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Homemade Low Sugar Raspberry Jam Recipe – More Berries, Less Sugar

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When spoons were passed around with samples of this homemade low sugar raspberry jam from the bottom of the cooking pot, the collective response from the boys and husband was, “mmmmmmmmmm”. The quarter jar that didn't make it in the canner soon disappeared, and a second jar never made it into the canning pantry. My youngest used to be a full sugar jam hound, but even he's been won over to the fruit-loaded flavor of low sugar homemade jams.

low sugar raspberry jam

To get enough berries for this recipe, we hit a local youpick raspberry place. You can also use frozen raspberries if you don't have fresh available, so watch for sales. 🙂

I strain out some of the raspberry seeds but not all of them, so it's not quite seedless raspberry jam. The pulp really adds flavor, so I don't go the straight raspberry jelly route.

Raspberries do have a lot of seeds, and my husband is not a seed fan, so I compromise by running the cooked berries through my food strainer twice. (This is the food strainer I recommend.) Putting them through the strainer just once leaves more pulp behind than I prefer, but if you have more than enough raspberries once is fine. I save my pulp to make chocolate raspberry granola cookies. Don't ask me why, but my husband is fine with the seeds in cookie form, and the raspberry-chocolate flavor combination is pure yumminess.

This easy Low Sugar Raspberry Jam recipe is bursting with raspberry flavor. It uses less sugar and can be made with fresh or frozen raspberries.
Picking raspberries. My youngest is in the photo, my eldest behind the camera.

Low Sugar Raspberry Jam Recipe

Ingredients: 

  • 4 cups of raspberry puree or mashed raspberries (will need 3-4 quarts of fresh raspberries or 2 1/2 10oz packages of frozen to start, depending on how many seeds you let through)
  • 2 teaspoons calcium water (included with Pomona’s Pectin)
  • 1 cup honey or 2 cups sugar
  • 2 teaspoons Pomona’s Pectin powder

Directions:

Prepare raspberries by cleaning (if needed) and gently cooking in a heavy bottom pot. I use my 8 quart stock pot. Once softened, run through a food mill or strainer to remove some of the seeds if you like (once for fewer seeds, twice for more seeds) or simply mash berries. Measure out 4 cups of berry puree and return puree to pot. Eat any leftover puree, or use to top ice cream or stir into yogurt. 😉

Sterilize six 8-ounce canning jars, keep hot. Prepare lids and rings. Fill water bath canner and bring to boil.

In a small bowl, mix together sugar (or honey) and pectin powder. Don’t skip this step, or your pectin will clump. Set aside.

Add calcium water to raspberry puree. Bring to a full boil.

Add sugar-pectin (or honey-pectin) mixture, stir vigorously 1-2 minutes while cooking to dissolve pectin. Return to boil, then remove from heat.

Ladle jam into sterilized jars leaving 1/4″ headspace. Wipe rims clean and screw on the lids. Process for 10 minutes in water bath canner (add 1 minute for every 1,000 feet above sea level). Jam will last about three weeks once opened. Makes around 4-5 cups.

What is calcium water and where do I get it?

The calcium powder for making the calcium water is included in the boxes of Pomona’s Pectin. In each box of Pomona's Pectin, there are two packages of powder. One of them is the pectin, one is calcium powder. The calcium powder allows the pectin to gel without sugar, which means you get reliable gelling for low and no added sugar recipes.

One box of Pomona’s will make several batches of jam/jelly, and it has a shelf life of several years unopened.  Last year I bought a case of the pectin and split it with friends. You could use other low/no sugar pectins as well. Just omit the calcium water and follow their instructions.

You can use even less sugar if you like, down to 3/4 cup sugar or 1/2 cup honey.

low sugar raspberry jam jars
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Low Sugar Raspberry Jam Recipe

low sugar raspberry jam

This easy Low Sugar Raspberry Jam recipe is bursting with raspberry flavor. It uses less sugar and can be made with fresh or frozen raspberries.

  • Author: Laurie Neverman

Ingredients

Scale
  • 4 cups of raspberry puree or mashed raspberries (will need 34 quarts of fresh raspberries or 2 1/2 10oz packages of frozen to start, depending on how many seeds you let through)
  • 2 teaspoons calcium water (included with Pomona’s Pectin)
  • 2 cups sugar or 1 cup honey
  • 2 teaspoons Pomona’s Pectin powder

Instructions

  1. Prepare raspberries by cleaning (if needed) and gently cooking in a heavy bottom pot. I use my 8 quart stock pot.
  2. Once softened, run through a food mill or strainer to remove some of the seeds if you like (once for fewer seeds, twice for more seeds) or simply mash berries.
  3. Measure out 4 cups of berry puree and return puree to pot.
  4. Sterilize six 8-ounce canning jars, keep hot. Prepare lids and rings.
  5. Fill water bath canner and bring to boil.
  6. In a small bowl, mix together sugar (or honey) and pectin powder. Don’t skip this step, or your pectin will clump. Set aside.
  7. Add calcium water to raspberry puree. Bring to a full boil.
  8. Add sugar-pectin (or honey-pectin) mixture, stir vigorously 1-2 minutes while cooking to dissolve pectin.
  9. Return to boil, then remove from heat.
  10. Ladle jam into sterilized jars leaving 1/4″ headspace.
  11. Wipe rims clean and screw on the lids. Process for 10 minutes in water bath canner (add 1 minute for every 1,000 feet above sea level).
  12. Jam will last about three weeks once opened. Makes around 4-5 cups.

Notes

  • Eat any leftover puree, or use to top ice cream or stir into yogurt.

Did you make this recipe?

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I ended up making a batch and a half of homemade jam because I had six cups of puree. One of the things I really like about using Pomona's pectin is that it is okay to double or triple batches if needed. This is not recommended with standard pectin. I do generally stick with smaller batches, because I think that preserves the best flavor since the cooking times are shorter, but I'm glad to be able to adjust when needed.

More Low Sugar Jam Recipes

The book “Preserving with Pomona's Pectin: The Revolutionary Low-Sugar, High-Flavor Method for Crafting and Canning Jams, Jellies, Conserves, and More” has over 70 recipes featuring Pomona's Pectin for easy, low sugar canning. No more jams and jellies with more sugar than fruit. 🙂

We have over 20 different jam and jelly recipes listed on the site for you to enjoy. You can view them all in our Jam and Jelly Round Up Post. Some of my personal favorite low sugar jams include:

Thanks for reading, and I hope your family enjoy this low sugar raspberry jam recipe as much as we do. Don't forget to Pin or bookmark for later, and check out the other recipes and canning tips on the site.

raspberry jam closeup

Originally published in 2014, updated in 2017.

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17 Comments

  1. Hi Laurie,
    “Measure four cups of crushed raspberries. Add seven cups of sugar.” Yikes!
    I started selling Pomona’s Pectin in my shop years ago. Convincing die-hard jam makers that there was a way to make jam where you could actually taste the fruit wasn’t easy. Until I made a batch of blueberry jam for potential customers to sample. I sold a bunch of pectin, two jars of the blueberry jam and deflected one proposal.
    Now about the idea that “once opened the jam will last around three weeks.” Maybe, if you put the lid back on …

    1. I find the taste with Pomona’s to be so much better, plus you save money on the sugar. I agree that there have been mornings where we’ve polished off a whole jar with a big batch of waffles. Yum!

  2. I picked black caps and raspberries and would like to mix them together for this recipe , does that change anything with regard to acidity and sugar requirements?

    1. Raspberries naturally have a pH between 3.2 – 3.6, so no additional acid is needed. If you choose to add more sugar (switching to a full sugar conventional recipe with more sugar than fruit), that will increase shelf life, as the sugar ties up free water, which inhibits microbe growth. Mom used to keep high sugar jams and jellies unrefrigerated after opening. I don’t recommend that with low sugar jams and jellies.

  3. I have not been able to find Pamona’s Pectin locally and I don’t want to order a giant portion of it online. I was able to find a jar of Ball RealFruit Low or No-Sugar Needed Pectin. Can I use that instead, and how many tablespoons would I need?

    Thank you!

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