Jam your freezer in fruit season

July 13, 2011 

Q: Sometimes I have too much fruit and too little time to make jam, so I freeze the fruit. Would freezing berries beforehand puncture the cell walls, making it easier to make jam? And would freezing concentrate the sugar in the fruit?

Freezing fruit until you have time to make jam is a great trick in the summer, when all the fruit seems to arrive at once.

I don't think that freezing the fruit first would actually make better jam. While the cell walls are punctured, making the fruit softer after it's thawed, that shouldn't make a big difference in cooking time. And freezing won't reduce the fruit's juice the way cooking does, so it shouldn't concentrate the natural sugar.

The softening action of the freezer actually makes it important to measure the fruit before you freeze it. Most fruits, particularly berries, collapse when thawed, so it can be difficult to get an accurate measurement for adding sugar and pectin.

You also can save time and simply use all that fruit to make freezer jam. Most packages of pectin include recipes for it, or you can find powdered pectin that's formulated specifically for making freezer jam with less sugar.

Kathleen Purvis answers cooking questions at www.charlotteobserver.com/food.

News & Observer is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Commenting FAQs | Terms of Service