My husband and I went to a farm not far from where we live and picked blackberries for about an hour. As youngsters we both remember picking wild berries with our family on the side of the road. We had to deal with thorns and snakes. It was a joy picking berries at this farm and not having to worry about those situations. The bushes are planted in rows and most are thorn-less.
Once we ate our fill of the berries we made freezer jam. Freezer jam is so good and so easy to do. We made three batches of pure blackberry jam and then we had enough berries for only a half of a batch. So we mixed those berries with strawberries. Yum! Yum! Very good!
Here are directions and information on making the freezer jam: You need to get the small jars especially for freezer jam because the jam needs to be eaten pretty quickly after it's taken out of the freezer. You can get the jars at Wal Mart or even the grocery store.
What is so nice about freezer jam is that you don't have to worry about the jars sealing. And since you don't cook the fruit, I think you get more of a fresh fruit flavor.
Blackberries, strawberries, and raspberries work well in uncooked freezer jam recipes. You must store uncooked jams in the refrigerator or freezer. You can hold them for several weeks in a refrigerator, and up to a year in the freezer.
If you keep them at room temperature they will mold or ferment in a short time. Once you open the container, keep refrigerated and use the jam within a few days, no longer than three weeks.
Sort and wash fully ripe fruit. Drain. Remove caps and stems from berries and crush.
The basic recipe for uncooked jam is:
Measure three cups of prepared fruit into a large mixing bowl. Add the sugar, mix well, and let stand for 20 minutes. Stir occasionally.
Dissolve the Sure Jell in one cup cold water in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Boil for one minute. Add pectin solution to the fruit and sugar mixture. Stir vigorously for two minutes.
Pour the jam into clean freezer containers or canning jars, leaving one-half inch head-space. Cover the containers and let stand for 24 hours, or until the jam has set and become firm. This quantity makes about seven or eight half-pint jars or freezer containers. When jam comes out of the freezer, thaw overnight in the refrigerator. Enjoy!
*DO NOT puree the berries. They need to be crushed or they will be too "juicy".*
By Margaret from Denton, Texas
We make freezer jam because it tastes so much better. I freeze enough berries in containers for a batch of the jam. then when we use up a batch I can make more. It takes up less freezer space that way and you don't have the freezer full of jam all the time.
I just use the disposable containers I already have on hand. They say they are freezer safe. (Glad brand)
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