Preserved: Spiced Vanilla Pear Jam
If you have any experience canning fruit, you've probably heard the line that you need sugar in your jam if you don't want it to go bad. And not just a little sugar. A LOT. I often feel a twinge of guilt as I stir in pound after pound of refined white sugar into my beautiful fruit.
Then I met Jen Cordaro, the magical jam-maker at Jenny's Jars. She shared some of her white sugar-free strawberry jam, and it was one of the best things I've tried in a while. She also shared a few tips for making fruit juice-sweetened jams.
- Practice, practice, practice! Write down what you did so you can either replicate it if it comes out right or find your mistake if it didn't.
- Remember, when making jams without white sugar, it will not gel the same. Don't expect a hard-set jam.
- If you want your jam to gel, add no-sugar needed pectin. It still won't be like a traditional jam, but it will be pretty close. A little heavy on the pectin is better than too light, if you want a more traditional set.
Want to try it out for yourself? Try this Spiced Vanilla Pear Jam, which gets a boost of flavor from cardamom, cinnamon, and vanilla beans.
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About the author: Stephanie Stiavetti is a writer and cookbook author in the San Francisco Bay Area. Her food blog, The Culinary Life, is a repository for all things comfort food related, from savory dinners to transcendental desserts. You can also follow her on Facebook and Twitter.