Strawberry Freezer Jam and Refrigerator Pickles

April 23, 2019, noon


Helpful tips for great freezer jam: 
Always thoroughly wash jars in hot, soapy water before use. Then dry them.
Use firm, perfectly ripe fruit for best flavor and set. Inferior fruit will produce inferior jam.
Measure ingredients exactly. Altering recipes or ingredients could cause the jam to fail to set properly.
Do not alter the amount of sugar. If you want to use less sugar, look for SURE-JELL For Less or No Sugar Needed Recipes in the pink box.
The finished product will not be as firm as a traditionally processed jam, so don’t be alarmed. Embrace the spreadable consistency of this easy-to-make jam.

Because this jam is not cooked, it must be stored in the refrigerator or freezer. It will be good for up to three weeks in the refrigerator, so store your jam in smaller containers that will be used up faster; I prefer to use 1-pint or 1/2-pint sized jars. Keep one jar in the refrigerator and the rest in the freezer for later. When ready to use the frozen jam, simply place in refrigerator to thaw.

2 cups crushed strawberries
4 cups sugar
1 box (1 3/4 oz. size) SURE-JELL Premium Fruit Pectin
3/4 cups water

Measure exact amount of crushed strawberries into a large bowl. To crush the berries, use a potato masher or rigid pastry blender. If using a food processor, pulse lightly to still have a nice amount of chunkiness, with small bits of fruit. Do not puree.
Add exact amount of sugar to the crushed berries and stir to combine. Let sit for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Stir pectin and water in small saucepan. Bring to a boil over high heat, stirring constantly. Boil for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Remove saucepan from heat.

Pour pectin mixture over berry/sugar mixture and stir for 3 minutes, or until sugar has completely dissolved. If a few sugar crystals remain, that's alright. Using a ladle, immediately fill containers, leaving 1/2 inch of space at the top. Clean any jam from jar rims with a wet paper towel. Cover jars with lids. Let stand at room temperature for 24 hours. To use immediately, store in refrigerator for up to 3 weeks. Otherwise store in the freezer for up to one year. Then simply thaw in refrigerator before using.



Yields:  2 quarts

10 cloves garlic, peeled

2 cups white vinegar

6 teaspoons kosher salt

Several sprigs of fresh dill

1 teaspoon celery seed

1 teaspoon coriander seed

1 teaspoon mustard seed

1/2 teaspoon black peppercorns

1/2 teaspoon pink peppercorns (if you have 'em)

6 Kirby cucumbers, quartered lengthwise

6 young spring carrots, peeled and cut in half lengthwise

1 handful large scallion pieces or green beans

A few pieces of cauliflower to tuck wherever they'll fit

4 small hot red chiles or 2 jalapenos

In a medium saucepan, bring 4 cups water to a boil, reduce the heat so the water simmers and add the garlic. Cook for 5 minutes. Add the vinegar and salt, raise the heat and bring to a boil, stirring until the salt dissolves. Remove from the heat.

In 2 clear 1-quart jars, place a few sprigs of dill. Divide the seeds and peppercorns between the jars. Using tongs, remove the garlic from the brine and place 5 cloves in each jar. Then pack the jars full of cucumbers, carrots, scallions or green beans, cauliflower and chiles. You want them to be tightly stuffed.

Bring the brine back to a boil, pour it over the vegetables to cover completely, let cool, then cover and refrigerate. The pickles will taste good in just a few hours, better after a couple of days. And they'll keep for about 3 months.