February 16, 2007

Kiwi (Freezer) Jam

1 1/4 cups sugar
2 lb kiwi, peeled
45g packet of freezer jam pectin*

In a medium bowl, use a potato masher (or a spoon) to mash the kiwifruit. Add the sugar and pectin. Stir (or whisk if it is liquid enough) for 3 minutes. Pour into 4-5 clean 8 oz jars, leave 1/2 inch of space at the top. Cover and let sit for 30 minutes then serve, refrigerate (up to 3 weeks), or freeze (up to one year).

*You cannot substitute regular pectin for this. Look for freezer jam pectin in the canning or baking isle at your local store. May only be available during the canning season, ask for it.

My thoughts:
If you've been reading this for a while, you know I am a little leery about canning. I made some lovely refrigerator pickles last August (a jar of which is still crisp and edible in my fridge by the way!) that didn't require any scary canning methods. I've been dying to make jam but was still a little scared about attempting traditional canning. What if I made a mistake and ruined the jam or worse-what if I made a 12 jars and didn't like it? So you can imagine my excitement when I was offered a set of Ball freezer jam jars and pectin. I loved it! In less than 15 minutes we made yummy kiwi jam. We had so many kiwi in the fridge that I wanted to use them up before they went bad. I couldn't find directions for a kiwi freezer jam so I just used all the kiwi we had, guessed how much sugar, used a whole packet of the pectin and it came out wonderfully. I am now a freezer jam devotee. Freezer jam is great because it uses about a 1/3 of the sugar as "regular" homemade jam or jelly. Traditional jam recipes often call for more cups of sugar than fruit! I also love that you don't have to cook it (or freeze it for that matter, despite the name), and you can eat it within 30 minutes of canning. Ball makes a set of reusable plastic freezer jam jars (perfect if you are actually going to freeze the jam-safer than glass if the jam expands more than you expect) that comes with directions and a sample of the pectin. And to head off some future emails: freezer jam pectin is vegan, as is regular fruit pectin.