No-Cook Freezer Jam

Half-Pints of Raspberry

I spent my weekend preserving, how about you? Canning season is well under way here in Utah, as everyone, it seems, tries to take advantage of the great harvest. Utah farms produce an astonishing amount given our location on high desert steppes, everything from peaches and cherries to cucumbers, squash, tomatoes and peppers.

Of course, fruit preserves are some of the most popular, along with salsa and corn. But I had no idea freezer canning was so damn simple! (Regular canning is fairly scary to a canning newbie like me.)

Our local grocery is having a major fruit sale – 99c for a pint of raspberries! 39c a pound for pears! – so we decided to look up some simple freezer jam recipes. (We have this half-full freezer after all.)

We picked up a flat of raspberries (12 6-ounce containers), several pounds of pears and peaches, some freezer pectin and sugar. My goals: Put up raspberry preserves (my favorite), pear preserves, raspberry-pear preserves and peach preserves.

Originally, I was going to use recipes I found online, but after reading the back of the pectin package, I used Ball’s recipe instead. I’d trust them with my canning life, they’ve been around forever and almost everybody uses or has used their recipes or equipment.

The formula is dead simple and works for a lot of different fruit. We prefer a semi-chunky preserve, so fruits that don’t crush well went in the food processor for a quick whiz around. I don’t know if using a processor is really advised, but it was certainly easy. Otherwise, we used a “stomper”, a Latvian-style wooden masher, to crush everything.

Crushing Raspberries

According to Ball, 4 cups of crushed raspberries is roughly 6 6-oz containers. What do you know, they’re right! It was a little over, but not by much. It worked out to about 2 1/4 pounds raspberries to 1 pound sugar, and when we asked my mother-in-law about her ratio, it’s almost dead on for hers. (I absolutely ADORE her raspberry jam. She makes it with fresh-picked raspberries from the forest near her house in the Latvian countryside. It is to die for and I’ve begged her for jars every time I go to Latvia.)

Now, these preserves are very fresh and spreadable, so only use absolutely ripe fruit. Canning fruit is usually blemished and banged up, but the flavor is the only thing that matters. The pears this week on sale were superb, if they weren’t very pretty.

Ball advises that 4 lbs of strawberries is about 4 cups, but alas, strawberry season is over so we can’t make my husband’s beloved strawberry-rhubarb preserves.

We couldn’t resist having crepes the next day to use up the remnants of our preserve-making binge, too! Mmm.. fruit-filled crepes.

There’s still time to put up some jam if you have some extra freezer space. And, not to sound like a total shill for Ball, but their plastic freezer jam jars are really handy and easy to store.

Pints of Raspberry Jam

No-Cook Freezer Jam [printable recipe]

From Ball

Works great for: Raspberries and other berries, apricots, cherries, grapes, pears, plums and “most other tender fruit”

Yield: 5 – 6 8-ounce containers

  • 4 cups crushed fruit
  • 1 1/2 cups (~1 lb) sugar
  • 1 1.59-oz package Ball No-Cook Freezer Pectin

Stir together sugar and pectin thoroughly. Add fruit and mix for 3 minutes. Ladle into clean jars or freezer containers and let set for 30 minutes. Freeze or refrigerate.

Lasts: 3 weeks in the fridge, 1 year in the freezer

Peach Preserves

No-Cook Peach Freezer Jam [printable recipe]

From Ball

Yield: 5 – 6 8-oz containers

  • 4 cups (about 12) peaches, peeled and crushed
  • 1 1/2 cups (~1 lb) sugar
  • 3 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 packet Ball No-Cook Freezer Pectin

Stir peaches, sugar and lemon juice together until well-blended. Let stand for 10 minutes. (For a thicker jam, boil peaches before adding sugar and juice.)

Gradually add pectin and stir for 3 minutes. Ladle into clean jars and let set for about 30 minutes. Freeze or refrigerate.

Lasts: 3 weeks in the fridge, 1 year in the freezer

. . .

As always, don’t give spoilers a chance to survive. Make sure everything’s squeaky clean, from your work surface to your equipment and especially your containers and lids.

This entry was posted in dairy-free, gluten-free, preserves, recipes, untranslated. Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to No-Cook Freezer Jam

  1. Lil says:

    I’m so excited to try this with the last big piles of fruit. Sometimes I feel like I should get over my fear of heat processing jars and then I see recipes like this…

    • Cori Rozentāle says:

      You and me both! I still haven’t quite been able to bring myself to heat process and I didn’t think I’d be able to do any kind of preserving this year. But the no-cook freezer jams are so incredibly easy (and taste so very very good), the only drawback is that is makes me even less likely to make heat preserved jams!

  2. Ira Mann says:

    I have never thought of freezer jams. I can’t wait to give it a try. Thanks so much for the idea.

  3. Brooke says:

    wow–I am thrilled to find your blog! I was simply googling for no cook freezer jams when I found your blog. However, in reading this one post, I now cannot wait to try some of your Latvian recipes! Latvia is a country so close to my heart. I have only traveled there once, last year, but fell in love. My family and I went on a mission trip to help out in some orphanages and are hoping to adopt 2 children. We actually spent 5 days in Liepaja getting to spend time with a few of the kids we’ve grown to love! I fell in love with the country, the people and the food! Thank you for this site and the Learning Latvian site which I will have to read profusely as I, too, would love to learn but the resources for learning it are very limited (as you know.)

    • Cori Rozentāle says:

      Hi Brooke,

      Aww, thank you! I, too, fell in love with Latvia when I visited; she is an easy country to love. :) My husband tells me it can be difficult for kids there to be adopted, so thank you for considering them and helping out there!! If you are going to adopt some Latvian kids, I think having some recipes on hand from their home region, especially the most traditional and well-loved foods, will help them so much. I know it helps my husband when he misses his country and family (and me too).

      Right now, I’m only slowly updating the Learning Latvian site, but I am planning to put more stuff up there starting next week. One of the next posts will be a page on resources that I use and how to get them outside of Latvia. I was thinking about possibly posting some beginning lessons (like I work through) or vocabulary, would that be helpful / of interest to you?

      If there are any recipes you would like to make that I haven’t featured here, please let me know. And if you need any help with learning the language, feel free to email me any time – I’m happy to help :) Thank you so much for writing! You made my day :D

      Best of luck in your adoption! :)

      • Brooke says:

        Thank you! We know quite a few people who have adopted children from Latvia but, as you may know, children are not available for international adoption from Latvia until they are 9 (unless they are a sibling group of 3 or more or they have special needs). This is a newer law as of 2008, I believe. This does deter most people from adoption since most seem to be looking for the younger children. That saddens me since the older children need a family just as much as the younger ones. Plus, having to make 3 trips to Latvia (with the first one being up to 2 weeks) also turns a lot of people off.

        We spent time in Liepaja, Riga (where we fell in love with eating at Lido!!) and Ozolmuiza. My husband just returned about a week and a half ago from his 2nd trip to Latvia and he spent time in Skrunda, Riga, Jurmala, Cesis, Ozolmuiza and some other places as well. He was able to celebrate Jani while there which he said was amazing and he had tons of good food! I wasn’t able to go on that trip since I am pregnant with our 4th child and didn’t think I would handle the plane ride very well! :)

        I think beginning lessons would help me very much. I was able to get a Latvian language program online called Byki Deluxe and it has lots of vocabulary lists and such but I think it will still be difficult for me to really learn without being immersed in the language.

        I’ll be making pelmini tonight (yum) and I can’t wait! After I’ve had time to browse through your recipes, I’ll let you know if there’s something I’d like to see!

        • Cori Rozentāle says:

          I’ve only gone to Latvia in the winter, so I’m quite jealous of your husband who got to celebrate Jāņi there! I’m hoping to go back in a year or so during the spring. :) It sounds like he got to see quite a bit of the country!

          Latvian can be really difficult to learn on your own. There’s one decent-ish book (though it doesn’t focus much on giving lessons) available readily in the US called Colloquial Latvian by Christopher Moseley. It covers a lot of the grammar and provides some dialogues to translate. “Latviešu valodas rokasgrāmata. Tabulas un shēmas” by Anita Romane is absolutely essential, I think. It’s a book of tables, all the tables necessary to understand the language, from declensions to conjugations to adjectives, adverbs, you name it. I will definitely get a post together with the various resources I use soon.

          I’d never heard of Byki Deluxe before – is it all vocab? That’d be really good if it’s comprehensive. Once you get the basic grammar down, it seems to be mostly learning vocabulary and exposure, exposure, exposure. (Otherwise known as practice, practice, practice!)

  4. Brooke says:

    I found it online and ordered it with some sort of promotion they were offering at the time. The link is: http://shop.transparent.com/store/transpar/DisplayProductDetailsPage/productID.105838700/pgm.48125000?resid=0V4VpwoBAiMAAEkARPgAAAA0&rests=1279050234513
    and yes, it is vocab and some phrases from the best I can tell. I haven’t used to too much yet. Thanks for the recommended books!
    I’m jealous of him for going during this time as well! We went in September last year and it was very nice then as well.
    (Pelmini is in the freezer since we won’t be having it tonight, but I can’t wait to eat it!)

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