Faith B. Lasher's article "The Delightful Elderberry" in MOTHER EARTH NEWS contained an editorial appeal for advice on making honey jam and honey jelly. Accordingly, I'm passing on some of the California Honey Advisory Board's recipes for sugarless fruit confections.
A hint from CHAB: If you prepare jams and jellies with natural sweetening, you should remember that the moisture content of honey varies according to location. In California, for example, sweets made with honey from the northern part of the state will be softer than the same products made with the output of bees kept farther south.
I hope these recipes will be of value to readers who love sweets but want to avoid refined sugar. Enjoy!
Pear and Cherry Conserve
2 1/2 to 3 pounds fully ripened Bartlett pears
6 lemon slices
3 Tbs. seedless golden raisins
1/4 cup maraschino cherries, chopped
1/3 cup maraschino cherry juice
4 cups mild-flavored honey
1 bottle liquid pectin
Peel, core, and coarsely chop the pears. (There should be 5 cups.) Cut the lemon slices into eighths. In a 6 to 8 quart saucepan, mix together all the ingredients except the pectin. Bring them to a full rolling boil, stirring constantly, and boil them hard for 5 minutes. (Give the mixture an occasional turn with a spoon to prevent scorching.) Remove the pan from the heat and at once blend in the liquid pectin. Skim off the foam with a metal spoon, and continue to stir and skim for 5 minutes to prevent the fruit from floating. Ladle the conserve into hot sterilized jars and seal the containers. This recipe makes about seven half-pint glasses.
Honey Pineapple Jam
2 1/2 cups (1-pound 4 1/2-ounce can) crushed
3 Tbs. fresh lemon juice
3 1/4 cups mild-flavored honey
1/2 bottle liquid pectin
In a 6 to 8 quart saucepan mix the crushed pineapple and lemon juice. Add the honey and blend the ingredients well. Then place the pan over high heat and at once stir in the liquid pectin. Stir the mixture constantly while you bring it to a full rolling boil and boil hard for one minute. Take the jam from the stove and remove the foam with a metal spoon. Alternately skim and stir the hot confection for 5 minutes to cool it slightly and distribute the fruit throughout. Ladle the product into hot sterilized jars—about six of the 8 ounce size—and seal them.
4 1/2 cups prepared fruit (about 2 quarts ripe
1 box (1 3/4 ounces) powdered pectin
7 cups mild-flavored honey
Completely crush the fully ripened strawberries, one layer at a time, and measure 4 1/2 cups of the prepared fruit into a 6 to 8 quart saucepan. Add the powdered pectin and blend it in well. Place the pan over high heat, bring the contents to a full rolling boil and at once mix in the honey. Continue to boil the jam for 2 minutes, while you stir it constantly. Then remove the pan from the fire and follow the same skimming and cooling procedure as for Honey Pineapple jam. Pour the result into hot sterilized jars, seal them, and let them stand at room temperature until the spread is set (up to 24 hours).
Yield: about eleven 8 ounce glasses.
Spicy Port Wine Jelly
2 cups port wine
3 cups mild-flavored honey
1/8 tsp. cinnamon
1/8 tsp. cloves
1/2 bottle liquid pectin
In a 6 to 8 quart saucepan combine the port wine, honey, cinnamon and cloves. Stir these ingredients and bring them to a full rolling boil. Add the liquid pectin, again bring the mixture to a boil and cook it at that temperature for 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Remove the pan from the heat and skim its contents with a metal spoon. Pour the jelly into hot sterilized jars, seal them and let them stand at room temperature until the jelly has set (up to 24 hours). This recipe makes about eight 6 ounce glasses.
Honey Grape Jelly
1 package (1 3/4 ounces) powdered pectin
2 1/2 cups grape juice
3 3/4 cups mild-flavored honey
Mix the pectin and grape juice in a 6 to 8 quart saucepan and cook and blend them over high heat until bubbles form all around the edge of the liquid. Slowly add the honey, stirring constantly, and continue to stir and cook the mixture until the entire surface is bubbling (don't let it boil). Remove the jelly from the stove and alternately stir and skim off the foam. Pour the confection into hot sterilized glasses, seal them, and leave them undisturbed until the fluid has cooled and set ... about 24 hours. The approximate yield is eight 6 ounce jars.
Ripe Peach Jam
3 pounds fully ripened peaches
2 Tbs. fresh lemon juice
7 1/2 cups mild-flavored honey
1 bottle liquid pectin
Wash, peel and pit the peaches and chop or coarsely grind them into the lemon juice. Measure the prepared fruit, packing it down in the cup ... there should be 4 cups.
Mix the peaches and honey in a 6 to 8 quart saucepan, bring them to a full rolling boil, and boil them hard for one minute ... keep stirring. Immediately add the liquid pectin and repeat the boiling process for another minute. Then remove the mixture from the heat and stir and skim it as for Honey Pineapple jam. Ladle the mixture into hot sterilized jars—about eleven of the 8 ounce size—and seal the containers.