Get Yourself in a Jam—in a Good Way!

Guest Blog by Darcy Maulsby

Darcy Maulsby is a farm cook whose family operates a Century Farm in Calhoun County between Lake City and Yetter. Darcy also runs her own ag marketing/communications business (www.darcymaulsby.com) and enjoys teaching cooking classes, reading and improving her photography skills in her free time. Darcy’s motto? “As long as people need to eat, agriculture will never be irrelevant.” 



Got 30 minutes? You’ve got enough time to make freezer jam. Once you’ve tried this amazing spread, you may never buy the jarred stuff from the store again.

I can speak from experience, because I got hooked on home canning nearly a decade ago. During my class at the recent Women in Denim seminar in Storm Lake, I showed how making a simple, homemade freezer jam is the best way to break into canning. It’s easy, delicious and will make you feel like a major-league home cook.

JamToast-Maulsby

Jam isn’t just for toast, however. I use it for all sorts of recipes, from sweet to savory. In case you’d like to know what defines a jam, jelly or preserve, here’s the scoop:

  • In jelly, the fruit comes in the form of fruit juice.
  • In jam, the fruit comes in the form of fruit pulp or crushed fruit (and is less stiff than jelly).
  • In preserves, the fruit comes in the form of chunks in a thick syrup.

Here are a few of my best recipes to get you started:

30-Minute Raspberry Freezer Jam

You can use red raspberries or blackberries with this recipe, which is fast, fun, and fabulous!

3 cups prepared fruit (about 6 cups fully ripe red raspberries)—can also use frozen berries
5 cups sugar, measured into separate bowl
¾ cup water
1 box fruit pectin (I use the regular kind, not freezer pectin)
Canning jars

Crush raspberries thoroughly, one layer at a time. Press half the pulp through sieve to remove seeds, if desired. Measure exactly 3 cups crushed raspberries into large bowl. (If using frozen berries, drain off much of the liquid, and save for jelly making). Stir in sugar. Let stand 10 min., stirring occasionally.

Mix water and pectin in small saucepan. Bring to boil on high heat, stirring constantly. Continue boiling and stirring 1 min. Add to fruit mixture; stir 3 min. or until sugar is almost dissolved and no longer grainy. (A few sugar crystals may remain.)

Fill containers immediately to within 1/2 inch of tops. Wipe off top edges of containers; immediately cover with lids. Let stand at room temperature 24 hours. Jam is now ready to use. Store in refrigerator up to 3 weeks, or freeze extra containers up to 1 year. If frozen, thaw in refrigerator before using.

ChocoalteTorte_Maulsby

Chocolate Torte with Raspberry Cream

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups prepared fruit (about 6 cups fully ripe red raspberries)—can also use frozen berries
  • 5 cups sugar, measured into separate bowl
  • ¾ cup water
  • 1 box fruit pectin (I use the regular kind, not freezer pectin)
  • Canning jars

Directions:

  1. Crush raspberries thoroughly, one layer at a time.
  2. Press half the pulp through sieve to remove seeds, if desired.
  3. Measure exactly 3 cups crushed raspberries into large bowl. (If using frozen berries, drain off much of the liquid, and save for jelly making).
  4. Stir in sugar.
  5. Let stand 10 min., stirring occasionally.
  6. Mixwater and pectin in small saucepan. Bring to boil on high heat, stirring constantly.
  7. Continue boiling and stirring 1 min.
  8. Add to fruit mixture; stir 3 min. or until sugar is almost dissolved and no longer grainy. (A few sugar crystals may remain.)
  9. Fill containers immediately to within 1/2 inch of tops.
  10. Wipe off top edges of containers; immediately cover with lids.
  11. Let stand at room temperature 24 hours.
  12. Jam is now ready to use.
  13. Store in refrigerator up to 3 weeks, or freeze extra containers up to 1 year.
  14. If frozen, thaw in refrigerator before using.

You can use red raspberries or blackberries with this recipe, which is fast, fun, and fabulous!