It's Halloween jam! Just kidding. We know that tomorrow's Halloween and ideally we would love to be posting an awesome recipe for "Witches Finger Cookies" or something equally as creepy, but the truth is we kind of forgot. Not forgot that it's Halloween (we've been having candy for breakfast for weeks!), but when planning out our first few days of brand-new-blog posts we didn't really think about the fact that our launch may coincide with an awesome holiday. And because we started putting these posts together in late summer, some of them are a little less "fall" and a little more... "strawberry".
But a little jack-o-lantern told me that you can still buy strawberries in-store and that this jam can also be enjoyed with a hot mug of spiced tea which makes the whole thing super cozy and you should probably wear a scarf. Or dress up as a strawberry and now it all makes sense.
The directions for this jam came directly from the box of Pomona's Universal Pectin. This is a special type of pectin (derived from citrus peel) that allows you to make jam with low amounts of sugar, honey, stevia, or any other sweetener. Normally jam requires a TON of sugar to set properly, but this recipe calls for as little as 1/2 a cup of honey for the whole recipe! Freezer jam is also a lot easier (and faster) to make than regular jam because there is no boiling or processing of the jars. In fact, you don't cook the jam at all! I actually love this about it because it keeps the fruit tasting super fresh.
For our version we used fresh strawberries (that we picked ourselves!) but you can substitute any fruit or berry of your choice. The amount of sugar varies for each kind so make sure you check the instructions included in the pectin box if you want to change it up.
And don't forget to put on a little mood music before you begin!
You Will Need:
- 1 box of Pomona's Universal Pectin (makes 2-4 recipes)
- 4 cups fresh strawberries (or fruit of choice) at room temperature
- 1/2 cup - 1 cup honey or 3/4 cup - 2 cups of sugar (depending on how sweet you like it)
- 3/4 cup water
- jam jars (ie: heat-safe Mason or Weck jars)
1. Wash & dry your jars.
2. Using enclosed calcium packet, make your calcium water. Store in a jar in fridge.
3. Wash the strawberries & remove the tops. Slice them up and mash them with a fork/potato masher or use a food processor if you have one. Mash until you reach your desired jam consistency.
4. Measure sugar or honey. Add to fruit & stir well.
5. Bring your 3/4 cup of water to a boil. Using a blender with a vented lid, blend with the proper amount of pectin (this depends on your chosen fruit - see included instructions) for 1-2 mins until dissolved.
6. Add hot, liquid pectin to fruit & stir well.
7. Add 4 tsp. of calcium water to fruit mixture & stir well. Jell should appear. If not, continue adding calcium water 1 tsp. at a time until jelling appears.
8. Fill your jam jars, leaving 1/2" of room at the top. Store in the freezer immediately.
Whenever you're ready to enjoy a jar, move it to the refrigerator where it will last about a week!