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Freezer Jam and Other Frozen Preserves

During the summer months, when produce is at its peak, I love putting up preserves. I have no fear of canning, but know plenty who do – so many friends are so intimidated by the thought of processing jars, that they don’t do it at all. Which is a shame, when berries, rhubarb, plums, peaches, tomatoes and all manner of juicy, flavourful fruit is at its summer best. Fortunately, freezing is a perfect, pressure-free way to store preserves – anything from tomato sauce to strawberry compote – to keep you in seasonal jams and sauces even in the bleak midwinter.

Freezer jams and preserves couldn’t be simpler – simply follow your favourite recipe, or mash and simmer fruit with sugar until it thickens into jam. (If it doesn’t, you have a wonderful fruit sauce or syrup to serve over cake, pancakes or waffles!)

Cool your jam, chutney or sauce completely before freezing, and pour into a Hefty Slider Bag; its slider top makes it easy to keep open as you fill them. Because preserves have already been cooked down, they’re perfect candidates for freezing – they won’t break down further, and their liquid will protect them from freezer burn.

Flatten and slide into the freezer; once solid, flat bags will be easy to stack, and take up minimal freezer space. Label and date; you can store them for up to a year.

To thaw, leave at room temperature or transfer to the fridge for a day; jam’s high sugar content will prevent it from freezing solid, so it will be quick to thaw, too. If you want just a small quantity, a flat frozen bag will make it easy to break off a chunk, then thaw in a small dish for the freshest jam to accompany your morning toast or scones. If you want to thaw a whole bag, pour it into a jar to store in the fridge for up to two weeks (for jam, less for sauces and low-sugar preserves).

Looking for some freezer inspiration? Here are a few great sauces and preserves to try!

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  • Rhubarb Chutney 1 of 8
    Rhubarb Chutney
    Delish on curries, grilled cheese, samosas or pakoras - and a great use of all that rhubarb!
    The Family Kitchen has the recipe!
  • Fresh Tomato Sauce with Basil 2 of 8
    Fresh Tomato Sauce with Basil
    Perfect to stash in the freezer for pasta all winter long!
    The Family Kitchen has the recipe!
  • Skillet Strawberry Vanilla Jam 3 of 8
    Skillet Strawberry Vanilla Jam
    This small batch jam is made quickly in a skillet - bigger surface area = shorter cooking time!
    The Family Kitchen has the recipe!
  • Strawberry Saskatoon Jam 4 of 8
    Strawberry Saskatoon Jam
    If you have access to Saskatoon berries - or blueberries - they make delicious jam!
    Dinner with Julie has the recipe!
  • Bacon Jam 5 of 8
    Bacon Jam
    Freezing is the best way to preserve bacon jam - containing meat, it's difficult to process and make safely shelf-stable.
    The Family Kitchen has the recipe!
  • 30 Minute Jam 6 of 8
    30 Minute Jam
    Jam doesn't have to be made in enormous batches, nor does it need to take a long time! Mix up a batch in 30 minutes, to stash in the freezer for breakfast emergencies!
    Simple Bites has the recipe!
  • Cranberry-Pear Ginger Preserves 7 of 8
    Cranberry-Pear Ginger Preserves
    A great use of overripe pears, simmered with fresh ginger and a handful of cranberries or other berries.
    Dinner with Julie has the recipe!
  • Concord Grape jelly 8 of 8
    Concord Grape jelly
    For something deliciously different, simmer concord grapes into jam or jelly to spoon into tarts or spread on toast.
    Dinner with Julie has the recipe!

A big thanks to Hefty for sponsoring this campaign. Click here to see more of the discussion.

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