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Try making this 'cool' jam without heat

March 16, 2005 - Strawberry-raspberry. Pineapple-banana-orange.

Today, it's possible to make a variety of fruity jams, via a process so simple that even children can get in on the fun.

It is, in a word, cool.

That's because rather than heat, this process uses the freezer to help preserve the natural goodness and flavor of fresh or frozen fruit.

There's no cooking involved. Just mash up the fruit, mix in the jam pectin — a powder that helps the mixture gel — then put it in a jar and freeze it.

With the help of jam pectin, it's also possible to turn fruit and yogurt into fun "fruit-sicle" pops that kids can enjoy while getting some of their recommended five daily servings of fruits and vegetables.

First things first, let's start off with the fruit jam.

Here's one terrific jam recipe to get you started that can be made any time of the year:

Three Berry Freezer Jam

3 (6 oz.) bags frozen unsweetened strawberry, blueberry and blackberry fruit combination

1˝ cups sugar

1 (1.59 oz.) pouch jam pectin

Defrost berry combination, allowing a few ice crystals to remain.

Crush berries with a potato masher. Measure 4 cups crushed berries; set aside.

Combine sugar and pectin in a medium bowl, stirring until evenly combined. Add crushed berries. Continue stirring for 3 minutes.

Ladle jam into jars, leaving ˝-inch head-space.

Adjust caps. Let jam stand at room temperature until thickened, about 30 minutes. Label jars and freeze.

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