Good morning, friends! It’s officially the first day of summer!!!
Just in time for the season, today, I am talking about one of my very favorite things in the world…MAKING JAM! If you know me, then you know…I find making freezer jam so relaxing and look forward to “jam season” every single year at my house. I don’t know what it is, but to me, there is nothing more mindless, soothing, and simple to make in my kitchen PLUS, I legit get giddy each and every time I open my freezer to grab a new jar the other 11 months out of the year. Needless to say making jam is my jam 🙂 .
I blogged about Canning & Preserving over four years ago and reference that post each season when I start making my jam, but I thought it was high time to do a second post just on freezer jam with my tips and tricks learned from making several hundred jars of jam since. You guys, making freezer jam is so simple that anyone can do it. It’s WAY easier than canning and preserving (more on that below) and simple enough that even your kids can do it this summer (should you be looking for a fun/fruitful way for them to entertain themselves).
A few thoughts/tips/tricks:
#1: First, you should read my original post from 2018 where I share the book I bought and loved on how to can and preserve, my process for making jam and for making marmalade (which I canned and preserved) and why canning makes me so nervous. That post has lots of info especially if this is your first foray into canning anything.
#2: Today, I only make freezer jam which is CRAZY EASY. After a solid year of canning and preserving things (from marmalades to apple butter, peppers, pickles and more), I realized that it was way too much work for me and the quality wasn’t any better than jars I buy from locals here that sell their canned items at my grocery store. I did not find canning and preserving relaxing. It was cool to have the finished product, but by the time I had it, I was a frazzled mess trying to retrieve my piping hot jar out of the boiling water, follow the very specific steps as to not accidentally contaminate the contents and then…I had worked so hard on this one jar, that I wasn’t eager to share it with friends and family.
#3: Making freezer jam though is so simple that I happily and gladly look for opportunities to share my jars with friends and family because I feel very confident of the contents (no contamination!), and since it’s so easy to make, I can whip up 20 or 30 jars in the time it would take me to make one can of spicy peppers, so I have oodles to share.
#4: Over the years, I’ve tried every fruit under the sun for making jam but our favorites (that I make each year) are strawberry, blackberry, raspberry, peach and plum. This year, I made blueberry, and it’s SO GOOD! I will now continue making blueberry for years to come.
#5: Since it’s summertime, now is when you would want to make freezer jam out of any in-season fruit (like peaches are amazing here in Texas right now!) you have in your area. You only want to use really good, in-season fruit when making your jam.
#6: Over the years, I’ve used a variety of jar sizes but have decided that the 8 oz jar is the best for freezer jam. Larger jars work fine, but I think it’s just easier to store, easier to enjoy, easier to share and more fun to switch out your daily variety of jam when you use the smaller size jars.
#7: Always use liquid Certo for making your freezer jam. I’ve used the original formula before, but I really think the jam consistency is so much better if you only use the liquid variety.
#8: And for those of you who don’t know, freezer jam is just that…jam that stays in your freezer for up to a year (instead of on your pantry shelf). When I need a new jar, I just remove it from the freezer to the fridge for us to enjoy.
Here are the steps:
#1: Select the fruit you want to use and make sure it’s cleaned and washed.
#2: Chop your fruit into smaller sizes (unless you’re using blueberries, blackberries or raspberries…no chopping required!). For our peach jam, we leave the skin on for color and taste. Years ago, I would peel the peaches, but we honestly think it tastes better without peeling.
#3: Blend up your fruit. I like a slightly chunky consistency because I don’t want my jam to be too thin.
#4: Measure out the fruit.
#5: Add your sugar.
#6: Add your Certo.
#7: Pour into your clean and sterile jars (I run mine through the dishwasher before I use them).
Don’t they look so pretty?!
#8: Label the lids with the type and date, seal them up and then they’ll rest on your counter for 24 hours before you freeze.
For all of the specific measurements and ingredients, all you do is follow the directions inside the Certo box for freezer jam. Each type of fruit has different measurements and ingredients, so make sure you follow those directions exactly for your fruit. So far this month, I’ve already make over 40 jars of jam for my family and friends this next year! If you’re looking for a delicious way to use your fruit right now or a fun activity to share with your kids, here you go 🙂 . You will get so much pride out of using your jam all year and knowing that you were the one who made it.
If you’re looking for easy and delicious recipes to use with your jam, I have some here:
STAWBERRY JAM & GOAT CHEESE BURGERS
ALMOND BUNDT CAKE WITH STRAWBERRY JAM
PEANUT BUTTER & JELLY SANDWICH COOKIES
PEPPER JELLY BREAKFAST SANDWICH
PEANUT BUTTER & JELLY BREAD
One last thing you might love to do with your kids (or if your kids are older like mine, they can make on their own this summer!)…
That’s it for this Tuesday! Have a wonderful first official day of summer! xx