This has been a very good season for cookbooks dedicated to preserving. First came Sherri Brooks Vinton’s new book Put ‘Em Up! Fruit. Then came Little Jars, Big Flavors, quickly followed by Saving the Season. And now, I have one more to add to the roster. Preserving with Pomona’s Pectin by Allison Carroll Duffy.
It’s a fabulous little book that covers a wide range of preserves, all set with Pomona’s Universal Pectin. What makes this pectin so handy is that it doesn’t rely on sugar or evaporation in order to set. It’s a variety of pectin (extracted from citrus peels) that is activated instead with calcium, which means you can make jams sweetened with just a little sugar, honey, or fruit juice concentrate.
The book is divided into seven sections. The first gives a little bit of background about the Pomona’s Pectin company and defines the different kinds of preserves covered in the book. The comes a chapter that goes deep on how to use the pectin and preserve your product (my paternal grandmother was an illustrator and I can’t help but look at these drawings above and think how much she would have appreciated them). Then comes jams, jellies, preserves, conserves and marmalades.
Each chapter contains tried-and-true basics (Allison calls them Simple Classics) as well as more inventive and sophisticated fruit and flavor pairings. I’m very excited by this Rosemary-Wine Jelly pictured above. I’ve been in Oregon the last week visiting my parents and they have a giant rosemary plant in their yard. Before I go home, I’m cutting a generous armload to bring home, in large part so I can make this jelly.
I’m something of a fool for vanilla and while I’ve paired it with nearly every fruit I know, I’ve never done a jam with red plums and vanilla. This particular preserve (Allison defines preserves as something akin to a jam, but with much larger fruit chunks), sounds like a lovely way to bring them together and would be a great addition to a morning bowl of yogurt.
For those of you who want more options in the world of low sugar preserving, this book is ideal. The recipes are concise, easy to follow, and appealing. The book is colorful and sturdy. It’s a welcome addition to my collection of canning books and might be to yours as well!