Monday, July 8, 2013

Honey Strawberry Jam

We did a little strawberry picking in June and I made a batch of honey-sweetened strawberry jam.
The key to the best low/no-sugar jams and jellies.
My wonderful sister gave me Pomona's Universal Pectin last summer. It is one of the coolest products I use when canning. It allows you to make use of any sweetener you'd like or none at all. It's much better than the typical low-sugar pectin because it doesn't have any sweetener in it. Most low-sugar pectin contains dextrose (sugar).



Mashed strawberries are so pretty!

Canning rings as rack in regular pot.
I decided it wasn't worth my time boiling water in my huge canner for a few 1/2 pt jars of jam. So, I looked online briefly for alternative racks that would fit in regular pots. One person had made a rack out of canning rings and zip-tied them together. I didn't bother with the zip-ties (which would have been sturdier) and just put some rings in the bottom of my pot and then balanced my jars on that. The other good suggestion I saw was using a block of wood. I bet an old broken cutting board would be perfect for that.


Sterilizing jars.

Pectin gets mixed into the honey.

Cook the berries, pectin honey, and calcium water (part of the pectin kit).


A little bit didn't fit in the jars.


My fruit floated. My Blue Ribbon Preserves book (my favorite canning book) says this can happen if there is too little sugar in a soft spread. Since it's happened all three times I've sweetened with honey, I'll just assume that's the issue. I don't mind at all since it just takes a little stir once you open the jar to fix it. This can also happen due to under-ripe fruit or not allowing the spread to cool a bit and then stirring before filling jars.

I absolutely love this lower-sugar and naturally sweetened jam! You can really taste the fruit better when it's not completely overwhelmed by too much sugar. Thanks again sis for introducing me to this awesome pectin. :)

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