Strawberry season is winding down early around here, but berry season as a whole has just begun. The black caps and mulberries are ripe, the raspberries are next, and blueberries and blackberries are on the horizon.
We make our jam with honey, and not much of it. We don't eat a ton of sweets around here so no one seems to mind if our jam is more fruity than dessert-y.
While apples, pears, and citrus are in a different jamming category, feel free to improvise the recipe below with whatever berries you have on hand. The batch below included some rhubarb mixed in with the strawberries.
For thickening without much sugar, we use natural pectin from the coop called Pomona's. It is a two-part process with a calcium water component and a pectin component. When combined they thicken the jam. So cool.
Pamona's is the only way I have found to successfully make a thick, low-sugar jam. We tried making our own pectin last year out of apples but made more of a sauce than a jam. A worthwhile experiment that I may try again some day, but for now I'm happy with the store-bought version and crazy thick jam.
Any Berry Jam
4 C berries (ripe, stemmed, and mashed)
1/3 – 1 C honey (we used 1/2 since we added rhubarb)
1/4 tsp stevia (optional)
1/4 package of Pamona's pectin
Wash, stem, and mash berries with a potato masher. Proceed according to the pectin instructions, adding the calcium water to the fruit mash and the pectin to the honey. Cook for two minutes. Fill sterilized jars, cap, and hot water bath can for 5 minutes.