Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Strawberry Freezer Jam

Let me preface this post with the fact that I am not a jam connoisseur, but I truly believe that my Grandma makes the BEST Strawberry Jam.  Strawberries are in abundance right now, so I purchased 3 big containers from the Farmers' Market (thanks H!) and called my Grandma for the recipe.  My Grandma seemed a bit surprised that I didn't know the recipe as she began to recite it off the Sure-Jell box. What?! I was shocked that this wasn't some super secret, passed down through the ages recipe, but to be honest, it was kind of a relief that the process didn't seem too daunting.

The first thing you must know before you begin your jamming experience is that there are two types of jam; cooked jam and freezer jam. 

Cooked Jam - Fruit that has been cooked and processed, so it can be stored at room temperature for up to a year. This process is more labor intensive than Freezer Jam, but I have been told that it is worth the effort. When people talk about "preserving" & "canning", this is what they are talking about. 
Freezer Jam - Raw (uncooked) fruit.  Jam needs to be stored in the fridge (for up to 1 month) or freezer (up to 1 year) until it is eaten. Also note that freezer jam is not as firm as canned jam (which does make it easier to spread). 

My Grandma has made both types of jams, but the jam that I know and love just happens to be her Strawberry Freezer Jam, so this is what I decided to make.  I needed to grab a few things from the store before I began the process;

·     Canning jars (freezer safe of course!)
·     Pectin (Sure-Jell, Ball etc) I happened to use a no/low sugar needed pectin, so that I wouldn't have to as much sugar in my jam. I was very happy with the result
·     Ingredients – fruit, sugar etc. see recipe (make sure you follow the recipe for freezer jam) on your pectin box/container for a list of the ingredients needed.  
Like I stated above, I just used the recipe on the box, but here are some links to the related websites for Sure-Jell and Ball Real Fruit Pectin in case you want to take a look.

Have fun making this fabulous jam and just know, that in December, you’ll be happy to pull a little bit of summer out of your freezer


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