My mother made the most delicious freezer jam when we were little. It was a tradition at our house that everyone had to have freezer jam whenever she made her homemade sourdough bread. Sometimes we’d toast the bread and sometimes we’d just slather it on while it was still warm from the oven. A good, thick slathering as deep as you could manage without it spilling over the sides of the bread!
I really enjoy canning jams and fruit butters, but they just don’t compare in taste to the freshness you get from making freezer jam. They can’t hold a candle in ease, either!
Freezer jam is a method of making jam that doesn’t involve cooking the fruit and as a result, it is about as close as you can get to the fresh taste of just picked peaches, strawberries, or whatever other fruit you happen to be graced with.
The canning process for freezer jam is the easiest of all. Wash your jars, fill them, let them sit at room temperature for 24 hours, then place in freezer. That’s it! Keep a jar in your fridge to use and just grab another one out of the freezer when you need more.
For instructions on traditional canning to use with other jam and preserve recipes, see my canning post by clicking here. (I also had a lot of fun with a video on that post!)
You’re going to need: Sugar, peaches,and Sure-Jell or some other fruit pectin used for making jams and jellies.
Note: I am using the instructions on my package of Sure Jell for this tutorial. Your fruit pectin will have instructions inside so if you get a different brand you might want to double check and make sure they match up with mine.
Or just make it easy on yourself and grab this yellow box.
You’re also going to need a little lemon juice. You can either get an actual lemon or just buy the bottle.
Remember when you are buying your juice and sugar for this, the cheapest they have is just fine.
Peel and slice up your peaches.
Having a really sharp paring knife around the kitchen is essential. If you’ve had problems peeling fruits or veggies in the past, it was more likely your knife rather than your own lack of skill! I have five or six really good paring knives and I just couldn’t live without those things!
Here are my peaches,all cut up.
These are white peaches from my mother’s tree.
Now we’re going to moosh them up really good with a potato masher.
It is amazing how many uses this thing has! If you don’t have one, you can use a fork and it will just take a bit longer.
Peaches, all mashed up!
This procedure is the same for strawberry freezer jam and most others. I’ve only made strawberry and peach but the package has instructions for many other kinds as well (apricot, blueberry, cherry, mango, raspberry, etc). Some types of fruit will need more sugar but the exact amounts are listed on a chart inside the package.
Measure out your sugar into a large bowl.
And then measure out three cups of fruit.
There might be some left that you don’t use. You’re just gonna have to eat that. ~grins~
I know, it’s a tough job.
Add lemon juice
Stir that up well and let sit for about ten minutes so the sugar can dissolve.
Meanwhile, place water in a saucepan (exact amounts below) and pour in Sure Jell.
Bring it to a boil, stirring constantly.
Boil for one minute.
Pour into fruit.
Stir that up well.
I always love my action shots :).
Set up your station of clean jars, a cup to pour the jam in with, lids, and a wet paper towel or dish cloth.
I LOVE my canning funnel but you don’t have to use one (it’s the red thing). You can just pour and wipe off the excess but the funnel cost a dollar or two and is well worth the investment if you can find one.
If you are planning on canning this season, I strongly suggest getting all of your supplies now because they become more and more difficult to find as the summer wears on.
Pour your fruit into the jars, leaving one inch of space between the fruit and the top.
This is known as “head space”.
Repeat until you get all of your jam in jars.
Note: nine times out of ten, a recipe will tell you it makes a certain amount of jars and it will always be more. This recipe said it would make six jars and I have eight. So be prepared with extra jars for convenience sake.
Wipe around the top and side threads of each jar with a wet paper towel.
This is to remove any sticky fruit that may have spilled onto it and ensure your jar seals properly.
If you skip this step, it will always tell on you because people will need a vice like grip to get the jar open later. I’ve had this happen the first time I canned and it was very embarrassing knowing that I had ignored my Grandmother’s wisdom on this.
Place a lid on each jar and then seal it with a ring (the part that screws on).
Let sit at room temperature for twenty four hours.
After that time has passed you can put some in the fridge to begin using immediately and store the rest in the freezer.
Note: Freezer Jam cannot be stored at room temperature.
You will now be rewarded for your efforts with the FRESHEST tasting peach jam you’ve ever had in your life!
Peach Freezer Jam
- 2 lbs peaches (enough to make 3 cups of mashed peaches)
- 4 1/2 C Sugar
- 1 Box Sure Jell (can use other brand but check their instructions)
- 2 T Lemon Juice
Peel and slice peaches. Mash up with potato masher or fork. They will be lumpy but that is okay. Measure out sugar in large bowl. Measure three cups of peaches and add to sugar. Add lemon juice. Stir well and sit aside so sugar can dissolve.
In sauce pot, place 3/4 C Water. Add fruit pectin (Sure Jell). Bring to a boil while stirring constantly. Boil for one minute. Pour into fruit mixture. Stir well until all sugar is dissolved.
Pour into clean 8 ounce jars (or plastic containers of choice) and leave 1 inch head space (instructions on package say leave 1/2 inch but most recipes say leave one so I go with tradition here). Using a damp paper towel, wipe around rim and sides of jar to remove any residue. Place lids on jars and let sit at room temperature for twenty four hours. After that time, place in freezer until ready to use. Store opened jars you are using in the fridge.
We make a living by what we get. We make a life by what we give.
~Winston Churchill. To submit your quote (or read others that will encourage you) click here.Yum