Monday, June 28, 2010

Monday Specials & Sugar-free Raspberry Jam in just 5 Minutes!

Mediterranean Turkey Club - turkey, olive cream cheese spread, marinated artichoke hearts, bacon and mesclun on lightly toasted ciabatta....

....and of course, GAZPACHO!

You're at the farmer's market and see a whole tray of very ripe (insert your favorite fruit here) for $3 but there's no way you can use all that fruit before it goes bad. What's a girl to do?!

Make freezer jam! No hot water, no sterilizing jars, no special equipment, no processing in sweltering heat - as a matter of fact, there is no heat involved. And since the fruit has never been cooked, freezer jam generally tastes more like fresh fruit.

Take two pounds of soft, ripe fruit and mash with a potato masher. If you are working with berries that's all you need to do. For peaches or apricots you need to peel them, remove the pit and dice before mashing.

In a separate bowl combine one package of instant fruit pectin and 1 1/2 cups sugar or sugar substitute. Combine with the mashed fruit and stir for three minutes. Ladle into containers (I like the Ball® freezer jars because they are re-usable plastic, stack neatly when stored either full or empty and are very inexpensive at less than $4 for five jars). Let jam sit for 30 minutes before freezing.

So for less than $10, including the jars which will be re-used many times, I have made five 8-ounce containers of sugar-free raspberry jam. Next time you are at the grocery store check out the cost of jam (and the ingredient list!).

The Ball® freezer jars and instant pectin are available at our local Ace Hardware Store.