Saturday, June 13, 2009
Strawberry Freezer Jam
Feel like you are all thumbs in the kitchen? Is opening a bag of prewashed lettuce your version of haute cuisine? Then you have sufficient skills to make strawberry freezer jam. It is so simple, and will also astound and amaze your friends. ("You made jam? Get lost!") Easy, delicious, and magical. You can do this. Here's how.
Step One: Assemble Stuff.
You'll need four cups of crushed strawberries. I purchased two quarts, figuring that if there were leftover berries, I could put them to good use. You will also need six 8-ounce containers in which to to put the jam. I purchased eight-ounce Ball jars and lids at the grocery story because I prefer glass to plastic for this project. The jars, which come with lids, are 12 to a pack. Don't worry, you'll find a use of all of them.
You'll also need a product from Ball called No Cook Freezer Jam Fruit Pectin. It should be in the same aisle of the grocery story where the jars are located. The recipe for the freezer jam is on this package. Also, make sure you have 1 and 1/2 cups of sugar in the house. Ball's recipe states that Splenda may be substituted for sugar, buy why do this? It's jam: you'll only eat a tablespoon or two at a time, which is hardly enough to destroy your diet.
Note also that the package calls for the use of five eight-ounce jars, but in making this last summer and this spring, I've always enough jam to fill more than five jars.
Step Two: Wash the Stuff.
Put the six jars and lids in the dishwasher and run them with that day's load of dishes (or wash with hot water and soap in the sink). Wash and stem the berries. This is, in my opinion, the most tedious part of the project. Because this should be fun and not tedious, I stop here, put the berries in the refrigerator, and return to this project the next day. If you want to carry on, go ahead.
Step Three: Make the Stuff.
Follow the directions on the Fruit Pectin package. Crush the fruit. I use a potato masher for this task. Measure out four cups of crushed fruit. Add the sugar and Fruit Pectin, gently combine everything together, and then stir another three minutes. Spoon the jam into jars and put on the lids. Let the jars sit on the counter for 30 minutes. That's it. You are finished. Put one jar in the fridge to eat with your next breakfast, and the remainder into the freezer.
You've made jam. Genius!