Those of you that know how I cook know that I
use only fresh, whole, natural foods. So, when I use
pectin I'm using a natural product--although commercially prepared
today--that's been used for centuries to thicken liquids.
As a baker, I really enjoy fresh, wholesome jams and jellies on my fresh,
warm, newly baked, butter-slathered
sourdough bread. What follows is a recipe for an easy to make "Freezer
Jam" made with strawberries (although most any fruit can be used).
Since the fruit is not cooked, freezer jam has a more fresh, just-picked
flavor. As an added bonus, freezer jam is both quicker and easier to make
than cooked jams. The entire process should take no more than an
hour...unless you are having too much fun fooling and kibitzing around as we so
- For each 4-pints of fresh strawberries, use
- 8-cups of sugar
- 2-1.75 ounce packages of pectin (Sure Jell or equivalent)
- Wash and hull the strawberries, halving or quartering very large ones,
and toss into a large Zip-lock bag. Crush them by hand through the
bag. You should end up with about a quart of crushed berries.
Dump the crushed fruit back into a working bowl.
- Stir the sugar into the fruit.
- Stir the pectin into 1-1/2 cups of hot water in a pan on the stove.
Bring the water to a gentle boil being certain to stir constantly.
Boil for about 1-2 minutes or so.
- Stir the hot pectin mixture into the fruit mixture until the sugar is
- Pour into clean containers being certain to leave at least a 1/2 inch or
so of room for expansion at the top.
- Let stand at room temperature for 24 hours to set.
After the jam has set, store in the refrigerator for up to three weeks or the
freezer for up to one year.
Some hints to help guide you to perfect results:
- Using the method above, the natural pectin's in fruits are not activated
by boiling, therefore additional pectin must always be added as described
(unless you like your jam more soft & runny).
- Measure your ingredients with some accuracy. Use the ratio of
pectin recommended by the manufacturer of the product you are using.
- Since jam made in this way is not sterilized by a boiling/canning
process, it must be frozen or refrigerated to keep your fruit from spoiling.
- Use new covers, never reuse old ones.