I’m always glad in the dead of winter that I made freezer jam in the fall. You pull a jar out of the freezer, thaw it, and you’ve got yourself some fresh jam for homemade rolls, toast, waffles or whatever. It’s then that you find yourself glad you went to the effort. And while it does take effort, I was surprised at how easy jam is to make. Takes just under an hour. That’s the amount of time it takes to watch your favorite TV drama, sans commercials. Or run to the bank. Or watch two of your favorite TV sitcoms, sans commercials. Or run to the store. Or watch your favorite late night talk show, sans commercials. I don’t at all watch very much TV (she said sarcastically). TV is my friend. And it can be very useful. See TV Medical Drama Advice.
This recipe follows the MCP Pectin instructions as I have found it to be my favorite kind of pectin. If you use a different kind of pectin, follow those instructions. Also helpful: freezer jam tips here or below.
7-8 fresh ripe peaches
1/4 c fresh lemon juice (2 medium lemons)
1 T Fruit Fresh (optional)
1 box MCP Pectin
4 1/2 c sugar
1 c light corn syrup
Wash and rinse plastic containers with tight-fitting lids. Use 1- to 2-cup size containers.
Prepare peaches by peeling, pitting, and chopping fine. An easy way to “peel” peaches is to dip them in boiling water for 30 seconds and then the skins will slip right off. Place exactly 3¼ cups chopped peaches into large mixer bowl. Juice lemons and mix 1/4 cup lemon juice into peaches. Sprinkle with 1 T Fruit Fresh (this step is optional but will help to prevent browning). Mix again. Gradually stir pectin into fruit and mix thoroughly. Set aside for 30 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes to dissolve pectin thoroughly.
Meanwhile, measure exactly 4½ cups sugar into a bowl and 1 cup light corn syrup into a glass measuring cup. After the 30 minutes, pour corn syrup into fruit mixture. Mix well. This prevents sugar crystallization during freezer storage. Stir in sugar gradually. Stir constantly until sugar is completely dissolved and no longer grainy.
Pour into prepared containers, leaving 1/2-inch space at the top for expansion during freezing. Cover with lids. Let stand at room temperature for 24 hours until set.
Refrigerate up to three weeks. Otherwise, store in freezer for up to one year. Thaw in refrigerator.
Freezer Jam Tips:
1) Follow exact instructions on the box of pectin. Don’t substitute or reduce sugar or jam will not turn out, or as the MCP Pectin instructions put it “failure.”
2) Use MCP Pectin. That brand works wonders. Don’t know specifically why it is better than others, but it just is.
3) Measure ingredients very precisely. It is important.
4) Using a KitchenAid really helps. Totally not necessary, but really helps since you end up mixing the jam every five minutes for a half an hour.
5) If recipe calls for lemon juice, bottled Minute Maid frozen lemon juice (thawed) or fresh lemon juice works best. I like to use fresh because, well, it is fresh.
6) If using fruit that darkens, sprinkle fruit fresh on fruit mixture after adding pectin. Makes the jam more pretty.