Since I had a pleasant experience with my first canning project, I decided to attempt making jam. Low-sugar jam, that is. I’m always horrified when I read jam recipes that call for 7 cups of sugar. I realize that some fruit can be rather tart au naturel, but for those of us who can’t conceive using ludicrous amounts of sugar, there is an alternative. The no sugar needed pectin.
The best part about this pectin is how flexible it is. Sugar is not a requirement for it to work, but it does allow you to add a sweetener to enhance the natural fruit flavours. You have the option to add between 1 1/2 to 3 cups of granulated sugar or 3/4 to 1 cup of honey (or Splenda, but personally I don’t use or trust artificial sweeteners).
I used all-natural cane sugar for one batch, honey for another, and took the freedom to try agave nectar for the last batch. They all worked well, but if I had to choose one, I prefer honey.
Low Sugar Raspberry Jam (or Raspberry-Peach Jam)
In medium-sized saucepan, combine the crushed fruit and fruit juice. Stir in lemon juice (if required), butter and the pectin until dissolved. Over high heat, bring mixture to a full boil, stirring frequently. If using, add the sweetener. Stirring constantly, return mixture to a full boil. Boil hard for 3 minutes.
Remove from heat and skim off foam, if necessary. Fill and process jars as detailed in the Pickled Dill Carrots post, leaving 1/4 inch of headspace. Remove bubbles, wipe jar rim and place hot disc on clean rim. Screw band down until resistance is met.
Boil in canner for 10 minutes. Wait 5 minutes and remove jars without tilting. You should hear the lids pop as they seal. Cool upright for 24 hours and refrigerate any that has not sealed, for immediate use.
Enjoy within a year. Makes a lovely, homemade gift.
Recipe adapted from Bernardin.