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Low sugar Blackberry and Rhubarb jam using carageen

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 16, 2010 12:50 am    Post subject: Low sugar Blackberry and Rhubarb jam using carageen Reply with quote

I am not one that worries too much about food intake, but I was shocked at the amount of sugar that goes into a jam

I've done a bit of an experiment - how it turns out in terms of shelf life I have no idea, but I am fairly confident that it should last at least 4 months after proper waterbath processing.

Sugar preserves and gels, so we need to look at finding substitutes to provide those attributes

In a recipe for carrot jam from Mrs Beeton's Book of Household Management 1861, she added brandy at a ratio of 1 tsp per pound of mix to a preserve to make sure it would remain good for months.

The obvious problem is with its low boiling point, the alcohol cannot be added durning the cooking process, so it goes in at the last possible moment - just after filling up the jar before the lid and liner go on.

I decided to do a Blackberry and rhubarb jam, but reduce the sugar content drasticly, to half the normal ratio. Its still a lot of sugar, but at least it is a start.

750gm sliced rhubarb
500gm Blackberries (at least 50 gm underripe)
150 gm cooking apple peeled and chopped
(total fruits 1.4kg)
600ml water
3tsp lemon juice
100 gm Demerera
100 gm Rich dark brown
400 gm White sugar
75 gm honey
25 gm Carrageen (a.k.a Irish Moss)

1 tsp brandy per jar filled
(or any other strong drink with a volume of about 40% volume/80% proof)

Put the sugar, water, honey, apple, lemon juice and honey to a large pot, mix, bring to the boil.
Reduce heat and let it simmer on a low heat to reduce.
Soak carrigeen in cold water in warm water for 15 minutes, squeeze out excess water and add to the pot.

Now, because of the reductin in sugar this needs to be reduced more than normal, your looking at 30% reduction at least.

When the mix has reduced do the gel test. When your happy with consistency, go to the jarring process

After filling to the fill mark add a tablespoon of alcohol, close the jar ASAP and shake like hell to get the alcohol through the mix

Dont forget to leave headspace in the jar.

bottle and water bath.

Store in a cool, dry dark place.

If waterbath is done properly, I estimate a shelf life of at least 3 months -
probably about 6 months I would say.

I ended up with a mix that was just a little too runny, but next time out I will just keep reducing a little longer and increase the amount of under-ripe fruit - maybe just a little more sugarthat should solve the problem.

I would really like it if others that gave this a shot gave me feedback on their results, that would be great

The mixture sets reasonably well, and is very sweet already, tastes divine.

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