Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Using Freeze Dried Fruit to Make Cooked Jam and Freezer Jam

Now seeing that my teaching next week be basics on homemade jam and canning safety, I had to do some experimentation. You may ask, "Can luscious homemade jam really be as simple as adding water and a few basic ingredients...and yet be so far above most people's grasp?" I wonder that exact question. Sometimes I wonder if I'm just too "simple silly". I hope I am. I hope that when folks read my words of wisdom and sound understanding that they will feel empowered to make wonderful things. Now...that being said I don't know how to say this...but this raspberry jam was made out of a little honey, some freeze dried raspberries and some pectin. Why freeze dried? Well...just for the danggum-fun-of-it-all. Honey...because I found this yumm-a-licious honey made from my native Sonoran Desert Blossoms...and I was a happy girl.

For argument's sake, let's just say that perhaps raspberries are out of season and I have a can of freeze dried fruit just laying around my house. If I don't have to spend money...even on a bag of frozen berries...I won't. I'm a tight wad. There. I said it. I like freeze dried fruit for making muffin mixes and cake mixes.
They look really crazy freeze dried...but the only ingredient in the can is raspberries!

Chef Tess Raspberry honey jam
4 cups freeze dried raspberries (or frozen work)
1 1/2 cup honey ( I love the dessert blossom honey)
2 cup water (only add water if using freeze dried berries)
1/2 cup UltraGel or 1 box (1.59 oz) low sugar pectin
Combine all ingredients in a pot for cooked jam except the UltraGel. This hydrates the berries and they look remarkably like what they are...real berries.

Bring to a boil and cook 5 minutes. Whisk in the ultra gel or pectin. Return to a boil and cook a minute more.

Process in sterile half pint jars in a boiling water bath canner for 10 minutes at sea level.

Freezer jam is even easier. Simply add the honey, water and fruit together. You can also use agave nectar in place of the honey if you need lower glycemic or vegan sources. Use freezer pectin instead of low sugar pectin. Ultra gel works in both applications (cooked or freezer jam).

Once the berries have absorbed the water, add the pectin or ultra gel. Stir a minute or two. Freezer pectin will take about 10-20 minutes to gel. Ultra gel will set almost instantly. Transfer to freezer safe containers. Keeps good up to a year in freezer safe containers.
There you go. Fast easy jam even with crazy dried fruit. Who knew?!

Always My Very Best,
Your Friend Chef Tess


mlebagley said...

How do you do that? I'm salivating....AGAIN! This looks luscious! When a person eats freeze dried raspberries...without rehydrating them... what is the texture like? And do they suck up all the spit in one's mouth? I would love to sit down with a small bowl of these and a book. Unless they would suck my mouth dry. The jam looks super easy though! Yumm!

Chef Tess said...

Mle, they are sweet and tart and crunchy...like a crunch berry. I was amazed how much they tasted like fresh when reconstituted. My boys would eat them all day if I let them. I'm putting them in the chocolate buttermilk cake mix next...just for lusciousness sake.

The militant working boy said...

How delectable it is to revamp the sumptuousness of frozen fruit. From sitting in a bag in the freezer to regaining it's vibrancy, it's luster... just one more of foods saliva inducing charms! I will have to test this one out.