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!
I’ve had my eye on this book as well, but I was wondering how long these preserves will last once canned because of the reduced sugar content – will they last a year or so as with traditional preserves, or is it more like 6 months or so?
They should absolutely last a full year.
<3 <3 <3 this book! Doing some honeyed ginger peach today!
Am not familiar with this book. I use a preserving, canning book from the UT extension program–a gift from my Mother
I also would love to take a peek at this book because I would like to make some things with less sugar. I am also curious about how long the preserves last with low sugar content, Any ideas? Thanks for the review and opportunity!
Lower sugar preserves typically last the normal year in the jar. They lose their keeping power once open.
I’ve never done a side-by-side experiment comparing regular and Pomona’s pectin, but jams I’ve made with Pomona’s seem just fine after a year.
Just checked out Pomona’s site and according to their help section items made with their product are good for up to a year. And for me the big selling point besides the low sugar is that stored properly Pomona Pectin will keep indefinitly. This is a great thing for me because a couple of weeks ago I got everything together to make peach jam and found that my pectin had expired in February. Thank God I hadn’t started cooking yet and was able to go down to True Value and pick up more. This link has a lot of wonderful information http://www.pomonapectin.com/wordpress/wp-content/themes/pomona/img/pomona-pectin-directions.pdf
I have used this pectin for a few years. I have not had issues with the shelf life. I ordered this book immediately very useful blend of traditional recipes and interesting twists. I think this pectin has a better taste than other pectins.
I have been using Pomona’s Pectin for a couple of years and love it. I will have to check this book out, since you highlighted the “Rosemary and Wine Jelly.” I have so much rosemary in the garden right now. Simply drying it for future use is not too exciting. Thanks for the highlight!
My 4 year old son and I made the Plum and Vanilla preserve recipe from this book this weekend. The result was delightful. Thanks to the reduced sugar allowed by Pomonas, the sweet/tart nature of the plums was preserved and the vanilla gave it just a hint of depth.
Thanks so much for the nice review, Marisa–I really appreciate it!
And, in response to the question a couple of folks raised about how long jam using Pomona’s will last, sealed jars will last up to a year anyway, just as with other pectins. Once the jar has been opened, it will last in the fridge about 2-3 weeks. Hope that helps!
I’m going to try this product. I’ve seen it advertised in Mary Jane Butter’s magazine and in a homesteading magazine. I love to can and want to try more reduced sugar recipes.
I’ve just begun my canning journey and am glad I found this website. So far I’ve made 4 batches of plum and apple recipes and have only had a 50% seal rate. Not sure what I’m doing wrong. I’ll keep trying! Thanks for the website