Painting by Nicholas Fouche c.1700
Did You Know?
Pomona was a goddess of fruitful abundance in ancient Roman religion and myth. Her name comes from the Latin word pomum, “fruit,” specifically orchard fruit. (“Pomme” is the French word for “apple.”) She was said to be a wood nymph and a part of the Numina, guardian spirits who watch over people, places, or homes.
Puts a Spotlight on a
Pomona’s Jam Maker
Charlotte Levy has been making jam for 6-7 years. She started The Seasonal Gourmet, Fantastic Jams and Jellies, 3 years ago, when her sister suggested she turn her hobby into a business. She sells at local Farmers’ Markets, online, and through word of mouth. Charlotte has a full-time job unrelated to jam-making; but her true love (beside Pomona’s Pectin, which, as she says, revolutionized her business) is imagining and creating all kinds of seasonal fruit combinations to entice her customers to try her low-sugar jams.
Charlotte’s basic rule for her jams: they need to look pretty in the jar, smell good in the pan, and taste great. Below is her recipe for Berry Blitz Jam, a favorite with moms and kids because it is a lower sugar jam and tastes so good. Read more of Charlotte’s thoughts and advice about starting a jam-making business.
Berry Blitz Jam
from the kitchen of The Seasonal Gourmet
Combine in a Dutch oven or heavy, deep saucepan:
5 cups mashed mixed berries–Charlotte use raspberries, strawberries, blueberries and just a touch of blackberries
5 teaspoons Pomona calcium water
5 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice
Combine in a separate bowl:
2-1/2 cups sugar
3-3/4 – 4 teaspoons Pomona pectin powder
Complete instructions and a printable copy.
Preserving with Pomona’s Pectin . . .
Our Cookbook Is Coming!
We worked closely with our author, Allison Carroll Duffy, all summer as she developed and tested the recipes that will be in the book, due out June 2013.
Check out some of the ingredients and the finished product in the above picture for the Pear-Cranberry Conserve with Almonds and Crystallized Ginger.
Here is how Allison describes it: “The combination of pear and cranberry is a delightful one for fall. The addition of ginger really makes the flavors sing, and the almonds provide a chewy crunch. For the best texture, use pears that are still quite firm so that the pear pieces remain intact when cooked.”
You can read Allison’s new post about her summer adventures with Pomona’s on her CanningCraft blog.
Photo by Mia Valcarcel
Blackberry Port Jam
Have blackberries in your freezer? Pomona’s jam maker Mia Valcarcel found this recipe in Better Homes and Gardens Special Interest Publication Canning magazine. She adapted it for Pomona’s, loved the result, shared it with us, and now we are sharing it with you.
2 cups mashed blackberries (about 4 cups whole berries)
1-1/2 teaspoons calcium water (comes with Pomona’s Pectin)
1 cup port wine
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/2 cup sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons pectin powder
Additional sugar if needed (depends on how tart your blackberries are)
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon (optional, depends on your port flavors)
Complete directions and a printable copy.
Mia, who lives in Maryland, said, “The port I used is from a local vineyard and contained overtones of chocolate and raspberry. The original recipe called for cloves, but the cinnamon boosted the flavors more than cloves would have. I have tried the jam and I love it. I also shared a jar with a farmer who I have an arrangement with for canning. Both she and her 90-year-old mother loved it.”
Mia cans because she likes to play with flavors, plus it is a way to stay connected to her mother’s background of growing up in Appalachia and canning. She is a knitter, spinner of her own yarns, a quilter, and a collector of cookbooks. She loves to read cookbooks like they’re novels.
Have a recipe you’d like to submit? Send it to MaryLouSumberg@pomonapectin.com.
Tales from the Jamline . . .
Rrrrring! goes the telephone. HELP! says the caller — “I accidently dumped the whole packet of calcium powder into my 4 cups of boiling fruit mixture. Will my jam be safe to eat? Will it taste good?“
The answer is Yes on both counts. If this should happen to you, your jam will be safe to eat, and it should taste just fine. If there is too much calcium, the jam may “weep” (exude some liquid in the jar). Just spoon or pour it off, or stir it in.
Next time, before you make your jam, mix 1/2 teaspoon of the white calcium powder into 1/2 cup of water in a small, clear jar with a lid. Use only the amount of calcium water called for in the recipe. Then label the jar and store the remaining calcium water in the refrigerator to use the next time you make jam. Calcium water will keep for a number of months. Before using, check and discard if settled white powder has discolored or you see mold. Shake well before using.
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.
Paul and Mary Lou are back home in California now, having spent the summer in Massachusetts with Connie, learning, learning, learning about the daily ins and outs of the pectin business. If you called the Jamline anytime prior to this summer, you would have spoken with Connie. But this summer, Mary Lou was in training and you may have spoken with her. From now on, we will share answering Jamline calls — so you may get either one of us. So many people said to us this summer — you sound exactly alike!
Mary Lou is still in training — it’s hard to distill 20+ years of experience into 3 months — but rest assured if she can’t answer your question, she will talk to Connie and get back to you.
If you are a Pomona’s Jam Manufacturer and would like to be featured in the The Jam (S)Pot, email MaryLouSumberg@pomonapectin.com.
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 MaryLouSumberg@pomonapectin.com, and Happy Jamming!
Additional Photo Credits
Persimmons: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/ http://www.flickr.com/photos/kkoshy/
Pomegranates: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/ http://www.flickr.com/photos/copa41/
Copyright September 2012