7.09.2012

Freezer Jam

l-r: peach, cherry-raspberry, and strawberry-kiwi freezer jam


Jam in the freezer, you ask?  Yes, and it's simple to make and tastes oh-so delicious!

Whether you aren't quite ready to jump into canning or just want to preserve your fruit in a different manner, you will find freezer jam quick to make and has a wonderful fresh-fruit taste.  Breaking open a jar of this jam will remind you of summer in a spoonful.  It lasts in the refrigerator about 3 weeks or in the freezer for a year.

So far I've used my jam on toast, in homemade plain yogurt, over ice cream, and over frozen yogurt.


Before you begin, here's the basics:
  • Fruit - use ripe fruit.  The flavor of the jam will taste exactly like the ripeness of the fruit you use.  Too ripe - you may end up with a watery jam.  Unripened - you may end up with a very firm jam and/or very tart jam.
  • Pectin - use pectin specifically used for freezer jam (you can usually find this in the grocery store in the canning aisle).
  • Containers - you need to have freezer-safe, clean containers (plastic or glass is fine).  Sterilization is unnecessary.  Leave 1/2" - 1" headspace on the jars for expansion.
  • Time - you can have a recipe of freezer jam made and stored in 30 minutes or less.


So far I've made 3 recipes - Strawberry-Kiwi, Cherry-Raspberry and Peach.  Peach is by far the sweetest.




Strawberry-Kiwi Freezer Jam
Makes 3 - half pints (8oz each)

2 c. crushed strawberries
1 c. kiwi, peeled and chopped small
1 c. sugar
1/4 t. cinnamon (optional)
1 (1.5 oz) package no-cook freezer jam pectin

In a large bowl, stir together the sugar, cinnamon and pectin.  Add the strawberries and kiwi and stir all together for 3 minutes.  Ladle into clean jars, leaving 1/2"-1" headspace.  Clean off the rim, attach the lids and let stand at room temperature until thickened, 30 minutes - 1 hour.

Serve immediately, refrigerate or freeze.





Cherry-Raspberry Freezer Jam
Makes 4 - half pints (8 oz. each)

3 c. seeded and chopped bing cherries
1/2 c. raspberries
2 T. lime juice
1 3/4 c. sugar
1/2 c. water
1 (1.5oz) package no-cook freezer jam pectin



In a medium bowl mash together the cherries and raspberries (I used a potato masher).  Stir in the lime juice and water.

In a large bowl, combine the sugar and pectin and stir well.  Stir the fruit mixture into the pectin mixture and continue to stir for 3 minutes.  Ladle into clean jars, leaving 1/2"-1" headspace.  Clean off the rim, attach the lids and let stand at room temperature until thickened, about 1 hour.  Let sit 24 hours in the refrigerator, until firm, then freeze or continue to store in the refrigerator.




Peach Freezer Jam
Makes about 8 - half pints (8 oz. each)

4 c. peeled, crushed fresh peaches
1/4 c. fresh lemon juice
1 (1.5oz) package no-cook freezer jam pectin
1 c. water
5 1/2 c. sugar 



Measure the peaches into a large kettle and stir in the lemon juice.  Slowly stir the pectin into the peaches.  Let stand 20 minutes, stirring every 5-7 minutes to blend the ingredients.

Add the water, blending well, and then the sugar, continuing to stir for 3 minutes.  Turn the burner on low heat, cover the kettle and allow to just warm to the touch - do not allow mixture to become hot.  Stir mixture and remove from heat.

Ladle into clean jars, leaving 1/2"-1" headspace.  Clean off the rim, attach the lids and let stand at room temperature until thickened, about 1 hour.  

Serve immediately, refrigerate or freeze.


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