How to Use Pomona's Pectin

The shelf life for cooked and processed jam made with Pomona’s is one year. Once opened, cooked and processed jam lasts 3 weeks in the refrigerator.

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Pomona’s Pectin is activated by calcium, so calcium has to be present in the mixture either naturally or added by you. Since most people don’t know the calcium content of their fruit, we recommend a calcium water amount in every recipe to be sure there is calcium in the mixture. If your fruit has calcium in it naturally, you don’t need to add the calcium water.

The calcium water (1/2 teaspoon calcium powder mixed into 1/2 cup water) can be stored in the fridge for several months, and will just need to be tossed if it has any floating bits or smell or color. It can also be stored in the freezer where it will keep indefinitely, but will need to be thawed before use. We also highly recommend labeling your jar of calcium water, as it seems to be the first item tossed when cleaning the fridge/freezer . 😊

Yes, if you want to make a small batch, our jam and jelly recipes can always be halved or quartered. Be sure to halve or quarter all of the ingredients in the recipe.

Yes, you can double or triple a Pomona’s cooked recipe. Be sure to double or triple all of the ingredients in the recipe.

Potential Limits and Pitfalls when doubling or tripling a recipe:

  1. You must have a water-bath canner that is large enough to hold ALL of the jars you are filling. It is not safe canning practice to let some of the filled jars sit on the counter while you water bath others. As soon as all the jars are filled and have their lids on, they should ALL go into the boiling water in the canner.
  2. You must have a pot that is large enough to hold all of the fruit in the recipe plus the added ingredients, with enough extra room to stir vigorously while the mixture is boiling and not have the contents spill over.
  3. You must have a stove that is powerful enough to bring the fruit mixture to a full boil and to bring it back to a full boil in a few minutes after you stir in the pectin-sweetener mix. If the fruit mixture with the pectin in it takes too long to return to a full boil, the pectin can be de-activated and you will get runny jam.
  4. You must have a stove that is powerful enough to bring a large water bath canner with all of the filled jars in it back to a rolling boil in a few minutes so as not to de-activate the pectin by extended exposure to heat while waiting for the boil to come back.

We do not recommend quadrupling a recipe unless you are specifically set up for it.

The small asterisks that appear by some fruits and then appear again in the measured ingredients column of that recipe (next to ¼ cup lemon or lime juice) are telling you that the fruits with the asterisk, like Sweet Blackberry, require the ¼ cup lemon or lime juice. The addition of lemon or lime juice is required for canning safety, and sometimes for jelling.

Generally we recommend½ pint (8 oz or 1 cup) jars for low-sugar jams and jellies. The ¼ pint (4 oz or ½ cup) are a good size also if you’re making the jam or jelly for gifts.

You can use 1 pint (2 cup) jars but it’s important to remember that a jar of low-sugar jam or jelly will last only about 3 weeks in the refrigerator once opened. So unless you and your family can eat 2 cups of jam in 3 weeks, it’s better to use the smaller jars.

The processing time for all three jar sizes of jam or jelly is the same.

We recommend that you read and understand the directions and recipes that come with Pomona’s Universal Pectin before you start jamming. Pomona’s is different from other pectins because it is not pre-mixed with dextrose. This means that the pectin powder is more potent and it also means you cannot add the pectin powder directly to the fruit or the pectin will clump. If you plan to develop your own recipes, it is important to follow the appropriate directions for how much pectin to use and for how to add the pectin to the fruit.

Call our JAMLINE

Still having trouble or questions? Pomona’s Pectin operates a JAMLINE. A real person is available to answer questions and hear comments. The number is 559-760-0910.

If we don’t answer, please leave a message and we will return your call as soon as possible. You can also send us an email to