Today’s world doesn’t always allow time to stock a pantry the old-fashioned way.
No-cook freezer fruit jam is an easy way to skip hot days of canning and yet still process the bounty of summer produce. This no-process, low-sugar fruit jam is wonderful with strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, or blueberries. Experiment with combinations. No-cook jams keep up to 6 months in the freezer and 3 weeks in the refrigerator.
1 tablespoon lemon juice
3 cups washed, hulled, and finely chopped berries, at room temperature (about 1 quart whole)
1 cup cold water
2 tablespoons agar flakes
1/4 cup mild-flavored honey, such as clover
1. In a mixing bowl, stir the lemon juice into the fruit. Set aside.
2. Place the water in a small saucepan and stir in the agar flakes. Wait 1 minute and then, without further stirring, bring the agar to a simmer over medium-low heat. Once it’s simmering, stir for 2-5 minutes, or until the agar is completely dissolved.
3. Stir the honey into the agar. Use a heatproof rubber spatula to scrape the sides and bottom of the pot.
4. Pouring with one hand and stirring with the other, add the agar mixture to the fruit (donot add the fruit to the agar). Continue stirring until theya re completely mixed. Taste at this time and add more honey, up to 3 tablespoons, if desired.
5. Pour the mam into hot, scalded half-pint jars, leaving 1/2 inch of headspace.
6. Cap and seal. Let cool in the refrigerator for 10-12 hours before freezing. Label and freeze the jam for up to 6 months.
7. When ready to use, thaw the jam in the refrigerator. It will keep about 3 weeks in the refrigerator.
Yield: Four 1/2 pints.
Adapted from The Big Book of Preserving the Harvest, by Carol W. Costenbader. Copyright (c) 2002, by Carol W. Costenbader. Reprinted by permission of Storey Books.