Freezer jam is a quicker and easier way to make jam than using the canned jam method because the entire canning process is skipped. The jars are instead carefully stored in a freezer and taken out as wanted.
Raspberry Freezer Jam
Ingredients Makes: 2 cups ~or~ 16 ounces
4 cups raspberries fresh or frozen
2 cups raw organic sugar
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/5 tsp sea salt
11x 1.5oz jars ~or~ 4x 4-ounce jars
Prepare. Sterilize jars if necessary in boiling water and allow to air dry.
Pick over the berries, and pick out any squishy, over-ripe or bad berries. Wash the berries and allow to drain for a few minutes using a colander. If using frozen berries, allow the berries to thaw in a colander.
Cook the berries, making the preserve. Place the berries in a large stainless steel pot or a 5 quart ceramic coated pot like a dutch oven. You want to allow enough room for the mixture to boil as it will foam up a bit. Mash the berries somewhat with a potato masher, then add 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, you can check with an instant read thermometer – you are looking for a temperature of around 210º. It usually takes around 25 minutes at a full boil.
If your thermometer reads 210º and the jam is thick and sticky and easily gels on a cold spoon; then it’s done. Stir in the lemon juice and a pinch of sea salt and cook another 2 minutes. (Avoid over cooking the berry mixture though as it will lose the gel consistency eventually and begin to harden; if this happens, water can be added to correct it.)
Transfer preserves to jars and store. 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 fruit. 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.
Jars cleaned and ready. Use 1.5-ounce to 4-ounce 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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