Strawberry Freezer Jam
July 15, 2012
Delicious strawberry jam can be elusive. The standard jam-making technique of cooking down fruit and sugar until the mixture achieves a jell generally does not work with strawberries. All the fresh sweetness of the ripe fruit converts into an overly sweet darkened mash when cooked. Not bad, but definitely not one of my family’s favorites. Mixed with other fruits, it does not seem to be a problem. The strawberries added to Three Berry Jam only add to the complex fruitiness of the mix. Slow roasting the strawberries is another option, as I have done in this Strawberry Rhubarb Jam. To capture the simple delight of strawberries though, the trick is not to cook them at all.
Strawberry Freezer Jam is perhaps the simplest jam I have made. Starting with fresh ripe strawberries in season, they are simply cut, mashed, and mixed with a simple syrup mixed with pectin. That is it, no additional cooking. As the pectin cools, it jells. Now since this jam is not cooked, it is not safe for shelf storage. It can be stored in the refrigerator for a few weeks and for a year in the freezer. It is so quick and easy I literally made it while my kids ate their lunch one day. Since there is no boiling jam it also does not heat up the house like other jam making might. My daughter took over the job of filling the jars. We capped them off, labeled them with the name of the jam and the date, and we were done. What a perfect way to preserve the fresh taste of strawberries for the winter ahead. It would also be a great jam recipe for someone who is new to jam making and does not want to deal with the sterilization and processing required to safely make other types of jams.
This post is linked with Grow It, Cook It, Can It’s Cook It 2012. Check that site shortly for a roundup of great jam making posts.
Strawberry Freezer Jam
makes 7 cups (half-pints)
5 pints strawberries, washed, hulled, and quartered
3 1/2 cups sugar
one package powdered pectin for low-sugar recipes
1 cup water
Wash dry and set aside your jam containers. Generally plastic is best for the freezer, but I also have good luck using round glass jars as long as there is plenty of head space.
Put the strawberries in a big bowl. Use a potato masher to mash the berries. The amount of mashing you choose is up to you, I like to leave some bigger chunks.
Whisk together the sugar and pectin in a medium sized pot. Add the water and stir to combine. Bring to a boil. Once a boil is reached, set the timer and boil for one minute. Pour the sugar solution over the strawberries. Stir until the strawberries and solution are unified.
Fill the containers, leaving 1/2 inch head space. Cover and let sit on the counter overnight. This allows the pectin to do its thing and thicken the jam. Label and date the containers. In the morning, put the jam in the refrigerator or freezer.
Print this recipe: Strawberry Freezer Jam
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