forum: Food & Drink

#1 Mon 26 May 08 9:33am


From Sale - Victoria
Member since Thu 20 Dec 07

Simple jam recipes without all the sugar

My sister has some cumquats and plans to make her first batch of jam....and since I'm relatively new to actually enjoying cooking, I was wondering if there were some simple jam recipes out there.  If I remember correctly, Jamie made a jam on one of his shoes that used LOADS less sugar than grandma used to use. 
thanks in anticipation

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#2 Mon 26 May 08 11:14am


Forum super champ
Occupation avoiding housework
From The land of song.
Member since Tue 04 Oct 05

Re: Simple jam recipes without all the sugar

Welcome to the forums  smile 
What you have to remember is that the sugar in the jam acts as a preservative for the fruit content. Lower  sugared jams are (as  far as I know ) better made in smaller quantities .
Sorry I can't help you out with a recipe.

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#3 Mon 26 May 08 11:46am


Forum champ
From Germany
Member since Mon 13 Mar 06

Re: Simple jam recipes without all the sugar

I use jam sugars to make jams. They are basically sugar + pectin. So they gel with less sugar. For most fruit I get 3:1 (3 parts of fruit to one part of the sugar) and for very sour ones 2:1. They keep fresh for some months, but not as long as 1:1 jam sugar or just sugar - as mummza says the sugar preserves the fruit.
But I like my jam less sweet. And I don't have a garden with tons of fruit to preserve, but rather make jams for the taste of it. wink

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#4 Mon 26 May 08 12:52pm

The White Rabbit

Forum super champ
From Sydney, Australia
Member since Tue 22 Jun 04

Re: Simple jam recipes without all the sugar

As mummza said, sugar is an integral part of jam. It's what preserves the fruit for long periods originally to feed people during the winter. It's not an unhealthy food, but these days people's energy needs are different, so it's not eaten in the same quantities. Sugar isn't inherently bad for you, eating too much of food in general is.

Cumquat jam is a pain to make. It was the first jam I made (cumquat tree). The fruit is small with lots and lots of seeds. The seeds need to be separated from the fruit and the fruit chopped and soaked overnight. The seeds also need to be soaked in water overnight, this releases pectin and this jelly like liquid is added to the soaked (and still in it's water) fruit. Then it's boiled until the fruit is tender and then the sugar is added.

I've only seen Jamie make two lower sugar jams and both were soft fruit (berries) and were for eating relatively soon. I'm not sure if it would work in the same way for cumquat jam, which is in essence a marmalade. Unless you are eating buckets of the stuff (which I very much doubt with cumquat jam as they hold some of their bitterness) I wouldn't be concerned about the sugar. I'd rather go for an extra walk rather than worry about maybe half a teaspoon of sugar in my serve of jam on (gluten free) toast.

Important points for jam making:
*never leave it unattended
*the first few jams will take longer than the recipe says
*be prepared to over or under cook the jam (ie. too firm or too soft)
*put small plates in the fridge or freezer to test the jam on
*you are getting close to the set point when the bubbles starte getting small (note: this applied to full sugar jams)
*much of the time in jam making is preping the fruit
*take a book into the kitchen or cook something else (not too involving)
*smaller jams can be made by reducing the proportion of ingredients but remember that the cooking time gets much shorter so don't walk away

Now, the others can vouch for this, I almost never get out of this chair to get the recipe for someone but cumquat marmalade is not the easiest recipe to find and this one does work. It's from THE Australian Women's Weekly Cookbook (try second hand book shops). That books is out of print. It's a two day recipe.

3 lb. cumquats
6 pints water
5 lb sugar
juice 2 lemons

Wash fruit, slice finely and place seeds in a small basin (this is a terrible job so try to convince someone else to do it). Place the fruit in a large sauce pan and cover with 5 pints of water. Cover seeds with remaining pint and leave overnight. Boil fruit and liquid strained from the seeds until rind is tender and liquid reduced by half. Add sugar and lemon juice and stir over a low heat until sugar is dissolved, then boil rapidly for about1.5 hours  until marmalade jells when tested on a cold saucer (i.e. turn off heat, place teaspoon of jam onto cold plate and put back in fridge for a few minutes, when it forms a jell and ripples when pushed then it's done). Pour into hot sterilised jars and seal.

Last edited by The White Rabbit (Mon 26 May 08 12:57pm)

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#5 Tue 27 May 08 3:34am


Forum champ
From Sydney, Australia
Member since Tue 22 Jun 04

Re: Simple jam recipes without all the sugar

1 kg cumquats
1 lemons
1.25kg sugar
Method: Wash and scrub to clean the fruit, removing any stems. Cut the cumquats into quarters and remove any seeds. Retain the seeds. Cut the lemons in half lengthwise, then into quarters and remove the seeds. Retain with the cumquat seeds. Slice the lemon quarters into thin slices. Place the fruit into a non-reactive bowl. Place the pips into a small piece of muslin and tie closed. Place with the cut fruit. Cover with five cups of water and leave overnight.
Place the fruit, seeds and water into a pot and simmer for 30 minutes. Place the sugar into a heat-proof bowl and use as a cover or lid while the fruit cooks. This will warm the sugar in preparation for its addition to the fruit. Add the warm sugar to the fruit and reduce heat. Stir in sugar until dissolved, then raise the heat to a boil and cook for 15-20 minutes, stirring to prevent it catching. The marmalade should begin to thicken. Test readiness by placing a little marmalade on a plate, and then place in the fridge. It should set with a slight skin on top. Pour or spoon into sterile jars.

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