Tag Archives: jam

Low Sugar Cinnamon Vanilla Pear Jam

Cinnamon Vanilla Pear Jam

Canning is generally a summer sport. Summer harvests mean you usually have to spend the hottest days of the year blanching fruit, stirring boiling pots, and having steam from a boiling water bath canner fill the kitchen with heat and humidity.

Do you ever wish that you could do your canning in the middle of the winter, when a little extra heat and humidity would be most welcome? I can’t get rid of all of that summer canning, but here is one recipe that is perfect to make on a cold, snowy day. And it will make your house smell truly heavenly.

Pears make a wonderful jam and are an easy fruit to work with any time of year. Most varieties have thin skins, so you don’t need to peel them, and you can chop them quickly in a food processor.  This jam is also flavored with cinnamon and vanilla, which makes it easy and amazingly delicious!

I use a combination of sugar and stevia to make a lower sugar jam that doesn’t compromise on flavor. You could add additional sugar if you don’t want to use the stevia.

And it’s not just for toast: try stirring it into some plain yogurt or spreading on some homemade pancakes for a delicious breakfast or snack.

RECIPE:

Cinnamon Vanilla Pear Jam

Lower Sugar Cinnamon Vanilla Pear Jam

8-10 ripe medium-sized pears (about 4 lb)
1 Tbs lemon juice
2 ¼ cups sugar, divided
1 box low-sugar pectin
½ tsp liquid stevia
1 tsp ground cinnamon
2 vanilla beans, split and scraped; or 2 tsp vanilla extract

Prepare equipment: sterilize half-pint jars, lids, and canning equipment (ladle and funnel). Prepare a boiling water bath.

Wash and core the pears, but do not peel. Finely chop or coarsely mash to yield 7 cups fruit. (I use a food processor to finely chop/mash the pears). Stir in lemon juice.

In a small bowl, combine ¼ cup of the sugar with the box of pectin. Mix well and set aside.

In a large pot, combine the chopped pears, remaining 2 cups sugar, stevia, cinnamon and vanilla beans (both seeds and pods), if using. Bring to a full rolling boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium (maintain a low but continuous boil), and boil for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in sugar/pectin mixture and vanilla extract, if using. Return jam to a full boil and boil for an additional 5 minutes. Remove vanilla bean pods and discard.

Remove jam from heat and let sit for 3-4 minutes. Stir jam. Ladle hot jam into prepared jars. Wipe top edges of jars with a damp cloth. Add lids and rings. Place in a boiling bath canner and when pot has returned to a full boil, process jars for 10 minutes. Remove jars from canner and place on a towel on kitchen counter. Let sit for 24 hours. Check seals before placing on pantry shelf.

Yield: 6 half-pint jars

NOTES:

  • Use thin-skinned pears like Bartlett, d’Anjou, or Comice
  • Stevia brands can vary in sweetness. Taste jam before adding pectin and adjust sugar to taste.
  • Use either the vanilla beans or the vanilla extract, not both
  • Letting the jam sit for a few minutes before ladling into jars helps to reduce foam and keep the fruit chunks from settling to the bottom of the jars.
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Lime Glazed Raspberry Sweet Rolls

Raspberry Rolls 3

Starting with a traditional cinnamon roll dough, these rolls use raspberry jam as a filling and are iced with a lime glaze.

I used this Homemade Raspberry Jam for the filling.

This recipe makes a lot: 36-40 large rolls. You can scale the recipe back if you don’t want as many OR Rolls can be frozen either after or before cooking.

To freeze before cooking: Prepare dough. Fill and roll dough into log. Slice into rounds and place each round on a foil lined baking sheet, not touching. Freeze until solid and then place in Ziploc bags and return to freezer. Place frozen rolls in prepared pan and allow to rise in a warm place until doubled (about 2-3 hours). Bake and frost as directed.

Raspberry Rolls 2

RECIPE:

Raspberry Rolls 3

Lime Glazed Raspberry Sweet Rolls

2 ½ cups buttermilk*
1 cup butter
1 cup sugar
4 large eggs
zest from 1 lime
2 tsp salt
9 – 9 ½ cups flour, divided
1 ½ Tbs instant yeast
1 cup raspberry jam

Place buttermilk, butter and sugar in a medium saucepan. Stir over medium heat until butter is melted. Pour into a large mixing bowl (stand mixer) and let mixture cool for 15-20 minutes. Mix in eggs, lime zest and salt. Add 4 cups of flour and the yeast and mix until smooth. Add additional 5 cups of flour and knead until smooth. Add additional flour, if necessary, to make a soft dough that barely pulls away from the edge of the bowl. Dough will be slightly sticky. Cover dough with plastic wrap touching the dough and refrigerate for 60 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350°F. Lightly butter rimmed baking sheets or 9”x13” pans.

Divide dough into two halves. On a lightly buttered surface, pat each dough half into a rectangle about 12”x18”. Spread with raspberry jam. Starting from long edge, form a roll. Pinch edge to seal. Use a knife to lightly score dough into 18-20 sections about 1” apart. Place a strand of dental floss under the dough log and cross over the top of the dough at the scored marking. Pull dental floss to cut through dough. Place in prepared pan. Cover with a thin towel and allow rolls to rise in a warm place for 45-60 minutes.

Bake at 350ºF for 18-20 minutes. Cool for 5-10 minutes. Spread warm rolls with lime glaze.

Makes 36-40 rolls

*Buttermilk substitute: Scald 2 cups of milk (bring to boiling point) and then stir in ½ cup plain yogurt

Lime Glaze

4 Tbs melted butter
3 Tbs heavy cream
2 Tbs lime juice
2 tsp lime zest (zest from 1 lime)
4 cups (1 lb) powdered sugar

Use a whisk to mix all glaze ingredients.

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Low-Sugar Seedless Raspberry Nectarine Jam

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One of the kids’ favorite jams from last year was this Raspberry Nectarine Freezer Jam. This year I played with the recipe a little, to reduce the sugar and to make it a regular canned jam (freezer space is precious!).
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Nectarines and raspberries are a great combination! Be sure to leave the nectarine peels on when cutting the nectarines. They help give the rich color to the jam. They will be strained out later with the raspberry seeds. Pressing pulp through a sieve to remove seeds is not my favorite thing to do. It is a lot of work, and it seems like such a waste to not use all of that good stuff. I don’t mind having raspberry seeds in things, so I save the seeds (and pulp that clings to them) in the fridge and add them to smoothies, or stir some into my oatmeal in the mornings. A little extra fiber is never a bad thing, right?!

RECIPE:

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Low-Sugar Seedless Raspberry Nectarine Jam

——————————–Yield: About 5 half-pint jars

3 cups chopped nectarines (do not peel)-about 4-5 nectarines
3 cups slightly crushed raspberries
1 Tbs lemon juice
1 1/4 cups sugar, divided
1 box no-sugar needed pectin
½ tsp powdered Stevia (or ¾ – 1 tsp liquid Stevia)**

Combine nectarines and raspberries in a blender or food processor. Process until smooth. Press through a fine sieve to remove seeds; discard seeds. Place fruit puree in a large saucepan with the lemon juice.

In a small bowl, mix ¼ cup sugar with pectin. Stir into fruit puree in the large saucepan. Bring to a hard boil (boiling doesn’t stop when stirred) over high heat. Stir in 1 C sugar and stevia. Return to hard boil; boil 1 minute. Remove from heat. Skim foam. Ladle into jars, leaving 1/8” headspace. Wipe rims of jars. Place lids on jars.

Place in a boiling bath canner or steam canner. Return water to a gentle boil. Process 10 minutes. Cool on a towel on kitchen counter for 24 hours. Check seal.

**My favorite is 1 tsp of Sweet Leaf brand Vanilla Crème liquid stevia

 

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Berry Picking and Raspberry Jams

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It is raspberry picking season here in western PA, and Little A & J helped me take full advantage of it last week. While older kids were off at youth camps, we spent a few days picking berries and making jams. And eating lots of berries on things like This:

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And This:

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We also made three different raspberry jams, two regular raspberry ones that I will share today, and a seedless variety with nectarines for tomorrow’s post. The first jam is a low-sugar red raspberry jam. I love how the fresh fruit taste shines in low-sugar jams, but they do have more of a fruit-spread consistency than the jelled set of full sugar jams.

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I make most of my jams with stevia as a sweetener. I use a little bit of sugar to help with the consistency and “sheen”, but most of the sugar I trade out for stevia. Stevia comes in many brands and forms (liquid: plain and flavored, powdered extract, “spoonable”, packets, crushed leaves), so you will need to do a little experimenting (i.e. tasting) to get the amounts just right.

I use the Sweet Leaf brand most of the time. In the past I have always used the powdered extract, which I highly recommend. This year I tried using their Vanilla Crème flavored liquid variety, and I really liked it. When making low-sugar jams, be sure to use the “no-sugar needed” pectin. For the SureJell brand, this is the pink box.

071311 027-1The second jam we made uses red, black and yellow raspberries. Black raspberries are smaller than the other colors, and have more a few more seeds. Their flavor also seems more concentrated. They make for good finger-staining when you are picking them! And teeth staining when you eat them. I actually prefer their taste over the red ones.

I made jam from just the black raspberries a few years ago, and it came out extremely thick (hold the spoon upside-down thick). So now I combine them with the red and yellow berries to get a better consistency.

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I don’t mind seeds in my raspberry jam, but if you prefer to make it seedless, start with about 1/2 cup more berries, and press through a sieve before adding pectin. If you want to make full-sugar jams, use the same amount of berries, regular pectin and 7 cups sugar (some recipes call for as much as 8 1/2 cups sugar).

RECIPES:

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Low-Sugar Red Raspberry Jam

——————–Yield: 5-6 half-pint jars

5 cups slightly crushed raspberries
1 ¼ cups sugar, divided
1 box no-sugar needed pectin
½ tsp powdered Stevia (or ¾ – 1 tsp liquid Stevia)**

In a small bowl, mix ¼ cup sugar with pectin. Stir into raspberries in a large saucepan. Bring to a hard boil (boiling doesn’t stop when stirred) over high heat. Stir in 1 cup sugar and stevia. Return to hard boil; boil for 1 minute. Remove from heat. Skim foam. Ladle into jars, leaving 1/8” headspace. Wipe rims of jars. Place lids on jars.

Place in a boiling bath canner or steam canner. Return water to a gentle boil. Process for 10 minutes. Cool on a towel on kitchen counter for 24 hours. Check seal.

**My favorite is 1 tsp of Sweet Leaf brand Vanilla Crème liquid stevia

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Low-Sugar Triple Raspberry Jam

————————-Yield: 5-6 half-pint jars

5 cups slightly crushed raspberries (3C red, 1C black, 1C yellow)
1 ¼ cups sugar, divided
1 box no-sugar needed pectin
½ tsp powdered Stevia (or ¾ – 1 tsp liquid Stevia)**

In a small bowl, mix ¼ cup sugar with pectin. Stir into raspberries in a large saucepan. Bring to a hard boil (boiling doesn’t stop when stirred) over high heat. Stir in 1 cup sugar and stevia. Return to hard boil; boil for 1 minute. Remove from heat. Skim foam. Ladle into jars, leaving 1/8” headspace. Wipe rims of jars. Place lids on jars.

Place in a boiling bath canner or steam canner. Return water to a gentle boil. Process for 10 minutes. Cool on a towel on kitchen counter for 24 hours. Check seal.

**My favorite is 1 tsp of Sweet Leaf brand Vanilla Crème liquid stevia

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Twelve (More) Days of Christmas Cookies: Raspberry Crumb Bars

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DAY 1: Welcome to the Second Annual Twelve Days of Christmas Cookies! This year, I have twelve new cookie recipes to share, starting with this recipe for Raspberry Crumb Bars. They are a shortbread based cookie, which makes them pretty crumbly to eat, but I love the combination of raspberries and nuts. For the raspberry filling, I used a combination of homemade Red Raspberry and Black Raspberry Jams that I canned last summer.

8-15-10 (9)-1The original recipe, from Family Fun magazine (printed below with a few adjustments), is baked in a 9” square pan, but I doubled the recipe and baked them in a rimmed 17×12” baking pan.8-15-10 (31)-1

Visit: First Annual Twelve Days of Christmas Cookies for a recap of the cookies from last year.

RECIPE:

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Raspberry Crumb Bars
———–(adapted from Family Fun magazine)

1 cup unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla
2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1 cup raspberry jam

Preheat oven to 375°F. Grease a 9-inch square pan with butter or cooking spray. (**See Note below for using larger baking pan)

In a mixing bowl, beat the butter and sugar until well blended. Beat in vanilla. Add the flour and salt and beat just until the flour is incorporated. The dough will be crumbly. Press about two-thirds of the dough into the greased pan. Bake for 10 minutes, or until the edges are lightly golden.

While the shortbread cools slightly, mix the oats and nuts into the remaining one-third of the dough. The mixture will be very crumbly; it is easier to use your hands to mix the topping.

Spread the raspberry jam on the shortbread, then evenly cover the jam with the crumb topping. (TIP: for easy jam spreading, heat the jam slightly in the microwave; stir and pour over crust.)

Bake the bars for 20-25 mins, or until the topping is golden brown.

Cool on a wire rack for about 15-20 minutes. While the shortbread is still slightly warm, cut it into 16 squares, then cut each square in half diagonally. Once the triangles cool completely (they are very fragile while warm), lift them from the pan with a metal spatula.

Makes 2 1/2 dozen.

**NOTE: I doubled the recipe and baked them in a 17×12” rimmed baking sheet for 8-9 minutes for the crust, and then the whole bars for about 18-20 minutes. Using this sized pan makes for slightly thinner bars than the original recipe, which I liked. Yield: about 70 triangles.

 

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Sour Cherry Vanilla Jam

072810 009-1 —–

The final two jams that we made last week were Peach Butter (recipe found HERE) and this Sour Cherry Vanilla Jam. The vanilla flavor was not as pronounced as in the Peach Vanilla Jam, but the jam was still really good. Slightly tart from the sour cherries and nice and thick. To get more of the vanilla flavor next time, I am going to soak the chopped cherries with the sugar and vanilla bean overnight before cooking the jam.

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RECIPE:

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Sour Cherry Vanilla Jam

5 cups chopped pitted sour cherries (about 3 lb)
1 cup cherry juice or water**
1 1/2 cups sugar, divided
1/2 tsp powdered stevia
1 vanilla bean
1 box low-sugar pectin

Mix cherries, juice or water, 1 1/4 cups sugar, and stevia in a large bowl or saucepan. Split vanilla bean in half lengthwise and using the tip of a knife, scrape the seeds into the cherry mixture. Stir vanilla bean pod into the cherries. Let sit for 2-3 hours to overnight (strengthens the vanilla flavor in the jam).

Mix pectin with 1/4 cup sugar. Stir into cherry mixture. Bring to a hard boil (boiling doesn’t stop when stirred) over medium-high heat. Cook, stirring constantly, for 5 minutes. Remove from heat. Remove vanilla bean.

Ladle into jars, leaving 1/8” headspace. Wipe rims of jars. Place lids on jars.

Place jars in a boiling bath canner or steam canner. Return water to a gentle boil. Process 10 minutes. Cool on a towel on kitchen counter for 24 hours. Check seal.

Yield: 6 half-pint jars

**NOTE: The cherries I used were from a 10 lb bucket of pre-pitted sour cherries. I added 1 cup of the juice from the bottom of the bucket to the jam. If you are pitting your own cherries, you may not need to add this much additional liquid.

 

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Low Sugar Peach Vanilla Jam

072610 026-1 Of the five jams that we made last week (maybe of all the jams I have ever made), this is my very favorite. Fresh ripe peaches and flecks of vanilla bean. And low in sugar. What could be better.

Try it mixed into some homemade yogurt, or on top of ice cream.

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It is still too early in the season here for freestone peaches, but there are some good deals at the farmers market on some luscious, ripe non-freestone varieties. And for jam, these are perfect!

072210 035-1 To quickly and easily remove the peach skin, blanch the peaches in simmering water for 15-30 seconds, then transfer to an ice water bath.

072210 041-1 When making jam, the easiest way to crush your peaches, especially non-freestone varieties, is to take the whole peeled peach in your hand (over a large bowl) and squeeze. If your peaches are ripe, which they should be for a good jam, the peach flesh will be crushed through your fingers, leaving you with just the pit in your hand. Kids love this job!

To get as much vanilla flavor in this jam as I could without overcooking the peaches, I combined the crushed peaches with some lemon juice, 1 cup sugar and 1/2 tsp stevia in a large bowl. Then I added the vanilla bean (cut the bean in half lengthwise, then use the tip of a knife to scrape all of the seeds into the bowl with the fruit); stir in both the seeds and the vanilla bean halves. Let peach mixture sit for 2-3 hours, or overnight (in the refrigerator).

Leave the vanilla bean in while cooking the jam, removing it just before filling your jars.

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I love vanilla bean flecks!

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————

RECIPE:

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Low Sugar Peach Vanilla Jam

5 cups crushed peaches (about 4 1b)
1 ¼ cups sugar, divided
1/2 tsp powdered stevia
2 Tbs lemon juice
1 vanilla bean
1 box low-sugar pectin

Combine peaches, 1 cup sugar, stevia and lemon juice in a large saucepan or bowl. Split vanilla in half lengthwise. Scrape seeds into bowl with peaches. Stir in vanilla bean. Let sit for 2-3 hours or overnight (refrigerate if leaving overnight).

Mix pectin with 1/4 cup sugar. Stir into peach mixture. Bring to a hard boil (boiling doesn’t stop when stirred) over medium-high heat. Cook, stirring constantly, for 3-4 minutes. Remove from heat. Remove vanilla bean.

Ladle into jars, leaving 1/8” headspace. Wipe rims of jars. Place lids on jars.

Place jars in a boiling bath canner or steam canner. Return water to a gentle boil. Process 10 minutes. Cool on a towel on kitchen counter for 24 hours. Check seal.

Yield: 5-6 half-pint jars

 

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Overnight Whole Wheat Blender Pancakes with Raspberry Nectarine Jam

072210 031-1 Another jam we made last week was a seedless raspberry nectarine freezer jam (recipe from Kitchen Simplicity via Simple Bites). The flavor of the nectarines really complimented the raspberries. It did not set quite as firmly as some other jams, but that was perfect on these pancakes!

Next year I will definitely make this jam again, but I will try to make it lower sugar and as a regular canned jam, instead of a freezer jam.

072210 015-1 I love these freezer containers from Ball! Perfect for jam.

Little A wanted pancakes with jam and sausage for his birthday breakfast on Thursday. This sweet jam was a perfect topping for these healthy, but delicious, pancakes.

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I make these pancakes with kefir and whole wheat berries, blending them and then letting the mixture sit overnight. A quick blend again in the morning with an egg and some leavening, and they were ready to throw on the griddle!

They can also be made all in the same day, but the batter thickens up more if it is allowed to sit. For a slightly different flavor, try using other grains; often I will add some whole oat groats in place of part of the wheat.

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RECIPES:

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Raspberry Nectarine Freezer Jam
—————–(adapted from Simple Bites)

3 nectarines, pitted and chopped (do not peel)
2 cups raspberries
1 Tbs lemon juice
4 cups sugar, divided
3/4 cup water
1  package powdered fruit pectin

Use a blender or food processor to puree nectarines and raspberries. Strain through a sieve to remove seeds.  Add lemon juice and 2 cups sugar; let sit 10 minutes.

Stir water, pectin and 2 cups sugar together in a small saucepan. Bring to a hard boil; boil for 1 minute.

Stir into fruit mixture for 2 minutes or until sugar is dissolved.

Spoon into freezable containers and allow to sit, sealed, at room temperature until set (up to 24 hours).

Store in the fridge for 3 weeks or in the freezer for 6 months.

Yield: about 6 half-pint containers

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Whole Wheat Blender Pancakes

1 cup wheat berries, oat groats, rolled oats or other whole grain
1 1/4 cups kefir or buttermilk or 1 cup milk
1/4 cup melted butter or coconut oil
2 eggs
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp baking soda
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 Tbs honey or 1 pkt Stevia

Combine wheat berries (or other grains) and kefir (or buttermilk or milk) in a blender. Blend for 2-3 minutes. Let the mixture of grain and milk sit on the counter for 1 hour or overnight (refrigerate if using regular milk).

After letting the mixture sit, blend the grain/milk mixture again for about 1 minute.  While blender is running, add the egg and melted butter. Add baking powder, salt, baking soda, vanilla and sweetener and blend just until combined.

Cook pancakes on a hot griddle.

Makes about 12 pancakes.

 

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Low Sugar Strawberry Citrus Jam

072210 028-1 Summer is in full swing here; temperatures hover between 85° and 90°, with humidity levels making it feel a good 10 degrees hotter. So have we been hanging out at the swimming pool, or in the sprinkler? Or finding nice, cool activities to do inside? No-we’ve been canning! Seeing just how hot we can get the kitchen with multiple pots of boiling water and macerated fruit. I do have some great helpers in this effort. Mashing fruit with the potato masher is quite a coveted job around here!

And it will all be worth it come January when we are snowed in, cracking open a little bit of summer in a jar.

I tried several new jam recipes this week, including this Strawberry Citrus Jam. Made with strawberries and and a chopped orange (plus peel), it is quite tart. Not so tart that the kids wouldn’t eat it, however. They really like it. I do too. And I love how the orange really brought out the color of the strawberries. I make most of my jams low sugar (substituting all but one cup of sugar with stevia), and the lower sugar often makes the jam less bright and clear. But the added citrus really brightened up this jam!

If you do try this jam, take a taste before you add it to your jars, and adjust the sweetness to your liking.

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RECIPE:

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Low Sugar Strawberry Citrus Jam
—————————(adapted from Big Black Dog)

1 large orange
4 cups crushed strawberries (measure after crushing)
1 Tbs lemon juice
1 cup sugar
1/2 tsp powdered stevia
1 box low-sugar fruit pectin

Grate zest from orange into a large saucepan (you should have about 2 tsp). Cut white rind from orange; discard. Chop orange pulp and add to the saucepan. Stir in crushed strawberries, lemon juice, sugar and stevia.

Optional step: Let fruit/sugar mixture sit for 1 hour to overnight (place in the refrigerator if you are going to let it sit overnight). Letting the fruit sit in the sugar will help sweeten the individual fruit bits. It also helps keep the fruit bits from settling in your finished jam.

Stir pectin into fruit mixture. Bring to a hard boil (bubbles don’t stop when jam is stirred) over medium-high heat. Boil hard for 3-4 minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from heat.

NOTE: This is a tart jam. Try the jam at this point. If it is not sweet enough, add additional stevia or sugar. If you add additional sweetener, return jam to a hard boil before filling jars.

Ladle jam into sterilized jars. Wipe rims; add lids and rings. Process in a boiling water bath for 10 minutes. Let jars sit on a towel on kitchen counter for 24 hours to set. Check seal.

Yield: 6 half-pint jars

 

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Low-Sugar Peach Butter

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uthcjam2009I know that summer is long gone and buying good, fresh peaches is no longer an option for most of us. But I wanted to submit this recipe to Aimée’s  (Under the High Chair) Virtual Jam Swap. What a fun way to showcase fresh fruit from around the country (world?) and how to preserve them in one of my favorite forms: homemade jam!

I like Apple Butter, but Peach Butter is my all-time favorite. It has some of the same flavors as the apple butter, but is so much richer and has a full body that apple butter just can’t touch! I make most of my jams with a reduced amount of sugar, using  Stevia (a naturally sweet herb) to provide most of the sweetness. I have not been successful, however, canning with only Stevia and no sugar. The jam seems to need at least some sugar to help it gel properly and to provide some of the “sheen” that makes jam look so good. So I use a substantially reduced amount of sugar and a little Stevia (a little goes a LONG way).

Peach/Apple Butter are great, but much more time consuming than regular jam. With five kids running around making constant demands, I am not very good at stirring and watching a pot closely for hours at a time. So I make this jam in the crockpot. It takes a good long time – at least 12 hours, sometimes 24, depending on your crock-pot and how humid your house is. But if I only need to stir it every hour or two, that I can handle.

DSC01559I use a large crock-pot, about 6 quarts to make this jam. I end up getting between 7 and 9 half-pint jars in the end. This will depend on how thick you like your peach butter and how full you fill your crock-pot. I used 25 peaches (almost 1 peck) for this batch. Free-stone peaches are much easier to work with than cling peaches, but since the peaches will be crushed, either variety will produce a great result. It just depends on how much you want to work to remove those pits!

Start with peeling your peaches: Bring a pot of water to a boil, reduce heat and maintain a slow simmer. Drop (carefully!) peaches into the boiling water for 30-60 seconds. Remove with a slotted spoon to a large bowl of ice water. Let peaches sit in the cold water for a few minutes. The peels should come off easily now. Cut peaches in half and remove the pit. You can place the peach halves directly into your crock-pot, or slice/chop them a little so that you can pack even more peaches in the pot. I usually use the most sophisticated method of crushing the peach halves in my hand (freshly washed, of course).

Stir in your sweetener (sugar and/or Stevia) and some seasonings to taste: I like cinnamon, cloves and allspice.

Turn your crock-pot on low and cook with the lid OFF for 12-24 hours. Humidity will greatly affect how long it takes your peach butter to thicken. If your crock-pot begins to splatter (I don’t have a problem with this, but the low setting on my crock-pot seems REALLY low), you can place a splatter screen over the top, or put the lid on only partway.

Stir occasionally and enjoy the delicious smell all day long. When peaches become very soft and start to thicken, I use an immersion blender to make a smooth spread. You could also use a food processor or blender, but be careful as it is very hot.

DSC02189Continue to cook until peach butter is thick. It will become a gorgeous caramel color, and a spoon drawn through the mixture will leave a trail. The exact consistency is up to your personal preference. Taste and adjust spices as desired.

If you are canning the peach butter, prepare your jars and lids and boiling bath. Fill jars to within 1/8″ of rim. Wipe rims of jars (or they won’t seal properly). Place lids on jars. Place jars  in a boiling bath canner. Return water to a gentle boil and process 5 minutes. Cool  on a towel on your kitchen counter for 24 hours. Check seal.

Enjoy!

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Peach Butter

Peaches (about 25 for a large 5-6 qt crock-pot)
1-2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 – 1/2 tsp ground cloves
1/8-1/4 tsp ground allspice
1 cup sugar
1/2 tsp Stevia extract (or about 2-3 cups additional sugar)

Peel peaches (dip in boiling water for 30-60 seconds, then put into large bowl of ice water). Cut peaches in half and remove pits; slice peaches, if desired. Fill a crock pot with as many peaches as it will hold (leaving about 1” at the top). Stir in spices and sweeteners (proportions are for a large 5-6 quart crock pot). (NOTE: Start with a small amount of sugar/sweetener, as sweetness of peaches and personal tastes will vary. You can add more sweetener later, after the peach butter has reduced, if you want it sweeter) Set the crock pot on low or medium. Let it cook, without the lid, for 12-24 hours (cover with a splatter-guard if necessary). Stir occasionally.

When cooked and reduced, use an immersion blender to make a smooth peach butter (or leave it coarse, if preferred). Taste and adjust sweetness and spices. If butter gets too thick, add a little fruit juice. If mixture is still too thin, cook longer or transfer to a saucepan and gently boil (stirring constantly) until reduced.

Ladle hot mixture into jars, leaving 1/8” headspace. Wipe rims of jars. Place lids on jars.

Place in a boiling bath canner or steam canner. Return water to a gentle boil. Process 5 minutes. Cool on a towel on kitchen counter for 24 hours. Check seal.

Yield: 7-9 half-pint jars

 

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