Saving unprocessed jam
My 90+ year-old mother in law loves to make jam. She lives in a catered independent living apartment with a minimal kitchen i.e. just a hotplate and small fridge/ freezer. Everything is great except she does not process or freeze the jam. Rather, she puts it in small dollar store containers from a couple ounces to maybe a cup then gives them away. Eaten within a day or thei I'm sure they're fine. But I get the majority of it and no way can I keep up with the amount. Question: Is it safe to mix together and reheat it and process it properly in a hot water bath or freeze it? Will the pectin rethicken it? Should I just toss it? She gets great joy from being productive so I won't ask her to stop.
Thanks for contacting Ask the Expert. Without knowing the source of the recipe, it is hard to provide an exact answer regarding the safety of the jam. Generally speaking, as fruit is a high acid food and the sugar also creates an inhospitable environment for bacteria growth, as long as your mother-in-law tells the recipients of the jam to store it in the refrigerator and consume it within a month, it should be safe. The exception would be if any signs of mold appear during storage. As for remaining jam, just pop it in the freezer.