Over the past couple of years, I have investigated and experimented with several different types of food storage. Pressure canning, Water bath canning, Dehydrating, Vacuum sealing… I’ve probably done it all 🙂 One of my favorite methods; however, is using the freezer! Freezer jam is quick and easy, plus it doesn’t require you to heat up your entire house in the middle of summer to make delicious jam! My favorite jam to make is strawberry, and that’s what I’m making today, but you can substitute virtually any fresh, in season fruit for the strawberries in this recipe. Try blueberries, blackberries, peaches, mangos, cherries, rhubarb, figs, whatever is on sale at your local market….the possibilities are endless!
Before we get started, here are a few pros and cons of making freezer jam:
- As mentioned above, you get delicious jam WITHOUT heating up the entire house
- FAST- This process takes about 25 minutes from fresh strawberries to freezer
- Easy- Just 4 ingredients, Stir a little here, mix a little there, pour into your jars, and freeze! That’s pretty much it!
- Looks and tastes more like ripe fruit. Freezer jam doesn’t have the “cooking” process that you use when home-canning jelly so the fruit is still mostly intact and doesn’t have as much of the jelly-like cooked down consistency.
- Mix and match fruits, add fresh herbs, and even a splash of alcohol if desired. Since this isn’t a shelf-stable method, you can play with the recipe a little bit more than you could if you were water bath canning.
- This method isn’t shelf-stable. You will have to keep your jars in the freezer for this method, so if you’re off-grid or planning on making HUGE batches for long term solutions, this might not be the method for you.
- Since it’s not shelf-stable, it won’t last AS long. This jam will be good in your freezer for about a year, and then once opened, can stay cold in the fridge for another month or so before it goes bad. (Good luck getting it to last that long without being eaten anyways HA!)
- Jars of jam take up valuable freezer space. You’ll need to decide if the quicker, easier freezer recipe is worth the space it takes up in your freezer.
How to Make Strawberry Freezer Jam
- 4 Cups fresh (very ripe) strawberries, crushed and slightly drained.
- 3 Cups sugar
- 1 (1.75 ounce) package dry SURE-JELL pectin
- 1 Cup water
- Start by rinsing your fruit (you’ll need about 4lbs of fresh strawberries for this recipe) and removing any pieces that are going bad.
- Remove strawberry stems and cut out any bad spots.
- Using a potato masher, crush the strawberries until they are mostly juice. I like to leave a few chunky pieces just because I like chunky jam, but this part is completely up to you! Make it as chunky or as smooth as you prefer.
- Mix exactly 4 Cups of your crushed strawberries with exactly 3 Cups of sugar and let stand for 10 minutes. Note: You must use real sugar (no sweetener substitutions), and if you would like a low sugar option, you’ll need a different recipe. The pectin needs the perfect ratio of sugar to fruit to pectin in order to set up correctly.
- Meanwhile, stir the pectin into 1 Cup of water in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, and boil for 1 minute then remove from heat. Make sure you stir well and do not leave any clumps of pectin. (Clumps of pectin make clumpy jam). Also, please make sure you’re using SURE-JELL pectin for this recipe. Again, the sugar to fruit to pectin ratio is crucial, and it’s different for different brands, so if you have a different brand of pectin, you might need to adjust the amount of sugar used.
- Immediately stir the boiling water into the strawberries, mixing well.
- Allow to stand for 3 minutes before pouring into clean, dry jars. Allow 1/2 inch headspace for freezer expansion.
- Place the lids on jars, and allow to sit at room temperature for 24 hours.
- After 24 hours, either use immediately or place the jars in the freezer for storage until ready to use.
- Makes approximately 5 pints.
Try these other great freezer jam recipes if you’re up for something a little more extraordinary!
What About You?
Have you made freezer jam before? How did it turn out? What is your favorite freezer jam recipe?
Also, check out these other great posts from The Prepared Bloggers on How to Preserve Food:
Join us as we share different reasons and methods of how we preserve food to create a long-term storage plan for our families. Click on each link to be taken to a new blog with helpful information and tips.
Mom with a PREP – How to Dehydrate Ginger and Make Ginger Powder
Preparedness Mama – Make Jam Without Pectin
Mama Kautz – Dehydrating
Busy B Homemaker – Freezer Jam <— That’s Me! 🙂
Ed That Matters – Anyone Can Do It: Fool Proof Food Storage
The Apartment Prepper – Easy Marinated Mushrooms
The Homesteading Hippy – How to Use Your Pressure Canner
Montana Homesteader – Making and Preserving Cherry Pit Syrup
Are We Crazy or What – How to Dehydrate Cherries
Your Thrive Life – How I Preserve Food: Meals in a Jar
Melissa K Norris – Re-Usable Canning Tattler Lids-Do They Really Work?
Real Food Living – Preserve and Store Grains wiith Dry Ice
Cooke’s Frontier – Smoking
Homestead Dreamer – Water Bath Canning
Evergrowing Farm – How to Preserve Red Chile
Survival Sherpa – Modern Mountain Man MRE’s
The Backyard Pioneer – Fermentation
Trayer Wilderness – How We Preserve Food
Living Life in Rural Iowa – Vegetable Soup
The Organic Prepper – How to Make Jam without using added Pectin
Homesteading Mom – How I Preserve Broccoli and Goat Cheese Soup
A Matter of Preparedness – How I Preserve Using Mylar Bags