Freezer jam skips the canning process which can be time consuming, instead the jam is carefully stored in small jars in the freezer.
Blueberry Freezer Jam
Ingredients Makes: 2 cups ~or~ 16 ounces
4 cups blueberries, fresh or frozen
1 3/4 cups raw organic sugar
1/3 cup lemon juice
1/4 tsp sea salt
11x 1.5oz jars ~or~ 4x 4oz jars
Prepare. Sterilize jars (if necessary) in boiling water and allow to air dry.
Wash blueberries and pick over, removing any debris and spoiled berries. Give the berries a final rinse and then allow to drain in a colander and air dry for a few minutes.
Cook the berries, making the preserve. Place the berries in a 5 quart ceramic coated pot like a dutch oven or a stainless steel pot. Crush the berries with a potato masher to break the skin (if fresh), then stir in the sugar.
Turn the heat to medium (6 on electric stove). Stir as the mixture begins to come up to a boil, to help the sugar get mixed in and to keep from the berry mixture from sticking and burning. Once it is at a hard boil; which means the boil can’t be “stirred down”, reduce the heat a bit (5 on electric stove).
Continue to stir the boiling mixture often to keep it from sticking and scorching which can ruin the whole batch. The closer it is to being done, the thicker and stickier the mixture will become, so keep stirring.
After about 20 minutes the preserves can start to be checked for readiness. You can check with an instant read thermometer – you are looking for a temperature of around 210º. It usually takes around 25 to 30 minutes at a full boil. If your thermometer reads 210º to 215º then there is a good chance it’s done.
You can also check whether the preserves are done by testing if the jam gels on the back of a spoon or plate cooled in a freezer after cooking for 20 minutes. How long it takes is going to depend largely on the moisture content of the berries you are using.
When the preserves pass the gel test and are done, stir in the lemon juice and the sea salt and cook for 2 more minutes. Avoid over cooking the berry mixture as it will lose the gel consistency eventually and begin to harden.
Transfer preserves to jars and store. Unless the jam is made for another purpose, fill the sterilized jars using a small ladle or spoon. Do not over fill, leave a little space at the top for expansion otherwise the jars may break in the freezer. Allow the jars of jam to cool at room temperature before transferring to a freezer.
Storage. This is not a canning recipe which means the jam cannot be stored at room temperature. The jam can be stored for up to 6 months in the freezer; and will keep in a refrigerator for 7 to 10 days once thawed.
Gel thickened? One way to determine when the mixture will form a gel is with the spoon test: Dip a cool metal spoon into the hot blueberries. Immediately lift it out and away from the steam and turn it horizontally. At the beginning of the cooking process, the liquid will drip off in light drops. Try again a minute or two later and the drops will be heavier. The jam is done when the drops are very thick and two run together before falling off the spoon.
If burning or scorching does occur. If the jam does stick and burn, don’t stir or scrape the burned part from the bottom. Instead, pour the preserve mixture into another pan, and just leave the burned part in the first pan. You can cook it down the rest of the way in the new pan, and then taste it to ensure the batch tastes ok.
If the preserves harden. Water can be added to preserves that harden from being overcooked. Just add a couple of tablespoons of water and stir in; add more if necessary; until a gel consistency does return to the batch.
Jars cleaned and ready. Use 1.5 oz to 4 oz glass jars with lids, depending on your jam eating habits. Remember once the jam is thawed and opened it is only good for 7 to 10 days. Sterilize jars if necessary in boiling water and allow to air dry. The cleaner the process is kept, the longer the jam will last.
Recipe shared by: J. Marshall
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