Preserving Summer (just like Grandma did)
Many of us grew up with our grandmas and mothers canning the harvest of the garden to be enjoyed all through the winter. Even though we can buy everything at the grocery store, it’s still a wonderful tradition for many and a money saver. Here are some of our favorites that are worth the work!
RECIPE & PHOTO BY HAILEY MINTON
Apricot Freezer Jam
4 cups apricots, finely chopped (approximately 2 1/2 lb.)
2 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
3 cups sugar
1 box of Sure Jell Premium Fruit Pectin
1 cup water
Wash and rinse containers that hold around 1 to 2 cups. Wash apricots, discard the pits, and finely chop them. Do not peel them. Combine the exact measurements of apricots and lemon juice in a bowl and set to the side. Measure the exact amount of sugar and add to a large saucepan. Mix in 1 box of Sure Jell with the sugar. Stir in 1 cup water and bring the mixture to boil on medium-high heat, stirring constantly. Boil and stir for one minute. Stir in the apricot and lemon juice mixture quickly. Stir 1 minute or until thoroughly mixed.
Pour into prepared containers, leaving 1/2 inch space at the top for expansion during freezing. Cover. Let stand at room temperature for 24 hrs until set before moving to the freezer or fridge.
TIPS: Have you ever made jam to find the sugar crystalized later? Here are a few things you can do to prevent it and fix it when it does happen.
Prevent: Make sure the fruit and liquid to sugar ratio is precise. Crystals will form if there is more sugar than the fruit can hold. Cook at a rapid boil. Follow the recipe precisely and don’t over cook. Sometimes crystals will form on the sides of the pot as you cook the jam. Before you fill the jar, take a damp cloth and wipe the sides of the pot to prevent sugar crystals from sneaking in. Cooking Jellies or jams in a single batch will increase your chances of it turning out great!
Fix: Low, even heating melts the crystals. That being said, you can use the stove or a microwave to melt the jam back into shape. The dishwasher is a great option as well! Just make sure the lids are on TIGHT and put your jars of jam in the dishwasher for a cycle.
Click the links below for more awesome canning recipes!