Friday, June 22, 2012

A Vintage Canning Book & Making Jam Without Pectin or Sugar

My sister recently inherited a few cookbooks from her husband's Grandmother Margaret.
We were looking through them, and came across this sweet canning book by Kerr. 
It was first published in 1948 and then re-published in 1965.

It is so neat that it is full of old newspaper clippings and little notes as to how Margaret liked each of the dishes.

Look at this note to the readers on the inside of the front cover...

Doesn't it just warm your heart?
I love that she says, "Our men-folks are longing for and even demanding these appetizing foods that tickle the palate."
Darren is not the demanding type...he is always happy with any kind of a warm meal:).
But he might be longing for more!

It just makes me want to can a little more so I can produce some of those "Magic Dishes" for my men-folk.

Although this might be an out of date recipe according to today's canning standards, I think I am going to try this Strawberry Conserve and substitute sugar for honey.
Doesn't it look perfectly delicious?

And this pickle recipe...

Jack LOVES pickles. He will eat a whole jar by himself!
And look, it got a WOW in 1969 and '70!
This time of the year, I start with jams.
Lots and lots of jams.
I had a friend recently email me and ask if I ever made jam without pectin and only using honey.
Plum butter and apple butter have been my closest attempt, but I have been wanting to try that method!
I believe that the product is called a fruit butter or an conserve when it has been cooked down slowly without the use of pectin.
The texture is similar to jam, though!
And honey...oh, you will never want to use anything else once you start!
The flavor is incredible!

Here is a great link for strawberry jam...made with no pectin and honey:).

I would love to share more recipes for jam/butters made without pectin!
Do you have an amazing recipe?
Was it passed down to you by your mother or grandmother?
Would you like to share it?
If so, email me at with your jam/butter/conserve recipe {without pectin} and I would LOVE to feature you!!

Have a great weekend!



Stef said...

Oh, Julia, you are amazing!! Thank you for the information and thank you for posting that sweet cookbook. My poor manfolk barely gets dinner some nights now that I'm relearning how to cook with no grains and no sugar. Poor guy - it'll be nice to get some yummies into jars to pull out of the cupboard. :) Can't wait to read others' recipes/ideas and to see what you make. You're an inspiration, as always.


Gumbo Lily said...

What a great canning cookbook! I especially like the notes. I have similar notes in my Ball Blue Canning Book. Maybe someone will love and appreciate it someday. I have a delish strawberry/rhubarb jam that we all love. No pectin, but I do use sugar.


Jacqueline said...

I adore old cookbooks with hand written notes in them!!! Thanks for sharing.

Kim said...

I have that cookbook and I love it! You just can't beat those old recipes. Ladies back then KNEW how to cook!

Unknown said...

What a sweet cookbook! I love the 35 cent price tag!! Woo Hoo!! On the other hand... how strange that cookbooks of yesteryear ASSUMED the woman of the house would be putting food by... a kind of "sisterhood" of kindred spirits. Now every thing is so unisex... the bond of sisterhood seems a bit lost. :-(

Just a thought on some jam I made a few years back with honey... I found it wasn't nearly as sweet (which isn't necessarily a bad thing), but it also took on a strong flavor of the honey. Be sure to use a complementary honey. For your strawberry conserve, I'm thinking an Orange Blossom honey would be nice. I had lots of wild sage honey and while it's fine in my homemade bread, it wasn't real good in blueberry jam.

One more thing, I use Pomona's Universal Pectin. It's a natural pectin from citrus rinds and VERY easy to work with and forgiving. They even include honey recipes directions!

Anonymous said...

Wow, I never thought to use honey. I make a strawberry jam and apple butter, both with sugar.

I learned from my former MIL, whom I am still very close too, that one can always use a little less sugar than the recipe calls for. Over 10 years ago, I found an old Kerr canning book from 1955. I showed it to her and said I wanted to learn to make orange marmalade. Well, 5 minutes later she is whipping out what we need and the on the third day, we had over 6 jars to share. What blew me away was she did not need to keep referring to the recipe as I do.

I have gotten better at canning, though I prefer to freeze, but still have so much to learn. Maybe you can have a weekly 'Can Along with Julia' where you and your readers share their recipes.

blessings, jill

CW said...

We don't eat alot of jam but now I am thinking it sure sounds good!:) Love the old cookbooks ... we have lost so much in our world ... Male and Female are different we just need to accept that and be happy with who we were created to be ... I agree with Amy@homestead Revival. Makes me sad!

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