[Sca-cooks] preserving fruits without sugar

Jadwiga Zajaczkowa / Jenne Heise jenne at fiedlerfamily.net
Tue Jun 26 14:39:43 PDT 2007

> - Is it possible to make jam using honey in place of sugar, or to leave the
> sugar out entirely?  (I don't care if it's not as sweet -- in fact, I'd
> prefer that -- but I imagine some sugar would be necessary to get the stuff
> to gel properly and to preserve it.)

Preserving fruit in very boiled-down fruit juice, especially with pectin 
added, can be done. It's a tedious process, though.
> - I've seen some descriptions of whole fruits preserved in honey -- I think
> in Platina or Apicius, but all my books are still in storage so I can't
> double-check that.  Basically, they say to put whole, cleaned, raw fruits (I
> think figs, grapes?, apples and pears were mentioned) in jars/vessels, pour
> honey over the top, seal it and it'll last for weeks.  I'm a little
> skeptical -- but maybe it's not any less reliable than the modern tradition
> of keeping cooked fruits in sugar syrup.  Has anyone ever tried this, or
> know if it works?

Using honey to seal out exterior air on fruits-- specifically apples and 
pears, as well as grapes-- is a well known pre-refrigeration preserving 
technique. Basically, the decay process runs out of oxygen and 
slows to a crawl/stops. (This is often used with Apples and Pears, 
which, after all, usually keep quite well if kept in a cold cellar, so 
there's not much risk.) The books on the history of preserving that I 
have been working from all mention this and similar oxygen-excluding 

-- Jadwiga Zajaczkowa, Knowledge Pika jenne at fiedlerfamily.net 
"I thought you might need rescuing . . . We have a bunch of professors 
wandering around who need students." -- Dan Guernsey

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