Thursday, July 8, 2010

Blackberry-Mango Jam out of the Canner this morning

I am using Ball's no sugar pectin, the product turns out a bit different than when using regular pectin. Sometimes, I don't how to describe it for sure, but the jam is a little "stretchy".

I quit making jams years and years ago cause I didn't like the ingredients on the pectin box-sounded like too many chemicals to me, and I was making homemade jams shouldn't be in there, and most recipes call for soooo much sugar to make them set up.

When Larry got diabeties about 15 years or more ago now, I started purchasing those little jars of fruit only. They are really nice and have no sugar added to them, and they don't have that stretchiness to the jam either.

I tried making several batches about 4 years ago now, using the no sugar pectin but used splenda and no sugar. I followed the directions, water bath canned them, but within 6 months the lids were popping unsealed again, and in the beginning when we did open a jar-it would turn moldy within a couple days.

Sooo, I got discouraged with the process and have not made any more til today.

I still don't think I am totally happy with this no sugar pectin, there are no added chemicals to this box but the first ingredient is sugar?? I hadn't caught that before, just 1 gram of sugar-but still there is sugar added. When I use up the boxes of pectin I have, or maybe throw them out at the end of the season if I don't end up using it all, I am going to try MaryJane's product ChillOver, it is a vegan gelatin and on the forum learned some are making jams with it
this is the ingredients:

Ingredients: Agar-agar kanten, an odorless powdered sea vegetable with superior gelling Ingredients: Agar-agar kanten, an odorless powdered sea vegetable with superior gelling qualities—a MaryJanesFarm exclusivequalities—a MaryJanesFarm exclusive

I have used agar agar in my vegetarian days-pretty cool stuff, so I need to get back to using that again.

So here is what I did with my jam-it tastes wonderful too.

The basic jam recipe instructions from the no sugar pectin box:

4 cups prepared fruit, 1 cup unsweetened white grape juice or apple juice, lemon juice, one pox of this pectin, sugar or honey or splenda if you wish to add

I really like whole fruits, and using blackberries if they totally break down you will just get lots of seeds. So following the idea of the strawberries (link in last post) that our Sea posted, I put 2 cups of very large nice blackberries that I picked in a bowl and covered with organic sugar. I probably used around 1/2 cup sugar. By evening I still did not have lots of juice like the strawberries would give you, so I added two more cups of blackberries that I had in the freezer.

Thru different things that I have read now, some say the berries in the freezer will give a better gel or set too.

When they defrosted I added more sugar stirred and placed in the refrigerator over night.

This morning--cool! lots of juice. The frozen berries did lose alot of their color, but the fresh picked ones still held their color.

Mesuring the berries I had 3 cups of fruit, and 1 cup of juice-the exact amount of juice I needed for the recipe-so I liked that idea alot-using this juice instead of purchased white grape juice. I cut up a mango in small pieces and that gave me my 4 cups of fruit.

So my recipe:

3 cups fresh picked large blackberries
1 cup diced mango with juice
1 cup juice from the blackberries
sugar already added in from the procedure with the berries
1 box of no sugar pectin
zest from 1 organic lemon
1 pat of butter
I added the butter, cause from my reading I learned this cuts down on the foam-and it did.

The directions said to put the fruit, juice in a pan and then slowly stir in the pectin to prevent lumping. This step could really mess up your whole jam, as it does lump up. I stirred into the juice area of the pan to get it disolved in-but what I will do next time is to stir the pectin into the juice first til disolved and than add that to the pan.

The instructions on the pectin box said to bring to a full rolling boil that cannot be stirred down, stirring constantly. It took about 10 minutes, cause I didn't want my fruit to break down so I cooked on med. high til it came to the boil that couldn't be stirred down, and stirred lightly.

I also turned the heat off, and let it set for about 5 minutes. I just read about this on the forum as well, it will keep all your fruit mixed thruout your jars, and it also helps with the gel.

I filled these little 4 ounce jelly jars, and water bathed canned for 10 minutes.


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