Jam can be made from so many different fruits and make a great addition to a slice of toast and butter. Kids love jam and especially like it with peanut butter. It’s handy to have around for them when they need a snack in between meals.
Jam has a long shelf life because the sugars in it prevent bacterial growth which would spoil it and make it hazardous to your health. However, is it possible to freeze jam to give it an even longer shelf life? The answer is a resounding yes which is good news if you are freezing seasonal fruits.
Jam keeps for a year in the freezer, but it might start to lose some of its flavor and texture after six months. It might also start to turn watery if left in the freezer for too long. It really is trial and error. If you want to leave your jam in the freezer for 12 months, try it. The jam may still be tasty.
How Do You Freeze Jam?
If you intend to freeze homemade jam, allow it to cool at room temperature before freezing. It is not a good idea to put warm jam in the freezer as it will bring up the temperature in the freezer, meaning that other items may start to defrost. Most food shouldn’t be frozen a second time because this can cause bacteria to form leading to the possibility of food poisoning.
You should freeze jam in sturdy and thick glass jars. You can also use plastic containers that are freezer-safe. Jam will expand when put in the freezer so make sure that you leave about an inch of empty space at the top. Because of this, if you are freezing shop-bought jam, transfer it to other glass jars. This is because they will often be filled to almost the top and you won’t want to waste jam by removing some. If you do fill your jars too high, the jam could spill and make a mess in your freezer.
You need to put an airtight lid on the jars or containers otherwise freezer burn could occur. This isn’t harmful to your health, but it can ruin the look of the jam and change the taste.
Defrosting Frozen Jam
You have a choice of two different ways of defrosting jam. You can either do it slowly which is better, or you can do it faster if you need the jam quickly. It is important to note that whichever way you defrost the jam, don’t refreeze it. It is also best kept in the fridge after defrosting.
Remove your glass jar or container from the freezer and put it in the fridge. Leave it overnight and it will be ready to have on your toast in the morning.
If you have forgotten to defrost your jam, you can put the jar or container of frozen jam in a basin of warm water. It will defrost within an hour, probably sooner.
Although jam is shelf-stable and has a long shelf life, you can extend this so that you can have it at any time. It’s also a great idea to freeze seasonal fruit jams to give to friends and family at Christmas.