They’re here! They’re here! First of the season Ontario Strawberries. Best friends forever! (what? i stand by that)
Every year, I make jam throughout the growing season. I’ll make small batches (less than a dozen jars) and a few different varieties. Strawberry is always a must. It reminds me of my grandmother, who used to make it each year with her own homegrown berries. I even made strawberry jam as a wedding favour for all of our guests to share that perfect little piece of my childhood.
It’s a great way to capture a bit of the summer bounty and to be able to enjoy it year round. Come February, cracking a fresh jar of homemade jam helps me carry on. I attribute my excellent sick-day record to fixing myself toast with butter and jam when I need it most.
This is my first ‘go’ at no-cook freezer jam. I’ve always been hesitant to post a recipe for jam on the blog, because properly canned jam requires sterilization, processing and careful timing to ensure it remains safe and shelf stable.
Making a freezer jam with liquid pectin eliminates all of that. The drawback of course is making room in your freezer for the whole batch or using it all up in 3 weeks.
I’ve used different pectins over the years, both crystal and liquid. I really like the CERTO brand because each box comes with a recipe pamphlet that includes tips for cooked and no-cook jams and jellies and even the number for a jam/jelly hotline. Not kidding. You can call and ask any jam-related question from 9am-9pm Mon-Fri.
So yes, jam has a whack load of sugar. It’s not a health food. No way around that. Treat it as such and savour it when you need a treat or a little taste of summer.
These recipes are not to be fooled with. Unfortunately, you can’t skimp on the sugar to try and make it ‘healthier’. The food science behind successful jam recipes is solid. Although I’m usually gung-ho on adjusting recipes to suit your needs, you can’t do that here or your jam won’t work. Follow the recipe son.
If you’ve been too intimidated try making jam on your own. Start here. You won’t be disappointed.