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!