Join the Canning Revolution

5/13/2013

Making jams and jellies is a tradition with deep history and delicious results. But often recipes call for more sugar than fruit, turning what could be a healthy homemade treat into an achingly sweet spread.

The book "Preserving with Pomona's Pectin" (Fair Winds Press, June 2013), by Allison Carroll Duffy and the partners at Pomona's Universal Pectin, teaches readers how to make jam using sugar-free and preservative-free Pomona's Universal Pectin, which requires no sugar to jell. With Pomona's Universal Pectin, not only do jams and jellies take less sugar to make, but less time as well. And Pomona's Universal Pectin is easy to find at your local natural foods store, food co-op, Williams-Sonoma, or online.

This first official Pomona's Universal Pectin cookbook shows readers how to use this revolutionary product and method to create and can marmalades, preserves, conserves, jams, and jellies. Inside are recipes for sweet offerings and savory favorites such as:

.  Maple-Vanilla-Peach Jam (see below for recipe)
.  All-Fruit Strawberry Jam
.  Savory Blueberry-Ginger Conserve
.  Nana's Favorite Dandelion Jelly
.  Margarita Marmalade
.  Chocolate-Cherry Preserves

This is the perfect book for both beginning and experienced preservers, and everyone in between. The recipes are organized by type--jams, jellies, preserves, conserves, and marmalades--and there are simple classics as well as new twists with exciting ingredients. And most importantly, all of the recipes use low amounts of sugar or alternative sweeteners, such as honey, maple syrup, or fruit juice.

"Preserving with Pomona's Pectin" is the perfect book for anyone with an interest in preserving. Whether you've already worked with Pomona's Universal Pectin and are looking for more recipes, or are just learning how to use this revolutionary product, you'll find everything you need (including how-to illustrations) in this jam-packed book.

About the Author
Allison Carroll Duffy is a master food preserver, trained through the University of Maine Cooperative Extension. She holds a master's degree in gastronomy from Boston University and teaches canning and preserving classes and workshops. She has written about food for various publications including the Boston Globe and Backpacker magazine. Allison runs the Canning Craft blog (www.canningcraft.com) and lives near Portland, Maine, with her husband and two young sons.

About Pomona's Universal Pectin
Pomona's Universal Pectin is sold by Workstead Industries, a small, family-owned business that got its start in 1980 on Pragtree Farm in Arlington, Wash. Farmers Brian Saunders and Connie Sumberg had an abundance of organic berries on the farm and wanted to make jam, but were horrified at the amount of sugar required. Some sleuthing and experimenting led to the pectin known today as Pomona's Universal Pectin (www.pomonapectin.com). In 1989, Sumberg took over the business, running it independently until 2009, when family members Mary Lou Sumberg (Sumberg's sister) and Paul Rooney (Mary Lou's husband) joined her as partners.

Maple-Vanilla-Peach Jam
Excerpted from "Preserving with Pomona's Pectin" by Allison Carroll Duffy

If I were to eat any jam by the spoonful (which I admit to doing, on occasion), this would be the one. I also love a big dollop of it on top of vanilla ice cream. It's great in baked goods, too--as a filling for cookie bars, or even turnovers. The deep intensity of maple and vanilla, combined with the lusciousness of fresh peaches, is just heavenly.

Yield: 4 to 5 half-pint (8-ounce) jars

Ingredients
3 1/4 pounds fully ripe peaches
1 vanilla bean
1/4 cup lemon juice
4 teaspoons calcium water (comes in box with Pomona's)
3/4 cup pure maple syrup
3 teaspoons Pomona's pectin powder

Directions
1. Wash your jars, lids, and bands. Place jars in canner, fill canner 2/3 full with water, bring canner to a rolling boil, and boil jars for 10 minutes to sterilize them. (Add 1 extra minute of sterilizing time for every 1,000 feet above sea level.) Reduce heat and allow jars to remain in hot canner water until ready to use. Place lids in water in a small saucepan, heat to a low simmer, and hold until ready to use.

2. Peel and remove pits from peaches, and then mash the peaches in a large bowl.

3. Measure 4 cups of the mashed peaches (saving any extra for another use), and pour the measured amount into a saucepan. Using a paring knife, slice the vanilla bean in half lengthwise and scrape out the seeds. Add the vanilla seeds and the bean pod itself to the fruit, along with the lemon juice and calcium water. Mix well.
4. In a separate bowl, combine maple syrup and pectin powder. Mix thoroughly and set aside.

5. Bring fruit to a full boil over high heat. Slowly add pectin-maple syrup mixture, stirring constantly. Continue to stir vigorously for 1 to 2 minutes to dissolve pectin while the jam comes back up to a boil. Once the jam returns to a full boil, remove it from the heat. Using tongs, carefully remove the vanilla bean pod from the jam and discard.

6. Can Your Jam: Remove jars from canner and ladle jam into hot jars, leaving 1/4 inch of headspace. Remove trapped air bubbles, wipe rims with a damp cloth, put on lids and screw bands, and tighten to fingertip tight. Lower filled jars into canner, ensuring jars are not touching each other and are covered with at least 1 to 2 inches of water. Place lid on canner, return to a rolling boil, and process for 10 minutes. (Add 1 extra minute of processing time for every 1000 feet above sea level). Turn off heat and allow canner to sit untouched for 5 minutes, then remove jars and allow to cool undisturbed for 12 to 24 hours. Confirm that jars have sealed, then store properly.