04 September 2010

Agave Currant Freezer Jam

From August 2010

Greetings from Utah, where the farmers' markets yield gorgeous fruits, including currants that look more like jewels than edibles. I bought three pounds of these locally grown, magical currants in red, black, and white, fully intending on eating them as is. Then, I was inspired to try making my own freezer jam using agave nectar instead of sugar.

I've read some blog posts on how to do it, but I wasn't sure how to make it work without pectin. I remembered reading once about how apples have their own pectin, and how my mixed fruit pies always benefited from a few chopped apples.

Keeping it very simple, I blended each pound of currants with half an apple and a plum (because they needed to be eaten). Then I scooped the fruit into a small saucepan with about 1/4 cup of agave nectar. I brought the mixture to a boil and simmered it for about 5 minutes before moving it to a container to cool for 5 minutes. Next, I froze the jam for 30 minutes before covering it and freezing it overnight.

From August 2010

I suppose you could strain the stuff prior to freezing it, especially if you really mind the seeds. But I was really looking forward to trying the jam. After letting the jam thaw in the fridge, I could see that it set up just like regular jam, but without all the work.

It's just sweet enough without spoiling the natural tartness of the currants. My favorite was the red -- ruby-colored jam that was a bit more tart than the others. I love it spooned over vanilla Rice Dream. It cuts the rich sweetness perfectly.

Now that I've made my own and discovered how simple it is, I won't be buying unsweetened fruit spreads any more!

5 comments:

Courtney said...

Mmmm...I love jam! Do you think the agave apple trick would work with all other fruits too? Like peaches and berries?

Courtney

Deb Schiff said...

Hey Courtney!
Nice to "see" you.
I'd bet that the apple trick would work with the other fruits. Just remember to cook them until they bubble for 5 minutes. They'll need to cook out some of their natural liquid in order to freeze without getting weird.
Let me know how it works for you. I'll be trying it when I get back to NJ.

Catherine said...

Hi Deb!

I make my own freezer jams from just about any fruit I can get my hands on, and it's been my experience that all fruits have natural pectin -- but very "wet" fruits like berries (and I would assume currants) will take me 1 to 2 hours of simmering, uncovered, to achieve a gorgeous, thick consistency.

Your jams look beautiful!

Courtney said...

Thanks, Deb--I am going to try it with blueberries :-)

Courtney

Deb Schiff said...

Hi Catherine,
Thanks for stopping by!
I'm really looking forward to trying it with apricots. 1 to 2 hours of simmering is way too long for me. Just thinking about the amount of gas used in that amount of time makes me twitchy. ;)
Hardly took me any time, but I only used a small amount of currants.

Have you used agave to make yours?