Hello my Green Friends! How have you been?? To say that I fell off the face of the Earth for a little while seems to be a bit of an understatement, but all is well. We’ve been super busy getting things done around the house, work’s been getting fairly busy, and we got to take a trip to WI for my honey’s brother’s wedding. The trip was extremely busy but it was really nice to see the family and visit with some friends. We were able to enjoy real fall weather while we were up North! It was in the 50’s during the day, so we got to wear jackets! That may not sound that unusual but it was a nice change from the 80 degree weather that we’re still getting in FL. On our last day, we visited an apple farm and got some hot apple cider, apple fritters, apple cider doughnut holes, and some apple butter. Such delicious fall goodies! The trip really got me in the mood for fall, even though once we got home, I immediately put on shorts and a t-shirt.
Over the summer, when the local strawberry farms were in full production, I tried making my first freezer jam and it was delicious! I used the last of the jam as a filler in a strawberry shortcake style cake recently and knew that I had to replenish my jam stock. Strawberries are no longer in season, but pears are and they are perfect for that taste of fall that I’m craving! I’ve never made a pear jam before, so I did a little research and came up with a new freezer jam recipe to try. I don’t have all of the paraphernalia required to can, so that’s why I stuck with the freezer jam, but I’m sure this recipe would work just as well if you were to can it instead (although the process may be slightly different).
I prefer low sugar jam recipes and discovered that Pomona’s Universal Pectin is highly recommended. Not only is it good for low sugar recipes, but you can also use honey, agave, maple syrup, stevia, xylitol, sucanat, or even frozen juice concentrate. It keeps indefinitely, is gluten free, and vegan! Every package comes with a set of recipes and directions (also available on their website here) and I do recommend you check it out because it does work differently than other pectin since it is 100% citrus pectin with no added sugars, preservatives, additives, or dextrose.
This recipe made 6 cups or 3 pint jars.
Low Sugar Spiced Pear Freezer Jam
- 4 cups mashed pears (I used 5 large Bartlett pears)
- 1/4 cup lemon juice
- 3/4 cup sugar (I did use granulated sugar for this recipe, just to keep things simple (since I’m still fairly new to jam making!), but I think experimenting with honey will be next on my list.
- 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp ginger
- 3/4 cup water (for dissolving pectin)
- 3 tsp pectin
- 4 tsp – 12 tsp calcium water (instructions included with pectin)
- Clean your containers. I used Mason jars, of course!
- Prepare your fruit and combine with lemon juice in a large bowl.
- Add sweetener, cinnamon, and ginger to fruit and stir well.
- Bring 3/4 cup of water to boil. Put in blender and add pectin powder. Vent lid and blend 1-2 minutes, until all powder is dissolved.
- Add hot liquid pectin to fruit and stir until well mixed.
- Add 4 tsp calcium water, stir well. Jell should appear. If not, continue adding 1 tsp calcium water and stirring well until jell appears. Jell may be softer than cooked jam. (It took the total 12 tsp for me.)
- Fill containers to 1/2″ of top, put on lids, and store in freezer immediately. Store in freezer for up to 1 year. Keep in refrigerator after thawing.
My pear jam came out tasting just as delicious as fresh fruit and wonderfully warming with the added spices. I couldn’t help but make a couple of baguettes to go along with the jam! This would make a great hostess gift if you’re visiting for the holidays. Just add a label (you can find some fun, vintage style free printables that you can customize from World Label here) and wrap in a tea towel with a raffia ribbon.
Have you tried making jam? What are some of your favorite flavors? I’m suddenly thinking about all kinds of yummy sounding flavors like pear vanilla, peach blackberry, plum cardamom, raspberry lime…