After interviewing Allison Carroll Duffy and getting her 5 Essentials for Summer Canning, I couldn't wait to check out her new cookbook, Preserving with Pomona's Pectin. If you are interested in low- or no-sugar jams, or you'd like to sweeten your preserves with sugar alternatives such as honey or agave, then you should definitely check out Pomona's Pectin and this lovely, informative new cookbook!
• Who wrote it: Allison Carroll Duffy
• Who published it: Fair Winds Press
• Number of recipes: Over 75
• Recipes for right now: Blueberry Jam; Apricot Jam; Strawberry Jam; Blubarb Jam; Ginger-Vanilla-Rhubarb Jam; Honeyed Strawberry-Rhubarb Jam; Honeyed Apricot-Jalapeno Jam; Lemon-Cherry Marmalade; Cherry-Amaretto Conserve; Lavender Jelly; Strawberry-Balsamic Jelly.
• Other highlights: Just in case you're brand new to this, let's begin with a quick overview of pectin and its place in preserving. Pectin is basically what makes jams, jellies, conserves, and other preserves firm up — it's the substance that makes them gel. Some fruits naturally contain lots of pectin (apples and quince, for instance) and some contain little (such as strawberries). There are commercially available pectin powders made specially for the home cook, but often they require 5 to 9 cups of sugar per batch in order to work, which results in a product that is 55 to 85 percent sugar. Oy!
Here's where Pomona's Pectin comes in. Pomona's is a low-methoxyl citrus pectin which means is that it does not require sugar to set your jams and jellies. This allows you to greatly reduce the amount of sugar in your preserves, or replace it with sugar alternatives like honey, agave or even fruit concentrates like apple. The Pomona's Pectin box comes with detailed instructions and recipes, but with this new cookbook, home canners are able to stretch way beyond their basic strawberry jam into vibrant and delicious combinations.
This book is an excellent primer for a beginning canner, providing a thorough and detailed overview of everything you need to know and understand about canning. There are many helpful charts, lists of terms and equipment, and illustrated steps that will walk you through canning basics. Allison's style is friendly and approachable. While presenting a lot of technical information, she still makes preserving sound fun and doable, which it is, of course!
Experienced canners will be happy with the many new and interesting recipes like Orange-Mango-Mint Jelly and Kiwi-Lime Jam, which reflect the broad selection of fruits available in modern grocery stores. The recipes are divided into Jams, Jellies, Preserves, Conserves, and Marmalades and are accompanied with over 50 full color photos.
• Who would enjoy this book? Anyone who is interested in canning and preserving fruits, and especially those who want to reduce the sugar in their jams and jellies. This would make an excellent gift along with a case of pretty jars and a box of Pomona's Universal Pectin!
Find the book at your local library, independent bookstore, or Amazon: Preserving with Pomona's Pectin by Allison Carroll Duffy
- Visit the author's website: Allison Carroll Duffy
- Visit the Pomona's Pectin website: Pomona's Universal Pectin
Our interview with the author: Allison Carroll Duffy's 5 Essential Things Every Home Canner Should Know
Apartment Therapy Media makes every effort to test and review products fairly and transparently. The views expressed in this review are the personal views of the reviewer and this particular product review was not sponsored or paid for in any way by the manufacturer or an agent working on their behalf. However, the manufacturer did give us the product for testing and review purposes.
(Images: Dana Velden)