Freezer Jam

Guest Post by Hannah and Abby from Safely Gathered InEvery considered making your own freezer jam? It can be inexpensive, fast, and easy to do! Best of all, it’s delicious! 

The most economical way to make this jam is usually by buying strawberries when they are in season at Farmer’s Markets or U-Pick Farms. However, you can also make it with frozen berries.

The ingredients you’ll need:
Strawberries (you can also use other berries, if you prefer)
Sugar
Pectin

You’ll need enough strawberries to have four cups of crushed strawberries. We picked a gallon bucket, and then ate strawberries out of it all weekend, and then I made jam from the rest.

You can pick up pectin in your local grocery store in the canning section. It’s usually by the ketchup and salad dressing. The directions for making jam are on the back of the pectin, so it’s really simple. (There are also similar recipes here and here.)

First, mix the pectin and the sugar together in a bowl until combined.

Then, get to work on the strawberries. I let my faucet trickle so I can rinse the strawberries one at a time and remove the tops. If they are large strawberries I slice them, if they are wee ones then I just toss them into the blender. After all, they are just going to be pureed.

Once your strawberries are washed and hulled, put them into a blender and puree them. If you like chunky jam, don’t blend it quite as much. Make sure you have the right amount of crushed fruit it calls for. If, after I blend my berries, the mixture is under the four-cup line, I just add more strawberries and blend again.

Add the strawberries to pectin/sugar mixture and stir. My directions say to stir for three minutes. So set the timer and go.

An important component of jam making is the containers! The beauty of freezer jam is that since it’s going in your freezer, you can put it in anything and it doesn’t need to have a seal on it. I use yogurt, sour cream containers, old jars, and baby food jars for the jam I’m going to gift away.

Ladle the jam into your containers, label the contents and date, and set on your counter top for 30 minutes to set, or until the time indicated in your directions. The freezer jam will last for up to 3 weeks in your refrigerator and up to a year in your freezer.

Hannah and Abby share recipe ideas, food preservation tutorials, and more information regarding food storage at SafelyGatheredIn.blogspot.com.

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Comments

  1. Amiyrah says

    Does anyone have a recipe for freezer jelly or jam WITHOUT pectin? I have yet to find one, but the “old timers” that I talk to say that there is a way, they just don’t remember the recipe.

    Can anyone help?

  2. Mozi Esmes Mommy says

    Yogurt containers and baby food jars?! I can do that! Thanks for another great idea…

  3. Pamela says

    Thanks for posting this information and I want to learn how to make my own any fruit jams to save some $$!

  4. tina b says

    Thanks for another great recipe!! I was hoping for one :) I’m excited to try this and make little jars like they do to gift away. Yippeee!

    I think tomorrow will be a baking day :)

  5. Elizabeth Sue says

    Do you have to boil the jars you reuse or no because you are putting them in the freezer (Would germs live in the freezer?) Sorry novice canner here!

  6. Sherri says

    We have made this!! We picked 12 pounds of strawberries at our local farm and make the freezer jam. My kids have eaten it up!

  7. Vanessa says

    I absolutely LOVE freezer jam! Yours looks yummy!

    Oh, and just as a side note…this is 2009. :) I know how easy it is to slip up on that.

  8. Steph says

    I don’t have a blender so I wash, prepare and freeze my berries first then let them thaw – they are pretty mushy then so I just mash them with my potato masher!

  9. Bonita says

    What a great visual for first time jamers!

    To not use pectin you essentially just cook the sugar mix until it reaches soft ball stage..its much easier for me then pectin. It is more time consuming though.

    4 cups crushed strawberries (takes about 2 quart boxes strawberries)
    4 cups sugar

    To prepare fruit. Sort and wash the strawberries; remove any stems and caps. Crush the berries.

    To make jam. Measure crushed strawberries into a kettle. Add sugar and stir well. Boil rapidly, stirring constantly, until the mixture reaches 220° – 222° F or thickens. Remove from heat; skim.

    Fill and process containers as previously directed. The finished product will be thin in comparison to pectin-added strawberry jam. Makes about four, 8-ounce jars.

    http://www.extension.umn.edu/distribution/nutrition/DJ1088.html

  10. Stacie says

    You mentioned making this w/any berries, anyone know about rhubarb? Do i have to cook it first? We have TONS of rhubarb, does it make a good jam?

  11. Shelly the Chic Crafty Chick says

    Thanks so much. I LOVE strawberry jam. We are going to pick berries on Saturday. Great timing for your post!

  12. Sarah says

    Anybody know if you can make this with different kinds of sugars? We don’t eat a lot of refined sugar here and I wondered if there was away to make it more naturally. This looks delicious though…thanks for sharing.

  13. Shelly says

    I’ve been wanting to make my own jam for a while now but haven’t been brave enough. This looks easy though. Thanks!

  14. Stephanie says

    Thanks so much for this tip! I don’t have time to make jam the old fashioned way, but love this simple and quick method.

  15. Centsible In Seattle says

    This is great information. I have been looking for ways to make my fruits and vegetables last longer and this is a great use. I would love to see something on canning for us novices too!

  16. Lee says

    Thank you Thank you thank you! I was just thinking about doing this this week and wondering how much it would make!

  17. Stacie says

    You said you can use any berries, but has anyone used rhubarb? We have TONS of rhubarb, would a jam like this work, or even be good? Let me know what you think! THX!

  18. Julie says

    I made so much of this last year that I used it to make Strawberry smoothies as well.
    I used some strawberry jam
    fresh strawberries and/or other fruit
    and Ice in the blender.

    My daughter loves them!

  19. Delores says

    I use the exact same recipe. But, for me at least, I just crush them with the potato masher. I noticed that when I blended them they were really runny and did not set as well as when I crushed them. It is just a personal preference thing — the blender is much easier to use!

  20. karen says

    FYI–be sure to follow the directions on the pectin box–every brand has a little different ratio of fruit to sugar. Don’t forget about the joy that is strawberry rhubarb jam!! I use frozen rhubarb since mine is imported from my mom’s garden. It was a sad sad day when I was told that rhubarb does not grow in Phoenix.

  21. Lori says

    I *just* made strawberry freezer jam for the first time this week! What a coincidence. I used the same brand as pictured, but found that 2 lbs of berries worked better than the 4 lbs the package suggests. It’s a little more runny than regular jam, but very tasty.

  22. JvW says

    This looks delicious, and I’ve been too chicken to make jam/jelly, but I think I can handle this recipe. Good starter! I have a bunch of strawberries in my freezer now, so I just need the pectin & off I go!

  23. Ang. says

    Funny that this is posted today. I just started a batch of rhubarb-strawberry freezer jam today. Easy-peasy!

  24. Maria says

    I cannot wait to try this recipe. We have a strawberry patch in our backyard and have been overwhelmed with strawberries this year!

  25. Emily says

    Yum! I will have to do this! To the refined sugar poster – I wonder if you could try this recipe with no sugar or overripe strawberries (which seem to be very sweet).
    I am kind of a tart-sweet gal myself, I don’t usually add sugar to pies or fruit sauces.
    I use a sweetener called ‘brown rice syrup’ – it’s hard to find, so I usually buy 6 jars of it when I go to the natural foods store. But, it is a complex sugar that does not spike your blood sugar. Agave nectar is easier to find and is complex too.

    Cheers, Em

  26. Julie says

    Regarding NOT using sugar to make jelly or jam: the sugar in these recipes is REQUIRED for the chemical reaction of the pectin and the liquid in the fruit to form a gel.

    Pectin is a naturally-occurring carbohydrate found in the peel of many fruits–pectin “manufacturers” simply extract the pectin from fruit (typically unripe apples), concentrate and dry it, and sell it for thickening jams and jellies.

    There are only two types of “real” pectin (meaning that they are pectin only, without other additives): high-methoxyl pectin (regular pectin) and low-methoxyl pectin. (The “methoxyl” is a specific chemical group on the pectin molecule…)

    Regular pectin will ONLY work to form a gel when the EXACT amount of sugar and acid are present for a given amount of fruit–this is why pectin packages always state how much sugar and lemon juice to use for particular kinds of fruit.

    Low-methoxyl pectin is chemically different (although similar to) from regular pectin because it requires a calcium solution, NOT sugar, to form a gel. This kind of pectin is harder to find, but you can get it from http://www.pomonapectin.com/ (look for Pomona’s Universal Pectin).

    The great thing about this low methoxyl pectin is that you can use virtually any sweetener you want–even honey!

    Don’t be scared by the use of a “calcium solution”–it isn’t harmful for you. In fact, making tofu requires a similar ingredient to make the bean curds curdle.

    There are other “no sugar” gelling pectin-type products out there, but they have other additives besides pectin in them that actually do the gelling. Ball canning supplies sells it. I don’t know if you can use other sweeteners with it or not.

    I hope this was helpful (sorry so long!).

  27. Melanie says

    Thanks for calling this to my attention! I made two batches today- one strawberry and one watermelon (just to see if it could be done, since I haven’t found any references to watermelon freezer jam online). I suspect the watermelon will be a bit runny, but since it’ll all end up on waffles anyway, no harm done! We’ve had a surplus of cheap watermelon lately.

  28. Lindsey says

    I just made rhubarb jam that was very easy! I found the recipe online and it didn’t require pectin which is great since I didn’t have any. It was basically rhubarb, sugar, orange rind, and orange juice. I am eating some on crackers now. I will be making more since it will save money and be tastier:)

  29. Jennifer says

    Where do you find pectin in the grocery store, I looked tonight on the baking isle both near the sugars and near the gelatin but I cound not find it there and I could not find a canning area.
    Thanks!