Ingredients Questions

The table below gives you the minimum amount of sweetener required for adequate disbursement of the pectin:

Pectin to add:                      Minimum amount of sweetener required:

1 teaspoon (or less)                2 Tablespoons sugar or honey
2 teaspoons                            ¼ cup sugar or honey
3 teaspoons                             3/8 cup sugar or honey
4 teaspoons                             ½ cup sugar or honey
5 teaspoons                            5/8 cup sugar or honey
6 teaspoons                             ¾ cup sugar or honey
7 or 8 teaspoons                      1 cup sugar or honey

Yes. You can bring the water or juice to a boil, put it in a canning jar and add the needed pectin powder. Screw on the lid, pick up the jar with a hot pad and shake well to get the pectin saturated with liquid. Shake the jar every so often while the liquid is still hot. When the liquid cools down, put the jar in the refrigerator overnight. In the morning you should find fully dissolved liquid pectin (no pectin clumps whatsoever).

*We don’t recommend making jam or jelly with absolutely no sweetener. The final product is likely to be tart and bland. Sweetener, even in a small amount, brings out the flavor of the fruit.

If you want to try it, however, this is what you do: For 4 cups of mashed fruit or juice, use either ½ cup water or unsweetened fruit juice (if you’re using 2 or 3 teaspoons of pectin) or ¾ cup water or unsweetened fruit juice (if you’re using 4 teaspoons of pectin).

Make liquid pectin by measuring the correct amount of water or juice into a small sauce pan and bringing it to a boil. Put boiling liquid in cup for immersion blender, or in food processor, or in blender. Add pectin. It is very important to vent the lid (if there is one) to let steam out. Don’t use an enclosed blender that can’t be vented. Blend for 10 seconds, then stop and scrape down the sides so all pectin clumps are in or on the liquid. Blend for a full minute until all powder is totally dissolved.

Add the liquid pectin to the boiling fruit or juice mixture, which should already contain the calcium water and lemon juice (or lime juice or vinegar) if called for in the recipe. Stir while mixture returns to a full boil. If you taste your jam before jarring and it isn’t sweet enough, you can add however much sweetener you want at this point. Stir well and return mixture to a boil, remove from heat, jar and process according to the recipe sheet that comes with Pomona’s Pectin.

These instructions are also on the recipe sheet that comes with your box of Pomona’s Pectin.

Yes. Put 4 cups of unsweetened white grape juice or unsweetened apple juice in a sauce pan and boil down to 1 cup. You will then have the equivalent of 1 cup of no-sugar-added frozen juice concentrate that you buy in the grocery store.

Yes, you can use unsweetened juice as the “sweetener,” but unsweetened juice does not have the sweetening power that juice concentrate has and can’t be classified as a sweetener for jam & jelly.

Yes, sorghum can be used just like honey.

Yes. Truvia and similar sweeteners can be used in all of our recipes. ½ cup Truvia Baking Blend is equal in sweetness to 1 cup of sugar. So when a recipe calls for a certain amount of sugar, you would use half that amount. For recipes that give a sugar range, pick the amount of sugar you would want to use and then cut it in half for the Truvia Baking Blend.

Truvia Spoonable says that 3/4 teaspoon is equivalent to 2 teaspoons sugar, so if you are using that product, you could use slightly less than half the amount of sugar you would use, or go with half to make it easier and it should be just fine.

You need to stir the pectin into a minimum amount of sugar or Truvia in order for the pectin to get dispersed adequately. The table below gives you the minimum amounts:

 

Pectin to add                      Minimum amount of sweetener required

1 teaspoon (or less)               2 Tablespoons sugar or honey

2 teaspoons                            ¼ cup sugar or honey

3 teaspoons                             3/8 cup sugar or honey

4 teaspoons                             ½ cup sugar or honey

5 teaspoons                            5/8 cup sugar or honey

6 teaspoons                             ¾ cup sugar or honey

7 or 8 teaspoons                      1 cup sugar or honey

When using concentrated stevia as the sweetener in a cooked recipe, you get the pectin to dissolve properly by making liquid pectin with boiling water or unsweetened fruit juice. Follow the directions and recipes for Cooked Jam & Jelly – Low Sugar or Honey on the recipe sheet that comes with Pomona’s Pectin. You won’t be able to stir the pectin into the sweetener. Instead, follow instructions for making liquid pectin and adding it to the fruit mixture.

When using concentrated stevia to add more sweetness to a jam or jelly sweetened with juice concentrate, add stevia to taste after you add the blended mixture of juice concentrate and pectin to the boiling fruit or juice in the pan.

Yes, Stevia that measures like sugar (cup for cup Stevia) can be used just like sugar in all of our recipes.

Yes you can, but because the pectin won’t mix well with the larger crystals and is therefore more likely to clump when the sugar-pectin is added to the boiling fruit or juice. To avoid clumping, you need to granulate these sugars in a food processor or blender before measuring out the amount you want.

Yes, agave can be used just like honey.

Yes.

Yes, you can substitute honey for sugar or sugar for honey in a Pomona’s Pectin recipe written specifically for one or the other. Honey is sweeter than sugar, so you use less of it when substituting for sugar. Conversely, when substituting sugar for honey, you will use more sugar to achieve the same sweetness. See equivalency table below.

Sugar-Honey Equivalency Table

Note: This is a “more or less” equivalency

  • ½ cup sugar = ¼ cup honey (or other liquid sweetener like agave or maple syrup)
  • ¾ cup sugar = 1/3 cup honey (or other liquid sweetener like agave or maple syrup)
  • 1 cup sugar = ½ cup honey (or other liquid sweetener like agave or maple syrup)
  • 1½ cups sugar = ¾ cup honey (or other liquid sweetener like agave or maple syrup)
  • 2 cups sugar = 1 cup honey (or other liquid sweetener like agave or maple syrup)

In the Pomona’s Cooked Recipes – Low Sugar or Honey, it is essential to stir the pectin into an amount of sweetener in the range given in the recipe because the pectin will only dissolve in a low-sugar mixture. Any additional sweetener should be held aside until after you have added the pectin-sweetener mix to the boiling fruit and stirred vigorously for 1 to 2 minutes to get the pectin dissolved. Once the pectin is dissolved, you are free to add extra sweetener above the range. Stir in the extra sweetener well and bring the mixture back to a full boil before turning off the heat.

Be aware that adding extra liquid sweetener can soften the jell, so consider adding a little extra pectin in Step 4 if you will be adding extra liquid sweetener.

Yes. Our general guideline for adding alcohol to a Pomona’s Pectin recipe for jam or jelly (or fruit sauce or syrup) is to add ¼ cup alcohol per 4 cups mashed fruit or juice AND to reduce the amount of mashed fruit or juice by ¼ cup.

For example, if you are making Peach Jam with 4 cups of mashed peach and you want to add some alcohol, that translates to ¼ cup alcohol and 3 3/4 cups mashed peach. This amount of alcohol should give you the flavor without affecting the consistency or the canning safety of the recipe.

Yes, but the vinegar must be standardized to 5% acidity and it likely will have some effect on the taste.

Citric Acid can be substituted – it will adjust the acidity (lower the pH) of the fruit, which is what you want to do. ¼ teaspoon powdered Citric Acid is equivalent to 1 Tablespoon lemon juice. 1 teaspoon powdered Citric Acid is equivalent to ¼ cup lemon juice (4 Tablespoons). Citric Acid lowers pH and imparts tartness to the fruit mixture, but it doesn’t add a particular flavor.

Ascorbic Acid cannot be substituted for lemon or lime juice or vinegar in a Pomona’s recipe. It is simply Vitamin C powder. It will not lower the pH of the fruit. It is commonly used to prevent browning in cut fresh fruit or fruit that will be canned.

Citric Acid and Ascorbic Acid are two different acids, with different chemical compositions. Both are present in lemon juice.

Yes, for safe water bath canning it’s important to add the lemon or lime juice or vinegar if called for in a Pomona’s Pectin recipe. In some cases, the added acid may be also be required for the jam or jelly to jell properly with Pomona’s

To be safe for water bath canning, the fruit mixture must be what is considered “high acid,” which means the pH must be 4.6 or below. Many fruits are high acid naturally. But fruits that are considered to be “lower acid” and/or fruits and vegetables that are considered to be “low acid,” need lemon or lime juice or vinegar added to bring down their pH into the “safe for water bath canning” range.

If you are converting a recipe or developing your own, go to Get Creative for information about which fruits require additional acid with Pomona’s Pectin and the amount required for each fruit.

You can make a jam that is a mix of different fruits by referring to the basic recipes on the recipe sheet that comes with the pectin or to the instructions on the Get Creative page on this website, and then doing the math. You will use the amounts of lemon or lime juice (if called for), calcium water, and pectin appropriate for each cup of mashed fruit you will be jamming.

Yes, you can use canned fruit for the cooked recipes as long as no sweetener has been added to the fruit.

Yes, you can use frozen fruit for the cooked recipes. It’s best to use unsweetened frozen fruit. Defrost, but don’t drain, frozen fruit before using. Generally you use the liquid from the frozen fruit along with the fruit unless you notice that there is an excessive amount of liquid, in which case you would ladle off some of the excess liquid before measuring your mashed fruit. If you are going to juice the fruit for jelly, then you would use all of the liquid.

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. JAMLINE hours are Mon-Fri, 8am-4pm CST. If we don’t answer, please leave a message and we will return your call as soon as possible.

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