Last August Jake and his good buddy moved everything we owned from WA to AZ... including the last 8 jars of raspberry jam I made from Pam's raspberries.
Once you've had homemade freezer jam, you'll never want to eat any other type of jam. At least that's the way it is for Jake and I.
The other day we realized that we only had a tiny, tiny bit of raspberry jam left and I started to fret. There's no way I could buy enough raspberries here (at a decent price) to make more raspberry jam so we decided to make strawberry instead.
A few years ago, Pam (my mother-in-law) taught me how to make freezer jam. The directions in the box are very clear but it's always nice to have someone show you how to do it the first time.
You'll need your fruit (some recipes in the box call for a little fresh lemon juice, too), sugar, and pectin. I've always used the reduced sugar pectin in the pink box. It's usually found in the same aisle as the sugar, jell-o, marshmallows... etc.
Start by washing your jars/container of choice. I like to use jars because it looks legit but you can use any container that freezes well.
You'll also need to wash your fruit.
And then prepare it.
I made two batches of jam. I made a double batch the first time and it ended up being about 5 lbs of strawberries... cut up into really small chunks.
And then you take a potato masher and mash your berries. Not too much, but enough. (You measure the amount of berries the recipe calls for after you mash them).
(For the second batch of jam I used my food processor to chop the berries and it saved me hours... literally. For the most part the chunks were smaller and you don't have to mash very much in the end.)
When the berries are prepared, you'll need to mix the sugar, pectin and water in a pot and heat it over med-high heat... stirring the entire time. Once it comes to a boil, you continue to stir and boil for one minute them remove from heat and stir in the berries for one minute.
And then you've made freezer jam! Pour it into your jar or container, let it sit on your counter for one day, then freeze. You don't have to freeze it before you use it but if you're not going to eat it right away then you'll want to store it in the freezer.
We love freezer jam because it's simple, extremely fresh tasting, very colorful and sooooo good. It puts store bought jam to shame.
I've made strawberry, raspberry, and blackberry and I actually like strawberry the most. I did have a huge can of freeze-dried apricots that needed to be used so I re-hydrated them and made jam with them. I'm not sure how good it turned out because I can't stop eating the strawberry jam long enough to taste the apricot!
So there you have it. Strawberry freezer jam!