Introduction: How to Make Freezer Jam
It's called "freezer jam" because it's stored in the freezer--NOT on the pantry shelf. It tastes more like fresh fruit because you don't cook the fruit! Once thawed it must be stored in the fridge. My favorites are strawberry and peach. This Instructable is long but it only took a bit more than an hour to make a batch of jam. (Took more time to edit the pix and make the Instructable!)
Step 1: Ingredients
Need about two pounds of fresh ripe peaches, a lemon, sugar, and a box of powdered pectin (Sure-Jell, Jel-Ease.) If the amounts given in the pectin box are different from what's given here, go with the directions IN THE BOX. Different brands may have different amounts of pectin. Liquid pectin is different; don't substitute it.
Step 2: Prepare the Jars
You will need jars to hold about 4-5 cups. I re-use old jam jars. Lids are helpful but not necessary. Clean the jars, then boil completely immersed in water for five minutes, then remove them (with tongs; fingers do not work well here) and allow them to drain. Be careful of boiling water running down the tongs onto your hand. You will usually notice this very quickly when it happens.
Step 3: Lemon Juice
Juice the lemon and pour the juice into the food processor. No seeds, please.
Step 4: Prepare Fruit
Pit and peel the peaches. (For strawberry jam, wash and hull the berries) An easy way to peel, with little waste, is to drop the peach into boiling water for about a minute, then remove and immerse in ice water. The peel slips off easily. After peeling, cut the fruit away from the pit. These are 'cling' peaches so the pit doesn't pop out easily. By the way, a potato masher will do a fine job if you don't have a food processor.
Step 5: Mash and Measure Fruit
When you've added all the fruit, process or mash to get the consistency you like. I prefer a smooth jam so I process a dozen pulses or so. You need exactly TWO CUPS of fruit puree plus the tablespoon or two of lemon juice. It took about six peaches to get the two cups.
Step 6: Add to Sugar
For this particular pectin and recipe, measure exactly 4 cups of sugar. Add the fruit mixture to the sugar and stir til mixed. Stir occasionally for the next ten minutes. The pour spout on the big measuring cup will be useful soon...
Step 7: Make Pectin Mixture
Use a wire whisk to mix the pectin into 3/4 cup of cold water in a small pan. It will take a while but it will get smooth.
Step 8: Boil Pectin
Bring the pectin mixture to a full boil, and boil for precisely one minute--that's sixty seconds. Stir constantly.
Step 9: Mix Pectin and Fruit
Pour the pectin mixture into the fruit mixture and stir for two minutes.
Step 10: Fill the Jars
Now pour the mixture into the jars, filling to about half an inch from the top. I boiled more jars than I needed, which is better than having too few jars. I didn't have enough to fill the last small jar, so that's the one I'll eat first.
Step 11: Lid, Allow to Jel, Then Store
Screw on the lids. One of my jars didn't have a lid, so I covered with a couple layers of plastic wrap and one layer of foil.
Allow the jars to stand for 24 hours to jel completely, them label and move 'em to the freezer. Except for the jar you're going to start eating now. The recipe says they keep several months in the freezer but I've kept some for a year with no problem.
By the way...if the stuff is a little runny...you now have great topping for pancakes and waffles. Hope you enjoy it!
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