I’ve read a lot recently about freezer jam. Until a few months ago I’d never heard of it and, to be honest, when I first came across a recipe I wondered what the point was. I mean why fill up your precious freezer space with something you can keep in a jar on the shelf? But then I read a little more and soon realized that this kind of jam is very much worth it’s space in the freezer and could quite possibly put an end to my jam-buying ways.
The beauty of freezer jam is that the fruit isn’t cooked so it retains it’s natural fresh flavour and delicate perfume that lost when it is boiled for hours. And since the jam doesn’t have to hang around in a jar at room temperature, you can use much less sugar which again helps to preserve that freshly-picked taste. You also don’t have to spend an age stood over a hot stove and sterilizing jars giving you more time to enjoy the summer.
For my first batch I used some wonderful sweet white donut peaches whose smell transported me back to summer holidays when my family spent every August living out of a camper van visiting vineyards in France. Without fail there would always be a big basket of ripe white peaches, muscat grapes and tiny greengages on the back shelf above the bench seat my bother and I used to share. I find smell has such a strong link with memories! I kept a jar in the fridge for immediate consumption and stashed the rest in the freezer ready to defrost in the depths of winter when summer holidays really do seem a distant memory.
White peach freezer jam
Makes about 3 jars
- 500g ripe white peaches (weight when whole, stone-in)
- 170g caster sugar
- 50ml lemon juice
- 85ml liquid pectin such as Certo*
Boil a kettle of water and pour over the peaches. After about 30 seconds the skin will start to peel away. Drain the peaches and peel off the skin.
Roughly chop the peaches, discarding the pits and place in a large bowl with the sugar and half of the lemon juice. Mash with a potato masher and leave to sit for 5-10 minutes until the sugar has dissolved.
Mix the other half of the lemon juice with the pectin and stir into the fruit. Stir well and ladle into clean, dry, freezer-proof containers.
Leave out at room temperature for 24 hours until set – the jam will not be thick like cooked jam but should have thickened enough to spread.
Freeze containers for up to a year and defrost in the fridge before using.
* I bought a bottle of Certo apple pectin from my local Lakeland.