Do-It-Yourself Experiment #6: Homemade Strawberry Freezer Jam

I made Strawberry Freezer Jam earlier this week as part of my 2011 Do-It-Yourself Experiments. And of all the projects I’ve done so far, I’m pretty sure this was my favorite.

I used the $0.99 strawberries at Aldi, as well as a bag of sugar from Aldi and pectin at the grocery store. I briefly considered using raw sugar, but since this is my first try at anything like this, I figured I better play it safe. So I bought white sugar — something I’ve not done in months!

Make and Takes recommends using a food processor to puree the strawberries, but I used the Vita-Mix instead. It worked well, except that the Vita-Mix does such a good job of puree-ing that my jam turned out really, really smooth.

The whole thing was so simple to make! I cannot believe I’ve waited this long to make freezer jam. And our entire family loved the end result.

The recipe is definitely not low sugar, though, so I’d love to find a good freezer jam recipe that was a little healthier (anyone have one?). We’ve already used it on peanut butter sandwiches, served it on pancakes, and — dare I admit it? — eaten it plain.

All in all, making Strawberry Freezer Jam was every bit a successful experiment and I’m completely confident we will be making this again. If I’m able to find a source for inexpensive pectin, this would also be more cost-effective than buying jam at the store. Plus, it so yummy and fresh — and fun to make, too!

Have you tried any new do-it-yourself experiments recently? If so, I’d love to hear about them in the comments.

In case you missed it, here’s the list of the 12 Do-It-Yourself Projects I Plan to Try in 2011:

January: Make From-Scratch Chai Tea

February: Make Homemade Dishwashing Detergent

March: Make Homemade Hamburger Buns

April: Make Homemade Laundry Soap

May: Make Appliqued Flower Tee

June: Make Homemade Hummus

July: Make Strawberry Freezer Jam

August: Make Homemade Soap

September: Sew a Rag Quilt

October: Make Homemade Apple Butter

November: Make Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day

December: Make Homemade Marshmallows

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Comments

  1. Ang says

    I just recently made this jam with my mama and sister, it was a fun day… but the sugar was killing me! I decided to try the “less or no” sugar pectin. You make smaller batches by the recipe but we “fudged” a bit and just combined packets/ingredients, came out great! It sweetens with juice instead of sugar, and I got creative ;) and used V8 fusion :) YUM! Def not as sickening sweet so if that was the flavor you were looking for, I cant help ya. But if you want a bit less cavities, and a bit more nutrients try it! :)

  2. Courtney says

    I found Ball Instant Pectin that calls for 1 1/2 cups sugar to 4 cups crushed fruit! Trying it tomorrow :D So excited!!!!!

  3. Sonia says

    I love, love, love strawberry freezer jam! I purchased 48 quarts of strawberries at the Amish auction in Jamesport, Mo. last summer for an incredible price and made enough freezer jam, regular jam, syrup, and frozen strawberries to last us a very long time. When I make a cherry pie I use tart cherries from a can and I save the tart cherry juice to make into freezer jam. My favorite combo is tart cherry and currant freezer jelly. It’s so good!

  4. says

    We have a Menonite & an Amish Bulk food stores nearby that sells the powder pectin for a couple of dollars for a pound. Lasts forever… I’ve tried some other verison of jams with less sugar and don’t like the results as much. I think it’s just the nature of Jam… I’d rather have the fresh made by me with lots of sugar than the store kind with God knows what in it!

  5. says

    I used Pamona’s Universal as well but did not add ANY sugar… I simply used 100% fruit juice concentrate (http://wp.me/p1BPh9-2l). Admittedly, it is a bit more tart than the fruit sweetened jam I usually purchase at the store, but am happy that I know every ingredient in it (and the strawberries were leftover from a wedding rehearsal so I saved a TON of money). It’s almost gone so I can experiment again with different juices and berries!

  6. says

    Freezer jams are so easy and tasty. I get cherries from my uncles tree. Last year it produced 275 lbs, so we got lots of fruit for jam. I’ve never tried strawberry jam, but I bet it’s just delicious.

  7. Amanda says

    you can buy fruit pectin at bulk food stores for much cheaper than sure-gel.

    i tried using 3 cups of sugar instead of 4, and the jam was a little runny, but still yummy. Also, used my magic bullet–was very smooth, no chunks, depending what you like. very yummy on top of icc cream or angel food cake

  8. Angelina Triplett says

    I made this a couple weekends ago when I went in to my Aldi’s and was in shock over 99 cents for a quart of strawberries. Around my area of Ohio this cheapest has been 1.50 and when I cut those up about 1/3 were soft but Aldi’s 3 berries in all 7 quarts. I was thrilled! I too tried Freezer jam for the first time. Did yours turn out pink?

  9. cecilia says

    Just found a coupon in my instert today for the jellomix thingy! Can’t wait to find a good deal and score some delish strawberry jam!:)

  10. KimH says

    I didnt see anyone else mention this.. but you can use apples and limes in your strawberry jam instead of buying commercial pectin.
    Peel and core the apples..putting the skins & cores in a cheesecloth bag along with the lime peels. Add strawberries, apples, lime, and a little bit of sugar to taste (and/or applejuice) and simmer for about 20 minutes.. perhaps a little longer. This is how our foremothers did it before commercial pectin was available.

    Google pectin free jam, old fashioned fruit jam, or here is a good strawberry preserves recipe too.
    http://cincinnatilocavore.blogspot.com/2008/06/strawberry-preserves-no-pectin-recipe.html

  11. durango mom says

    Here is something interesting that happened when I made blueberry freezer jam this weekend. I used a potato masher to mash blueberries until I had 4 cups then added 1 c turbinado sugar and ¼ c lemon juice. I received a call requiring immediate attention, so I left the fruit mixture covered on the counter for a couple of hours. When I returned, it was the consistency of my strawberry freezer jam after adding pectin, freezing and thawing.

    It is not too sweet, which I love. I swirled some into my greek yogurt and it was delicious!

  12. Andrea says

    I make strawberry freezer jam every year with strawberries direct from the farm. I use 1 3/4 c. of apple juice and 3/4 c. sugar for every batch, which makes about 3 pints. I use the Ball pectin. This year I used the low-sugar kind, but I’ve used the regular kind before and it worked just fine. (There are a few coupons for Ball pectin out now too).

    Using the juice, the jam takes much more like fruit than sugar. It’s A-MAZ-ING to open a jar in January and taste fresh strawberries! I use it as teacher’s gifts at Christmas.

    The strawberries are more than .99, but after it’s all done, it still works out for less than I can get jam on sale at the grocery store… and I KNOW what’s in it, and limit the refined sugar.

  13. Nikki K says

    I made this recipe last week. Keep in mind I’ve never ever liked Strawberry Jam. I LOVE it! I’ve had toast almost every day this week. It tastes great on a fresh homemade loaf of bread. Thanks for sharing it! This was also my first attempt at making jam and it was quite a success.