We visited Springridge Farm this week and came home with a flat of sweet, fragrant Jewel strawberries. A batch of jam was a great way to preserve this summer harvest.
It seems there are fewer and fewer pick your own operations in the area. Two farms I checked in Burlington no longer offer PYO strawberries. Anyway, for this batch of jam, I followed the basic directions inside the Pomona’s Universal Pectin box. If you’re not familar with this pectin, it doesn’t require sugar to activate the pectin, it uses calcium instead. Hence, it’s universal because you can use any sweetener (in any amount) you want. Here’s a very detailed video from Pomona’s Pectin on how to make strawberry jam.
Because we prefer a less sweet and softer set jam, I used five cups of mashed berries while keeping the pectin amount the same. And we used the minimum recommended amount of sugar, 3/4 cup. The jam still came out firmer than I expected, but the minimal sugar allowed the strawberry flavour to remain, without being cloying. I experienced what the FAQ on the Pomona website refers to as fruit float. I tried the flipping technique but couldn’t disperse the pulp evenly.
This jam turned out great, and I like the runnier texture and low-sugar flavour. For future reference, I’m not going to bother with regular pectin, e.g. Certo, even the low-sugar varieties. Pomona’s works really well and is more versatile.