Saturday, July 12, 2008

freezer jam.



One of my favorite things about living in Portland (as opposed to southern California, my previous home) is the fact that I can hop into a car and actually go pick fruit myself. I have a deep appreciation for knowing exactly where my food is coming from, so I get quite excited to be able to harvest it on my own. A common destination around here for picking fruit, especially for berries in the summertime, is Sauvie Island, an island on the Columbia River covered in farms and beaches. Yesterday I headed there with my family and ended up at Kruger's Farm where I picked a massive amount of blueberries, marionberries, and raspberries.

When I got home, I immediately started brainstorming about what I wanted to make from them. Jam has always been one of my favorite foods when it comes to berries, but after making it for the first time a few years ago, I didn't feel like going through all the trouble involved (hot water, huge pots of berries, sterilization, etc.). Then I remembered freezer jam, which I had been meaning to try once I got hold of a lot of fresh fruit. Oh, this is where my heart lies- quick, easy, extremely delicious fresh jam with no risk of botulism. There are few things better.

I can't even describe the satisfaction I keep feeling when I walk into the kitchen and see five mason jars of jam all lined up on our windowsill. They're almost too pretty to eat. Almost.







Mixed Berry Freezer Jam

Ingredients:

3 cups crushed mixed berries
5 1/4 cups white sugar
1 package fruit pectin

Directions:

Wash and rinse 1-2 cup plastic or glass containers with tight-fitting lids. Crush berries one cup at a time using a potato masher or a food processor (if using a food processor, pulse to a finely chop- do not puree! Jam should have bits of fruit). Measure exact amount of crushed fruit in a large bowl. Stir sugar into prepared fruit. Mix well. Let stand for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Stir pectin and 3/4 cup water in a small saucepan (Pectin may start out lumpy). Bring to a boil on high heat, stirring constantly. Boil 1 minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat.
Stir pectin mixture into fruit mixture. Stir constantly until the sugar is completely dissolved and no longer grainy, about 3 minutes.
Pour into prepared containers, leaving 1/2-inch space at top for expansion during freezing; cover.
Let stand at room temperature for up to 24 hours, until set. Refrigerate up to 3 weeks. Otherwise, store in freezer for up to 1 year. Thaw in refrigerator.

12 comments:

wildflower mama said...

looking forward to trying this. have more berries in my yard than i know what to do with. plus with all the local organic farms and csa's in town, i have no excuse to be lazy. (is ojai considered southern california? - haha)
also have a bounty of grapes hanging everywhere outside my doors any ideas? and don't suggest any 'i love lucy' type wine making :)

discourseanddesign said...

What a simple and inspiring post, after a trip to the farmers market this morning, looking forward to making this tomorrow.
Thank you for taking the time to share-love all of you blogs...

Amanda said...

this looks great, summer! i love the last picture with the little hand grabbing for some berries. is that riley?
i think i shall try this recipe when i have some berries...

Alicia Carrier said...

wildflower_mama (you're summer's aunt, right?) if i had millions of grapes, i'd probably try my hand at sun-drying my own raisins, for sure! you could make grape juice, too. or cut some of the leaves and make dolmas!

amanda- that is actually my son, elijah, sneaking berries.

Laura @ the shorehouse. said...

I am loving your blog so much. The pictures are amazing and it's like you read my little mind. I want to make freezer jam from an abundance of berries I have, and POOF! Recipe on your blog today. Thanks for the delicious photos, too.

Ileana said...

These photos are gorgeous, and the recipe sounds delicious! Thanks for sharing.

cindy* said...

aw, i love making jam! the photos are beautiful. i agree that sometimes jars of jam are nearly too pretty to eat...like jarred liquid jewels.

Krista said...

Great blog, you are making me hungry! I love making jam to and recently discovered that Ball makes plastic freezer jars! They stack and come with great screw on lids (which are reusable) they are 8 oz in size, dishwasher safe but don't contain bisphenol A (BPA. I've also been using them to make yogurt parfaits for my teenagers to grab and go with before camp, school, etc.

standing said...

dammit Alice, could you photo's get any more beautiful?!? You're killing me....

Leslie said...

Love your Tats! Arent they addicting! My husband just cant understand why I keep tourting myself w/ more tattoos! The jam looks pretty darn yummy!

Tarah said...

I've recently started watching your blog, and I really love ready it! I love all your recipe! And all your photos are gorgeous!! :]

shawn said...

Yummmm

I cant wait to pick some berries for myself....i hopefully will be moving to portland soon and will venture to the berry patches.