There are few things better than homemade jam… Especially when you’ve made it yourself!
As much as I love to preserve and can, I always have a small moral crisis when deciding how to preserve fresh fruit.
Most jam recipes are super easy and great for a beginner, but they also require you to cook the fruit to oblivion (therefore eliminating a lot of the good stuff in it) and then add cup after cup of white sugar…
Not to say that I haven’t done it, but last weekend I sat there staring at 8 pounds of in-season strawberries and I couldn’t bring myself to cook ‘em and sugar ‘em to death.
So instead, I whipped up two batches of raw freezer jam sweetened with raw honey that jelled so nicely you could almost hold the jar upside down without it falling out.
I know, I know– I can hear the murmuring in the crowd right now. Ya’ll don’t think that’s possible, right?
We’ve all been told that you HAVE to use lots of white sugar in order for jam or jelly to set. And then you have to cook it to finish the process.
Well, when you have a box of this stuff– the rules change a little.
(This isn’t an infomercial, and I’m not affiliated with Pomona’s Universal Pectin in any way. But man, this stuff is awesome!)
You can make cooked or un-cooked jam with it and use either honey or a minimal amout of sugar to do the sweetening. It comes with a little packet of calcium powder in addition to the pectin that enables you to have thick, set-up preserves, without a boatload of sugar.
Here’s the recipe I used to make 2 very successful batches- I think you’ll like it!
No-Cook Strawberry Freezer Jam with Raw Honey
(Taken from the Pomona’s box insert)
- 4 cups of mashed strawberries– preferably homegrown or organic
- 1/4 cup lemon juice (This is optional- I believe it just helps the berries to maintain their color)
- 1/2-1 cup of raw honey (You don’t have to use raw, but if you have it, this is an ideal place to use it, since it will be able to keep all of it’s raw goodness)
- 3/4 cup water
- 3 teaspoons Pomona’s Universal Pectin
- 4 teaspoons calcium water (this comes with the Pomona’s pectin when you buy it)
First off, mix the packet of calcium powder with 1/2 cup water. Store it in the fridge- it will last for several months and be good for more than one batch.
Place your mashed berries in a large bowl and add lemon juice and honey. Stir well. It takes a bit of stirring to get the thick, raw honey to blend in with the berries, but it’ll happen eventually.
Bring the 3/4 cup of water to a boil. Add the pectin to the hot water and blend it until completely dissolved. (You’ll want to use something like a blender for this. I used my immersion blender, and it worked like a charm.)
Add the pectin/water mixture to the fruit, stir well. Then, add the calcium water and incorporate thoroughly. At this point, my jam was already very thick and wanted to jell up. If yours isn’t doing that yet, keep adding one teaspoon of calcium water at a time until it starts to set. Keep in mind that it will continue to set as it cools, too.
Place in freezer safe containers, leaving 1/2 inch of headspace. Stick in the freezer right away, or keep it in the fridge for a week or so.
1. You can usually find Pomona’s Universal Pectin at your local health food store, or buy it online HERE.
2. Feel free to substitute other berries in this recipe, like raspberries, blueberries, or cherries.
3. My jam was not overwhelmingly sweet. If you like yours a little sweeter, then add more honey to taste.
4. If you have zero honey, or have an aversion to the stuff, you can use plain, ol’ white sugar in this recipe, too. Start with a 1/2 cup or so, and slowly increase to taste.
5. One batch yielded approximately 3 pints, but it’s easy to double.
6. I sometimes freeze things in glass jars. I know, I’m a rebel. Just leave a generous amout of headspace (more than a 1/2″)
7. One box of Pomona’s pectin will make 2-4 recipes.
So there you have it, a wholesome raw jam with all the benefits of fresh strawberries and raw honey. It doesn’t get much better than that! I’m thinking I just might have to smear some on one of my homemade tortillas for a little afternoon snack…
Interesting in more perserving recipes? We’ve gotcha covered!
- How to Freeze Eggs
- Peach Pie Filling for the Freezer
- Homemade Applesauce and a Canning Tutorial
- Six Tips for No-Stress Canning
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