Ally

Mmmm, blackberries...I love them. They're sweet, they're tart, they're juicy...they just scream summer. And in August, they're at every supermaket, farmers' market and roadside stall. But like the ant in the "The Grasshopper and the Ant," I needed to start preparing for the colder months when blackberries aren't so plentiful (or cheap). Canning's the logical way to set aside the berries but all that sugar and they'd be a bit mushy...I was in a bit of a quandry. What to do, what to do.... A friend of mine suggested making freezer jam and then luck would have it my local Target had Ball's Instant Fruit Pectin on sale, so I went with that. This stuff is amazing! You can make jam in a few minutes without having to use the stove and you don't even have to sterilize the jars (just wash them well). Not to mention that you use MUCH less sugar, the jam tastes fresher and it has more of a fruit-like texture to it.

If you aren't familiar with freezer jam, check out this great NPR article on it:  Freezer Jam: A Baby Step to Canning

Blackberry Freezer Jam

Ingredients

4 cups of crushed blackberries (I used a potato masher. You can remove the seeds by using a sieve if you wish, but I left mine in)

1.5 cups of sugar ( do not use less/more or substitute another type of sweetener, it's what's needed to make it gel)

5 (8 oz.) containers (you can use freezer jars, (straight-sided) jelly jars, any sealable plastic containers)

1 package of Ball's Instant Fruit Pectin (1.59 oz.)


Instructions

1. Stir sugar and pectin in a bowl.

2. Add crushed fruit and stir well.

3. Ladle jam into clean jars and let it stand for 30 minutes.

4. You either eat it then or freeze it.

5. Freezer jam can be frozen for up to 1 year. Once thawed, it must be kept in the fridge and it's good for up to 3 weeks.
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