Jams and Preserves
Okay, I realize a big part of the point of jams and preserves and such were–hence the name–to enable fruit products to keep for a really long time when there were no freezers and such. But I honestly can’t be bothered (yet…but my evolution as a greenmama is still in its early stages) with the whole hot messy process of canning. So finding recipes for jams and preserves that you can freeze was kind of cool…
This recipe for plum preserves was in this month’s Cooking Light; I imagine it could easily be adapted for other fruits, adjusting sugar and lemon juice amounts…
6 cups (about 3 lbs) slice ripe plums
2 1/4 cups sugar
1/2 cup water
2 tbs lemon juice
1 cinnamon stick
Combine plums and sugar in a large bowl; cover and let stand 8 hours at room temp.
Combine fruit mixture and remaining ingredients in a dutch oven and bring to a boil; cover, reduce heat to medium low, and simmer 15 minutes.
Uncover and cook over medium heat about an hour, until reduced to 5 cups (stir and mash fruit occasionally). Pour into a large bowl and let cool completely; discard cinnamon stick. Refrigerate up to 2 weeks. (I bet it would freeze too.)
It makes me wonder what else you could do with it…blueberry preserves are one of my absolute favorite things, and that could be really yummy…one would probably even keep the cinnamon stick for that.
Then this same month’s Good Housekeeping had this:
3 cups raspberries
1 tbs lemon juice
5 tsp fruit pectin
1/2 tsp margarine or butter
1 1/4 c sugar
Combine berries, juice, pectin, and margarine in a 12 inch skillet. Heat to boiling on high, blending and mashing fruit; boil 1 minute. Stir in sugar, return to boil and boil 2 more minutes, until syrupy, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and cool at room temperature 15 minutes.
Pour into clean 1/2 pint jars with tight lids. Cover and refridgerate until jam is set and cold. (Or pack into freezer-safe containers and freeze)
This recipe also gives variations for strawberry ( extra tbs lemon juice, 2 full tbs pectin) or three-berry (combination of raspberry, blackberry, and strawberry, also 2 tbs pectin) jams…
I’m looking forward to trying them. Especially variations on the preserves thing…