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Using Agave Syrup in Making Preserves?

Has anyone done this? I'm thinking of doing up kumquats from my tree in agave syrup instead of sugar this spring.

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  1. How have you used sugar in the past?

    2 Replies
    1. re: paulj

      Yes, a sugar water syrup, cooked down a bit and then adding the kumquats and cooking until they were translucent, then jarring them and processing for 12 mins.

      1. re: OCEllen

        Agave syrup is made the same way corn syrup is - using heat to hydolize carbohydrates into sugars. It doesn't react well to further heating.
        You may want to check recipes for "freezer jam" so that you heat the product made with agave as little as possible and skip the water bath processing.
        Perhaps you can keep the temperature very low, barely simmering the fruit until it cooks through. I think I remember reading that agave syrup shouldn't be heated above 180 degrees but I could be wrong on that.
        Since you're making such small batches, you can use half and freeze half.
        Good luck with your experiment. With the cost of agave syrup, these will be really luxury preserves!!

    2. A liquid sweetener isn't going to set up the same way sugar will. You might have to experiment with adding pectin.

      2 Replies
      1. re: Ruth Lafler

        I may experiment with two small batches.

        1. re: Ruth Lafler

          It worked just fine for the kumquats - I did add a little sugar, too. I didn't want or expect it to set up like a jelly or jam - the syrup will have many delicious uses!

        2. You who have these 'exotic' fruits in your garden are so lucky! I can't even imagine anything other than a crabapple tree, apple or maybe a pear. I am truly jealous!

          1. I'm also wondering about using honey! So I bought a substantial amount of agave syrup and honey today $$!

            1. The report is...it worked great! The agave syrup was a little thin so I did add some sugar - but all turned out just excellent - translucent kumquats in delicious syrup (and in the jars as morning sun comes in the window ...all is beautiful!)

              9 Replies
                1. re: Ruth Lafler

                  I really am thinking of doing some in honey - with just a few drops of orange flower water!

                  1. re: OCEllen

                    This sounds great - I'd just been wondering about using agave in freezer jam. By the way, I buy agave on Amazon - much less expensive than I've found it anywhere else (and with free shipping). Amazingly, we do use enough over time that a case does n't fill the cupboard forever - especially in these iced mint tea guzzling days of summer.

                    1. re: janeh

                      I make it to be about $2.69 for a 11.5 oz bottle vs. $2.99 at Trader Joe's. I didn't do the math on the 46 oz jugs. Which do you buy?

                      1. re: toodie jane

                        I bought the 17 ounce size, but next time will price the 46 oz jugs since we've been using it more and that certainly involves less packaging. The Amazon price is significantly lower than any local sources - unfortunately, the nearest Trader Joe's is about 100 miles away.

                        1. re: janeh

                          So with gas prices what they are, you ought to be able to pick up some TJ agave syrup for about $60 a bottle....if it's a small bottle.
                          Amazon sounds like the best bet.

                          1. re: oakjoan

                            Yeah - even driving the Prius, Amazon's the better deal! I do stock up at TJ's when I'm in Phoenix, though

                  2. re: Ruth Lafler

                    Kumquats are delicious! I love anything with that bittersweet citrus effect. I'd rather have orange marmalade (or kumquat or grapefruit) that the most elegant raspberry or peach jam. This idea is giving me ideas.

                  3. re: OCEllen

                    I know I am "replying" to a post from some time ago, but I made some raw crabapple juice this morning and I would like to make jelly with it. I had 5 cups of juice and I added 1 3/4 cups of Agave (that was all I had left!) and it is still a bit tart, but it would do if I had to leave it as is. I left it all in bowls in the fridge this morning and I was hoping it would jell on it's own by the time I got home tonight (?).

                    I noticed that some juices just jell on their own. I haven't added anything else but the agave. I may have to add some Stevia as that is the only other sweetener I have. Does anyone have a good jelly recipe for a raw "cook".?