Ever since I started making my own jam, I've always wondered if there was a way to do it without using so much sugar! And since Nathan brings PB&J sandwiches to work with him almost everyday, I was determined to figure out something else that would work. I was told by several people that you needed that much sugar for the jam to "set" correctly and through trial and error, I found that to be true if I used the typical 'Certo' type pectin.
Sure I've made it with certo using less sugar or with honey but it still had a real runny consistancy and wouldn't firm up the way that jam should. Well, my searching has ended when I found "Pomona's Universal Pectin"!
I found it online and bought it at a health food store. (You can also order it from their website) Since it 'jells' with the use of calcium instead of sugar, you can use as little sugar/honey/stevia/rapadura etc as you want! You don't even have to add any if you don't want to! And I normally do the quick freezer jam but since we got rid of our freezer last night in anticipation of our move (less that 2 days!!) I decided to try canning it!
Well, overall I've canned 27 jars of strawberry, blueberry and cherry jam to use up the rest of all our fruit in the freezer. And 1) they all sealed (yay! it was actually the first time I canned anything!, esp by myself! and 2) they firmed up very nice and have the perfect consistancy! and 3) the certo cooked recipe called for 7 cups of sugar, I used 1! And they taste fabulously!!
So if you want to make jam but don't mind forgoing all that nasty sugar, just look for Pomona!!