As people begin to adjust to social distancing, stores have had a chance to get stocked up on items that aren’t typically seen as essential. In the case of many Bakersfield grocers, this has included an opportunity to get shipments of frozen fruits in. With a few pounds of frozen fruit and some sugar, you can make enough of this sweet and fruity jam to share with family or store for later use. Whether you follow the fruit recommendations below or customize it, this is a long-lasting way to make good use out of all the fruit available!
Yield: approximately 90 ounces
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 3 minutes
Total time: 18 minutes
5 pounds mixed tropical fruits of choice. I used a frozen blend containing strawberries, pineapple, mango, and peaches.
8 cups granulated sugar
1 box fruit pectin
1 block Parowax
1 tablespoon lemon juice
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
Optional: food coloring for desired appearance
Be sure all the jars being used are sterile, then place them on a tray and put them in a cold oven. Set the oven to 200 F to warm up the jars. This helps prevent the glass from shattering when the hot jam mix is poured in, and helps the jars seal.
Place your fruit in a large pot over medium-high heat. Stir regularly until the fruit has thawed and begun to liquify. Then remove from heat.
While you can crush and purée your fruit by hand, I recommend using a NutriBullet or blender if possible. The puréed fruit creates a texture similar to that of traditional jam, where fruit chunks can cause the jam to take on a marmalade-like consistency.
Place your crushed fruit back in the same pot over medium-high heat. As the pot warms up again, mix in your sugar. Be sure to not leave sugar pockets behind.
In a separate small pot or saucepan, begin melting the wax over medium-low heat. Do not let the pot get too hot or warm it over high heat, as the wax is highly flammable. Having made the mistake of placing the wax over high heat, I had to deal with a kitchen fire. If your wax does catch fire, be sure to remove the pot from heat and cover with a lid; this smothers the oxygen-dependent flame. Do not add water, as it will make the fire worse.
Once the fruit reaches a boil, mix in the pectin. Stir continuously for three minutes. This is also a good moment to stir in any desired food coloring. Remove the jam from heat.
Remove the jars you will be using from the oven and begin ladling the jam in. Ensure the jam reaches the neck of the jar, leaving just enough space to add at least a ½ inch of wax.
After you have filled each jar with jam, fill in the allotted space with wax.
Using a pot holder or glove to hold the jars, screw on the lids as soon as possible. This is what helps create the heat seal. If you use repurposed jars, such as old food jars, be aware that the heat seal is not effective without the wax. If the jars are new, the lids should “pop”, as the pressure builds.
Store the jam in cool, dry place to maximize its shelf life. Refrigerate after opening.
Serve this sweet jam up with your favorite baked goods or apply a small amount over ice cream and enjoy!
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