It’s summer – get ready for jam! Summer is an ideal time to do this messy activity. As long as you wear old clothes, jam-making is an ideal activity for parents and children to do together. It also saves money on jam later in the season, especially if you like to go for fancy or organic jams.
Steps to Making Freezer Jam
Choose your berries and remove any sticks or leaves. The ideal fruit for the beginner is the raspberry. Raspberries mash into a consistent paste that will not separate.
If your fruit has a stone, pit it. Wash the fruit to remove any extra protein (otherwise known as bugs). You’re ready to go! How do you make your jam?
- Sterilize containers and lids in a boiling water bath.
- Gather jam materials: a bowl, a potato masher, sugar, pectin, and berries.
- Mash the berries – this is the point at which to recruit small children.
- Add sugar – follow the recipe on the pectin container.
- Mix the berries and sugar together.
- Add pectin.
- Mix everything together for several minutes.
- Place the jam into the containers with some room at the top for the jam to expand once it freezes.
- Place the lids on the jars, cleaning the jars, and labeling them
- Clean your work space.
- Place jam in the fridge or freezer. Try to use it within a week or two if it is in the fridge.
Why Does Jam Have So Much Sugar?
Jam usually contains a sweetener. This makes the berries sweeter and also brings out the flavor of the jam. It also makes jam stick together, and gives it the traditional jam texture. It’s possible to reduce the amount of sugar in jam, but you may lose some texture in the process. Cut the sugar in half for a small batch of jam and see how the jam tastes and acts later on. There is a low-sugar freezer jam pectin available, but this contains artificial sweeteners.
Freeze Berries for Later In the Year
While freezer jam is a lovely and delicious use of summer berries, after a few hours of mashing it is quite possible to get very, very tired of making jam. You are likely freezing some of your berries for snacks to use in the winter time. Freeze a few more, and when your jam runs out you can make raspberry jam in December!