I was asked about a jam recipe that was on the web and whether it was safe to make for two reasons; could you make a jam without sugar, only using honey, and if you did would it set without using pectin.
The recipe is a Strawberry Honey Jam that used grated apple as the pectin that was needed for it to gel. This all natural jam I thought wouldn’t be sweet enough when I started but as you will see as the jam continued to cook down the color changed to a deep luscious red and though the consistency is not super firm like most jams made with powdered or liquid pectin the texture and taste is undeniably amazing.
Strawberry All Natural Jam
- 4 cups sliced Strawberries (measure the strawberries sliced and packed in measuring cup)
- 3/4-1 cup honey (depends on your level of sweetness)
- 1 pc. small apple
- 2 T. bottled lemon juice
- Prepare 3 half pint jars, lids, and rings. Sterilize the jars and keep them in the hot water till its time for processing. Make sure to fill your water bath canner and get the water to a simmer. Slice and measure your strawberries after removing the tops. Peel, core, and grate your apple. (peeling is optional)
- In a medium stainless steel pot combine all of the ingredients. Bring to a boil over high heat for 5 minutes, stirring constantly. Lower the heat to low and continue cooking for 45 minutes, stirring every 5-10 minutes.
- After the time is up the jam should be thick and mound on the spoon. If not cook it for 10 more minutes on medium, stirring constantly, then remove from heat.
Filling the jars:
- On a dishtowel place your hot jars and using your funnel in each jar using a ladle then fill the jars leaving 1/4 ” headspace.
- Taking a clean papertowel wet it with warm water and wipe the rims of the jars removing any food particles that would interfere with a good seal.
- Using your magic wand extract the lids from the hot water and place them on the now cleaned rims. Add your rings to the tops of each of the jars and turn to seal just "finger tight".
- Make sure your rack is on the bottom of the canner and place the jars in the water bath making sure that the water covers each of the jars by 1 to 2 inches. Add hot water to the canner if it doesn't measure up.
- Cover the pot and turn up the heat under the canner and wait for the water to start boiling. Once the water has come to a boil start your timer for 10 minutes.
- When complete turn off the heat and remove the cover and let the jars sit for another few minutes.
- Remove the jars and place them back on the dishtowel in a place that they will sit overnight to cool. Do not touch or move them till the next morning.
- Some time in the next hour your jars will be making a "pinging" or "popping" noise. That is the glass cooling and the reaction of the lids being sucked into the jar for proper sealing. Some recipes may take overnight to seal. check your lids and reprocess any jars that did not seal.