Saturday, July 21, 2012

Making Jam Without Pectin and Using Honey as a Sweetener

A while back I posted about a friend who had emailed me about a recipe for jam without pectin and using honey as a sweetener.
Well, the only time I had tried that method was to cook down apples or plums into a butter.
Technically, the end result is a butter or a conserve.
We had a chance to pick raspberries yesterday...all we could for $6.
What a fun deal!
So I went home immediately and washed and prepared my berries, but not before the kids and I had a big bowl topped with a little milk and sugar. favorite way to enjoy raspberries.

Afterwards, I made jam.

The old fashioned way and I have to tell you that I am hooked!
This simple method produces the most delectable jam and it has a lovely consistency!
Instead of pectin, you use lemon juice and the natural pectin in a fresh apple.
Who doesn't have an apple or lemon juice in their house?
So, this is great when you are in a pinch and don't want to run to the store for pectin.
Thanks to 100 Days of Real Food for the recipe!
Her blog is amazing!!

The honey was a really wonderful sweetener and I did end up adding a little extra because I don't think my berries were super sweet...or maybe I just have a terrible sweet tooth:).
One thing to consider when choosing a honey is that you want one that compliments the berries.
I used a standard clover, which I think is kind of universal in flavor.
But you wouldn't want to use something like sage blossom honey with raspberries.
Look for varieties that compliment like orange blossom or raspberry blossom.

If you are looking to substitute honey for sugar in your canning recipes, I generally use it cup for cup in place of sugar. 
HERE is more information on how to cook with honey.

Here is the recipe {Original from 100 Days of Real Food...a great blog!!}
*I substituted raspberries for strawberries.

Honey Raspberry Jam Made Without Pectin

6 pounds fresh raspberries
4 cups honey
1 1/2 apples unpeeled and grated
1 1/2 TBS lemon juice

Yield: 6 pints
Cook Time: about 30-60 minutes
Processing Time: 10 minutes
{Directions re-printed from 100 Days of Real Food}
To view original post click HERE.

Make Jam: Rinse the berries and remove any spoiled or severely blemished ones. Add the berries, honey, grated apple, and lemon juice to a large pot over high heat. Once the mixture comes to a boil, lower the heat to medium and allow the mixture to continue to boil lightly for approximately 30-60 minutes. {My jam took about an hour.} The berries will burst and thicken so be sure to scrape the sides of the pot and stir as you go. The longer the jam cooks the thicker the final product will be.

Mash the fruit with a potato masher once the fruit begins to soften. If foam forms on top of the fruit you can skim and discard if desired.

Prepare Jars: Meanwhile fill the canning pot ¾ full with water, cover, and bring to a boil over high heat. If you don’t have your jars sterilizing in a hot dishwasher you can use this pot of water to sterilize them. Also start a small pot of boiling water to sterilize the lids separately. Be sure to wash all jar pieces in hot soapy water first.

Once the water is boiling turn off the heat. Test the temperature with your thermometer and when it reaches 180 degrees F put the jars and bands in the large pot and the lids in the small pot. Leave everything in the hot water until ready for use, removing one at a time as needed.

When the jam is done cooking do a taste test to make sure the thickness and flavor is to your liking. Hint: Drop dots of jam on a cold refrigerated plate, if it seems to set up, it is done. You can also see if it coats the back of a spoon.

Remove the first jar from the hot water using your jar lifter tool and shake out excess water. Don’t touch inside of the jar in order to keep it sterilized. Insert clean canning funnel and ladle the jam into the jar leaving ¼ inch headspace at the top. If there are any air bubbles you can slide a clean knife along the inside of the jar to remove them. Using a clean rag wipe excess off the outside of the jar and rim.

Using a magnetic lid lifter pull the first lid out of the hot water and set on top of the jar without touching the bottom of it. Then while only touching the outside of the band screw it onto the jar just firmly enough so it doesn’t feel wobbly on the grooves. Repeat until all jars are filled.

Using a magnetic lid lifter pull the first lid out of the hot water and set on top of the jar without touching the bottom of it. Then while only touching the outside of the band screw it onto the jar just firmly enough so it doesn’t feel wobbly on the grooves. Repeat until all jars are filled.

Note (If you don’t want to actually “can” the jam): You could stop here and refrigerate jam for 3 – 4 weeks. To freeze the jam make sure you used freezer-safe jars, allow it to cool, and put in freezer for up to one year.

Process the Jars: Bring large pot of water back to a boil. Using your jar lifter (or canning rack) carefully lower as many jars that will fit without overcrowding into the boiling water so they are covered by at least 1 – 2 inches of water. It is recommended that the jars do not directly touch the bottom of the pot (so hot water can flow beneath them) and some even suggest putting a dish towel on the bottom to create space. From the moment the water is boiling and the entire first batch of jars are submerged set the timer and process them for 10 minutes.

When 10 minutes is over use the jar lifter to carefully remove the jars from the water. Put them on the counter and don’t move them right away. You will hear your jar lids “popping” which means they have been sealed properly. If jars aren’t sealed within 12 hours then move them to the fridge and eat within 3 – 4 weeks.

Remove bands from sealed jars and with a clean, wet cloth wipe off any jam that has congealed on the outside rim of the jar. This prevents mold from forming on the band. The band can be reapplied, but don’t screw them on too tightly.

Label jar and store in a cool, dry, dark place for up to 1 year.

The consistency turned out soo well!
I was actually a little surprised, but very happy with the taste and texture.
I am definitely trying this again and adding different combinations of fruit.

Enjoy your day!


Keeping It Cozy said...

This looks amazing, Julia! After you posted originally I actually looked at my Ball canning book at the no pectin recipes and have been thinking about giving it a try. Now I'm definitely going to! Also, $6 for all you can pick? That is a great deal!

Stef said...

This looks so yummy - I still haven't tried the jam, but I did get some cash to pick up a big pile of strawberries from the fruit stand. We have a lot of wild blackberries ready to pick, too, so maybe I'll try some blackberry jam this year along with the strawberry. It's so nice to see that it turned out great taste-wise and with the right consistency. I was wondering about the type of honey, too, so thank you for that information. I've been wondering how your bee-keeping undertaking has gone - are you getting any honey yet? Have a great rest of your weekend, Julia!

Sally said...

my husband made peach pit jam at my request, and used a pectin and honey. he let it go for quite a while, but it still didn't get really thick. hmm.. I am going to show him this post!

Love your blog!!

Cheyenne said...


I always love the way the jars looked lined up when done. So cheerful.

I've never used honey in recipes like these, something to ponder.

Kathy said...

Your pictures our amazing! It looks delicious and so healthy. Good job!

Tonya Gunn said...

Thank you so much for sharing as I am eliminating white sugars from my diet.

Anonymous said...

That looks so delicious. Thank you so much for the recipe.
Have a great day.

Julian said...

The jam looks beautiful,and without sugar! Thankyou for posting this,ill definetly try it since my husbands a diabetic.


Hi Julia!
I never use pectin, I just let the jam simmer and simmer and simmer as my grandmothers did.
ANd it looks much more like jam!
They used sugar (the traditional italian and french recipes say that quantity of fruit and the very same quantity of sugar, I use half the sugar).I love following the traditional recipes but as soon as we will be back in honeykeeping I will give this honey recipe a try.

Unknown said...

Hi Julia!

I am so grateful for the freezer tip!
I am going to give that a try.
For some reason I never get to do the real canning way... (too scared to make a horrid mistake)
So the freezer way it will be for me.
Now I just need to find a farm where I can pick all I can for Six Bucks!
You lucky gal!

Have a lovely week!


Gumbo Lily said...

I like making jam without pectin. The Joy of Cooking says that we can get away with much less sugar when we make jams sans pectin. I love the texture too. I sometimes throw a couple of apple chunks into my jam and then fish them out part way through cooking. I haven't heard of adding grated apple to berry jam, but it sounds good. I've used chunks of lemon in the same way (or bottled juice).

What a bargain you found -- U pick for $6. Wow.

Christi said...

Julia... you find the best deals on fruit! Your jam looks so good. Your photos are beautiful!

Unknown said...

Hi Julia!
You are a lifesaver!
I made this Jam last night after reading your post!
I did not have the lemon juice!
Normally I always have a lemon or the juice, but lo and behold not this time!

I made Strawberry jam without the lemon, added the grated apple and it took for me about a 1 1/2 hour of simmering on the stove. I left the lid off when it had to cool off. That helped that the jam became very nice and thick!
It tastes just as good as the organic one I have from Costco!
Hubby did the test of approval!

With 6 kids and lunch for work every day we go through a lot of jam during the week.
And I have noticed prices of these luxury items are sky rocketing! We have not bought any Nutella for a while (because of that reason).

So now I will be making jam. Sans Pectin!
I am so grateful!
I had to just come here and let you know!
I would love to make a mixed Berry jam... My favorite kind!

Would love to share this on my blog and mention that you were the source of inspiration!
Thanks again!

Nazareth Secret said...

I'm always looking for recipes without sugar and thought it was not possible to make jam or jelly without it. Thank you for this recipe! I will definitely try it.

Red said...

Love the blue and white pitcher in the pic. So pretty.
The jam looks mighty nice too!

Ching Makes Things! said...

Whee! Just made a small batch of strawberry jam using this recipe, added a bit of grated ginger. Love the fact that it uses honey instead of sugar, and apple instead of pectin. It's DELICIOUS. Unfortunately it's past midnight and I'll have to wait til tomorrow to eat it-- the torture!

Terri Ashby said...

Crumbs, you do go to a lot of faff to make jam in the US! I've been making jam here in England for 40 years and never used shop bought pectin which is ghastly stuff full of sulphur. If I'm using fruits such as strawberries which are low in pectin I use home-made pectin. If each time you make an apple pie you put the peelings and cores in the freezer you don't even have to use whole apples to make it.

Sandra Sutton said...

I'm going to try this recipie. My family has a honey business, so I have a lot of honey!

But as a tip, I want to share a bit about honey and the source you get it from. If you get low quality honey, you might as well be using sugar. Mass producers of honey do not move their bees to fields of flowers as they bloom, instead stick tubes of sugar and water, or sometimes corn syrup on the side of the hive so they don't have to move them. Yes they make raw honey, from a sugar base. Not nectar base. Mass producers often time are brokers as well. They buy honey from people around the area, even country, and bottle it as their own. In our county, there are numerous small local beekeepers that do that. Selling honey by lying on their labels, giving customers fake sugar based honey, is not true raw honey. It's not good for you either. Ask your local beekeeper, or make sure you're buying the right stuff. Support the true beekeepers.

kim - Liv LIfe said...

Love this recipe!!! I had a comment on my blog asking if it was possible to use honey in place of sugar. I forwarded her your post. Thanks!!

Anonymous said...

Why doesn't everyone be as explicit as you are? I am very impressed with all your details for those of us that are beginner canners and jelly makers. Thanks so much.

mala88 said...

Adding a little butter keeps the foam away. But I am eager to try this recipe w plums since we just picked them from our tree.

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