I was talking with Raegan the other day about Brayden and I making freezer jam and how much value there is for children in making it. She was interested in the recipe, so I thought I should share it with all of you.
If you have tons of fruit you don't know what to do with, freezer jam is a great way to go. It is so delicious! If you have never had it, you must try it. This is the best jam ever. You can make several kinds. My favorites are peach, strawberry, blackberry, and best of all raspberry. You can also combine those for new flavors.
It is easy enough to make with a toddler. One thing, though, is that it does take about an hour to make total, which I think is too long to hold a child's interest. The reason is for 30 minutes you just stir it every five minutes. So you might want to have your child help up to the stirring and then have him do something different or off to nap time or something.
Here are the supplies you need:
- Pectin. This is the most important ingredient for you. I find it in my grocery store by the canning supplies, but I don't know if stores outside of Utah will really have this and if so, where in the store. So I found the kind I get on Amazon for you: MCP Premium Fruit Pectin. It has the instructions in it, so buy the box and then you have the instructions. But I will tell you what else you need.
- Sugar--lots of sugar. I think it is about 4-5 cups for each recipe.
- Corn Syrup
- Lemon juice (bottled is fine)
- Fruit. Usually about 3-5 smashed cups.
- Potato smasher
- Measuring cups
- Containers for jam. You can use something as simple as the disposable tupperware made by Ziploc, Rubbermaid, etc. You can also use glass jars that can be frozen. I use jars from Kerr that look like the one below. Make sure if you buy glass, it says freezer safe. Ball is also a good brand for jars.
Let your child help as much as you think is appropriate. They can wash berries and smash the fruit with the potato smasher. I let Brayden use a plastic knife to cut the greens off of the strawberries.
A note, make sure you don't smash the fruit too much. You want your jam to be chunky, and while you are stirring the jam over and over, the fruit chunks will break down even more.
You can store your jam for at least a year. The instructions say one year, but most of us who do it will keep it longer than that.