I LOVE to learn new things.
I also love to learn how to do something the “old fashioned way” too. And when some friends of mine were talking about making jam without pectin and LOW sugar, I was all ears! I learned some things along the way, and believe you me, it does take CONSIDERABLY longer, but the end product was far superior in mine and my families opinion!
Cheaper, healthier, and tastier!
Our local farmer’s market had some beautifully sweet strawberries from Florida for an excellent price! So I ran over and bought two flats. After reading and talking with my friends, I gathered my supplies and gave this ‘no pectin’ jam a go.
I started with 8 cups of sliced berries.
I then pureed the berries in my food processor.
To that amount of berries I added 3 cups of sugar. Yep, that’s ALL! If you look at any other jamming recipe you will see 8 1/2 cups sugar for ONE BATCH! ACK!
Don’t worry… it tastes really, really good with only 3 cups.
You actually taste wonderfully sweet strawberries, not just sugar!
Then add 1/4 cup lemon juice and the zest if you like… which I do! YUM!
Stir together in a large pot and get ready to test your patience.
Cook… cook… cook… and cook some more.
Other places around the web you may hear that it only took them 10 minutes, well I’m here to tell you I cooked for an hour.
Now it’s not labor intensive. I brought my berries to a boil and then turned them down to simmer for that hour. I did other things while they cooked down, like play scrabble, menu planned, washed dishes, etc… I would stir occasionally and check how things were going.
You want the jam to cook down, get thick, and get to the “jam” consistency.
My jam got some beautifully deep red and flavorful, I do believe I will continue this method because we all loved the taste so much!
Once the jam has cooked down and it is nice and thick, you can check with a cooking thermometer that the temp should be around 220*.
Cook for a while til you see that it is ‘jam phase’ you can pull it off.
What I mean by the jam phase is when you have a cold metal spoon and it ‘sheets’ rather than drops off the spoon in droplets.
If it does this, you are ready to fill your clean jars.
After filling my jars I processed my jam in a hot water bath for 5-10 minutes just to seal.
So other than it just taking a while to make it happen, this jam is super simple and takes SO little to make it!
Give it a try! And if you do, let me know what you think!