It's hard to remember that, while we're knee-deep in stone fruit and berries right now, it won't be that way forever. And one of our favorite ways to preserve summer fruits is by making loads and loads of freezer jam. Have you made any this season?
Freezer jam is great because it's so simple. Essentially, it's a similar process to making more traditional heat-processed jam -- without the heat. So it removes the part of the equation that so many people dread and that ultimately keeps them from canning in the first place: those hot glass jars, tongs, and worries of contamination. Instead, when you make freezer jam, you rely on pectin which gives the jam a perfect consistency and then freeze the jars until you're ready to use them right away.
Generally speaking, freezer jam has much less sugar than other jams and will be a little thinner. Many people believe that it actually tastes more vibrant, too, insisting that when the fruit is boiled down, some of its flavor is lost.
A few tricks of the trade: store/freeze in small containers so you can enjoy small amounts without worrying about it going bad (never a problem in my household), and use superfine sugar which dissolves without a heat source much more successfully than traditional granulated sugar.
Once you try freezer jam, chances are you'll never turn back. You'll stare at fruit differently at the market and envision it all bottled up in little jars for the rest of the year.
Try a Recipe:
• Freezer Jam (Basic Recipe) - Bitten Word
• Strawberry Freezer Jam - Make and Takes
• Peach Freezer Jam - Christie's Corner
• Nectarine Raspberry Freezer Jam - Simple Bites
• Pear Cherry Freezer Jam - The Prepared Pantry
Related: On Small and Unmarked Jars of Jam
(Image: The Bitten Word and Jennie Faber , both via Flickr)