Thursday, July 21, 2011

Freezer Jam Day! Preserve a bit of summer!

I was blessed with a large box of plums yesterday, and by large, I mean probably 20 pounds of plums! Beautiful, summer plums that I want to hang onto this winter when these aren't around anymore!!  They smell wonderful.

I've never canned before and just wasn't brave enough to try it yet, nor do I have any equipment!  So I started hunting a recipe for freezer jam...seemed like the perfect way to start out canning.  I found one that looked here goes - I'll show you what the kids and I did:

Before we started, we rinsed clean, plastic containers and lids with boiling water.  Then we dried them thoroughly.  Then we were ready to follow the recipe.

First, we washed the plums and cored them...this was easier than I thought - my corer did the job beautifully!

Then we tossed the plums into the chopper to chop them up.  My little history buff enjoyed helping with this.

Once they were chopped, we measured them...our recipe calls for 3 cups of prepared plums per batch of freezer jam.

The prepared plums were put into the saucepan with 1/4 cup of water (I actually wanted to break a little of the sweetness, so I used lemon juice).  These were brought to a boil, then I reduced the heat to low, covered and simmered them for 5 minutes.

After this, 3 cups of prepared plums (exactly) goes into the bowl and I stirred in 5-1/2 cups sugar.  (I wanted to reduce this a little, but every recipe warned that this would cause it to not set.)  This needs to be allowed to stand for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

While this was standing, I stirred 1/2 cup of water and a box of pectin (1-3/4 ounce box) in a small saucepan.  I brought it to a boil on high heat, stirring constantly.  I continued boiling and stirring 1 additional minute; then this was added to the fruit mixture.  We stirred for 3 minutes until the sugar is dissolved and no longer grainy.  (A few sugar crystals could remain.)

I also made an un-cooked version, it is the pale colored jam on the right.

We filled containers immediately to within 1/2 inch of tops.  Wipe off tops of containers; immediately cover with lids.  These were left on the counter to stand at room temp for 24 hours.  The jam is now ready to use!  Yum.  It can be stored in the refrigerator for 3 weeks or in the freezer for 12 months.  Thaw before serving!!  Enjoy!! 

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