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Ontario, Canada
I am a wife, mother and grandma who enjoys the many aspects of homemaking. A variety of interests and hobbies combined with travel keep me active. They reflect the importance of family, friends, home and good food.
Cook ingredients that you are used to cooking by other techniques, such as fish, chicken, or hamburgers. In other words be comfortable with the ingredients you are using.
--Bobby Flay

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Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Low Sugar Strawberry Jams

While I home can year round and have even taken to doing a bit of canning at our vacation home, this time of year through the end of September tends to be busier.  The canners (water bath, pressure) are going almost daily often several times in one day quickly putting up various fruits and vegetables as they are in season.  Unfortunately, I missed asparagus season.  There is still local asparagus available but the price is too high for preserving.  Strawberries just started.  We were on a road trip Saturday so I came home with a flat of local strawberries and fresh, free range eggs. 

low sugar strawberry jams
I made three batches of low sugar strawberry jam, all using Pomona's pectin (low methoxy pectin).  This pectin does not rely on sugar to gel so it is possible to use sugar substitutes like maple syrup, honey, stevia or agave.  If sugar is desired, it is used at a considerably reduced about usually 2 cups or less per batch in comparison to regular pectin that uses about 7 cups of sugar per batch.  The end result is the ability to create gourmet low sugar jams.  However, reduced sugar also means a smaller yield since sugar is a bulking agent as well.  This small price is well worth it for me. 

I also used a secret ingredient (non-alcoholic) to enhance the flavour of the jam.  I am pleased with the flavour and texture of the jam.  However, there is a bit more floating fruit than I would have liked.  Floating fruit is common with jams even when following the guideline to stir for five minutes before jarring.  This does reduce but not eliminate floating fruit.  The easy remedy for floating fruit is simply stirring the jar of jar when first opened.  Floating fruit does not affect the texture or flavour of the jam but it is not a desirable visual element for competition. 

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