If you would have talked to me a month ago, I would have told you, I don’t understand freezer jam. Jam belongs in the pantry, until opened and placed in the refrigerator for consumption. I mean, the very thought of putting jam in your freezer, let alone glass mason jars, is foreign to me. No, my friend, my old self would tell you that easy freezer jam was not for me…
I’ve made jam a million times, and I know how it goes. It’s a long process of boiling the fruity concoction, sterilizing jars, lids, and rims, placing those happy jam jars in a bath of boiling water, and pulling them out to hear the satisfying pop of the jars sealing. It’s a ritual really – a half day process.
A few days after an afternoon of strawberry picking in 100 degree weather with my 1 and 4 year old (joy), I began digging through my canning supplies with hopes of finding some pectin to transform my fresh-off-the-vine-berries into jam. What I found was a tub of “instant pectin for no-cook freezer jam”, not the usual stuff. The label claimed that within minutes, you could whip up a delicious batch of jam, which you could freeze up to a year for later use – no boiling, sterilizing, or sealing! Reluctantly, with a “this must be too good to be true” attitude, I created this shortcut jam with fantastic results!
I’m happy to report that I’m a freezer jam convert!! This jam is delicious even after freezing and thawing! Although I still think there’s a place for canning jam (think Holiday presents), I’m hooked on this freezer jam. All the berry goodness without all the effort!
- Food processor or potato masher
- Mixing bowl
- Measuring cups
- Stirring spoon
- 2 half pint mason jars with lids and bands
- 1 2/3 c. fresh strawberries mash
- 1/3 c. – 2/3 c. sugar, depending on the sweetness of the berries
- 2 T. instant fruit pectin
- Dash of cinnamon (optional)
In your mixing bowl, stir together the pectin and sugar. I found that 1/3 c. of sugar was plenty for my sun ripened fresh berries, but up to 2/3 c. of sugar can be added if your berries are more tart than sweet. Next, with your food processor or potato masher, smush the berries into a jam consistency. Add 1 2/3 c. of the mashed berries to the sugar/pectin mix with your dash of cinnamon, if you so choose, and stir for 3 minutes. Ladle the jam equally into 2 half pint mason jars. Secure with lids and let them stand for 30 minutes before freezing or refrigerating.
This jam can be made with cherries, blackberries, raspberries, or blueberries in the same fashion. If you choose to make peach, however, you will want to add 1 tablespoon of lemon juice to the jam.
PBJs are just the beginning of this jam. Add a tablespoon to your morning yogurt, spoon over ice cream, or add a dollop on pound cake. Whisk a few teaspoons of the jam with balsamic vinegar and olive oil for a strawberry vinaigrette.
I can’t tell you enough how much I love this freezer jam. No fuss. Easy. Perfect for a beginner that wants to test the waters of homemade jam.
- 1 2/3 c. mashed strawberries
- 1/3 c. sugar or more to taste
- 2 T. instant pectin
- Dash of cinnamon (optional)
- Stir together sugar and pectin in a bowl.
- Add mashed strawberries and cinnamon to the sugar/pectin and stir for 3 minutes.
- Ladle into clean mason jars.
- Let rest for 30 minutes before freezing or refrigerating.
- Refrigerate for up to 3 weeks or freeze for up to 1 year.