Savor the sweet freshness of homemade pear sugar-free jam, enriched with subtle aromatic vanilla beans! A delightful spread with zero added sugar.
There’s nothing quite like the taste of homemade jam, and when it’s a sugar-free variant, it’s even better. My family particularly enjoys this Pear Sugar Free Jam, crafted with fresh pears and aromatic vanilla beans, with no added sugar, offering a sweet yet guilt-free spread.
My husband, Ryan, was recently diagnosed with diabetes—a condition where his body struggles to regulate blood sugar levels especially when he eats carbs and sugar. Discovering recipes that are friendly to his condition has been our kitchen adventure lately, and this jam recipe allows him to enjoy the sweetness without causing any spikes in his sugar levels, unlike the regular, full-sugar jams.
- Pears – if using a thin skin variety like Bartlett there is no need to peel the pears
- Fresh Lemon Juice – if bottled is all you have that will work too
- Sure-Jell For Less or No Sugar Needed Pectin – make sure it is the “For Less or No Sugar Needed.” The jam will not set if you use regular pectin or Sure-Jell.
- Zero Calorie Sweetener – I have used monk fruit sweetener and Splenda-like sweetener. Jam sweetened with monk fruit will crystalize when refrigerated. See notes on the recipe card for more information.
- Butter (Optional)
- Whole Vanilla Bean Pods – If you don’t have access to vanilla beans you can omit or add vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste
- Medium Sauce Pan
- Jars with Lids and Rings
- Small Bowl
- Elevated Rack
How To Make Sugar-Free Jam At Home:
Making sugar-free jam at home is a delightful and rewarding process. Below are the detailed steps to create a delicious, sweet, and rich Pear Sugar-Free Jam. You can also find the full recipe and directions at the bottom of this post:
1. Prepare Canner and Jars
- Fill the canner half full with water and bring it to a boil. Then reduce the heat to a simmer.
- Sanitize jars and rings thoroughly using hot soapy water and rinse well.
- Let the lids soak in hot water until you’re ready to use them.
2. Prep the Fruit
- Finely dice the fresh pears and add them to a medium saucepan along with fresh lemon juice.
- Bring the fruit mixture to a boil.
3. Mix in Pectin and Sweetener
- In a small bowl, mix the No-Sugar Sure-Jel pectin with a 1/4 cup of the zero-calorie sweetener.
- Sprinkle this mixture over the boiling fruit.
- Optionally, add butter to reduce foaming.
- Bring the mixture back to a boil and add the remaining sweetener. Boil for an additional minute before removing from heat.
4. Add Vanilla
- Cut the vanilla bean pods in half and scrape them to remove the seeds.
- Stir the seeds into the jam mixture until well dispersed.
5. Fill the Jars
- Ladle the pear-vanilla jam into prepared jars, leaving a 1/2 inch space at the top.
- Wipe the jar rims with a clean, wet rag or paper towel to ensure a good seal.
- Place the lids on the jars and screw the rings on tightly.
6. Process in Water Bath
- Place the jars on an elevated rack in the canner, ensuring they do not touch each other or the sides of the canner. Make sure there’s at least 2 inches of water over the jars.
- Bring the water to a soft boil and process the jars for 10 minutes.
- Remove the jars and place them on a towel to cool completely.
7. Check the Seal
- Once the jars are cool, check the seals by pressing the top middle of each jar lid with your finger. If the lid is firm and doesn’t spring back, the jar has sealed properly.
- If any jars didn’t seal, refrigerate them and consume within a few weeks or replace the lid and reprocess.
Remember to store sealed jars in a cool, dark place, and once opened, refrigerate and consume within 3-4 weeks. Enjoy your homemade, sugar-free pear-vanilla jam with the satisfying sweetness and rich flavor, without worrying about your sugar levels or counting the carbs!
Pear Sugar-Free Jam: FAQs
What kind of pears should I use and do I need to peel them?
Any variety of fresh, ripe pears will work for this recipe. If you use a thin skin variety like bartlett you do not need to skin them. You can cut any blemishes of the skin and leave the rest on. If using a thick skin variety peeling them is recommended to achieve a smoother jam texture.
What sugar substitute is best for this sugar free jam recipe?
I’ve experimented with various sugar substitutes like 1:1 maltodextrin/sucralose (similar to Splenda) and 1:1 monk fruit blend, each presenting its own set of pros and cons. Sharing this might spare you some inconvenience.
The batches sweetened with monk fruit tasted superior; however, monk fruit tends to crystallize in the fridge. If you prefer monk fruit, consider using smaller 1/2 cup jars and consuming the jam in one go to avoid refrigeration and subsequent crystallization. If refrigeration is unavoidable and crystallization occurs, a quick 30 seconds to a minute in the microwave should resolve the issue by dissolving the crystals.
Conversely, batches made with a Splenda-like substitute had a more noticeable ‘diet’ taste but maintained quality exceptionally well post-opening and refrigeration.
Where can I buy vanilla beans?
Whole vanilla beans can usually be found in the spice section of well-stocked grocery stores or specialty food stores. They are pricey ($5-$8 for 1-2 beans). I opt to buy them in bulk (10 beans at a time) from online retailers, such as Amazon. At the time of this post and when bought in bulk they cost me about one dollar a bean.
I don’t have vanilla beans, is there something else I can use?
Certainly! If you don’t have access to vanilla beans, you can substitute with vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste. Use one tablespoon of vanilla extract or one tablespoon of vanilla bean paste to substitute for one vanilla bean.
Alternatively, you can also omit the vanilla aspect all together. The came will lack the rich sweetness it gains from the vanilla but it will still taste sweet and delicious.
Can I use a regular pot for the water bath?
Yes, you can use a regular large pot for the water bath as long as it is deep enough to cover the jars with at least two inch of water and allows for proper circulation around them. Ensure you have a rack or cloth at the bottom to prevent the jars from being in direct contact with the pot and heat source.
Sugar-Free Jam Storage Tips
When sealed properly and stored in a cool, dark place, unopened jars of this sugar-free jam can last for over a year. Once opened, they should be refrigerated and consumed within 3-4 weeks. Note that if you choose to sweeten your sugar-free jam with a monk fruit blend, it will crystalize when refrigerated. The jam will need to be reheated in a pot or microwave to redissolve the crystals.
Pear Sugar-Free Jam Recipe Card:
This Pear Sugar-Free Jam offers a symphony of sweet, tart, and rich flavors without any added sugar, making it a perfect companion for toasts, desserts, and more, especially for those managing their sugar intake. The harmonious blend of fresh pears and vanilla beans makes each bite a delight. My family, especially my husband, enjoys the essence and sweetness of this jam, without having to worry about his blood sugar levels. I hope this recipe brings a touch of sweetness to your homes too, and if you try it, let me know how it turns out for you!
- 4 1/2 cups pears, small dice (buy about 3 1/2 pounds) (see notes)
- 2 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice, bottle will work too
- 1 (1.75oz) box Sure-Jell for Less Sugar and No Sugar Recipes pectin
- 2 cups 1:1 ratio zero calorie sweetener (see notes)
- 1/2 teaspoon butter, optional to help reduce foaming
- 2 vanilla bean pods, cut in half then scraped to remove vanilla bean seeds
1. Prep canner by filling it half full with water and heat until boiling then reduce heat to a simmer. Sanitize jars, rings with hot soapy water then rinse clean. Let lids soak in hot water until ready to use.
2. In a medium sauce pan, add diced pears and lemon juice. Bring fruit to a boil.
3. In a small bowl mix the box of Sure Jell reduced or no sugar and 1/4 cup sugar substitute. Sprinkle over boiling fruit mixture. Add butter if desired to help reduce foaming.
4. Bring back to a boil and add remaining sugar substitute. Boil for 1 minute then remove from heat.
5. Add vanilla bean seeds. Stir until dispersed.
6. Immediately ladle pear vanilla jam mixture into prepared jars. Leave 1/2 inch space at the top. Wipe jar rims with a wet rag or paper towel to insure a good seal. Cover with lid and ring. Screw the ring tightly.
7. Process via water bath using an elevated rack in the bottom of the canner. Bring water to a soft boil. Process jam jars for 10 minutes. Remove jars and place on towel to cool completely. After the jars are cooled check to insure a good seal my pressing the top middle of the jar lid with your finger. See notes.
PEARS: If using a pear variety with thin skin such as Bartlett there is no need to skin the pears. If using another variety with thick skin it is recommended to remove the skin to create a smoother texture.
1:1 ZERO CALORIE SWEETENER: Make sure the sugars substitute used is a 1 to 1 cup equivilant. I have made this recipe several times using a monk fruit blend sweetener and a Splenda-like maltodextin/sucrolse sweetener. Note that monk fruit sugar will crystalized under extreme tempurature change including refridgeration. When using monk fruit to sweeten this jam I can the jam in 1/2 cup jars and enjoy it in one sitting. If I refridgerate and it crystalizes, I pop the jar into the microwave for 30 seconds to a minute and use it like syrup. The Splenda-like sweetener does not crystalized when refrigerated.
CHECK FOR SEAL: If it makes a pop or click sound it has not sealed. If it is firm and does not spring back the lid has successfully sealed. If jar did not seal refrigerate and use within a few weeks. If sealed they are now shelf stable and if stored properly will keep at room temperatures for 1+ years. After opening, keep refrigerated and use within 3-4 weeks.