did you invert the jars at all after filling them? Some people do this as a way of avoiding the water bath, the idea being that the hot jam will sterilize that air space. If the jars seal after inverting them, they will likely be shelf stable for a period of time, but again the seal is not as strong as with a water bath.

      Sometimes condensation on the inside of the jar does happen with a water bath, but you don’t need to worry about it because the water in the jar has been sterilized during the water bath. Therefore, the water will not cause mold or bacteria to grow in the jar.

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

      I hope this is helpful about water bath processing. If you have more questions, please don’t hesitate to ask!

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

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

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

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

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

      If you want to use cut up pieces of fruit or whole berries and suspend them in a jelled syrup, that is what we call a preserve. The Strawberry-Vanilla Preserves recipe on our website is an example of how to make a preserve with Pomona’s. You’ll notice that less pectin is used in this recipe for 4 cups of strawberry fruit mixture than for 4 cups of mashed strawberries. There are a couple of other preserve recipes on our website also.

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

      As an example and general guideline for cut up pieces of fruit, this is what we would suggest for apricots:

      If the fruit is mashed, 1½ teaspoons pectin for 2 cups of mashed fruit.
      If the pieces are small-sized, 1¼ teaspoons pectin for 2 cups of fruit.
      If the pieces are medium-sized, try 1 teaspoon pectin for 2 cups of fruit.
      If the pieces are large, try ¾ teaspoon pectin for 2 cups of fruit.

      If this doesn’t answer your question, please give us a call on the Jamline (413-772-6816).

      • I’d like to make a runny jam to use in yogurt etc. And thank you for providing such a clear, understandable answer, Pomona person. I came looking for this exact information. I just started using Pomona and am super thrilled with it.

  5. Living in the southwest, there are many different things to preserve. Currently prickly pear cactus(tunas) fruit are in season. I have picked a bunch and made juice with them. My question is can I make jelly from the juice? There are standard recipes for jelly with regular pectin and lots of sugar. I would like to try a less sugar recipe. Has anyone ever done this? Thanks for the help.

    • When you say the “natural fruit juice” I assume you are talking about the juice that is in the fruit you are mashing. If so, the answer is yes. However, sometimes if the fruit is REALLY juicy you may want to drain off some of that juice, or, if you don’t want to drain off the juice, you might want to use a little more pectin for jelling purposes.

  6. I found a zucchini pineapple recipe with surejell and jello and lots of sugar. Do you know how I could convert it?

    • Dear Katrina,
      We have a page on our website called Get Creative that gives you guidelines for converting a recipe.

      The one thing it doesn’t address, which applies to a recipe with zucchini in it, is the pH or acid level of the mixture and the final product. To be safe for water bath canning, the mixture must be high acid and the pH must be 4.6 or below, which many fruits are. But zucchini is a very low-acid fruit/vegetable. Other pectins have acid added to them; Pomona’s does not. That is why some fruits, in our recipes, require added lemon or lime juice or vinegar to be safe for water bath canning. And that is why it’s always important to follow a tested recipe if you want to store the final product on a shelf at room temperature.

      We don’t have a tested recipe with zucchini in it for Pomona’s Pectin. If you wanted to convert your zucchini recipe to a low-sugar Pomona’s recipe, you would need to store it in the refrigerator for up to 3 weeks or in the freezer for up to a year.

      We do have a recipe on our website for Sunrise Marmalade, which is excerpted from our book, Preserving with Pomona’s Pectin. This has carrots and pineapple in it and tastes something like carrot cake. This is a tested recipe and safe for water bath canning.

      I hope this helps. Let us know if we can be of further assistance — and happy jamming.

  7. Will sugar free jam/preserves last a year in the pantry? Or will they spoil because they do not have any sugar or sweetener?

    Thanks.

    • Dear Johana,
      Low and no-sweetener jam and jelly that has been properly water-bath processed and is sealed can sit on the shelf for up to one year and will be fine to eat. Once opened, it will keep for 3 weeks in the refrigerator.

      It is always a good idea to inspect a jar of jam that has been stored on the shelf before eating it. Is the jar still sealed when you open it? Do you see mold? Does the jam smell moldy or fermented (have a smell of alcohol)? If yes, throw it away. If not, taste it and if it tastes okay, it is fine to eat it.

      I hope this answers your question.

  8. I’ve been using Pomona’s for years and I LOVE it. :) Best flavor and consistency for jam of any of them, IMO. I wonder if you could comment on color retention? I find with the low sugar recipes the color of the jams fades. My raspberry jam in particular morphs into a rather unappetizing shade of not-really-red-anymore. Other than increasing the sugar content, what could I do to keep the beautiful color of freshly made jam?

    • Dear Lory,
      Yes, color retention can be a problem in low-sugar jam. Below is one of the questions and answers in the FAQs.

      I am looking at jars of jam or jelly that I made several months ago. The color has lost its brightness and is a brownish shade of the original color. Can I still eat the jam or jelly and can I prevent this from happening in the future?

      Low-sweetener jam or jelly that is a bright color at first will begin to fade over time and with exposure to light. This is a process of color loss and does not mean the jam or jelly is going bad. The browning starts at the top of the jar and slowly works its way down. If your jars were properly sealed and the seal is still intact, the jam or jelly, although not as pretty as it once was, is safe to eat.

      To slow down the process of color loss, store your sealed jars in total darkness. You can also add some lemon juice even when a recipe does not require it (1 tablespoon per cup of mashed fruit or juice at the most). Freezing your fruit and then making the jam or jelly closer to the time when you are going to eat it or give it away is also recommended.

      Posted in: 7. Troubleshooting

      Another trick is to add some cranberries to your jam, as my sister Connie did in her Strawberry-Cranberry Jam. Haven’t tried this recipe with raspberries ourselves, but if you do, let us know how it turns out!

      I hope this helps and please do get in touch if you have more questions.

  9. I have a question about changing the jar size. I want to make jam with 500ml jars instead of the 250ml sizes often quoted in the recipes in your wonderful book. How much longer do I need to process it in the canner for? Or will 10 minutes do it.

    (500ml is about a US pint)

    • Hi Erin,
      You can process the 500ml/pint jars for 10 minutes also, same as half-pint.

      The one thing to think about in using larger jars is whether you and your family will eat that much jam in 3 weeks. Low-sugar jam may keep longer than 3 weeks in the refrigerator if you’re careful with it, but there are no guarantees.

      Thanks for using Pomona’s — and happy jamming!

  10. I have been trying to make vegan or vegetarian homemade marshmallows. (Without egg whites would be my first choice.) I tried making with regular pectin before I remembered the Pomona’s in my cupboard; they were not firm enough to roast. Do you have a recipe that has been tried and worked? I have wasted a lot of time and ingredients, and camping season is halfway done! Thanks in advance.

    • Dear Joy,
      As far as we know, pectin cannot be successfully used to make marshmallows. It really requires gelatin. It just doesn’t give the right consistency. There are some things where pectin can be substituted for gelatin but marshmallows are not one of those things. Sorry not to be able to solve your problem!

      • Thanks for your quick response! I have made them in the past, but have not had good results this year, though they were great in coffee, my daughter said. Hopefully it’s just been too humid. I’ll give them another try soon and let you know if I get better results.

    • Dear Stephanie,
      The only sauce recipe we have at this time is Jellied Cranberry Sauce.

      I’m not sure that you need pectin for making a sweet and sour sauce. I have made a Chinese Plum Sauce from a recipe in Sherry Brooks Vinton’s “Put ‘em Up,” which was very good and doesn’t call for pectin. If you haven’t seen her book, it is an excellent introduction to all kinds of preserving, and includes some low-sugar jam recipes that use Pomona’s.

      Thanks for using Pomona’s, and please do get in touch again if you have more questions.

  11. I have some packets of pectin and calcium left over from last year. The packets were opened and stored in a cupboard. Are they still good?

    • Hi Kate,
      Your pectin should still be good as long as it hasn’t gotten wet or really hot when it was stored in the cupboard. Pomona’s keeps indefinitely when stored cool and dry.

      If this doesn’t answer your question, or you need more information, please feel free to get back in touch — and thanks for using Pomona’s.

  12. I just ordered your pectin after learning about it in a canning class. It was highly recommended and I am looking forward to using it. How would I make a pineapple only jam with canned crushed pineapple? Thank you.

    • Dear Laurie,
      When you get your Pomona’s Pectin, you will see that Pineapple Jam is in the same recipe as Strawberry Jam in the Cooked Jam, Jelly etc. – Low Sugar or Honey Section of the recipe page that comes with Pomona’s Pectin.

      When using canned crushed pineapple, you can use some of the juice but if using all of the juice seems too juicy, then don’t use it all.

    • Dear Stephanie,
      We are defining a sweet vs sour plum by the taste and the acidity. Sweet plums are sweet to taste and are often larger in size and they need the addition of lemon juice for safe water bath canning. Sour plums are not sweet to taste and they are often small in size. They have a more acid or tart taste, and do not require lemon juice.

      If you aren’t sure if your plums are sweet or sour, you can always follow the sweet plum recipe to be safe.

  13. I want to make jalapeno jelly and add some crumpled, fully cooked bacon. How long do I need to process it in the water bath?

    • Dear Barbara,
      It is not safe to can meat in a Water-Bath Canner. Meat can only be safely canned in a Pressure Canner. You cannot can jam in a Pressure Canner because it destroys the pectin and ruins the jell.

      You can make jalapeno jelly and add bacon to it but you CANNOT seal the jam. You would either freeze the jam to preserve it OR just make enough to put in an unsealed jar and keep in the refrigerator to eat.

      I hope this answers your question.

  14. I have a recipe that calls for Apple Pectin. I can’t find any and I have a pack of Pomona’s in my cupboard. I like the recipe, so how do I substitute?
    Thanks
    Heidi ;)

    • Dear Heidi,
      From the Learn page of our website, you can get to a page called Get Creative. This page gives you the guidelines for converting a recipe written for another pectin or developing your own recipes.

      You should also be able to get there by clicking on the Get Creative link above.

      Please read the instructions and if you have questions, you can email info@pomonapectin.com or call the Jamline — 413-772-6816. We need to know the ingredients and amounts you want to work with in order to help you.

      Thanks for trying Pomona’s — and happy jamming!

  15. Nicole Hunn of Gluten-free on a Shoestring uses pure powdered pectin in her gluten-free bread recipes. It there anything that I should be aware of using your pectin in this context?

  16. I made jam for the first time last weekend and before screwing the lids and caps on, I forgot to run that plastic tool in each jar that is supposed to get rid of the bubbles. Is this not good? Thanks.

    • Dear Susan,
      It is generally not a problem if you forget to use the bubble tool. If there are a few air bubbles in the jam, they are not a problem in regard to safety. Thanks for using Pomona’s, and please do get back to us if you have more questions.

  17. Because I use the jams I make as gifts, I have started using fancier jars, but these have covers like the jams you see in the grocery stores, not the 2 piece ones I used to use. I am using the water bath method, but I’m not 100% sure that the jars are sealed as completely as the ones I used to use/ the ones you show in your book. Can you comment on the use of these jars and lids?

  18. Greetings from the UK ! Once I had got my head around making the preserve in such a totally different way than I am used to I was surprised as to how easy it is . The raspberry jam set beautifully and is lovely . With just so much less sugar it is like fruit on bread . I also made some Seville orange marmalade . Again great to reduce the sugar and a set was achieved . The less shiny appearance makes it look quite different from what we are used with this UK favourite . I found the texture slightly grainy . But these issues are a small price to pay for reducing the sugar . In the UK jams and marmalade have to have a finished sugar content of 60% for it to be called jam and marmalade…. I would have to sell mine ( at community events etc ) as ‘ fruit spreads ‘ Thank you

    • Dear Branwen,
      Thanks for your comment. It’s wonderful to hear that you have discovered Pomona’s and learned how to use it and are happy with your results. Pomona’s is very reliable when the directions are followed — and the results are usually quite delicious, as you say.

      Yes, it’s true the marmalade will be less shiny with less sugar — it is the sugar content that gives the shine. However, the marmalade shouldn’t have a grainy texture. The likely cause of that would be stirring the pectin into more sugar than the sugar range in our recipe. If you want to use more sugar than half the amount of the cooked fruit mixture (for example, if you are working with 6 cups of cooked fruit mixture, the maximum amount of sugar to stir the pectin into would be 3 cups), you stir the pectin into the 3 cups (or less) and then add additional sugar after the pectin is totally dissolved into the fruit mixture. You can find a little more about this on the Learn page of our website — Get Creative: http://www.pomonapectin.com/usingpomona/developing-your-own-recipes-for-cooked-jam-or-jelly-using-pomonas/.

  19. I just purchased two packages of Pomona’s Universal Pectin (Ada’s Health Food Store – Fort Myers, FL) and look forward to making orange marmalade, but first two questions, please:

    Can I add about 1/4 cup of brandy to the marmalade after I have completed all steps and have pulled the pan off of the stove? Will the brandy then count as part of the 3 cups of water?

    After bringing the fruit and water to a boil (using the recipe on the instruction sheet that comes with the pectin), do I measure the pot contents to make up 6 cups before proceeding with the lemon juice and sugar?

    Thanks and can’t wait to get started.

    • Dear Nancy,
      Answering your second question first, yes,the recipe is saying that after you simmer the fruit in the water for 20 minutes, you measure out 6 cups of cooked fruit to make the marmalade with and proceed with adding the calcium water and lemon juice. From the simmering, you may have extra fruit mixture beyond the 6 cups that you wouldn’t use in the recipe.

      On your first question, the 1/4 cup of brandy would replace 1/4 cup of the 6 cups of simmered fruit, so you would use 5 3/4 cups of simmered fruit.

      If you want to add 1/4 cup of brandy to the marmalade, our first choice would be to add it at the same time as you add the calcium water and lemon juice so that you are bringing it to a boil with the fruit. We think this is the best method for safe water bath canning. You can also add the 1/4 cup of brandy at the time you want; we haven’t done it that way because it lowers the temperature of your mixture.

      Thanks so much for trying Pomona’s — and happy jamming!

  20. Last night I tried to make a batch of cranberry jelly using 9 cups of juice. I got the juice from simmering fresh cranberries until soft and straining out the solids. I followed the Cooked Jam/Jelly directions, using 9 tsp of calcium water, 9 tsp of pectin and 2 1/2 cups of sugar. Unfortunately, its not as well jelled as I’d like it. Instead of being firm yet spreadable, its soft and seems to almost melt away when you try to spoon it.

    Any suggestions on where I went wrong and how to fix it? The raspberry jelly I made earlier this summer came out fantastically so I was surprised at the lack of success with cranberries. :)

    Thanks!!

    • Hi Michelle,
      What you describe you did in terms of the amounts of pectin and calcium water and sugar seems fine. Here are some questions:

      1. Did your juice have a high water content? If so, that could affect the jell.

      2. The pectin can break down with too much heat — either in the cooking process (stirring in the pectin-sugar and bringing back to a boil before removing from the heat) or in the water bath process (processing for too long or leaving in the water bath too long after processing).

      Those seem the most likely causes of lack of jell. It is best to know what went wrong before saying how to fix it. Might be best to give a call on the Jamline (413-772-6816) if you’re not sure.

  21. Hello again. I was wondering if any of you have used a steam canner (not a pressure canner) for your lower sugar jams rather than the water bath. If so, do you use the same processing times? If you haven’t personally used the steam canner, is it because you don’t feel they’re safe for low-sugar jam?

    • I’m currently taking a 10-week course on food preservation with our local cooperative extension office. The authority we use is the National Center for Home Food Preservation and the steam canner is not recommended at this time. I have one and love it, but until it’s approved and canning times have been established, I’ll be using a water bath canner. Check out the NCHFP web site – lots of helpful information.

  22. 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, now he can enjoy good tasting jam without all the sugar. Thanks, love this product!

    • Hi Sammie,
      If your jelly jelled and tastes good, it is unlikely that you did anything wrong. It is true that color can change and jelly can become more opaque when low-sugar jelly cools. The sparkly clear jelly look comes from high-sugar jelly being more sugar than fruit juice and it is the sugar that creates the look. In some cases, you can obtain clearer low-sugar jelly by straining the juice a number of times.

      I hope this answers your question. Thanks for trying Pomona’s — and happy jamming!

  23. Is it possible to mix fruits when making jam without altering the integrity of the preserving-canning process? For example, I want to make jam out of the fruit that will spoil soon in my fridge, i.e. tons of plums, a small amount of strawberries, and grapes.

    • Dear Missy,
      Yes, it is possible to mix fruits when making jam. There are, however, things you need to pay attention to when doing that and some math you need to do, both for the pectin and calcium water for jelling, and for lemon juice for safe canning.

      You need to measure out the mashed fruit in cups for each type of fruit you will put in the jam. Then you need to read the recipes on our instruction sheet that comes with the pectin to know how much pectin and how much calcium water you should use for the number of cups of mashed fruit of each type.

      You need to do the same in regard to the lemon juice for the fruits that require lemon juice. For example, sweet plums require lemon juice but sour plums do not. For the fruits that require lemon juice, you would add 1 Tablespoon per cup of mashed fruit.

      And finally, you want to mix fruits that will taste good together!

      I hope this helps — happy jamming and thanks for using Pomona’s!

  24. I recently canned peaches, and want to make jelly from the peelings. I already have “juiced” them, just wondering which recipe I should follow?

    • Dear Jennie,
      For peach jelly, if you have the old (black and white) directions, you would follow the jelly recipe that includes lemon juice so it is the same as “sweet blackberry jelly.” If you have the new (colored) directions, you will see peach included with the Concord Grape recipe. The asterisk means you must add the lemon juice since peaches need that added acid for safe water bath canning (same as sweet blackberries and sweet grapes).

      HOWEVER, we have never made peach jelly from peach peelings and we don’t know if 4 teaspoons of pectin will jell your juice sufficiently since it is likely more watery than peach juice made from peach pulp. We think you will need at least 4 tsp of pectin but it could take 5 – we just don’t know for sure since we have never done it.

      I hope this helps. Would love to know your results if you try it as others may have the same question.

  25. I am looking to make freezer jam, and I wanted to make it with a combination of berries AND citrus (lemon). I noticed that there was no freezer jam recipe for citrus fruits. I know that the recipe says to add a specific amount of lemon or lime juice, but will adding thinly sliced citrus fruit to the jam mixture affect the gelling process – must the lemons be cooked first? Heat tends to destroy vitamins, so I would prefer to keep the lemons raw.

    Thank you for your time!

    • Dear Rayanne,
      We have never made raw freezer jam using citrus other than lemon or lime juice. Assuming you are going to use thinly sliced fruit, you could create 4 cups of mashed berries/sliced citrus and follow the strawberry freezer jam recipe. We have no idea how it will come out since we have never done anything quite like it. We’re not sure how it will taste if you leave the peel on the raw citrus.

      If you do try this, we would love to hear about how it worked and how it tastes.

      Thanks for using Pomona’s — and happy jamming!

      • I did make the freezer jam using thinly sliced lemons last night.
        It set up just fine. I DID keep the peels on the lemons.
        Thanks! Rayanne

  26. I have used Pomona’s Pectin for several years with great results. However, last year crystals formed in my grape jelly. How can this be prevented??

  27. I have lots of seedless sweet grapes I would like to use. Could I leave the skins on when I make grape butter, just like I leave the skins on the Italian plums when I make plum jam? Elisabeth

    • Hi Elisabeth,
      If you want to leave the skins on the grapes, you can grind up (process) the seedless grapes and make what we would call grape jam. And if your grapes are sweet, you would follow the recipe for Sweet Cherry Jam on our instruction sheet that comes with the pectin.

      You want to be sure the skins are chopped up.

      I hope this helps — and thanks for using Pomona’s.

  28. Hi – as a neophyte jammer I am learning as I go, here. I had extra calcium water left after my recipe. Can I keep it mixed? What do I do with it?

    Thanks

    • Hi Vince,
      Our best advice to all of our new jammers is to read the instruction sheet that came with your Pomona’s cover to cover. Also consider watching the video on the website. I’ts only 8 minutes and will take you through all the steps of jamming with Pomona’s.

      As for the calcium water that is left over, you store that in the jar in the refrigerator. It will keep for months. Please see the instruction sheet about making calcium water for detailed instructions.

      If it’s going to be a very long time until you make jam again, you can also freeze the calcium water and defrost when you want to use it again.

      Hope this helps — and thanks for using Pomona’s!

  29. I just finished making raspberry freezer jam and something strange happened. Right after I added the pectin/water mixture to the berries, they immediately started to jell. The calcium water was still in the fridge! I did add the minimum calcium water, but the berries were already jelled so it didn’t seem to make any difference. What did I do wrong?

    • Hi Melissa,
      You didn’t do anything wrong. Pomona’s Pectin jells fruit in the presence of calcium (i.e., calcium activates the pectin’s jelling power). Most fruit does have some calcium in it, but there is no way for home jam makers to know whether or how much calcium our fruit has (from the soil). That is why we want you to add the calcium water. I’m guessing your raspberries were calcium rich. The calcium water may have improved the jell a little, or maybe not. There is no problem with having a little extra calcium in the jam.

      The good news is your jam jelled! Thanks for using Pomona’s.

      • Thank you! This makes perfect sense. I did Blackberries next, picked from the same farm and had the same experience. The blackberries set as soon as I added the pectin! I love this pectin – it was super easy and worked perfectly!

  30. I have been using Pomona Pectin for some years now and just love it. Usually I just use juice concentrate to sweeten it. I was always wondering though if it is even possible to not add any sweetener at all? Is the sweetener just for the taste or does it have some other function?

    • Hi Barbara,
      If you look in the FAQ section 5 titled “Questions About Ingredients,” you will find the question: “How do I make jam with no sweetener at all?” This should answer your question thoroughly. Briefly, sweetener does generally enhance the taste of the fruit, but not necessarily for all people. With Pomona’s, sweetener is not essential for any other function in the jam. Low-sugar jam in general doesn’t keep as long as high-sugar jam does once opened (3 weeks in the refrigerator for low-sugar jam) and low-sugar jam can have a tendency to lose its color over time. I hope this answers your question, and thanks for using Pomona’s.

  31. Hi,

    Is it possible to purchase the calcium water powder alone without the pectin? I bought the large bag of pectin and have a ton left but I am running out of the water.

    Thank you! LOVE your product and the new cookbook is amazing!!

    Lauren

    • Hello Lauren,
      We are happy to send you more calcium powder if you need it, no charge. Please email info@pomonapectin.com and tell my sister Connie how much pectin powder you still have and she will mail you the amount of calcium powder that should meet your need.

      Be sure to include your US postal mailing address and your telephone number, just in case she has a question.

      Thanks so much for using Pomona’s — and happy jamming.

      • Thank you so much – that is so nice of you! I just have to say I absolutely love your pectin and used it this year when I entered the Minnesota State Fair! If I win anything (this is my first time entering, so i am just excited to do it), I will let you know!

        Thanks again!

    • Hello Kyle,
      Yes, in our basic recipes on the instruction sheet that comes with Pomona’s Pectin, we say lemon or lime juice when called for in the ingredients. It is your choice.

      Some recipes have been developed using lemon or lime juice and they will specify one or the other in the recipe. Just be aware that if lemon is called for and you substitute lime, it may alter the taste. If you use the correct amount of lemon or lime juice, however, it will still be safe for water-bath canning.

      • If the lemon and lime juice are there for their acidic value, could you substitute Raw Apple Cider Vinegar? I understand about the flavor difference, just wondered if it would work for the acidic value.

  32. Hello,

    I was looking around your website but can’t seem to find the info. What is the shelf life for cooked and processed jams using Pomona’s Pectin?

    I also wanted to tell you how much I love using Pomona’s Pectin for my low sugar and honey recipes for jams and jellies. I started out this season using liquid pectin but stumbled upon info. about Pomona’s and now I’m hooked – love it! Thank you!

    • Hello Leesa,
      I’m glad you discovered Pomona’s. We agree it’s a wonderful choice for low sugar jams. I looked at your blog — lovely pictures and thanks for sharing your experiences with Pomona’s.

      To answer your question, the shelf life for cooked and processed jam made with Pomona’s is one year. Freezer jam also will keep for one year in the freezer.

      Once opened, cooked and processed jam lasts 3 weeks in the refrigerator and raw freezer jam lasts about 1 week in the refrigerator.

      This information is on our new instruction sheet that comes with Pomona’s — at the end of Step 6 in the Directions section. The new instructions are in color. The old instructions (black & white) were missing this important piece of information.

      If you have the old directions and would like to see the new directions, they are on our website. Just click here.

  33. Thank you for Pomona’s Universal Pectin! I have used nothing else since someone recommended it to our Community-Supported Agriculture farm’s membership. Two years ago, I made a ton of jams as tables favors for my daughter’s wedding — very popular with the groom’s family! Last year I made more for my father-in-law’s 90th birthday. But there’s a problem: I have enough calcium-water powder left to last the rest of my life! Have you considered selling just the pectin powder separately? I could use about a pound of it to help me use up all the calcium powder.

    • Hi Mary — So glad you found Pomona’s and that you like it and use it for such wonderful events.

      We don’t actually sell the pectin without the calcium powder. We try to give the right amount of calcium powder for the quantity of pectin being purchased, but of course different recipes require different amounts of calcium water, so there is no way to do it perfectly for everyone. Sometimes, for various reasons, people run out and need more calcium powder when they have lots of pectin left. And then there are others like you, who have a cupboard full of little packets of calcium powder. The pectin and calcium powder are packaged and sent by our packager and it’s important that we do it in a standard way or life would get very confusing for them.

  34. Why is it necessary to process Pomona’s cooked jams for 10 minutes in boiling water? Other pectin products don’t require this extra processing, and I’m just wondering if I can skip that step.

    • Dear Skye,
      In the past when making high-sugar jam, some thought it was unnecessary to do the boiling water bath because the large quantity of sugar in the jam (55-85%) would act as a preservative to help prevent the growth of mold. Today, however, the boiling water bath method is the standard technique for safely preserving acidic foods (such as jam & jelly) and rendering them shelf stable for up to a year, regardless of the sugar content of the jam. The USDA recommends the boiling water bath method for all jams and jellies, and so do we if you want to store your jam at room temperature. It is especially important when making low-sugar jams and jellies.

      The boiling water bath method sterilizes and kills any mold or other bacteria that may be in the air space of that 1/4″ of headspace at the top of the jar.

      Your other option, if you have freezer space, is to prepare the cooked jam, put it in the hot jars, leave 1/2″ of headspace at the top of the jar, allow the jars to cool on the counter, and then store them in the freezer. Defrost when you’re ready to eat. Low-sugar jam will keep in the refrigerator, once opened, for about 3 weeks.

      I hope this helps.

      • Hi, would using a vaccum sealer (jar attachment) work? It would remove all the air and in my mind that would remove the possible “mold” issue. Thanks for your product!

        • Hi Kris,
          A vacuum sealer is not the same as canning. Both methods “seal” food in a container, but when you can, you are exposing the food in the jar to heat sterilization, which kills microorganisms. For a half-pint jar of jam, this involves 10 minutes of boiling in a water bath canner. This is what allows canned food to be stored at room temperature until it is opened.

          When you vacuum seal, the food is not sterilized in the container, which means microorganisms are still present. A vacuum seal removes air from the container and keeps the food fresh for a longer time in the refrigerator or freezer, but not at room temperature.

          I hope this is clear and answers your question.

  35. Just wanted to say I’ve been using Pomona’s Pectin for years to make the best jams ever! Now my daughter, who used to help me mashing the berries, is about to make her first jam using, of course, Pomona’s Pectin! Thanks for such a great, easy and natural product.

  36. Can I use apple juice instead of apple juice concentrate in sugar free jam? I find the concentrate is too sweet for my liking. I’ve used your pectin for years making delicious no sugar added jams. I’ve always followed the recipe and used concentrate though. Thanks!

    • Hello Aimee,
      If the concentrate is too sweet for you, you can try using apple juice instead of concentrate in your sugar-free jam. It won’t add much in the way of sweetness, which may be just right for you, but it’s also possible the jam will be tart and bland. It seems the sweetener helps to bring out the full fruit flavor. You might experiment with just a half-batch to start with and see how you like it. If you do try it, we’d love to know what you think of the results!

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