Easy 3-Ingredient Raspberry Freezer Jam

raspberry jam

A few days ago I went to a local u-pick and picked a bucket full of raspberries. I intended to make jam with them, but a couple of days later they were still sitting in the bucket in my fridge. The weather has been really warm here, and as I sat in my sweltering apartment I just couldn’t muster up enthusiasm to stand over a boiling water canner all day. Then I remembered a recipe that I saw in one of my cookbooks for freezer jam.

Freezer jam is so ridiculously simple to make. You don’t need any special equipment. You don’t even need to use your stove! It’s perfect for hot summer days when you have a hankering for some jam and there is an abundance of fresh fruit around. From start to finish, you can have your own homemade jam in about an hour. You’ll just want to make sure that you have enough room in your freezer to store the jam when you’re done. If you have kids that like to help this is perfect because it’s easy and you don’t have to worry about them burning themselves or breaking glass jars.

raspberries

Easy 3-Ingredient Raspberry Freezer Jam
Makes about 5 cups

8 cups fresh raspberries
1 1/2 cups white sugar
1 package freezer jam pectin

  1. In a large bowl, mash the raspberries with a potato masher, one cup at a time. Measure 4 cups of fruit.
  2. In a separate bowl, mix together the sugar and pectin.
  3. Add the sugar and pectin to the raspberries and stir for 3 minutes.
  4. Ladle into freezer jam containers (or other airtight containers), leaving about 1/2 inch of headspace at the top.
  5. Put the lids on the containers and let rest at room temperature until set, about 30 minutes.
  6. Refrigerate for up to 3 weeks, or freeze for up to a year.
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Tomato Corn Salsa

tomato corn salsa

I always relegated canning and food preserving to the elderly or people with too much time on their hands. In this modern age, why bother canning your own food when you can find virtually anything pre-made and ready to eat on the grocery store shelves?

Since I’ve been at home on maternity leave, I’ve been rediscovering the joy of preparing my own meals. I get a great deal of enjoyment out of baking from scratch. I like knowing exactly what goes into my food, and it’s so much more satisfying to sit down to a meal that I created myself rather than something that I bought and reheated. I’ve really enjoyed making my own baby food and experimenting with different flavour combinations.

I was browsing through Pinterest the other day and saw a recipe for rhubarb preserves. It looked so good, but I’d never canned anything before. I was intrigued by the thought, but wary. Wasn’t it expensive to get started? Wouldn’t it take a long time? What about the risk of getting food poisoning?

I started looking into it, and as it turns out, canning isn’t the monumental task that I had assumed it was. There was a bit of a start-up cost for the canner and some jars, but overall the process looked relatively simple. I bought some cookbooks from Amazon, which should be arriving any day now. I’m very excited to learn the process and revive the lost (at least to me) art of food preserving, something that was not a hobby, but a necessity for my ancestors.

The first thing that I made was tomato corn salsa. I had a bunch of tomatoes in my fridge that needed to be used up, and in the starter salsacookbook that came with my canner was a recipe for this salsa. Perfect!

One thing that I have learned so far when canning is that it is important to follow the recipe exactly. If you’re an experimental cook like me, you’re probably prone to omitting an ingredient here or there, or adding extra of something. You can’t do that when food preserving. One of the things that prevents canned food from spoiling is maintaining the correct pH balance. Depending on the food, this may required the addition of an acid such as lemon juice or vinegar. If you skimp on the acid, or add more of the other ingredients, you run the risk of throwing the acidity out of balance and potentially creating harmful bacteria. So as tough as it is, when it comes to preserving, follow the rules.

Tomato Corn Salsa
From the Bernardin™ Home Canning Starter Kit Recipe Book

Makes 6 – 500 mL jars

12 cups tomatoes, coarsely chopped (about 6 lbs, or 24 medium)
8 cups whole kernel corn (about 2.2 lbs, or 16 ears)
115 g Bernardin™ Salsa Mix
1-3/4 cups cider vinegar

  1. Prepare 6-500 mL jars by placing in a boiling water canner and heating to a simmer. Place the snap lids in a bowl of hot (not boililing) water. For more information on preparing jars for canning, refer to your canner’s instruction manual.
  2. Wash, seed, and chop the tomatoes, then drain off the extra liquid. Measure exactly 12 cups.
  3. If you’re using fresh corn, blanch the corn in boiling water for one minute, then cut the kernels off. Measure exactly 8 cups.
  4. In a large saucepan, combine the Salsa Mix and vinegar. Add the tomatoes and corn and mix well. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer, stirring constantly, until mixture is heated through.
  5. Ladle the hot salsa into the hot jars, leaving 1/2″ of headspace. With a non-metallic instrument, remove the air bubbles.
  6. Wipe the jar rim clean. Centre the hot sealing disk on the jar, then screw on the screw band just until finger-tight.
  7. Place the hot jars back into the canner and ensure that they are covered by at least 1″ of water. Cover the canner and bring to a rolling boil.
  8. Once the water is boiling, keep the jars in the covered canner for 20 minutes. (If you live at a higher altitude, check your canner for instructions on longer processing times).
  9. After 20 minutes of constant boiling, turn off the heat and remove the lid from the canner. Leave the jars in the canner for five minutes. After five minutes, remove the jars from the canner without tilting them, and place them upright on a kitchen towel.
  10. Cool for 24 hours. Once cooled, check to make sure that the jars have sealed. The snap lids should be concave and shouldn’t move if you press on them. If you remove the screw bands, you should be able to pick the jar up by the snap disk and turn it upside down without leakage.
  11. Store in a cool, dark place for up to one year.