Catching Points - a food blog

Thursday, August 24, 2006

SHF #22 Can you Can?

Can I can? Well I was about to find out with this Sugar high Friday hosted by Delicious Days. I've honestly never made any jam or marmalade ever before. My closest thing to anything canned was the chutney I made just a couple of days ago. But I still couldn't resist to participate in my first ever SHF because on monay it's my mothers birthday, and I just have this weird feeling she'd love love LOVE a homemade jam or marmalade.
I did my best to find a recipe of any jam or marmalade that had as little sugar in it as possible, without using any sweetners, because
a) my mum thinks artificial sweetners are evil
b) my mum is on a low carb diet
and any fruit cooked is perfect because my mum is allergic to 90% of all raw fruits and vegetables, to different extents. She can for instance not eat raw apples, pears or carrots.
But what I chose was Plum. Why? I know she likes plums, I'd also seen some beautiful plums in my shop, so I just decided on plum.
Next step was to find a recipe. None of my cookbooks had anything at all appealing, which just shows that I need new cookbooks! So I surfed and found a swedish recipe of plummarmalade.

1½ kg plums
½ dl water
1½ kg sugar
1 lemon
3½ tsp fruitpektin powder (a natural thickner, I don't know the english word for it)
or a bottle liquid fruitpektin (1 dl) because I couldn't find the powdered kind
½ dl sugar (if using the powdered kind)

Clean the plums, desead but keep the skin. Cut them into pieces.
In a big saucepan add the plums and the water. Let the mess bring to a boil and boil under a lid for 10 minutes.
Add the sugar and juice of the lemon and boil at a high speed under constant stirring (no lid) for 5-10 minutes.
Take the saucepan off the heat and add the pektin, if you're using the powder first mix it with the sugar.
Boil for another couple of minutes while skimming it constantly.
Add the mixture to wellcleaned and hot glasjars. Let the jars cool upside down. Store dark and cool.

When it came to labeling my jar I had to do it all by hand and use glue to stick it on because I had nothing that could work as a label. But I still think it looks alright.

There are some things I still wonder. Why did I have to cool them upside down? This led to the marmalade being stuck at the top because the jars had a line as the top of how much I got to fill.
I didn't like this so I opened the cooled jars and let the air in, so have I now spoiled the marmalade? besides it doesn't look good anymore. Buhu!
And does anyone have any good recipes of marmalade without so much sugar? Or maybe any other way of perserving fruit without so much sugar?

Oh and I know it's thursday, but I'll be working until midnight on friday, so I wont be able to post this then....


  • Hi Lexi, wow, you're truly ambitious, chutney and marmalade in the same week! And I'm sure your Mum will LOVE your efforts on her behalf. A couple of things. In one way you've spoiled the marmalade, in one way not. Since you've broken the seal, it's no longer safe to store without refrigeration. So just pop it into the frig and use within a week or so. It's still edible, it just won't keep. Call it "refrigerator jam". Or you could transfer to a soft-side container and freeze, at least safety-wise and I'm quite sure, taste-wise too. Lots of jams take lots of sugars. There are no-sugar recipes (I bet we'll see some in the round-up at d:d) but they take a slightly different technique. Since you're so keen on jams (good for you!!) you might check the library for a book. This is one form of cooking where it's very important to follow good directions vs making it up, at least until you know more about the chemistry of preserving foods. But the books will help you get 100% success every time and I think, for awhile now, that's probably more important! Keep up the great cooking!! Tak for visiting A Veggie Venture! I'm glad I was able to help with a few of your questions. Don't hesitate to ask others you might have, then I can answer there for you or for others who might share your same question.

    By Blogger Alanna, At 1:01 AM  

  • Hallo Lexi,
    Traditional Central EU method is to boil the plums in a large metal vat over wood fire outside, constantly stirring, without any sugar. Takes patience and quite a few hours but the result is magnificent, thick and very tasty, if you can arrange such an outdoor activity, it is worth it.
    cheers, Gabor

    By Anonymous Gabor, At 3:00 AM  

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