Now is the time to take advantage of the abundance of fresh summer berries as summer berries work well in uncooked jam.
Store uncooked jams in the refrigerator for several weeks, or up to a year in the freezer. Do not store this jam at room temperature because it will mold or ferment in a very short time.
The basic recipe for uncooked jam is three cups crushed berries (about one and one-half quarts of berries), five cups sugar, one package powdered pectin and one cup cold water. Clean the berries and crush. When using frozen berries, know how much sugar has been added to the fruit before freezing.
Basic instructions to make the jam: Measure three cups of prepared fruit into a large mixing bowl. Add the sugar, mix well and let stand for 20 to 30 minutes. Stir occasionally. Dissolve the pectin in cold water, bring to a boil and boil for one minute. Add the pectin solution to the fruit and sugar mixture. Stir for two minutes.
Pour the jam into freezer containers or canning jars, leaving one-half inch head space. Cover the containers and let stand for 24 hours or until the jam has set. This quantity makes about seven half-pint containers.
If the jam is too firm, you can soften it by stirring. If it tends to separate, stirring will blend it again. If it is too soft, bring the jam to a boil and it will thicken as it cools.
If you have any questions about preserving jams or jellies, call the University of Minnesota Extension Service-Cass County at (218) 587-8280 in the Pine River calling area or toll-free at 866-587-8281.
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