Making jam doesn’t have to be hard, time consuming, or require a bunch of fancy equipment.
Oh, don’t get me wrong. You can make it that way! I won’t stop you from creating an ordeal, but making jam doesn’t have to suck the life out of you.
What sort of jam voodoo is this?
No voodoo, I promise. Just make freezer jam instead of cooked jam.
Cooked jam is usually preserved by water bath canning so that you can store the jam on your shelf, which is handy.
Freezer jam doesn’t require canning because the jam is preserved in the freezer. To me, freezer jam tastes much fresher than cooked jam because the fruit itself isn’t cooked. It just gets mixed into the boiling mixture of water, sugar, and pectin before being transferred to a container.
It’s almost as if you are eating fresh berries smeared on your toast when you eat freezer jam. *drool*
To be clear, I’m a fan of jam in all its shapes and forms (get in my mouth!), but freezer jam always wins with my tastebuds.
I can already hear the protests about not having time to pick fruit to make jam.
Let me let you in on THE GREATEST life hack.
Are you ready for this?
The grocery store sells fruit year round. It’s true! I don’t know how, but it’s often cheaper to buy fruit at the grocery store than to pick it yourself.
They even have the frozen stuff, so you’ll know you can always get something that was picked in season.
Now, I would never deny you the joy of picking berries on a blistering hot summer day, but that freezer aisle has the world’s greatest air-conditioning.
You also don’t need a ton of fruit to make a batch of freezer jam.
Most of the jam recipes in the box of pectin only call for 3 – 4 cups of chopped fruit.
Have I convinced you yet that making freezer jam doesn’t need to be an intensive, soul-sucking experience?
Just clean your fruit, pulse it in the food processor or blender to chop it up. In a pinch you can even chop it by hand. Since I like my jam a little chunky, chopping the fruit by hand when I didn’t have access to a blender or food processor didn’t bother me one bit!
Pectin made by Sure Jell comes in a yellow box or a pink box. I buy the pink box because it requires less sugar. Don’t get me wrong, it’s still a lot of sugar, but I feel less guilty because it uses less.
You can make cooked or freezer jam with these boxes of Sure Jell pectin, but do me a favor and give the freezer jam a try.
I don’t need to give you a recipe and you don’t need to search out a jam recipe because the recipe is inside the box! Brilliant, right?
All you need is water, sugar, pectin, fruit, and containers to freeze the jam in. If you are using glass, just be careful so that the glass container doesn’t crack when you freeze it. Leave plenty of room in the jar for expansion and using a jar with straight sides is better.
The jar in these photos was going straight into the fridge after the jam had set up, so I didn’t need to worry about the cracking issue.
I have determined one of the simplest joys in life is spooning warm, freshly made jam onto a slice of homemade bread.
It’s hard to explain why this makes me so happy, but there’s this small window of time before the jam cools and starts to set up. It’s like a decadent little treat for your senses to pause your day and savor the jam this way.
If you try making freezer jam for the first time, let me know!
P.S. Pectin can be found in the grocery store’s baking aisle or with the canning jars. I have a harder time finding the pink box of pectin than the yellow box. In my experience, Walmart most consistently carries it. You can order it online from Walmart too. Amazon does have it, but it is more expensive.
This is not the first time I’ve written about jam. I’m a long time fan! Here are some other posts about jam and fruit that you might enjoy!
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