Friday, July 6, 2012

Jam... Out!

I posted HERE about picking strawberries with Kristen and Meaghan. I attempted to make strawberry jam, but since I refused to add FOUR CUPS of SUGAR to a mere two cups of fruit, the pectin did not have enough sugar to bond with and my jam did not set. Not one to throw away my delicious concoction, I froze the tubs anyway and called it Strawberry Topping, figuring this would be perfect for strawberry shortcakes, as topping for home made ice cream, or mixed into oatmeal or fresh yogurt.

On our trip to South Carolina, Sean and I bought a box of fresh peaches, which were just about the most delicious, juiciest fruit I have ever eaten. I was determined to attempt to make jam with what fruit survived our eating them on the drive home. I followed the recipe on the sugar free pectin box. I could live with 2 1/2 cups of sugar in this recipe. But, the plastic tubs did not set again. Hmmm....

The girls and I went strawberry picking again on Tuesday. We picked nearly 25 pounds of fruit. Some we gifted, much I froze into more shortcake topping, but I wanted to attempt some jam again. I tried to religiously follow the directions on the box, but I could not, COULD NOT add the requisite 4 cups of sugar. Two cups of sugar made the fruit into a crystallized, grainy mass, which even when it dissolved was soooo super-sweet. I added the gelatin mixture since I had gone through the process of preparing it and filled my plastic tubs with the results. It had a better consistency than my first attempt, definitely thicker, but it still was not gelled perfectly.

So, it is at this point that I decided that jam making was not for me. I would need to stick with creating wonderfully delicious shortcake and ice cream topping and oatmeal and yogurt dressing, instead. These all carefully frozen to preserve and living in my freezer.

I did take some time yesterday to look up some non-pectin using recipes and they look promising. I think when the raspberries ripen, I will give it another try.

In other news, I bought some vegetable rennet, mesophilic culture, and lipase at the local natural food center. Tonight, with a gallon of fresh goat's milk waiting, I am planning on making either true chevre or feta and ricotta cheeses with the help of Sean. I can't wait to try. And, of course, I will let you know how it goes!

Have a great day!
Sonja ♥


  1. I am sure it is all very tasty! Looking forward to seeing how the cheese does.

  2. Last year I attempted a no sugar added strawberry jam recipe and after spending HOURS making my own pectin, I was left with an all natural strawberry topping! I didn't even bother this year and the kids ended up eating all of our strawberries anyway.

    1. I hear you, Julie. I am going to look for another recipe and if I ever find one that works, I will certainly post it!

      Thanks for visiting!
      Sonja ♥