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Strawberries. Cherries, Raspberries. Blueberries. Nothing says summer like Michigan fruit. Have you started seeing them at your local farmers market yet? They are full of flavor and nutrition, and it is oh so easy to preserve these delicious bites of summer.
Freezer jam is amazingly easy. If you can stir for three minutes, you can make freezer jam. The pectin package will have the simple instructions – make sure that you purchase pectin for freezer rather than for cooked jam. You combine the ingredients and let the pectin work its thickening magic.
Berries and cherries are also easy to freeze individually for future use. You know, like in the dead of winter when you simply must have some. A cherry pitter is an essential component of every Michigan kitchen.
The first step is to wash pitted, destemed fruit and dab them dry. Then, let them sit on a towel for an hour or so to continue to dry off as much as possible through evaporation. If they go into the freezer wet, I find that they tend to frost up and get that dulled down "freezer-burned" taste.
Put them on cookie sheets making sure that they are not touching each other. Put the trays in the freezer.
Freezing this way will ensure that they are not stuck in a clump when you want to defrost them. When the fruits are frozen solid, put them in freezer containers for storage.
Theresa is the author of the Michigan Local Foodbeet blog and Facebook page. The Foodbeet's mission is to educate readers on how to find, prepare, eat, preserve, and enjoy local food. She also writes and narrates for The Local Feed on WYCE. These are two minute segments on local food. Listen online at wyce.org on Mon. 5:30 pm and Weds. and Sat. 8:30 am.
Reports on: Local Food