Low Sugar Kiwi Strawberry Jam from Home Grown Vincent Kiwis

This past growing season, despite the fact we only had a half dozen male flowers on the Kiwi vines, we still had a bountiful crop of Vincent Kiwis, way more than the previous year when we only had two male flowers for cross pollination.  Since we are limited on our cold storage space here at Hanbury House, rather than completely harvest all the fruit at once this year, I decided to let the fruit continue to hang on the vines, as long as none started dropping. It looked funny out there on the trellis with no leaves on the vines but lots of hanging kiwi fruits.  Some of the fruits looked like they were on steroids, having grown as big as a fist.  However, the majority were about the size of a jumbo chicken egg.

The interior of a home grown Vincent Kiwi. This is one of the more dependable varieties of Kiwis, Chinese Gooseberry, for low chill parts of Southern California. Vincent Kiwis interior fruit color isn’t quite as bright kelly green as Hayward Kiwi, the kind often sold at the grocery store. I would call the color slightly more golden, but it isn’t technically a yellow variety of Kiwi.

 

Over the winter, we picked the kiwis as we needed them and let the fruit soften on the counter for a few days before eating them.  But now that it is late February, many of the fruit trees are starting to flower in the backyard and around the neighborhood, plus I saw a couple Kiwis on the ground under the vines, I had to get out there and glean the rest of Kiwis.  The easiest way to use them up all at once was to make jam.  Lucky for me, strawberry season has just started locally and they make a great compliment to kiwis.  I decided to make jam.  I tried two different recipes, one was a standard recipe with regular pectin and lots of sugar.  The other was a Low Sugar recipe with “No or Low Sugar Pectin.”

vincent kiwi low chill variety for Southern California home grown backyard orchard

The finished strawberry kiwi jam ready to be enjoyed

 

Low Sugar Kiwi Strawberry Jam

4 cups organic strawberries, washed and hulled 
4 cups organic kiwis –  peeled & diced
3 oz.  powdered No or Low Sugar pectin
Juice from 1 Meyer lemon
1 tablespoon butter
3 cups sugar

This yielded 13 jars.   I loved that this jam is only slightly sweet, more like fresh fruit, with just a hint of tangy flavor.

  1. Puree the kiwi and strawberries in a large bowl with a burr mixer or throw it all in a blender/ food processor to mash it up just a bit.  At this point the color of the fruit mixture is a little strange, more peachy in color than traditional redish Kiwi Strawberry Jam.
  2. Put fruit, pectin, butter, and zest in a large pot with plenty of head room for boiling.
  3. Bring to a full boil, stirring constantly.
  4. Add the sugar and return to a full rolling boil so the sugar gets completely dissolved. Then continue to boil for another minute, stirring constantly.  During this step, the color of the fruit brightens to a dark ruby red.
  5. Pour the jam into the sterile jars.  Leave at least a 1/4 space at the top. Seal the jars using sterile, unused lids.  See Ball canning for details on how to can.
  6. Boil the filled & sealed jars for ten minutes completely submerged and covered with boiling water.
  7. Remove the jars and allow to cool to room temperature on a towel on the counter undisturbed overnight.  Double check they vacuum sealed themselves.

Its okay to skip the last two steps and keep jars in the refrigerator if you plan to eat the jam within a few weeks. Any jars that didn’t vacuum seal within an hour or two of resting on the counter, after the canning process, need to be treated the same as unprocessed refrigerator jam.  After opening a jar make sure to keep it in the refrigerator.  *For more detailed steps on safe canning practices, please read up on safe food preservation and storage, like from Ball Fresh Preserving website or   U.C. Master Food Preserver Program Publications.

 

One brand of the kind of pectin needed for the low sugar strawberry kiwi jam.  Another company, Pomona, makes a similar product.

 

Diced Fruit for the kiwi strawberry jam

Photo taken after the puree step. The fruit is a little peachy colored at this point, but it will brighten up after cooking and adding sugar.

Boiling and adding sugar changes the strawberry kiwi jam color to a darker ruby red

The cans of Kiwi Strawberry preserves resting on the counter

Vincent Kiwi low chill vines fruit home grown backyard orchard

The remainder of the Vincent Kiwi fruits sitting in front of the canned jam before starting the second patch.

I enjoyed the low sugar strawberry kiwi jam with breakfast this morning, and it was delicious.  However, the first batch of jam I made, used a standard recipe I found on another popular foodie blog, and it was much like most jam recipes with lots of sugar, almost more sugar than fruit.  It was way too sweet for my tastes, so the next two batches were made using a less sugar and a low sugar pectin and the best of the two batches is written down in the recipe is found above.  I made a third batch that had an additional 2 cups of sugar, and that was still too sweet.

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Comments

Low Sugar Kiwi Strawberry Jam from Home Grown Vincent Kiwis — 5 Comments

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  3. We have 2 Kiwi vines, flowers and no kiwis. I’m not sure if we have a male and a female kiwi or both female. I pinned your recipe to the Motivation Monday board, and you also inspired me to start a canning board on my Frugal Local Kitchen Pinterest account.

    Thanks for linking up at Motivation Monday!

    • Hi Barb, Thanks for the pins!

      Our kiwis took forever to get around to flowering, and even longer to fruit. The female took five years to get flowers, and the male waited until it was about 7 years old. With kiwi flowers, it is pretty easy to tell the male flowers from the females. The males just have white petals and fuzzy yellow centers, and the females have white petals with white center filaments with yellow below the filament. Each spring I get up on a ladder and scan the vines to check if we are getting both male and female flowers at the same time. One year the male was about 3 weeks behind the female in blooming and most of the female flowers had already fallen off. It was disappointing.

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