Growing up as a farm kid meant good food was always served on our table. My mother preserved food by canning everything from green beans and pickled beets and okra, to jelly, pickles and fruit. Food preservation was a priority to not only save money, but extend the season. She would store all the canned products in the basement, where her three large deep freezes were- which also were packed full of frozen veggies, corn, fruit and harvested beef from the ranch.
Now, I freeze and preserve fruits and vegetables from the farmers market and our own garden. But, it seems like the older my kiddos get, the harder it is to find time to can as much as we used too. That’s why I love making freezer jam!
Freezer jam makes life a little easier because it takes less than 10 minutes to prepare and preserve the fresh summer fruit into pure deliciousness. I make a variety of flavors like Very Berry (strawberry and blueberry), Red Raspberry, Blueberry Peach and others. Below is a basic recipe to use or you can view my post about How to Make Jalapeño Freezer Jam.
Be sure the fruit you use is in peak season for the best flavor! I like to stock-up during berry season and freezing the fruit until I am ready to turn it into jelly. The farmers market or a you-pick farm are the best places to find top-notch local fruit.
Basic Fruit Freezer Jam
makes 7 cups
3 cups crushed fruit (Blueberries for instance)
5 1/4 cups sugar
1 package pectin
3/4 cup water
Combine blueberries and sugar; stir well. Let stand 10 minutes. Combine the pectin and water in a small saucepan and bring to boil over high heat, stirring constantly. Boil the mixture for 1 minute, stirring constantly.
Add hot pectin to blueberry mixture and stir for 3 minutes, or until the sugar is completely dissolved and is no longer grainy.
Pour or ladle jam into glass jars, leaving 1/2 space at top for expansion during freezer. Place lids on containers, and let stand at room temperature 24 hours until set. Refrigerate up to 3 weeks, or store in the freezer for 1 year. When ready to use frozen jam, simply thaw in refrigerator.
Raspberry Peach Jam: The directions are the same, but use 2 cups crushed raspberries, 1 1/2 cups finely chopped peaches, and 7 cups of sugar. This makes 7 cups of jam.