No-cook Freezer Jam
Yield: About 5 half-pint jars
Pomona's Universal Pectin is derived from lemon and orange peel, a great source of naturally occurring pectin. It has a stronger jelling action than many other brands of commercial pectin, thanks to its small package of natural calcium (just like the dietary supplement), which helps activate the pectin. This process allows you to prepare your jam with as little additional sweetener as you wish; low sugar recipes typically won't set with apple-based pectin. The canning method here is from Pomona.
To make calcium water
1. Mix 1/2 teaspoon white calcium powder (included in the box of Pomona's Universal Pectin) and 1/2 cup water in a small, clear jar with lid.
2. Store in refrigerator between uses. It lasts a number of months — discard if settled white powder discolors.
3. Shake well before using.
To make the jam
Wash, rinse and let dry 8-ounce glass jars and lids.
Remove fruit stems and pits as required. Gently mash one cup of fruit at a time, using a pastry cutter for best results, until finely chopped but not puréed. Measure into a large bowl, adding lemon or lime juice if desired. Measure sugar or honey as desired and add to fruit; stir well.
Bring water to a boil. Carefully pour into a blender or food processor. Add 3 teaspoons pectin. Vent lid and blend 1 to 2 minutes until powder is completely dissolved. Slowly pour hot liquid pectin into fruit; stir until well mixed.
Add 4 teaspoons calcium water, made according to directions on the box; stir well. Jell should begin appearing. Using this minimum amount works well for a smooth, fresh jam. If you like a firmer jam, add more calcium water, one teaspoon at a time, stirring well. Jam will firm up as it sets.
Fill jars, leaving a 1/2-inch space at top for expansion during freezing. Cover with lids and put in freezer, keeping frozen until ready to use. After opening, keep refrigerated. Consume within two weeks.
What is the difference between jam, jelly and other fruit spreads?
- Jams – made from crushed or mashed fruit, less firm than jelly
- Jellies – clear and firmly holds its shape, made from fruit juices
- Preserves – made from whole or chopped fruit in a clear, lightly jelled syrup
- Marmalades – made with diced or ground citrus fruit suspended in clear jelly
- Fruit butters – made from thickened fruit sauces, often with added spices
Source: Sound Consumer, July 2008