Friday, July 1, 2011

Freezer Jam

Over the past few months, whenever fruit goes on sale, I've bought a ton and stuck it in my freezer. I just didn't have the energy for canning while pregnant. When I tried back in January, it laid me up for 3 days, so I knew I had to wait.

The other day, I was just in the mood, so I pulled out everything and let it thaw all afternoon. After my kids went to bed, I made 7 batches of freezer jam (we were almost out of jam) and put the blackberries and most of the blueberries and strawberries back in the freezer for another day.
I don't have an after picture because it wouldn't be all that thrilling. I wash out 16 oz containers of sour cream and cottage cheese and use those for our freezer jam. They're a good size and free, so they work great. Each batch makes about 5 cups of jam. I made 2 batches of raspberry, 2 batches of marion berry, 1 batch marion/raspberry, 1 batch strawberry/banana/blueberry and 1 batch strawberry kiwi. I was having some fun with those last two batches. Since we now have a TON of jam, I'm hoping to turn the rest of my berries into pancake syrups sometime this summer.

Freezer jam is super easy and yummy. I use the ball freezer jam pectin. They recently changed from the packets to a jar that you measure what you need per recipe. Basically, you take 5 tbsp freezer pectin and add 1 1/2 cups of sugar. Mix that well and add 4 cups of crushed fruit (I stick my fruit in the blender). You can mix and match to your heart's content, as long as you end up with 4 cups of crushed fruit. Stir the fruit with the sugar/pectin for 3 minutes then pour it into containers and let it sit on your counter for 30 minutes. Then stick it in the freezer or fridge. It's good for a year in the freezer. When you want to use it, it goes in your fridge just like normal jam. We like the freezer jam because the colors are brighter and the flavor is more like the fruit and less like sugar than even home canned jams.

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