Turn­ing your fruit har­vest into freezer jam

The Mercury News - - Home+garden - By Joan Mor­ris jmor­ris@ ba­yare­anews­group.com

When you’re up to your ears in fresh fruit and don’t have time to can, try mak­ing freezer jam. It’s fast, easy and will keep for up a year.

Rhonda Beatty-Gallo, a mas­ter food pre­server of Solano County, says the jam can be made in the frac­tion of the time it would take to can it, and has a fresher, fruitier taste. It will keep about a month in the re­frig­er­a­tor and at least a year in the freezer.

Here are her tips on freezer jam suc­cess:

• Pre­pare all of your in­gre­di­ents be­fore­hand. Just like process of tra­di­tional can­ning, mak­ing freezer jam is a sci­ence, and you’ll need to pro­ceed in or­der for all the parts to come to­gether.

• You’ll need, de­pend­ing on the fruit and the recipe, 5 cups of crushed fruit (with­out stems and pits, and per­haps with the peels), 2 cups of gran­u­lated sugar or Splenda, 6 ta­ble­spoons of in­stant pectin, and 3 ta­ble­spoons of bot­tled lemon juice if you are us­ing lowacid fruits such as peaches, figs, pa­paya, Asian pears, man­gos or toma­toes.

• Use only in­stant pectin or, if the recipe calls for it, liq­uid pectin.

• Avoid us­ing jars with shoul­ders; don’t fill jars all the way to the top as the jam will ex­pand as it freezes.

• Use only ap­proved recipes and meth­ods, which will not only im­prove your chances for suc­cess, but will be safest.

• Com­bine your sugar and pectin, then add your fruit and any other in­gre­di­ents and stir for 3 min­utes. Pour into jars and al­low to set for 30 min­utes be­fore eat­ing, or screw on lids and put into the freezer.

• Splenda can be sub­sti­tuted for sugar, but it won’t look as bright, and it won’t keep as long.

JOAN MOR­RIS — STAFF

You can use al­most any fruits to make freezer jam. Fruits that are low in acid, such as peaches and figs, can be used it you add bot­tled lemon juice.

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