Happy Monday, all!
Today we're going to talk a bit about jam, because I spent a good part of my weekend making it with Mother Humble and I don't have anything else ready.
Mother Humble has this thing about jam, while other mothers might worry about their children's health, finances or career. My mother seems primarily concerned with how much jam we have.
It is so obsessive, that I seriously feel I could tell her some crazy story about my life being in total chaos and the first thing she would ask me would be, "...but sweetie, do you have enough jam?"
She asks about it during each of her visits. She never believes it when I say we're stocked, that we have tons of jam. Instead, she checks my supply and determines--regardless of how much is actually in there--that my supply is woefully inadequate. Inadequate, only if I want to serve scones to all of South Asia.
Maybe that's the life lesson she's gleaned from her half century of existence, you must stockpile jam.
A lot of jam.
War? Societal collapse? Armageddon? Llamas?
No problem. I have a lot jam. I'm going to make it.
You can make it too. Freezer jam requires no cooking or canning know-how and since it isn't heat treated the fruit flavor stays bright and fresh.
And since you store it in the freezer, there is no worrying about sterility or pesky microbes.
This time of year you can go to your store or farmers market and clean up on local fresh fruit. When making jam you want to pick fruit that's perfectly ripe. After all, you're not going to be doing much to this fruit, so you want fruit that tastes good. Ripeness also effects the way the jam sets up. Jam from soft over-ripe fruit can set up rather soft. So you should use firm ripe fruit to make your jam.
Some of the fruit in the kitchen today:
Now I'd love to give you a jam recipe, but because it calls for pectin and not all brands or types of pectin are interchangeable, giving a universally useful recipe is basically impossible.
The best thing to do when making freezer jam, is to follow the instructions given to you by the pectin package. Mother Humble is rather particular about finding brands that don't call for any heat being applied to the fruit (some brands will call for a quick minute on the stove).
So if I'm telling you to follow the recipe posted on a cardboard box, then why the blog post? Well because freezer jam is easy, it's good and I'm pretty sure not everyone knows how easy it is to make at home.
Even your kids can make it!
So to all you wannabe jam-makers, dreaming of pretty little mason jars with jewel-hued fillings, but are put off by the prospect of canning, freezer jam is for you.
|Mother Humble's Freezer Jam|
In lieu of a recipe, I'll give a quick photographic run-down of how simple it is. Now keep in mind, the food processor isn't necessary, you can smash the berries however you wish, the Cuisinart just makes quick work of it.
|All it takes is a few pulses, or until the desired texture is reached with the pulp|
|Waiting for juice to turn to jelly|
Then as cal
Or as it happened, Mother Humble was done.
Then she grabbed her suitcases and left for the airport, leaving all the dishes. Really.
(For folks curious about what brand's recipes I'm partial to, it is MCP. The pectin is well stocked in my area and may be carried nationwide. For folks outside of the U.S., try to find pectin that includes directions for freezer jam. If not available, you may need to experiment, using a readily available pectin and basic freezer jam recipes that are available online for your type of fruit (each fruit requires different amounts of sugar and pectin). Even if your pectin experiment ends badly and your juices don't gel, pour it into jars and save it. The fresh fruit syrup is delicious poured over waffles, pancakes, and ice cream.)