An alternative to water bathing canning homemade jams and jellies is to make Freezer jam and jellies. That is what I did with some nice peaches I had. We have had a lot of peach pie this year and I wanted to try this recipe instead.
The recipe (directions) are from a Martha Stewart Living Magazine. I did cook it about double the time the recipe called for as I cooked it at a lower heat setting than called for. I did not want the jam to scorch and I hate to skim foam off of jams and jellies, hence the lower heat.
The only thing this will do is take longer to thicken. Test the jam on a cold plate that has been in the freezer. We like ours a little on the soft side so that is what I aimed for.
There is no commercial pectin in this recipe so it will take longer to jell anyway.
For the taste of summer all winter long this is a good way to do it. It is for a small batch so you don’t have a lot to handle at once and unless you live in Peach Country this helps on the budget. Small household, just don’t eat as much as we did when I had teenagers at home.
3 pounds of fruit*
3 ⅓ cups sugar
¼ teaspoon coarse salt
2 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice (you can use fresh here as you are not canning it)
Peel, (leave peeling on optional) chop into 1 inch pieces discarding pits.
Stir together fruit, sugar, and ¼ teaspoon coarse salt in a large heavy pot. Bring to a boil; stirring until sugar is dissolved and mashing fruit with a potato masher. Add lemon juice; continue to boil stirring frequently until bubbles slow, chunks of fruit show at top and mixture clings to a spoon. 14 to 28 minutes. Test a spoonful on a cold plate to see if it is setting.
Ladle Jam into clean, hot containers leaving ¾ inch headroom. Allow to cool. When cool cover and store in refrigerator for one month or freezer for up to a year.
*Use 3 pound peaches
1 ½ pound peaches, 1½ pound plums
3 pounds of plums
or 1 pound each of berries of your choice to equal 3 pounds.