How to Make Freezer Jam
When strawberries are at their peak, a freezer jam is a quick and easy way to capture them. Since the fruit is not cooked, freezer jam maintains the fresh berry flavors better than true preserves.
Strawberry Freezer Jam Recipe
Our step-by-step guide shows you how to make a super-fresh jam that will allow you to enjoy the taste of strawberries well after the season's over.
Wash Your Berries
Gently rinse the berries to remove any dust or other stowaways. Drain the berries well and pat them dry with a clean paper towel.
It's important to use berries that are not only very fresh and ripe, but also organic. Conventional strawberry farms may use methyl iodide, a pesticide that is known to be carcinogenic.
Cut Out the Cores
Using a sharp paring knife, remove the cores by cutting out a conic section at the top. If your berries are not very ripe at the top end, feel free to cut away any parts that are too firm. They will not mash well, and will make your jam tart. Discard the cores.
Mash the Berries
Using a potato masher, crush the berries. Do not use a food processor or blender, as you want some textural diversity in the final product; a puree will also affect the final set of the jam, making it unpleasantly rubbery. In the end, you want 2 cups of mashed berries.
Add the Sugar
Pour 4 cups granulated white sugar in with the berries. Stir just until the sugar is completely integrated, being careful not to break the berries down further. Let stand 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. The berries will naturally give up their juices and the mixture will loosen.
If you want to use less sugar or sugar substitutes, please note that you will need to use a different pectin.
Prepare the Pectin
In a small, nonreactive saucepan, combine one packet standard dry pectin (like Sure-Jell) and 3/4 cup water. Bring to a boil over high heat, stirring constantly. (The mixture may be lumpy at first, but the pectin will dissolve.) Boil exactly 1 minute, and remove from heat.
Add the Pectin to the Berries
Once the dissolved pectin has cooled slightly, add it directly into the berry-sugar mixture, and stir constantly until all the sugar is completely dissolved, about 3 minutes.
Pour Into Containers
Once the jam is completely integrated, ladle it into prepared freezer-safe containers, leaving 1/2 inch headspace at the top of the jar, as the jam may expand in the freezer. Seal and let stand at room temperature for 24 hours, until set. Store in the refrigerator for up to 3 weeks, or in the freezer for up to a year. Thaw frozen jams in the refrigerator before using.