Have you checked the price of commercial jam lately? Ouch! Especially if you’re looking for a brand that does not have HFCS as, like, the first or second ingredient.
I’ve wanted to try freezer jam–FOREVER. (I’ve bought and discarded several packages of pectin that have sat in my pantry for years unused!) I’m afraid of pressure canning. My mother instilled a DEEP fear of botulism in me. I don’t think I’ll ever try true canning.
Add the fact that strawberries were on sale for $1.25 per pound at Fry’s a couple weeks ago and you get the RIGHT time to make freezer jam.
I purchased eight pounds of berries and later that night I set out to start my jam, but then I couldn’t find my pectin! I Googled about making freezer jam without commercial pectin and came up with the idea that apples and lemons both contain enough pectin to set the jam. I liked the idea since during my research I read that commercial pectin can make the jam really gelatinous, which I did NOT want.
Here’s my initial recipe, and my notes:
8# strawberries (washed, topped and sliced in half)
4 medium apples (cored, peeled and sliced)
2 meyer lemons
1/2 cup sugar (or more or less to taste)
1/2 cup lemon juice
Add 6# of the strawberries, apples, sugar, lemon juice, meyer lemons (juice AND pulp) to a slow cooker and cook on LOW for 4 hours. Take stick blender to contents. Add remaining berries and cook for another hour on low. Mash with potato masher, depending on how chunky you want your jam. Pour into jars and cool. Refrigerate for four hours and then transfer to freezer.
The jam is DELICIOUS but did not set up as much as I would have liked. Next time I will probably double the apples and lemons…or try a bit of commercial pectin.