August 25, 2011 by Flora Dawn
If I had to pick my favorite part of summer here in Oregon, it would have to be the berries. Raspberries, strawberries, blueberries, we have them all.
Sadly, the sunshine doesn’t last long here and neither do the berries. The season is all too short, so in effort to enjoy them a bit longer I take full advantage of my extra freezer in the garage. I try to fill several resealable bags with whole berries and turn the rest into freezer jam.
Although I find preparing freezer jam way simpler than canning jam, the reason I make it year after year is simple, I think it just tastes better. Without being processed (cooked/boiled), it has a truly fresh taste. So, in the middle of fall, or even winter, long past when the last berry was picked, you can enjoy a spoonful of fresh tasting jam and savor the flavors of summer a bit longer.
There are several brands of pectin available, however I prefer Ball Fruit Jell Pectin (the box marked “Original”)because the directions in the package do not require corn syrup; just fruit, sugar, pectin and water (and possibly fresh lemon juice, depending on the fruit used). I am hoping to find a way to use less sugar, but for now I pretty much follow the package directions.
And freezer jam isn’t just for bread; I use it for cookies, cake filling, and topping for pancakes, cheesecake, and ice cream. I use it all the time and I even have the pictures to prove it 🙂 Here are a few of the ways we use freezer jam throughout the year:
So easy and so practical. You really should try freezer jam this year!
Here is the way I make what my family thinks is perfect Raspberry Freezer Jam. However, if your family prefers less seeds, you could run part of it through a fine-mesh sieve after crushing the berries. And it’s pretty much just as simple to make peach, strawberry, or cherry freezer jam (instructions included in every box of pectin!).
Raspberry Freezer Jam
- 3 cups crushed raspberries (about 2 1/4 pounds)
- 5 cups granulated sugar
- 1 box Ball Fruit Jell Pectin
- 3/4 cup water
- clean containers or jars for freezing
- In a large bowl, combine berries and sugar and stir to combine. Allow to stand for 10 minutes.
- In a small saucepan, add water and pectin. Bring to a full rolling boil, one you can’t stir down, and stirring constantly, boil for 1 minute (set a timer).
- Add the cooked pectin mixture to the berries and stir for 3 minutes.
- Spoon or ladle into containers, leaving a 1/2-inch or so headspace for expansion. Let jam stand in refrigerator until set (this can take up to 24 hours) and use within the next three weeks or freeze up to 1 year.