Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Berry Freezer Jam (any berry will do)

I love love love freezer jam!! Every summer when berries are in season, I buy up as much as I can afford for jam to try (try being the operative word here) to make enough to last us for the year. Never works. My family always eats it faster than I can make it. I have tried large containers, hiding containers in the freezer, rationing out jam... but they always find ways to use it up so fast, it leaves me with no choice but to buy jam (*hangs her head in shame*) from Costco; then of course they do not go through it as fast. I don't win no matter what I do in the jam department.

I make jam out of just about any berry I can get my hands on. The most popular being strawberry and raspberry. I even make a seedless raspberry, even though it is a lot more work; so, I do not make that very often. When making jam, I have found out that using liquid pectin works best for me. That way, I do not get clumps of powdered pectin lurking in the jam only to find it on your toast later. Yuck. (that has happened, cannot tell you how gross the texture was in my mouth). Along with strawberry and raspberry, I have also made blueberry, marionberry, as well as peach and apple. This year I am going to try pear freezer jam to see how that is since I always have an overabundance of pears.

I never use frozen berries because I just do not think it tastes the same, I don't know why, I cannot quite put my finger on it, but to me it does not taste the same. I buy all my berries locally here from the farms or Farmer's Market. Since we are in Washington, we have tons of varieties of berries during the summer and it is so wonderful! I just love berries!

The types of containers I use are Ball plastic containers with a screw on lid, I have found they are the best for my freezer jam and you can get them anywhere canning supplies are sold. They come in small (about 6-8 oz) up to big 32 oz size that is great for the strawberry and raspberry jam that my family just seems to wolf down with great vigor (basically they are a bunch of hogs!). I had a person email me asking me about jam and what I use, so I thought it was time for the freezer jam post.

Now the moment you all have been waiting for... (drum roll....) THE FREEZER JAM DIRECTIONS!! (cues applause)

I am just going to get to the berry freezer jam since I am unprepared and have not been able to find my peach and apple jam recipes (I am losing it, I never lose recipes, for shame...)

4 cups strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, marionberries, or any other berry that you like
3 1/2 cups sugar (approximately)depending on tartness of the berries, I may add more
lemon peel or orange peel, if desired; finely grated about 1/4 tsp
3 oz liquid pectin
2 Tbsp lemon juice

Crush berries. Add sugar, lemon or orange peel; let stand 10 minutes. (I do not know why, but my mother says do it anyway so ok I do) Mix together pectin and lemon juice; add to berries; stir for 3 minutes. Ladle into freezer containers leaving about 1/2 inch headspace. Affix lids, label, and let stand at room temperature for 2 hours or until jam is set. Lasts 3 weeks opened in the fridge or 1 year in the freezer.

Pretty simple and straight forward.

How I make seedless jam: I take my berries (usually only make raspberry seedless)I take the crushed berries and push them through a fine mesh strainer until all that remains is seeds. I could use one of those fancy seed remover gadgets, but I don't have one, and really want to invest in one. That is why I do not make this seedless jam very often, it is labor intensive and slow. Maybe this summer I will get me a thing that removes seeds. Enjoy the jam!

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Mindy said...

Thanks for this! I always buy a ton of fruit without thinking of what to do with it. This is perfect for that fruit that's in danger of being lost forever... ;-)

Unknown said...

Yum! I love canning jam but this sounds even easier...must try it. I've made nectarine jam before and need to hit some berries up. Perfect for summer!

Cate O'Malley said...

Every summer I resolve to make jam and at the end of every summer, it never happens. This recipe is too easy to pass up!

Anonymous said...

I already bought powdered pectin, how much do I use of that for this recepie?