This recipe is the one I have taught the most over the years. It is so delicious and uses fresh fruit.
Make it up in freezer bags for your family over the winter and in little containers to gift.
When the fruit is ripe, at its peak and most economical you can make jam and store it away. There are so many varieties, such as: apricot, blueberry, peach, mango, raspberry, blackberry and of course strawberry. The strawberries were first to come in season and used in the demo below.
Fill disposable containers with tight fitting lids with the jam, as well as zip lock freezer baggies.
The containers and baggies I double protect by placing them in a larger bag, before storing in the freezer.
Here’s a nifty trick: I keep a shoe box in my freezer where I place the freezer jam filled baggies which prevents them from sliding around and getting lost in the shuffle of other food in the freezer. It also makes them easy to find and rotate.
1 box of pectin.
2 quarts of strawberries *disclaimer: If any of the berries look like you will have to trim off spots, or areas that are not ripe, buy a bit more. If you have extra berries….nummy! (check on the box/instructions of pectin for amount to be sure)
4 cups of white sugar (again, check the box/instructions of the pectin)
Containers with tight fitting lids (disposable or even glass jam jars would make darling gifts) that hold 1/2 cup to 2 cups / zip lock freezer baggies.
Wash and dry containers, not necessary with new freezer baggies. Have them ready to go.
Cut the strawberries into large chunks, if you like some texture to your jam. If you like it smooth, simply chop the berries really small.
Now, with the chunked berries, mash them a little with a potato mashers IF you like little bits of fruit in your jam.
Take out the packet and pour it into a small saucepan adding in the required amount of water (on the instructions sheet in the box). The mixture will start out lumpy, but keep stirring until it comes to a boil on high heat.
Stir CONSTANTLY!!! It burns easily and you don’t want to waste it. Boil, still stirring for 1 (ONE) full minute. Remove it from the heat.
Now stir the pectin mixture into the fruit and stir constantly until the sugar is COMPLETELY DISSOLVED and no longer grainy, about 5 minutes. This is very important or your jam will ‘sugar’ and be grainy, very distasteful to eat.
Notice my little trick of lining a measuring cup with the baggie so I can fill it! I also do it with gallon bags lining a drinking pitcher. Pretty snazzy!
IMPORTANT STEP: You must let the jam, in the baggies or containers sit at room temperature for 24 (count ’em 24) hours. This allows time for the sugar to completely dissolve and the pectin to do it’s work.
- AFTER 24 hours, the jam is ready to eat, put in the freezer and take to someone who could use a little happiness.
- Note: When the jam is in the freezer, it never completely sets up hard because of the sugar content, so don’t worry when it’s not solid.
- When taking the jam out of the freezer, allow it to thaw in the refrigerator.
- Refrigerated jam will last up to 3 weeks and in the freezer for 1 year.
- It is great in home made shakes, on waffles or pancakes (click HERE for my recipe) on toast, you name it, this is GOOD stuff
Recognize a blessing and be a blessing today.
Copyright Carrie Groneman, A Mother’s Shadow, 2013