This post was originally posted on June 25, 2014. The recipe was updated to a more consistent method on May 5, 2022.
Photography is not something I talk about a lot on the blog. I guess I just take it for granted, but it’s such an important part of a food blog. Photography is what people see first. The pictures have the important job of drawing people into a post which is not something that even a flashy recipe title can do. It also gives people an expectation about what the recipe will look like when they cook it at home. So, it really is an important part. The photograph, in many cases, is just as important as the recipe. And honestly, my images haven’t always been pretty like these of this delicious freezer jam. In fact, some of them have been downright ugly. Check out this comparison image of my Slow Cooker Chicken and Dumplings. I recently re-shot the images and when I decided to show them both to y’all, I realized that I took these two pictures almost exactly two years apart. Look how much things have changed in 730 days!
Now, I’ll be the first to tell you that I am no expert. When it comes to food photography, I am self-taught. Despite a black and white photography class in college where I developed my own film and a short stint where I pretended to be a portrait photographer, my experience has been limited. But I love food photography. It’s nice to shoot things that (normally) don’t move and don’t even get me started on food styling. That’s another thing that I’ve grown to love. To me photos should be natural, beautiful, and mouth-watering. The styling should also be natural. You won’t find me using any fancy styling tricks when I shoot my food (or when we shot the images for the book). Everything is the real food that I cooked myself. I want your dish to turn out and look as close to mine as possible, so I don’t use any of those tricks like using mashed potatoes for ice cream or putting lipstick on strawberries to make them look brighter. My food is the real deal.
So, what got me started on this tangent about photography and styling? These beautiful images of this freezer jam. Now, my mama taught me not to brag, but dang aren’t these images pretty? I just love how they turned out and couldn’t pick which ones to use, so I’ve got 5 or 6 here that I just had to include. 🙂
Now, about this freezer jam recipe… Y’all absolutely have to try this. There’s not any of that time consuming jar sterilizing, so it’s super easy. And y’all know about me and easy. It’s nothing like canning and because you don’t cook it, your fruit won’t lose any of it’s delicious, fresh taste. I made 5 8-ounce jars in less than 1 hour and the flavor… it’s really fantastic. I’m pretty sure I prefer this to jam and jelly canned the old fashioned way.
Just keep in mind… You need to use freezer safe jars that will allow for the cold temps and the expansion of the freezing jam – since the freezing part is what preserves it.
I just had some of this for breakfast this morning and these pictures still make my mouth water. It really is super delicious! I told you there were too many pretty images to pick from, so here are some more… 🙂
NOTE: After some testing, I decided to update this recipe with a more consistent method for preparing freezer jam that produces better results. Originally the recipe used instant pectin, but it was producing varying results. This method adds a step but produces great jam every time. Keep in mind, though, freezer jam doesn’t firm up quite like traditional jam. It will be thinner, but still spreadable.
Peach Freezer Jam
- 2 pounds fresh, ripe peaches
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 4 1/2 cups white sugar
- 3/4 cup water
- 1 (1.75-ounce) box Sure-Jell Fruit Pectin
- Peel and coarsely chop the peaches. Place them in the bowl of a food processor and pulse until you reach a chunky puree. (Don't have a food processor? Simply use a potato masher to mash them up in a large bowl.) You should end up with about 3 cups of puree.
- Pour the puree into a large bowl and add the lemon juice and stir well. Add the sugar and stir until dissolved. Let stand 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- In a small saucepan, stir the water and pectin together. Place over high heat, stirring constantly - the pectin might be lumpy at this point. Bring to a boil and boil for 1 minute. Stir constantly. Remove from heat.
- Add the pectin mixture to the peach and sugar mixture and stir for about 3 minutes - or until all of the sugar is completely dissolved. A few sugar crystals are ok, but you don't want it to be grainy.
- Spoon the jam into 6 clean pint-size freezer-safe jars or containers with tight fitting lids ensuring you leave about 1/2 inch of space at the top of the jar to allow for expansion in the freezer. Loosely cover the jars. Allow them to sit at room temperature for 24 hours to set. Seal tight. Store the jam in the refrigerator or the freezer. The jam will last in the refrigerator for 3 to 4 weeks and in the freezer for about a year.