Delicious and colorful marmalade doesn't necessarily need to contain loads of sugar. In fact, it can have ZERO SUGAR. This recipe will prove it to you.
In this recipe, we have covered three variations of this marmalade jam - with strawberries, peaches, and apples. However, this list is by no means exhaustive. It works perfectly with pears, raspberries, plums, and other fruits and berries.
With the combination of ingredients listed below, you'll achieve a relatively thick marmalade jam that holds its shape and doesn't leak from a toast. It's also an incredibly delicious snack that you can eat with a spoon, along with your afternoon tea or coffee.
However, you can make it more runny if you wish. Adjust the amount of agar (use less if you don't want the marmalade to be thick).
Although this jam contains no conventional sugar or any artificial substitutes of sugar, it's perfectly sweet and retains a good balance of sweetness and sourness from the berries or fruits used.
Fruits and berries - as mentioned above, in this recipe, we used three fruits and berries, namely strawberries (I mean, what kind of a marmalade recipe would it be without strawberries?), peaches, and apples. We've also tested this recipe with other ingredients, including pears and raspberries, and it has always worked well. Feel free to use any fruits or berries you usually use for a jam. Of course, any fruits or berries taste the best during their season! But, when there's no other choice, try using frozen berries and fruits. Just ensure they're not covered with much ice, or the result might be too watery.
Sweetener - while the choice of natural sugar-free sweeteners is vast, we used allulose for this recipe. Allulose is an excellent choice for recipes that include heating because it doesn't crystalize as much as other sweeteners.
Agar - we always have agar in our pantry. We use it primarily for homemade zephyrs. However, it has been a life-savior on many other occasions as well. Agar is an efficient thickener widely used in various desserts, soups, and ice creams. It can substitute gelatin or pectin in many recipes. However, some caution needs to be taken when heating agar. More on this below.
If you are confident that the fruits you use are pure and contain no harmful substances, it is always best not to peel them. The reason is the pectin contained in the skin of fruits. It is released during heating and acts as a natural thickener.
Note, though, that natural sweetener, unlike sugar, melts like water when heated and doesn't act as a thickener. Agar is therefore added to achieve the desired texture of the marmalade.
Also, as with any other jam, you wouldn't want to immediately pour the hot jam into a cold jar. To avoid the glass cracking, add a small amount of the jam to the jar, wait a few seconds, then fill the jar to the top.
Important notes about agar
An important detail to remember is that agar loses its thickening qualities at around 112 degrees Celsius (233 degrees Fahrenheit). It is, therefore, essential to monitor the temperature of the marmalade in order not to exceed this threshold.
Don't feel discouraged if the jam doesn't look thick enough after filling into jars. Agar thickens at about 40 degrees Celsius (104 degrees Fahrenheit). The jam will therefore become thicker as it cools.
Sugar-Free Marmalade Jam Recipe
- 400 g strawberries, peaches, or pears
- 135 g water
- 50 g allulose (add more for extra sweetness)
- 2 g agar
- 0,5 teaspoon citric acid (ONLY for strawberries)
- Add all ingredients except for agar to a pot and heat on medium heat until the fruits or berries begin to dissolve (about 20-25 minutes).
- Blend into a uniform mixture and continue heating for another 25-30 minutes until the mixture slightly thickens and becomes darker (stir occasionally).
- Add agar and continue heating while stirring until agar dissolves. Wait for the mixture to start boiling again (bubbles will appear), and remove from heat.
- Fill into clean jars and let the jam cool down.