Monday, July 21, 2008

A word about Pectin

Last Thursday Hadassah and I went berry picking. I went for raspberries but after I got there they informed me that their raspberry crop was almost finished and it would be difficult to get enough to make jam, so I decided to pick marionberries (which are my favorite). Hadassah and I picked for about an hour. Well, I picked and she ate. We finished with 17 lbs. Just enough to make some jam, a pie and to freeze some for pies this winter. They were beautiful and we were both so excited.
When we arrived home I realized I had no pectin to make jam so I made a pie, froze 4 bags of 4 cups each and saved the rest to make jam in the coming days. Busyness caught up with us and I didn't get the jam made. Saturday night I realized that I better do something with the berries or they were going to go to waste. However, I still had no pectin so I went to Safeway. All Safeway had was Sure-Jell . I have always used Pomona's Universal Pectin and have been very, very satisfied because I don't have to use tons of sugar to make already sweet berries into jam. Well, I didn't have time to run to Whole Foods so I just purchased the Sure-Jell. What a mistake!!
When I got home I prepared the berries and took out the instructions. I looked down to the raspberry/blackberry recipe for freezer jam. This is the outrageous part. 3 cups of smashed berries and 5 1/4 c. of sugar. Yes, you read that correctly almost double the sugar to berries. And the instructions read if you do not use the proper amount of sugar your jam will not turn out. So I made jam with more sugar than anyone should consume in an entire year. It is way to sweet. But my berries did not go to waste. I guess I will be gifting really sweet jam for Christmas this year.
I have decided to go marionberry picking again this week and also blueberry picking. We will take those berries down to Knappa make jam and freeze the rest for winter. Do note that I will never run out of pectin again.
So, my advice on making jam. Just take the time to go get Pomona's Pectin. It is great stuff.


Tiffany said...

Glad you got some Marions. We bought some on sale today, not U-Pick. The farm wanted to get rid of them before they spoiled. But all of the u-picks were still pretty unripe.
So we just picked raspberries and will need to go back for Marions, Blues (aren't open ay the .99 per pound place until Wednesday) and Boysenberries.

Pomonas is great. A life saver:) Literally.

christa jean said...

I will log that in my memory, thank you!
My friend and I made strawberry freezer jam a few months ago, and she had bought no cook pectin. It called for a few cups of sugar and after the first batch we decided to cut the amount of sugar in half. The second batch was much better and the smaller amount of sugar did not seem to affect the jam at all. Of course, we totally cheated buying that kind of pectin, but it was our first time "canning". Tee hee!

Thanks for laughing at my midnight shenanigans. I would love to meet you, maybe at a Mom's in the Park! We don't actually attend Solid Rock, but have many friends who do!
Blessings to you.