When a mainstream recipe calls for sugar, I typically reduce the quantity by a third or a half, to get something suited to my Californian taste buds.
I recently bought a bread/jam maker. Their strawberry jam recipe calls for 3/4 cup of sugar to two cups of chopped strawberries. So I used just 1/2 cup sugar - tasted terrific. (Kept the third ingredient: 1 Tbsp lemon juice.) It was maybe even a bit too sweet - after all, strawberries are naturally sweet.
So I was considering cutting down the sugar to 1/4 cup or less, when I read on the 'net that the sugar added to jam serves a preservative function.
Is this true? Am I running a risk of botulism poisoning (or just mold) by not adding the prescribed amount of sugar to my jam?