September 6, 2013
The raspberries are ripe! This is a big thing around our house. We finally have a big enough crop to make freezer jam without buying any extra. I’m a raspberry lover, and I tell you, it’s every bit as hard to find fresh raspberries as it is to find great tomatoes.
I picked the bushes clean the last few days, had some on ice cream, yum, and set about gathering what I needed for jam. Of course, I didn’t have enough sugar. Which made me think, could one ever have too much sugar? Sorry, my mind wandered there for just a bit.
It’s been a couple of years since the last time I made jam, so I decided to check the internet and see if there were any new recipes. I found that the recipes had changed slightly since I’d made it last and it’s even easier that before. One website I found was Tastes Better From Scratch http://buff.ly/15H3hng, and something caught my eye.
In the comments, a number of people said they’d never heard of freezer jam. Yeah, it surprised me too. I grew up thinking everyone had a mother or grandmother who made freezer jam from strawberries, raspberries, blackberries or any other fruit you can imagine. I’m going to try the grapefruit next.
So for those of you who haven’t enjoyed the heaven that is raspberry freezer jam on your morning toast or dinner biscuits, there is a simple way to make it with no canning allowed.
After extensive research, I found that the best recipe is the one in the box of fruit pectin. I used Sure-Gel, but any kind will do. They make regular and low sugar, and I made both to see which one is best. We like the low sugar, but even in that one, there is a lot of sugar. Don’t use less as it prevents spoilage.
The instructions are simple. First mash the fruit and measure out the sugar. Each type of pectin has a slightly different recipe, but in all of them it is important to measure exactly, otherwise your jam will come out runny.
Make sure you stir until the sugar is dissolved and no granules are left. This usually takes me longer than the recipe suggests. When all the ingredients are mixed, spoon them into small glass or plastic containers and let them sit for twenty-four hours on your counter. Don’t worry, they won’t spoil. Then freeze up to a year.
Since I have never learned to can, this way we can have great homemade jam all winter. Time to enjoy the jam yourself or put it in cute jars and give as a gift.