Posts Tagged ‘Jam’

If you’re into making jam, you’ll know the amount of sugar that goes into it… it’s CRAZY!! Even for low sugar recipes it’s still calls for too much sugar for my liking. I tried to cut down even more sugar with low sugar recipes, but then my jam won’t jell properly, producing a thin flowing spread… Other times the jam jelled too much and it’s s bit difficult to spread.

Well, no more of this hit or miss! While I was looking for liquid pectin (in hope to use pectin in a more flexible way for making very small batch of jam like 2-3 small jars), I stumbled upon Pomona’s Universal Pectin on an online forum. What’s so special about Pomona’s Pectin? Several things: it uses calcium instead of sugar to activate the jelling, which means way less sugar used and thus yielding a more fruity flavor. Honey or other sweetener can also be used instead of sugar. I can create my own jam recipes without worrying how much sugar to use to reach the jelling point, and not to mention small batch versatility. I ordered my Pomona’s Pectin on Amazon, but someone mentioned Whole Foods carries the product. Don’t be scared by its price, because one packet of Pomona’s can make A LOT of jam (22 eight-ounce jars)!

Enough talking. Here’s the verdict of my very first trial with Pomona’s Pectin:

1. Shape– the spread is nice and easy, not too thick not too thin.

2. Flavor– definitely more of the fruit flavor with light sweet taste. I used sweet blackberries this time so the jam is more on sweet rather than tangy side despite of lemon juice concentrate used. Depending what fruit you used and what additional flavor (tangy v. sweet, besides the fruit flavor), adjust the amount of lemon juice and sugar accordingly.

Blackberry Jam

Blackberry Jam (using Pomona’s Universal Pectin– makes 2 1/2 eight-ounce jars)


2 cups mashed sweet blackberries

1 tsp calcium water– prepare as directed per Pomona’s Pectin, see note below

2 tbsp lemon juice concentrate– see note below

3/4 cup sugar

1 tsp Pomona’s Universal Pectin– see note below


Sterilize the jars– put jars, lids and rings in a pot filled with water to cover the parts. Bring to a boil then turn off heat. Keep the parts in hot water, this will prevent the glass jars from cracking when filling with hot jam later.

While the jars are sterilizing, make the jam– add mashed fruits, calcium water and lemon juice concentrate to a sauce pan. Stir to mix well. Bring to a full boil on high heat. Mix together sugar and pectin in a separate bowl. When the fruits mixture is boiling, pour in sugar mixture, and stir vigorously 1-2 minutes while it returns to full boil again. Turn off the heat.

Remove jars, lids and rings from hot water. Carefully spoon in jam into the jars, leaving about 1/2 inch space at the top. Wipe off any jam spills on the rim with a paper towel. Place the lids and rings on, loosely screw the rings (this allows air to escape during water bat


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Besides stained glass cookies, this is another new cookie I baked this year for Christmas. I got the recipe from Just A Pinch Recipes. It’s quite simple, although I needed to add about 1/2 to 1 cup more flour because the dough was just too wet and sticky. I think the reason might be that I cheated on softening the butter– I use the quick microwave way to soften, and I warmed it up a bit too long. Anyway, lesson learned…

Some thumbprint cookie recipes suggest filling the jam on top of unbaked cookie dough, while others say add the jam after the cookies are baked. Well, I did the hybrid part– baked cookies, added jam, and baked for a few more minutes. I did this because I was hoping the extra baking time will dry out the jam a bit more, so the jam filling won’t be as thin runny and more on the thick sticky side. The results: No much difference. The main thing is the jam itself– I used pineapple preserve and raspberry jam. After final baking, while pineapple jam was still thick and nice in the thumbprint area, the raspberry jam was starting to overflow the edge of the cookies (it gave a smooth touch on the jam surface though). If you want a crunchier cookie texture, I suggest you bake the cookies and store in airtight container. Only add in the jam on the day of serving (you can add jam and bake a few more minutes if desired). Once the jam is filled, it will soften the cookies over time.


Thumbprint Cookies– Baked, waiting to be filled with jam.

Thumbprint Cookies Recipe (adapted from Just A Pinch. Makes about 30 cookies)

1/2 cup (1 stick, 4 oz) unsalted butter– softened
1/3 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 egg, separated
1 1/2 cup flour– add more later if needed
4 tbsp dry whole milk powder
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 cup chopped toasted hazelnuts


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a large baking pan with parchment. Combine flour, milk powder and salt.
  2. Cream butter with a hand mixer. Add sugar and cream until it’s fluffy. Mix in vanilla completely, then mix in egg yolk blend well.
  3. Use a spatula to mix in flour mixture, in a stir-and press motion, until the it forms a dough. Roll the dough into thin long log of 1 inch diameter. Cut into pieces and roll each piece into a 1 inch diameter ball.
  4. Whisk egg white in a bowl until it gets frothy. Place chopped hazelnut in a separate bowl.
  5. Dip each dough ball into egg white, then roll it in chopped hazelnut to cover completely. Place the dough on baking pan, about 2 inches apart. Use your thumb to press down the ball to make a deep indentation.
  6. Bake for 15-18 minutes. Remove from the oven but maintain oven temperature. If the cookies lost its indentation then press down further with a spoon to make indentation deeper (do it while the cookies are still hot).
  7. Place about 1/2 tsp of jam onto the indentation. Bake for another 5 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool on a rack. When cookies are cooled completely, store in air tight container, adding parchment paper between each layer to prevent jam sticking together.

Regina’s Note:

  • Besides chopped nuts, you can also roll cookies in shred coconuts, sugar or simply none at all.
  • Don’t be limited by sweet jams. Jalapeno jam, cream cheese (flavored or plain) can also be used to create different flavors. Be adventurous!
  • For crunchier thumbprint cookies, just bake the cookies itself without jam and store in air tight container. Only fill in the jam on the day of serving.

Thumbprint Cookies– I added some chili powder to some pineapple jam filled thumbprint cookies… looking for a sweet and spicy taste.


Thumbprint Cookies– I used pineapple jam and raspberry jam for the filling.

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