02 Jun

Serviceberry Jam (and Strawberry Jam)

These are the homemade strawberry preserves made with sugar

Today I had the house to myself and I decided to embark on my first Jamalama (Jam making and canning) I’m doing Serviceberry and Strawberry. Of course the first thing you must do when jammin’ is turn the music mix up real loud…I hope you like Jammin’ too…we’re jammin’ he he :)

OK, so we picked 9.2 lbs of serviceberries in the last week or so off of our two serviceberry trees – Amelanchier x grandiflora ‘Autumn Brilliance’ (which by the way is a ‘Plant of Merit’ designated by the Missouri Botanical Garden – which means it is a plant with good qualities that deserves to be planted more…I have to agree!)

Last year we made serviceberry crumble dessert, but this year I decided to try a batch of servicberry jam. I also had pounds of strawberries I harvested (and some I bought when Whole Foods had a sale on organic strawberries a few weeks ago), so I wanted to make Strawberry Jam too. Now, I have never made jam before…so I had to do a lot of research…and buy a canner…and all of that. I was a little intimidated after reading all of the very specific directions from the USDA and various extension services, but I figured I could do it…my grandma did…and her mother, and her mother….

I read a lot of recipes, and I did not want to use a ton of sugar…which it seems many recipes call for. The whole reason I wanted to make the jam was to create a low sugar and mostly fruit spread. I didn’t realize the sugar is what makes it gel…if you don’t use pectin, or if you use certain pectins.

Then I found my solution…a pectin called Pamona’s Universal Pectin. I found it at Whole Foods and it is exactly what I was looking for. With this pectin you can use sugar, or honey, or agave, or artificial sweetener…and you don’t have to use a lot of sweetener.

I basically followed the recipe in the Pomona’s package for cooked low sugar or Honey…and followed the blueberry recipe, but I made variations with the fruit and sweetener.

I made 3 batches (each batch was 4 1/2 pint jars)

1) Agave Sweetened Serviceberry Jam
2) Sugar Sweetened Strawberry Jam
3) Honey Sweetened Strawberry Jam

As of now…all 12 jars are sitting on my counter cooling…from the outside they look pretty good. I thought I would post some photo’s of my adventure…and as I taste each batch I’ll update on how they came out.


Click on a thumbnail to see a larger version of the photo

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