Viroqua Food Co-op Recipe Blog

The Secret to Low Sugar Jelly & Jam

Posted byVFC Marketing Team on Mon, Jul 16, 2018 @ 03:48 PM

Pomona’s PectinPamona's Pectin Book-RGB

For generations, jam and jelly makers have used traditional pectin to get their preserves to jell. Traditional pectin relies on large amounts of sugar to firm up preserves. Pomona’s Universal Pectin, which you'll find in the Co-op, uses a special type of pectin that jells with calcium. Pomona’s allows you to make jams and jellies with less sugar or with alternative sweeteners like honey, maple syrup, or stevia. Each box has a detailed instructions that help you re-imagine your favorite jam recipe with less sugar or using alternative sweeteners. If you want further resources, Pomona’s Pectin has a fantastic jam and jelly crafting book (photo above) which we carry in our book section throughout the canning season.


Bramble Berry Honey Freezer Jam

Adapted from * Prep Time: 25 minutes * Cook Time: 15 minutes * Amount: makes 4-5 cups of jam * Stores up to 1-year in freezer

Preserved bramble berry jam is a wintertime delicacy! Imagine opening up a jar of this mixed berry jam in the middle of January – dreamy! This jam is perfect on pancakes, French toast, waffles, yogurt, and smoothies. Feel free to substitute the honey for equal amounts cane sugar or maple syrup.

Prefer seedless bramble berry jam? In the steps below, prior to direction bullet #3, pour and push the berry puree through a fine-mesh sieve to remove the seeds.


Pamona's Pectin Product-RGB

3 quarts mix of local raspberries, black raspberries, and blackberries, rinsed
2 tsp Pomona’s calcium water (found in package of Pomona’s Pectin)
1 cup local honey
2 tsp Pomona’s pectin powder


  1. Wash and rinse five ½ pint mason jars, lids, and screw bands. Set screw bands aside until ready to use.
  2. In medium-size sauce pan, mix together berries. Mash berries to desired consistency with potato masher. Bring to boil over high heat, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat and simmer for 1-2 minutes or until berries have softened slightly. Remove pan from heat.
  3. Measure out 4 cups of cooked berry mixture. If any left over, use it in a smoothie or with yogurt. Pour measured berry mixture into clean sauce pan. Add calcium water.
  4. In separate bowl, combine honey and pectin powder. Mix well and set aside.
  5. Bring berry mixture to boil over high heat. Add honey-pectin mixture, then stir vigorously for 1-2 minutes to dissolve pectin. Bring preserves to boil again, then remove from heat.
  6. Fill clean ½ pint mason jars with hot jam, leaving ½ inch headspace for jam to expand in freezer. Put on lids.
  7. Cool jars in fridge for 2-4 hours. Label jars and put in freezer.

“You can taste a little of the summer
My grandma put it all in jars”

–Greg Brown

Tags: Recipes, Honey