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Thursday, May 20, 2010
Last year we planted our strawberry patch. Dutifully, we picked off the blossoms so the plants would be strong and produce a better crop in the years to come. Our work has paid off, and we are enjoying the fresh ripe berries straight from our garden.
One of my favorite ways to preserve that fresh berry taste is with freezer jam. Freezer jam is quicker to make than traditional cooked jam. It sets softer, but I think, retains a much fresher flavor.
The recipe is from the Sure-Jell package: You'll need about a quart of strawberries, 1 box of Sure-Jell, 3/4 C water, and 4 cups of sugar.
1. Wash your containers. You can use freezer boxes, jars, or recycled food containers. I often use sour cream and yogurt container to freeze in. Just be sure to label the container clearly. Freezer bags can be used too, but they tend to be pretty messy for freezer jam.
2. Rinse fruit and hull. Crush the berries, one cup at a time. A potato masher works best. You want to end up with 2 cups of crushed berries. Put them in a large bowl.
3. Measure out the sugar and stir it into the crushed berries. Let sit for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
4. Stir the box of pectin and 3/4 C water in a small pan. Bring to a boil on high heat, stirring constantly. Allow to boil 1 minute while stirring.
5. Stir pectin mixture into berries. Stir constantly for about 3 minutes, until the sugar crystals are dissolved.
6. Pour into containers. Leave about 1/2 of inch of head space.
7. Let stand at room temperature for 24 hours. Refrigerate for up to three weeks or freeze for up to a year.
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