I have always tried to use as little in the way of sugar as possible when I make jams and jellies. I previously posted that about some low carb Sumac jelly, which had 10 calories and 3 carbs per teaspoon. I used a mass market commercial low sugar pectin, for it. My son-in-law, on a recent grocery run, bought me something called “Pomona’s Universal Pectin” which I had never heard of.
What blew my mind was when I read the directions (it is a little strange to work with, but more on that later) and it called for anywhere from half of a cup to two cups of sugar. That is LITERALLY half of any other recipe I have ever seen. That has the potential to cut my calorie and carb count even LOWER. I had two projects I had in mind, a Red Bud jelly, and my daughter and SIL both requested (strongly) some blackberry jam. I also made a new batch of sumac jelly, which I have previously posted the recipe for.
It is technically past the season for Red Buds and Blackberries, but I made it work. I’ll write up the Red Bud jelly later, since the Red Bud deserves an entire post in and of itself. For now, I’m going to talk about the blackberry jam.
The weather has been just bizarre. We didn’t really have a spring; we went right into 90+ degree high humidity weather, then a few weeks of cool, then back to hell on earth. It wreaked havoc on the produce and wild edibles alike.
We don’t have our own garden anymore, which breaks my heart, but we do have access to some top-notch farms and farmer’s markets. We stumbled across this great farm out of New Douglas, Illinois called “The Family Garden” which we had the pleasure of visiting a while back as well as purchasing from their stand at the local farmer’s market. What a great operation! They had some late season blackberries their free-range chickens hadn’t gobbled up, so we bought a few pints.
- 6 cups whole blackberries
- 2 cups sugar
- 2 teaspoons Pomonas Pectin
- 2 teaspoons calcium water (comes with the Pomonas)
- Put blackberries through a chinois or a foley to remove seeds. Make sure the screen is large enough to allow pulp through, though. If you don’t happen to have either of those devices, a stainless mesh strainer, a spatula/spoon and elbow grease will get you there.
- You should end up with 4 cups of blackberry puree.
- Put the puree into a stainless steel saucepan (or enamel, anything non-reactive) adding 1 teaspoons of the prepared calcium water and bring to a boil.
- While waiting for it to reach boil, mix 2 teaspoons of the pectin into the measured sugar to evenly distribute the pectin.
- When the liquid comes to a boil, stir in the sugar/pectin mixture, and mix well to avoid lumps.
- Return to boil.
- Let boil one minute, remove from heat and ladle into prepared jars to ¼” from the rim.
- Clean rims, and place lids and bands.
- Process in boiling bath canner (at full rolling boil) for 10 minutes.
- Remember that a few tablespoons of vinegar prevents mineral scale on your jars!
- Remove jars and place on a towel in an area out of drafts.
- The *ping* of the seals should begin almost immediately.
This recipe makes four 8-ounce jars.
I did the witchcraft (otherwise known as algebra) to calculate the calories and carbs per teaspoon.
Sugar: 15 calories and 4 carbs per teaspoon, with 2 cups working out to 1440 teaspoons.
Blackberries: 372 calories and 84 carbs per cup.
Total calories for recipe: 1812, total carbs for recipe 468.
Each batch makes 32 ounces. Each ounce has 192 teaspoons, which maths out to 8 calories and around 3 carbs per teaspoon.
Calorie witchcraft: 1440/(6*32)=8
Carb witchcraft: (4*48)*2+84=468 468/(6*32)=2.43.
If my expressions are wrong, please someone let me know!
I also made a batch of sumac jelly and the previously mentioned Red Bud at the same time and what we found is that if the fruit has a natural pectin content, the Pomonas sets up beautifully. If it doesn’t, you end up with a thick and chunky syrup or REALLY loose jelly. If you are making a product that doesn’t have pectin in it naturally, I would double or triple the Pomonas. Overall, I’m satisfied with the product and will continue to use it. In future recipes, I’m going to see how low I can get that sugar.
Please let me know if you use this recipe and how it turns out!