I made jam today because we ran out and I have lots of strawberries and raspberries in our freezer and I need to start making room for thanksgiving. I normally make jam at this time of year with left over strawberries in the freezer from spring (we grow a lot of strawberries!) and our newly harvested raspberries, but this year (same as last year) we hardly had any raspberries in the fall. We have only had enough to snack on as we walk by them, not to harvest. I think our canes are just getting old or not enough rain in late summer early fall. How have your raspberries been doing if you grow them?
Last year I perfected my low sugar strawberry and raspberry jam recipe using stevia and fruit juice concentrate, but this year I decided to change it up and use honey instead of fruit juice since that's what I had on hand. It turned out great so I thought I'd share it with you here in case your like me and only have honey in the house! I have taste tested mine against store bought jam (Trader Joe's) and mine was hands down better in my opinion and lower in sugar I'm sure too! I felt I could taste more of the fruit and less of the sugar.
No Added Sugar Strawberry Raspberry Jam (Makes 2 pints)
- 4 cups of whole hulled organic strawberries (fresh or frozen, not with syrup I used frozen from our garden)
- 3 cups of organic raspberries (fresh or frozen, I used fresh from our patch)
- 1 1/2 Tablespoons (or about half of an envelope) of No sugar added pectin (I used Sure Jell)
- 1 tablespoons of stevia
- 1/4 cup of honey (make sure it's real honey! Some from China were found out to be fake honey I buy mine at my local farmers market)
- 3 pint jars and one half pint jar and lids (to make sure you have the right size jars for how much you end up making see note at end of post) Make sure they are freezable if you will be doing freezer jam
- water bath canner and canning equipment
- metal canning funnel (using plastic can leach chemicals into your preserves due to the heat)
- metal ladle (using plastic can leach chemicals into your preserves due to the heat)
- 4-5 qt saucepan,(you could probably get by with 3 qt if you don't have a 4 qt but I'd rather tell ya bigger just in case)
- wooden spoon
- thermometer (optional but it helps)
- potato masher
If Your Canning
Before starting to make your Jam prepare your canner with hot water and keep it simmering and covered. Heat your jars and lids (3 pint and one half pint just in case) in hot NOT BOILING water until you’re ready for them.
If Your making freezer jam (not canning so you place it in the freezer until ready to use)
Make sure your jars are clean and sterile, also make sure the jars you use are freezable, or they may explode in your freezer. It should say it on the packaging when you buy your jars.
To Make The Jam
- Place half your fruit into the 4 or 5 qt sauce pan and mash with a potato masher, add the rest and continue to mash until they're are no big chunks left.
- Gradually stir in the pectin and honey. You can add 1/2 tsp of butter to reduce foaming if you need it. Bring the mixture to a full rolling boil (that still boils when stirred), stirring constantly. The Ball Blue Book said to 8 degrees above your areas boiling point which is 220 degrees here in Minneapolis (you can test boiling water with a thermometer to be sure of where eater boils where you live). Remove from heat and skim foam if you have any. Add your stevia if desired after it has cooled some and stir to destribute evenly (from others comments on using stevia in jam it turns out less bitter if added at the end when it has cooled some).
- Ladle the hot jam into the hot prepped jar leaving 1/4 in. head space. Clean the rims and threads of the jar. Center the hot lid on the jar, allowing the sealing compound to meet the jar rim. Apply the band and adjust until it is fingertip tight on all jars. Follow the following instructions on canning or making freezer jam depending on what method you plan to use.
- Place the jars in the canner and make sure the water level is 1-2 inches higher than the tops of the jars. Place the lid on the canner and bring the water to boil.
- Process the jars for 10 minutes. Turn off the heat and remove the lid once processing is complete. Let the jars stand for 5 minutes.
- Remove the jars and set them upright on a towel to cool for 12 to 24 hours. After cooling, make sure all the seals are sealed. There shouldn’t be any give. If your jars are not sealed, use it within 3 weeks or place in the freezer (only if your jars are freezable) as soon as it is at room temperature. If sealed properly, label and store in a cool, dry, dark place for up to a year.
- Ladle into sterile freezable jars be sure to give 1/2 inch headspace, as the jam will expand after it sets and then freezes.
- Let stand until set, up to 24 hrs, then freeze.
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