Once you make this homemade freezer jam you will NEVER GO BACK. I'm telling you, the fresh berry sweetness is unparalleled to any store bought jarred jam. Not to mention homemade freezer jam does not contain the amount of preservatives and dyes store bought may contain. Since there are a couple of different ways to make easy, instant freezer jam I'm showing you how to make it!
WHAT DO I NEED TO MAKE FREEZER JAM?
I love how easy and simple freezer jam is. You dont have to cook or pressure cook anything. 3 simple ingredentes
- strawberries (or your choice of berries)
PRO TIP: I like to make a huge batch of freezer jam when the berries are in season and very inexpensive. Look for about $1 a pound, maybe even less! When berries are at that price grab several pounds and make enough to last you through the summer and winter months.
WHAT KIND OF PECTIN DO I USE?
Pectin is a must have for no-cook freezer jam. It is what makes it thicken. There are two popular pectins for you to choose from. Let me tell you the pros between each so you can decide what you want to buy.
WHERE CAN I BUY PECTIN?
Most grocery stores carry it year round. Some stores (like Target) will only carry pectin during the summer/fall months with canning in popular. You can usually find the pectin by the canning jars and product. This is typically not in the baking isle, but sometimes it can be. I usually have to ask an associate for where the canning products are! ha ha
BALL REALFRUIT INSTANT PECTIN VS SURE JELL
Ball RealFruit Instant Pectin
This is my go to freezer jam pectin.
- This pectin is defiantly more bang for your buck. If you are doing large batches I would grab this pectin.
- Ball instant pectin calls for less sugar than sure jell.
- This instant pectin is a little less thick than sure jell, this is for two reasons a. less sugar and b. the thickener is slightly different.
- You can double or triple the recipe
Sure Jell is another great pectin. It comes in boxes, as shown.
- While you do not need to cook the entire batch of jam you do need to cook the sure jell with some water before adding it to the crushed fruit.
- It uses a lot more sugar than other pectins (also helping the jam to be thicker)
- PRO: it produces a more thicker, jelly like texture jam than other pectins.
- One box yields about 5 cups of jam, (2 cups fresh fruit and 4 cups of sugar per box) It's great if you are making a small batch of jam. You cannot double the recipe.
HOW TO MAKE THE BEST NO-COOK FREEZER JAM
PREP YOUR BERRIES
Start by washing your berries throughly.
If you are using strawberries cut the green stem and leaves off.
HOW DO YOU CRUSH THE STRAWBERRIES
I use my blender to crush my berries. You can also use a food processor or a hand held crusher. If you like chunks of berries in your jam just pulse to your desired consistency.
PREPARE YOUR PECTIN
Follow the direction on the box on preparing the pectin. The ball is as easy as stirring 2 tbs of pectin with 1 ⅔ cup of sugar. Dump your crushed berries in the bowl and stir.
TIPS ON DOUBLING THE RECIPE
If you using sure jell you CANNOT double the recipe. It will not thicken the same. If you are using Ball real fruit you can triple the batch, but don't exceed 6 cups of fruit per batch.
FOLLOW THE DIRECTIONS ON THE BOX
For each pectin you will want to follow the directions on the box when making the jam. Then place the jam in air tight containers after they have rested the appropriate amount of time at room temp.
OTHER HANDY ITEMS
I using a funnel when ladling the jam into jars. It really cuts back on the mess!
I also really like using glass jars. These lids are amazing! and only about $2 at walmart.
Here are a couple of tips for using glass jars when freezing them.
- leave about an inch at the top for the jam to expand.
- NEVER run your frozen glass jar under hot water to defrost. Place in fridge or on the counter and let it defrost naturally.
I'll say the VERY best is homemade jam with these dinner rolls. Every sunday and thanksgiving this is what we eat and its the best comfort food in the world.
OTHER FREEZER JAM FAQ'S
1. HOW LONG DOES JAM LAST IN THE FREEZER?
In an air tight container the jam will last 1 year!
2. HOW LONG DOES FREEZER JAM LAST IN THE FRIDGE?
In an air tight container it will last 2 weeks.
3. WHAT CAN I DO WITH FREEZER JAM?
Spread homemade on pbj's, over ice cream, with nutella...or ...ya know...eat it by the spoonful. Take a Jar to your friend with maybe some homemade french bread. You'll make a lot of friends doing that :)
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- Fresh Berries when on sale
- Instant Pectin
- Puree fruit in blender to desired consistency
- In separate bowl mix sugar and pectin
- Add puree fruit to dry ingredients. Stir for 2 minutes.
- Ladle jam into jars and let sit for 30 minutes.
- Freeze. When using a jar keep refrigerated.