I’ve been making strawberry freezer jam for many years. When we lived in upstate New York, there were truck farms everywhere and we often picked our own strawberries.
So I was surprised when I was talking with a friend in Utah about using some of my homemade jam. She said she didn’t make jam because it was too hard. “Oh, no,” I said, “freezer jam is really easy.” That’s when she said she had never heard of freezer jam. What? I am always surprised when someone doesn’t know about something I’ve done for years. I figure if I know about it, so does everyone else.
To make any kind of jam or jelly, you need pectin. I use Sure-Jell. There are two kinds – one uses sugar (yellow box) and one uses reduced sugar or artificial sugar (pink box). I like the one that uses sugar.
There are also several recipes to choose from on the box insert. You can choose from cooked jam, cooked jelly, freezer jam or freezer jelly. Make sure you use the right recipe because the amount of fruit and sugar varies among the recipes. And yes, I know this from personal experience.
The beauty of freezer jam is that
1. it isn’t cooked so the fresh fruit flavor stays in the jam,
2. you don’t need to have a canner to seal the jars, and
3. you can make the jam the texture you like.
You can also use either fresh or frozen fruit. This batch was made with frozen strawberries but I usually use fresh. Either gives a good result. I’ve also mixed fruit, once using about half raspberries and half strawberries.
Be sure to follow the directions on the box insert carefully. Proportions are important. If you add too much fruit, you will end up with something more like syrup than jam. But that is good on waffles or pancakes, so it’s more in how much you care about it being exactly like jam.
These instructions are taken from the package insert. Be sure to check all instructions against that.
Strawberry Freezer Jam
Prepare enough glass jars with lids to hold 5 cups of jam.
Mix crushed strawberries with sugar in glass bowl. (I use my potato masher.) Stir well. Let sit 10 minutes so that sugar dissolves, stirring occasionally.
Add one package of Sure-Jell and ¾ cup of water to a small saucepan. Bring to a rolling boil stirring constantly. Boil and stir for one minute.
Stir pectin mixture into strawberry mixture, stirring for 3 minutes to combine.
Ladle into prepared jars leaving ½” of space on top. Let jars sit on counter 24 hours. Store in freezer. Keep refrigerated once you defrost it.
Taken from the Sure-Jell insert.