Wind Ridge Farm

Pick-Your-Own Fruit

Recipes

Making Jam And Freezing Fruit

Equivalents:

Blueberries 1.5 pounds (2 pints) yields: six, 8-oz. Jars jam

Blackberries 6 pints yields: five, 8-oz. Jars jam

Peaches 2 lbs. Yields: five, 8-oz. Jars jam

Oven Baked Jam     Very easy!

4 lbs of ripe peaches

1 1/2 lbs sugar (If this is too sweet, cut sugar to taste)

Juice of two lemons, optional

Directions for making Oven Baked Jam.

Cut up peaches, removing pits.  Add sugar and mix with peaches. Let sit about an hour or so, tossing it occasionally.  Place in a large roasting pan to form a layer about 2 inches thick.   Place in a very low oven.  (My oven’s lowest temperature is 170 degrees F.)

Bake for 22 hours.  The excess liquid will evaporate, and the sugar will caramelize slightly.  Put clean jars and lids in the oven for 15 minutes, or alternately run jars through the dishwasher to sterilize. 

After filling and sealing jars, let sit at room temperature.  The jam will continue to set for about a day.

This is the easiest and most delicious peach jam I’ve ever made.  The long slow oven helps set it. 

Thanks to Lenore O’Black for giving me this Jacques Pepin recipe.

Other jam making methods

There are several ways to process fruit for jam. The easiest is to buy pectin and follow the directions. Some brand names are Fruit Jell, Certo and Sure-jel. Follow the directions provided. You can make freezer or non-freezer jam with these. We particularly like Sure-jel light when ripe fruit is used. This recipe requires less sugar, however, the jam is a little runnier.

The Certo/Ball/Kerr Company has a website with instructions for proper processing at: www.homecanning.com or call 1-800-240-3340.

The traditional method of making jam is also delicious. It can be found in comprehensive cookbooks such as the Joy of Cooking. This method is handy if you don't have pectin on hand, but the fruit is picked and ready to be processed.

This link has jam and jelly processing instructions and recipes: All about jam and jelly.

Freezing instructions

General information:

 Syrup may preserve the color of peaches that darken with air contact.

Pack juicy fruit with sugar only. Syrup will form.

Blueberries freeze well without sugar.

Generally, dry packing is better for pies, and syrup packing is better for dessert uses.

Blueberries & Blackberries

Use large, ripe berries. Sort and discard soft fruit and leaves. Then use one of the following methods:

1. Sugarless pack:  Do not wash fruit before freezing. Spread fruit out on a cookie sheet and place in the freezer. When frozen, put in ziplock freezer bags. Return to freezer. Rinse before use.

2. Syrup pack: Wash berries then spread out on paper towels to air dry. Put berries in glass or plastic containers suitable for freezing then cover with 30% sugar solution, and seal container. Put in freezer. (See instructions on how to make syrup near the bottom of this page.)

3. Dry pack: Add 1/2 cup sugar to 1-quart fruit, sprinkle on fruit, then place in containers. Put in freezer.

Peaches

Use only firm, ripe fruit. Peel and slice enough for one carton at a time. Then use one of the following methods:

1. Syrup pack: Pack and cover with 40%-60% syrup immediately, then seal. (See instructions on how to make syrup near the bottom of this page.)

2. Dry pack: See Blueberries.

3.Sugarless pack method A:  Sprinkle a few drops of solution (1/4-tsp. ascorbic acid and water), then toss gently. Spread peach slices out on a wax paper covered cookie sheet and freeze. When frozen, put in ziplock bags and put in freezer.

4. Sugarless pack method B:  Do not slice. Put whole peaches on cookie sheet. When frozen, put in large ziplock bags. When ready to use in pies or cobblers, thaw for a short time only. Peaches should be semi-frozen when run under tepid water. The skin will come off easily. Slice as desired. Use immediately.

Dry Pack

Use 1/2 cup sugar to 1 quart of fruit for dry packing. Place in any suitable freezing container.

Syrup for syrup pack method

Syrup Sugar Water

30%

1 cup

2 cups

40%

1 cup

1-1/4 cups

50%

1 cup

7/8 cup

60%

1 cup

1/2 cup

Directions for making syrup:

Dissolve sugar in warm water, stir. Be sure to cool it before using. Ascorbic acid helps prevent browning. Add 1/4 teaspoon ascorbic acid crystals to 4 cups of syrup, or 150 mg crushed vitamin C to 1-cup syrup. Drug and health food stores sell crystals. Place cut-up peeled peaches in jars. Pour syrup over fruit. Leave 1/2 inch to allow for expansion when freezing. Cover and freeze.

One can also process jars so freezing isn't necessary. Check a cookbook for instructions.