I came up with this low sugar apple currant spread to use up this year's bumper crop of currants. Since currants are quite tart, currant jelly uses a lot of sugar. Currant seeds are sizable, so I knew a regular jam wouldn't be popular with my family. (Plus, currant jam is still loaded with sugar.) Instead, I cooked up my currants and ran them through the chinois (food mill). This gave a mix of juice and a little bit of puree. I cooked the currant juice/puree up with some applesauce (and cinnamon), but it was still very runny and tart. (Both currants and apples have natural pectin, but not quite enough in this case.) I added sugar for sweetening, and some Pomona's low sugar pectin for thickening. Voila! [Read more…]
Low Sugar Peach Jam Recipes With a Twist
Each year we buy a couple of cases of peaches from the local Knight's of Columbus fundraiser. Some are eaten fresh, but quite a few are preserved for later. These low sugar peach jam recipes are an annual tradition. We make up at least one batch of each peach jam – usually two. Peach jam is also a great way to use up peaches that are too soft and ripe to be canned on their own.
I first saw striped jelly in a Facebook group and thought that it looked absolutely beautiful. There was only a photo, no instructions. The person who shared the photo said that her daughter had made some up for a local farm market. The daughter had planned to price it the same as the other jams, but the mom convinced her to charge extra because of the labor involved. Mom was right again, as the striped jelly sold out almost immediately, even at a much higher price.
I was inspired to give striped jelly a try, so during the season, I saved and froze different types of fruit juice and puree. When my sister came to visit last weekend, she asked if I had any extra jams or jelly that her granddaughter could use for a school fundraiser. Since trying new ideas is always more fun when you have a “partner in crime”, I dug out my fruit stash and my sis and I made up 15 jars of beautiful fruit striped yumminess. Here's how we did it.
By the way – if you don't have a stash of fruit puree, remember that you can always use fruit juices or frozen fruit for jellies and jams.
I enjoy trying new twists on old favorite recipes, and right now our local rhubarb is abundant, so when I found this naturally sweetened strawberry-rhubarb jam, I had to try it. This rhuberry spread recipe has only 4 ingredients and contains no added sugar or commercial pectin. It's sweetened with apple juice concentrate and thickened with natural apple pectin and slow cooking. The result is a sweet-tart taste that let's the strawberry and rhubarb flavors shine through. In addition to being used as a spread, I'm sure this would dehydrate to make a great fruit leather, too. I hope you'll enjoy trying something new, too. [Read more…]
I was reading Nature's Garden by Samuel Thayer recently when I realized that my backyard shrubs had been misidentified, and were covered with fruit that was perfectly safe for me to eat – autumnberries. Score! If you'd like to read Mr. Thayer's eloquent and passionate dialogue on the virtues of the autumnberry and it's uses, you can check out his post at the Forager's Harvest. He notes that the juice and pulp like to separate, that the plants are extremely productive (3,600–12,600 pounds per acre), and that the fruits are loaded with lycopene – about 18 times as much as tomatoes. [Read more…]