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standard jam recipe - too sweet?

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Post  JustMe on Wed 6 Jun 2012 - 17:52

Does anyone else find the standard jam recipe with 7 cups of sugar too sweet?

I made a batch of strawberry balsamic thyme jam and strawberry vanilla jam the other night using the Ball recipes. I made freezer jam the other summer, which had less sugar. The texture/feel of the jam in my mouth was great, but boy was it sweet! (That did not prevent me from gifting two jars - though I did warn the recipients that it might be pretty sweet.)

Now that I've tried the regular recipe, I definitely will make low sugar recipes in the future.

I definitely have the canning bug!
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Post  happycamper on Wed 6 Jun 2012 - 18:46

I agree that the standard pectin jam recipes taste too sweet. My taste buds must have changed over the past few years and I like a less sweet jam. My cousin and I are in agreement about this, she prefers freezer jam for just that reason. However, chocolate still tastes very good to me!
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Post  rowena___. on Thu 7 Jun 2012 - 7:13

i use a lot less sugar. my standard recipe is 1 cup sugar per every 2 cups of mashed fruit. and a little lemon juice to bring up the acidity.
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Post  Goosegirl on Thu 7 Jun 2012 - 10:44

I generally cut the sugar back as well. The reason the recipes in the pectin packets are so adamant about using PRECISELY the amount of sugar, carefully measured, is to ensure proper set. Personally, I only use 1 box for a double batch of jam/jelly so that it is thinner and more spreadable (we use it on pancakes as well as PBJ's) and if it doesn't set as well as we would like (only happened once), as we open a jar off the shelf we put it into a squeeze bottle and keep it in the fridge. I think Hubby actually likes it this way better - less sugar and no torn pancakes!

GG
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Post  rowena___. on Thu 7 Jun 2012 - 10:46

i don't use pectin and still get a good set. the trick is to boil the jam enough. it needs to reach 220º--you can test it with a cold spoon to see if it is set to your preference--then can it.
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Post  kbb964 on Thu 7 Jun 2012 - 20:07

I make my blueberry and strawberry jams in the bread maker, never used pectin and always have a good set

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Post  Goosegirl on Fri 8 Jun 2012 - 4:13

With the powdered or liquid pectin the cooking time is so short that it requires the proper mix of sugar/fruit/pectin to obtain a good set. If making jam without added pectin, you are using only the natural amount of pectin contained in the fruit and you control the set with the temp and cooking time (sheeting on the spoon). Homemade jam/jelly with no added pectin is much easier to control the final outcome if you want to play with the recipe, but the cooking time is longer. So far I as an adult I have only made jam the 'cheater' way (always on a time-crunch) with the added pectin, but my parents used to do the cook-down. I am just lazy!

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Post  rowena___. on Fri 8 Jun 2012 - 6:35

@kbb964 wrote:I make my blueberry and strawberry jams in the bread maker, never used pectin and always have a good set

a friend gave me her bread maker and i've been using it to make jam too. she didn't even realize it had a jam setting! it is perfect for when i have just a couple of cups of fruit--i can make a little batch of this or a single jar of that, and be done in 90 minutes without having to stand over a pot. i got a smaller stock pot to can small batches in, and i think it might even fit on the side burner of the grill (haven't checked yet--need to wait for the birds that live in the nest to fledge!).
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