[NAFEX] Low Sugar Jams/Jellies

Hélène Dessureault interverbis at videotron.ca
Sat Aug 18 13:14:32 EDT 2007


This is my secret to share,
Try using agar to make jams and jellies. It is tasteless, transparent, 
translucide, healthy, being extracted from seaweed. It jellifies without 
sugar and you can also make uncooked jams which you keep in the freezer for 
a long time, or in the fridge for three weeks, approx.
I personally like equal amount of fruits and sugar. This is not usually 
possible with regular pectin but it works with agar.
Also add a tablespoon of lemon juice per cup of fruit to conserve the colour 
of the fruit and prevent oxydization.
Agar does not jellify in the presence of kiwis and chocolate... Why, I don't 
know.  Everything else works really well.
You can find it in health food stores, generally under the name agar agar.

Hélène
----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Don Yellman" <don.yellman at webformation.com>
To: "North American Fruit Explorers" <nafex at lists.ibiblio.org>
Sent: Wednesday, August 15, 2007 1:30 PM
Subject: Re: [NAFEX] Low Sugar Jams/Jellies


> Erdman, James wrote:
>> I haven't had much luck using Pomona's Pectin.  I try it every year, and 
>> follow the instructions very carefully, and it always comes out runny. 
>> Not at all what I want in a jam or jelly.
>>
>> Anyone have any secrets to share??
>>
>> Jim, in western Wisconsin
>>
>>
>>
>> ________________________________
>>
>> Don wrote:
>>> It's not so much a question of the recipe as the type of pectin you use. 
>>> The Sure-Jell and Certo types require a great       > deal of sugar to 
>>> jell.  Try Pomona's Pectin, a low-methoxyl pectin derived from citrus 
>>> peels, that will jell with very low       > sugar, with artificial 
>>> sweeteners, or no sugar at all.
>>>
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> Jim:
>
> I have been racking my brain trying to account for you lack of success 
> with Pomona's pectin, not least because it is such a contrast with our 
> experience over 15 years using this product.  We have made many, many jars 
> of blackberry, red raspberry, Concord grape, apricot, blueberry, 
> strawberry and cherry jellies and jams and have never had a single jelling 
> failure except when we experimented with lowering the pectin below 2/3 of 
> the recommended amounts.  That's why we have settled on the two-thirds. 
> When we use the full recommended amount, we find the jelly actually sets 
> up too hard.  Setup begins to occur even before the jars are fully cooled.
>
> I misspoke when I mentioned water-bath canning of jellies; we actually 
> hot-pack, having sterilized the jars and lids.  Water bath is an option, 
> but cooks the living hell out of the jelly, which seems to be unnecessary 
> to preserve it.
>
> I can only assume you are dry blending the pectin with sugar before adding 
> it to the hot fruit juice, and that you are mixing and using the enclosed 
> calcium solution as indicated on the insert.  Pomona's absolutely requires 
> the calcium solution to act as a catalyst or it won't jell anything.
>
> Jim Fruth's point about using large amounts of sugar in jellies for 
> commercial sale is well taken.  When there are potential liability issues, 
> you have to do exactly what the Feds say.  But at home you can use your 
> judgment, and mine tells me that jellies made at home in a sanitary 
> environment are very, very unlikely to carry any of the more serious 
> risks, such as botulism.  We have never even seen any kind of fungal 
> contamination in a freshly-opened jar of low-sugar jam, although, as I 
> mentioned, there has been some color loss after a year in some products 
> like strawberry preserves.  For many years, we made blueberry preserves 
> for a diabetic relative using the artificial sweetener Equal and no sugar 
> at all, and as long as the product was used within one year it was fine.
>
> Don Yellman, Great Falls, VA
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