Strawberry Freezer Jam

Ingredients:

2 Cups Crushed Strawberries

4 Cups Sugar

¾ Cup Water

1 Box Pectin

5 (8 oz.)Containers

Method:

Wash and dry containers. Remove leaves and wash berries. Use a large icing tip or paring knife to hull berries. Remove any mushy spots or molded berries. You have two options to mash fruit. The recommended option is to have a single layer of strawberries and use a potato masher. However, I use a food processor and lightly pulse the berries until they are in small pieces. Whichever method you use, particularly if you’re using a food processor, be sure not to puree the fruit as jam should always have bits of fruit in it. Also, pureeing the berries can destroy the natural pectin already found in fruit and can mess around with the setting of your jam. In a large mixing bowl measure 4 cups of sugar with a dry measuring cup and use a straight-edged knife to level the sugar. Then measure exactly 2 cups of crushed strawberries in a liquid measuring cup. It’s very important to measure each ingredient to an exact amount because even small changes in quantities can ruin your set with your pectin. Mix your sugar and berries together. On your stove top, mix ¾ C water and 1 box of pectin. Heat on high and stir constantly- boil 1 minute. Add pectin mixture to berries and sugar and stir constantly for approximately 3 minutes until sugar is completely dissolved. Use a large mouthed funnel and a ladle to fill containers with jam. Let cool if necessary and cover with lids and label. Let jam set on counter for 24 hours and then place in freezer for up to one year. Thaw each container in fridge when ready for use and store in fridge for up to one month.

*Note: Each type of pectin comes with slightly different directions so be sure to read through directions carefully and adjust directions if necessary.

My Thoughts:

We LOVE freezer jam! I use it in place of syrup and there is nothing better than a spoonful of it on homemade rolls. I try to limit our use of freezer jam because it’s so high in sugar but it’s a wonderful treat here and there- particularly for the holidays. If you’re looking for a similar, but just as good, strawberry jam that has less sugar I hope to make a batch of no sugar strawberry jam soon. I’m having difficulty finding the No Sugar Added pectin this year so it’s all dependent upon that. However, when I find the pectin I’ll post the recipe for those who are interested. One last thought would be that there are several different types and brands of pectin. For those of you staying in the realm of sugar-added pectin, but playing with powder or liquid pectin, I personally recommend powdered. I thought I’d prefer the liquid (less dishes, no heat needed, etc.) but turns out I was wrong. There really isn’t that big of difference in the results but with the liquid pectin the fruit floats to the top. My guess is the reason why it doesn’t in the powdered pectin is because the pectin and water mixture is still hot when it’s added to the fruit and sugar mixture. When fruit is mixed with hot liquid before it is packed in water bath canning it helps prevent the fruit from floating because it removes some of the air out of the fruit. I’m sure either one will be great but I just prefer to have the fruit bits throughout my jam. I’ll let you know when I eat the jam if there really is any difference. Whatever you use, I hope you absolutely LOVE your freezer jam! It will change your life!

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