a deep freeze when the heat’s on

One week of cherry ideas. What to feature next? Wait and see. From bruschetta to hand pies, the cherry has been fun to work with this week. Here’s one last idea to add to your kitchen’s offerings.

Fresh fruit, piled in wooden boxes at the farmers’ market, is the warm weather’s reward to us. As we worked this week, it’s plain to see that fruit can feature in any part of the family menu. We did pork chops and dessert in one week’s worth of recipes for cherries.

Who doesn’t want to capture fruit in the  prime of the season? In a few easy steps, the method for making jam with your freezer can be ready for tomorrow morning’s toast. The method was the focus of a recent article in Organic Gardening Magazine.  http://www.organicgardening.com/cook/freezer-jam-recipes

 If the thought of canning fruit conjures up thoughts of cooks in the kitchen, with pots of boiling water and glass jars, here’s another method to try.

If you can mash fruit in a bowl, and open a freezer door, you’ve got what it takes to make tasty jam for your family. You control the ingredients. And the amount of sugar. The flavors of the fresh fruit are not clouded by a host of ingredients. The natural snap of the fruit is the star of the show.

All you need is some fresh fruit, granulated sugar, and pectin. Get some plastic or glass jars, with a wide opening, for storing the jam. Wash and prepare the cherries. Mix some sugar and pectin in a bowl. In a large bowl, add the cherries that have been washed and pitted.

Stir in the sugar and pectin. Mash for about 3 minutes until the sugar and pectin are absorbed by the cherries. You don’t need a large amount of sugar. The sugar adds some sweetness to the jam. It’s also in there to discourage any growth of bacteria.

Using clean jars, spoon the cherry mix into the jars. Leave a gap of space at the top of the jar. This allows for any expansion of the jam. Seal the jars of jam with the lids and let stand for about 30 minutes. It will allow the mixture to settle before going in the refrigerator or freezer. The jam can be stored in the refrigerator for about 7-10 days. In the freezer it can last for up to a year.

If you choose to freeze the jam, you will let it come to room temperature in the refrigerator when you are ready to use.

That was easy. Cup of tea and toast with jam?

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