Fruit Jam can be very intimidating for most cooks. Freezer Jam is the way to go! Making Freezer Jam is easy, takes 3 ingredients and lasts a very long time. It is also easy to modify based on the type of fruit you are using, and dietary needs. This jam recipe was the one my grandmother taught me to make. We’d make endless batches all summer long. Our favorite was raspberry jam. It made a wonderful tea time treat, after swimming. Granny would make Ritz crackers, with cream cheese and a small dollop of raspberry jam on top.
Basic Freezer Jam Recipe
- 6 cups of fruit
- 6 cups of sugar
- 1 large package of Jello – matching the fruit
Break fruit pieces up if large (like apricots – cut into smaller pieces) and place in a large pot. Add the sugar. Stir. Using medium heat, bring the mixture to a rolling boil with regular stirring. Allow to boil with stirring for about five minutes, so the sugar is completely dissolved. Add package of jello. With continual stirring, bring back to a rolling boil. Allow to boil for another couple of minutes. Turn off the heat and allow to cool down with occasional stirring. You may need to skim the top, if there is a bubbly layer. This is excellent over ice cream 🙂 Ladle into plastic containers and place into the freezer. It will last, in the freezer, for at least a year.
Cherry Freezer Jam
Because cherries are so sweet, you need to adjust the above recipe to compensate for the heavy sugar content. The process is the same, but the proportions are a bit different. First, take the cherries, pit them, (see here for our cherry pitter suggestions and reviews) then chop them up into smaller pieces. You can run them through a food processor if you wish, having “chunks” is preferable for some. Keep the amount of fruit to 6 cups, but reduce the amount of sugar to 3 cups. Use black cherry Jello.
If you are using a fruit with high pectin (like strawberries) you will want to reduce the amount of Jello. For Strawberry, we use about 3/4 of a large package. If you use too much, your jam will come out very thick and gummy. Some fruits can not be made into jam. Any that do not set up in jello, like Kiwi, and pineapple will not make jam. Here is what we use for Jello types:
- Apricot Fruit — Peach Jello
- Raspberry Fruit – Raspberry Jello
- Huckleberries — Grape Jello
- Strawberry Fruit — Strawberry Jello
If you are diabetic and can’t use sugar, you can substitute a sweetener, like Splenda (TM) and use sugar-free Jello. We’ve found it is better to reduce the amount of sweetener by half. So, use 3 cups of Splenda instead of 6.