I've also never tried my hand at any kind of jam before, and thought that freezer jam would be a good place to start. I just don't want to mess with the boiling and the worry about safety.
It was the last week of RAMA farm nectarines and it seemed a good way to hold onto a bit of summer by transforming them into jam. Elspeth and Evan were asking to eat it from a spoon, so I'd say the end result is worthwhile.
I didn't stray from the recipe and directions offered on the Pomona pectin package. Though I had intended a no-cook freezer jam, Pomona recommends a brief cooking of peaches (and nectarines, I extrapolated), so I did that. I chose evaporated cane juice as my sweetener, figuring I can branch out to more exotic sweeteners next time if I so choose.
The Pomona pectin is highly effective, so on future occasions, I'd rein in the amount of calcium water I add.
1 package Pomona pectin
4 cups nectarines, lightly mashed (I admit, I put slices in the food processor and pulsed to create a rather irregular texture that I think works just fine. The option recommended elsewhere was to use a pastry cutter, which I would have done if I owned one)
1/4 c. lemon juice
1 1/4 c. evaporated cane juice sugar
3/4 c. boiling water
- Prepare 5-6 one-cup glass jars with lids (they don't need to be sterilized, but they should be very clean)
- Follow the Pomona pectin package instructions for making up the calcium water
- Place the nectarine mixture in a saucepan and heat until boiling, then boil for 2 minutes
- Pour this into a large bowl and let it cool
- Once it has cooled, add the lemon juice and sugar, stirring well
- Boil the water and then add it to the food processor you used for the nectarines, or a blender
- To the water, add 4 tsp Pomona pectin powder (or whatever it says on the package), and then process/blend until the powder is dissolved
- Stir pectin mixture into nectarines, making sure it is well mixed
- Add 4 teaspoons of calcium water, stirring well. Gel should begin to form on the sides of the bowl--I would recognize this better a second time around. If you aren't seeing gel, you can add up to 8 tsp more of the calcium water, one teaspoon at a time, mixing well after each addition. Only add as much calcium water as you need for a somewhat loose jelly
- Pour the nectarine jam into your prepared glass jars and freeze until solid
- Freezer jam should be kept in the freezer until you want to use a jar. After opening, it can keep up to a week in the fridge