[NAFEX] Using Pomona Anthony Curcio

Neil Hochstedler neilho at innevi.com
Fri Feb 13 10:04:10 EST 2009

Jim, Don, and all,

Pomona's has worked for us for the last fifteen years without fail, so long
as we add the calcium water preparation to low calcium fruit jams. Just for
fun, we've jelled water with the stuff!

Test batches have been very helpfull when developing a new recipe. A cup or
so size batch eventually gets the sugar content, spice proportions and
firmness just right. After everything is worked out, we often add the test
batches to the first big perfect batch so as not to waste anything. Some
recipes take more tests than others- the banana jam is on its fifth test,
with no end in sight.

Jim, I'm curious as to how you test pH. With berries, I don't worry about
it, but I'd like to venture further into initially low acidity concoctions
with confidence.

Neil Hochstedler
Vershire, VT
zone 3-4 

At 09:32 AM 2/12/2009 -0500, Don Yellman wrote:
>Erdman, James wrote:
>> Although I (or my wife) have never had success using Pomona over the
>> last 25 years or so, I may give it another try after reading all of the
>> success stories here.  I have used it to attempt to make strawberry jam,
>> and follow the instructions faithfully, bought fresh packages of Pomona,
>> and used twice as much as called for, and never got anything thicker
>> than runny sauce.  I have tried peaches and strawberries, and probably
>> other fruit over the years.  I like jam that doesn't run off my toast if
>> I don't hold the toast perfectly flat for a second, and the stuff I have
>> done with Pomona was much runnier than that.
>> But I may give it one m ore try this spring.
>> Jim in Menomonie, WI
>> _______________________________________________
>This is a real puzzle.  We have been using Pomona's for over 20 years, and
have been unable to make it fail unless we get down to 1/2 the recommended
amount of pectin.  2/3 the amount gives us a perfect, spreadable product.
It makes no difference what type of fruit we use; blackberries,
raspberries, grapes, blueberries, apricots, cherries, strawberries, it
always comes out fine if we use the correct amount of pectin.  If we used
twice the recommended amount, we would have to chip the jelly out with a
chisel.  We are still using the Pomona's I purchased over ten years ago
from Mellinger's Nursery in Ohio, which is now out of business, so it
doesn't have to be fresh to work.  
>Although most of our jams and jellies are made with ordinary sugar in
moderate amounts, we have also used Splenda and Equal, and the Pomona's
still works, although without a small amount of sugar to dry-blend the
pectin before adding to the hot juice we have to be more careful to avoid
clumping of the pectin.  We always hot-pack our jams and jellies to avoid
boiling in a water bath.
>If there is one drawback to making low-sugar jams and jellies, it is the
fact that keeping qualities of the products are not as good in the absence
of much of the natural preservative quality of sugar, and they should  be
used in 2 years or less.  But they sure taste a lot better with lower sugar.
>Give it another try.
>Don Yellman, Great Falls, VA  
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