'Tis the season for excess fruit! With all the bounty that's starting to appear at farmers' markets and in grocery stores, if you're anything like me, you're seduced every time you shop and end up with more than you can eat or bake. That's where jam comes in handy! Freezer jam, that is. It doesn't involve canning and you can do small batches. It stays good for up to a year (6 months according to some) in the freezer and for about a month in the fridge.
If you buy fruit for something like a crisp, use any leftovers that become over ripe. Jam that tastes exactly like fresh fruit is always a welcome treat during the winter, and it can also be an easy Christmas or hostess gift.
I used the recipes I found here on The Kitchn and here on Purple Foodie as my base and sort of combined to make my Strawberry Apple Jam. I liked that the recipe on The Kitchn makes it easy to reduce and expand based on proportions. This is what I had on hand, so this is what I used:
Approx 1.5 lbs strawberries, hulled and diced
Approx 3 cups sugar
Zest and Juice of 1/2 lemon
1/4 cup water
2 Pink Lady apples, peeled, cored, and diced
Put a ceramic saucer or small plate in the freezer. Combine strawberries, sugar, zest, lemon juice, and water in a heavy bottomed pot over low heat.
Bring to a boil slowly, stirring often and until the sugar dissolves completely. Add the apples. Keep it boiling for another 20ish minutes. Use a candy thermometer to be sure it gets over 200 degrees F.
Take the plate out of the freezer and dribble a little bit of your liquid onto it. It should set pretty immediately- enough so it doesn't run all over the plate if you tip it. If it gels, you're done. If it doesn't, let it cook for a minute or two more.
Put your jam into jars and let it cool.
Have you made freezer jam before? Any good flavor combinations the rest of us should try?