Thursday, May 19, 2011

Get Yourself Into A Jam

A nice freezer jam, that is. One warm evening last week, my craft group decided to do something a little different. We bought a couple flats of strawberries, and made freezer jam. Ball Canning makes a product called Instant Pectin which can be used to make freezer jam out of any type of fruit, without cooking. You can find it in most grocery stores.

It was easy. First we hulled the strawberries, then mashed them in a big bowl with a potato masher. We left them pretty chunky. Next, we mixed the instant pectin with sugar, according to the directions on the package. Then we stirred the pectin and sugar mixture into the strawberries. We spooned the jam into jars, waited 30 minutes for it to gel, and that was it! The finished product can be stored up to 3 weeks in the refrigerator, or up to 1 year in the freezer.

We bought canning jars, but since you are not boiling the jars, any saved food jars you have would work fine. This would be a great way to use any surplus fruit from friends who have fruit trees. It is great to do in the house during the summer, since it doesn't involve heating up the kitchen. With some cute handmade labels, this would make a great gift too! Just make sure the recipient knows it can't be stored in the pantry like pressure canned jam.

Go ahead, get yourself into a jam. You'll be glad you did!