Pomona's Universal Pectin

puzzlefanJune 18, 2012

Looking for someone who has used the Universal Pectin making entirely sugar less jams/jellies. I'd like any hints, suggestions, etc. With a diabetic in the family now, I need to expand my skills. I had heard that some pectin gives an off flavor and hope to avoid that I will be using Splenda for a sweetener.

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I've used Pomona's Pectin, but I don't really care for it. It leaves a slightly "chalky" taste that I notice but many people don't. You also have to mix the calcium water separately and add later, etc. and it's hard to find here.

Ball now has a sugar-free pectin which works along the same lines and doesn't need the extra step of mixing the stuff with water and storing it for the next use. I've used it a couple of times successfully as it's easily available here and Pomona's is not. I have used it with Splenda and that works fine too, now I have some stevia that I'm going to try.

I mostly just make long cooked jams, more like fruit butters, and cut the sugar content by half or more. It doesn't actually jell, but it does thicken. However, it takes longer and has to be stirred to prevent sticking, and does still contain some sugar.

Diabetics have to be careful about their fruit intake too, as fruits have natural sugars and carbohydrates, so some don't tolerate the sugar free jams well either. It'll depend on the individual.

Also remember that sugar-free jams won't keep as long as the traditional high sugar jams. They go moldy more quickly after opening and I kept some strawberry jam made with pectin for a year and it turned a very ugly gray color, so it was still safe to eat but it sure looked bad.

Good luck, there's an art to sugar free jams and spreads and I'm still working on it, trying to get to the "all fruit" spread level.


    Bookmark   June 18, 2012 at 10:11PM
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If you check the link to the National Center for Home Food Preservation, scroll down to the bottom of the page, you will find an assortment of Reduced Sugar Recipes that may be helpful. There are a couple recipes that use unflavored gelatin.

I'm sure there are recipes available on-line for low-sugar fruit spreads made with Clear Gel.

You may want to keep your eye out for commercial brands of Apple Butter that are made without sugar (apples, apple cider and spices). Our neighbors gave us a jar of Louisburg Old-Fashioned Apple Butter (NO sugar added), made in Louisburg, KS, and it has 2 grams of carbs per tablespoon and is very tasty stuff.


Here is a link that might be useful: National Center for Home Food Preservation / Jam and Jelly

    Bookmark   June 20, 2012 at 5:18AM
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I make low-sugar jams using the low-sugar version of Sure-Jell. I use their recipes but cut the sugar by about half or to taste. I only make half pints or smaller as low-sugar jams will mold more quickly. Low sugar Sure-Jell also has recipes on the instruction sheet for using Splenda as a sweetener but I have never used them.

I use the frozen plate method to test for jelling and find that it usually takes a longer cooking time to get the lower sugar jams to firm up than the instruction sheet in the box says it will.


    Bookmark   June 20, 2012 at 11:05AM
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Thanks, I'll take a look at the link suggestion. I have for years made low sugar recipes simply by reducing the amount of sugar requested. My grandsons call this "don't tilt your toast" jam. Totally sugar free is going to be another slow learning process.

    Bookmark   June 20, 2012 at 10:24PM
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