Interested in making homemade jam, but turned off by all of the time, work and know-how that goes into canning? Then, freezer jam could be just the thing for you. Here's what you need to know to make a batch of freezer jam in 30-minutes or less:
Freezer Jam Supplies
To make freezer jam you will need:
Fruit- Your jam will only be as good as the fruit that you put into it, so be sure to choose ripe fruit. Over or under-ripened fruit won't taste as good, and may cause problems with the jelling process.
Pectin- Available in liquid and powder form, pectin is used to thicken the jam.
Sugar - Sugar serves several purposes in freezer jam. It sweetens the jam, helps it to set up and prevents bacteria growth. If you would prefer to make low-sugar or no-sugar-added jam, a special pectin must be used.
Jars- Use jars that are specifically designed for the freezer – both plastic and glass, wide-mouthed freezer jars are available.
Making Freezer Jam
Some recipes for freezer jam require cooking others do not. Here's a look at what is typically involved in preparing no-cook freezer jam:
1. Wash, hull and stem the fruit.
2. Place the fruit in a large mixing bowl, and crush with a potato masher.
3. Combine the sugar and pectin in another bowl, and stir until well blended.
4. Add the sugar-pectin mixture to the fruit, and stir for three minutes.
5. Pour the resulting mixture into jars, leaving a half-inch of headspace at the top of each jar.
6. Screw on the lids, and clean up any drips.
7. Let stand for 30 minutes, or until thickened.
8. Freeze or refrigerate immediately.
Storing Freezer Jam
Freezer jam can be stored in the freezer for up to a year or in the refrigerator for up to three weeks.
Strawberry Freezer Jam
Making strawberry freezer jam is a great alternative to traditional canning methods. Please note that when doing any type of canning you must follow the recipe exactly or the jam won't set properly. Doubling the recipe isn't recommended either.
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 24 hours, 00 minutes
2 pints (apprx.) strawberries, washed, hulled and coarsely chopped
4 cups sugar
1 box Sure-Jell Fruit Pectin for Homemade Jams and Jellies
3/4 cup water
washed and rinsed containers to hold 5 cups of jam
Measure exactly 2 cups of chopped strawberries in a bowl. Stir in sugar. In a small saucepan combine pectin and water. Turn burner on high to bring to a boil stirring constantly. Continue stirring for 1 minute. Remove from heat. Stir pectin into fruit. Keep stirring until sugar almost completely dissolves. Pour into containers leaving 1/2 inch space at top for expansion during freezing. Cover containers and let stand at room temperature 24 hours until set. Refrigerate for 3 weeks or store in freezer for up to 1 year. Thaw in refrigerator.
Peach Freezer Jam
4 cups peeled, crushed fresh peaches
1/4 cup fresh strained lemon juice
1 package (1 3/4 ounces) powdered fruit pectin
1 cup light corn syrup
5 1/2 cups sugar
Measure peaches into a large kettle; add lemon juice. While stirring with a wooden spoon, slowly add the pectin. Let stand 20 minutes; stir every 5 minutes to blend pectin with fruit. Add syrup and blend well; add sugar and blend well. Cook over low heat to about 100°, just warm to the touch. Do not allow mixture to become hot. Pour jam into jars to within 1/2-inch of top. Cover jars at once. Let stand until jelly consistency. Store in freezer until ready to use. Store in refrigerator once jar has been opened.
Makes about 8 half-pint jars.
Blueberry Freezer Jam
3 cups blueberries, rinsed well
5 1/4 cups granulated sugar
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 package powdered pectin
3/4 cup water
Crush berries in a large bowl; add lemon juice. Stir in sugar and let stand for 10 minutes. In a saucepan, mix pectin and water; bring to a full boil. Boil, stirring constantly, for 1 minute. Mix pectin mixture into fruit; stir for 3 minutes. Pour fruit mixture into freezer containers or small canning jars, leaving 1/2-inch headspace. Cover immediately and let stand at room temperature for 24 hours. Store in the freezer.
Makes about 6 cups.
Cherry freezer Jam
Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 3 minutes
3 cups pitted and ground cherries
1 box powdered pectin
5 cups Sugar
1 cup Water
Mix cherries and sugar and let stand for 20 minutes. Combine pectin and water and boil for l minute stirring constantly. Add pectin to cherries and sugar and stir for 2 minutes.
Pour int freezer containers or canning jars leaving a half inch head room. Cover and refrigerate until set. Store in refrigerater or freezer.