Strawberry Freezer Jam

Strawberry Freezer Jam, it's like having fresh strawberries on your morning toast. So easy too, no cooking!!

Spring has sprung here in the U.S. The days are warm, sunny and gorgeous with lovely blooms and blossoms springing up here, there and everywhere.  One of the quintessential signs of spring at it’s peak, in our southeastern corner of the country, is the short, but gloriously sweet season of local strawberries. One bite of a bright red, juicy strawberry – farm-picked just hours before, makes you realize that the store-bought variety you’ve been eating for the past few months ………. well, perhaps they weren’t really strawberries after all. That’s when I start thinking about Strawberry Freezer Jam.

One of the quintessential signs of spring at it’s peak, in our southeastern corner of the country, is the short, but gloriously sweet season of local strawberries. One bite of a bright red, juicy strawberry – farm-picked just hours before, makes you realize that the store-bought variety you’ve been eating for the past few months ………. well, perhaps they weren’t really strawberries after all. I love to capture this delightful essence of spring in glass jars stored in my freezer. On short, dark and dreary winter days, all I have to do is pull out a jar of this scarlet sunshine and I am  instantly transported to brighter days. Because freezer jam isn’t simmered on the stovetop, it explodes with fresh vibrant flavor and color, unlike the traditional, cooked variety.

Strawberry Freezer Jam, it's like having fresh strawberries on your morning toast. So easy too, no cooking!!

There is one drawback to freezer jam; sometimes, because it’s not cooked, it can tend to be a bit grainy. Over the years, I’ve developed a few simple steps to overcome this problem; a bit of extra stirring and a two minute stint in the microwave helps dissolve the  sugar without dulling the flavor and color. If you’ve never made freezer jam you REALY need to try this – I promise you won’t be disappointed!

P.S. See the largest jar of jam in the pictures? I guarantee my son will be snagging that one on one of his “freezer raids”! 🙂 (Don’t tell him, but actually, I made that one just for him!)

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Springtime in a Jar – Delicious Strawberry Freezer Jam

5 from 2 reviews

The most delicious, fresh tasting jam. Once you try it, you’ll be spoiled for life. I call it “springtime in a jar”.

  • Author:
  • Yield: Yield: about 5 cups of jam
  • Category: Jam

Ingredients

  • 4 cups granulated white sugar
  • 1 quart (about, see exact measurement below) fresh strawberries
  • 1 pouch liquid fruit pectin (I use Certo which is readily available at most supermarkets. At times it can be hard to find. I usually just ask at the front desk since every store seems to keep it in a different area.)
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

Instructions

  1. Wash and rinse glass* or plastic containers and lids in the dishwasher or with hot soapy water. Dry thoroughly. Measure exactly* 4 cups of sugar into a medium size bowl.
  2. Stem and crush strawberries. Don’t try to use a blender or food processor for this step as you want some small pieces of strawberry to remain (I like to use a potato masher).
  3. Measure exactly** 2 cups prepared fruit into large microwave-safe bowl. Stir in sugar. Let stand 20 min., stirring occasionally.
  4. After the 20 minutes, stir mixture for 1 minute then place in microwave on high for 2 minutes. Mixture will not cook but will become warm enough for sugar to dissolve. Remove from microwave and stir continuously for 2 minutes.
  5. Combine liquid pectin and lemon juice in a small bowl. Add to strawberry mixture; stir 3 minutes. Take a taste to make sure the sugar is dissolved. If it still tastes a bit grainy stir for another minute or two until almost all sugar is dissolved.
  6. Fill containers immediately (you don’t want jam to start to “set” before you get it into the jars) to within 1/2 inch of top- don’t fill any higher as mixture will expand a bit in the freezer.
  7. Wipe off top edges of containers and cover with lids. Let stand at room temperature 24 hours. (I love the look of beautiful, vibrant red jam stacked up on my kitchen counter – call me old-fashioned, but there’s something about it that makes me smile.)
  8. Refrigerate up to 3 weeks or freeze up to 1 year. Thaw in refrigerator. Notes:

Notes

* ~Don’t worry about putting glass jars in the freezer. I’ve done if for at least a hundred years now, and never have had a problem. 🙂 Just make sure to leave a half inch of room at the top to allow for expanding in the freezer.
Making jam is a very exact science. Often when I cook, I add a “bit” of this or a “dash” of that – but not when making jam. If the proportions of fruit and sugar are not correct, the jam will not set properly. I learned this many years ago the hard way; instead of jam, I ended up with a soupy sauce that was only suitable for topping ice cream. Be sure to use an accurate measuring cup, spoon ingredients into cup, then level off with a straight-edged table knife.
Grab a magazine and set a timer for the stirring steps. Thorough stirring is essential when making freezer jam to ensure a smooth, ungrainy finished product. I like to use a plastic spatula and frequently scrape the sides of the bowl during the stirring process.

Yield: about 5 cups of jam



45 thoughts on “Strawberry Freezer Jam”

  • Jam looks lovely! I have just started making freezer jam and some of it was grainy. Do you microwave it after adding the liquid pectin or before? Had good luck with raspberry (my fave) but not with blackberry jam. Looking forward to making strawberry next season. Thanks!

  • Just made a batch and it looks delightful! I tasted it just prior to putting it in the jars and it was smooth and delicious. It smells and looks great too! Thanks for the detailed recipe and method. I am brand new at this and the detailed description of what to do – peppered with tips and things to NOT worry about – is reassuring!

    • Thanks Jackie … and welcome! Yes, freezer jam is a “win-win” – so flavorful and yet, so easy to make! Check a little deeper here at TCSF and you’ll see even more delightful combinations!

  • I’ve read your microwave directions too late! I have already made the standard recipe freezer strawberry jam recipe and now that it’s frozen I tasted it and discovered sugar granules – yuck!
    Any advice?

  • thank you SO much!!! the last few times I tried to make home made freezer strawberry jam the SUGAR NEVER DISSOLVED! I tried this and you saved my frustration!!!! Microwaving it as you suggest is fantastic. Your measurements are bang on and i now made 2.5 batches using your directions. I am SO THANKFUL! Cheers.

    • Thanks so much for taking the time to leave a comment. So happy this worked for you. I was always frustrated with freezer jam because it was often grainy though I loved the fresh flavor. So I was super excited when I figured out this simple microwave trick and I love sharing it with others. Especially when they get as enthused as I do about stuff like this!

  • Great recipe for freezer jam. I am actually going to the farm stand today to get some raw milk. I will definitely pick up some berries. You’ve inspired me.

  • I may have solved the issue of sugar grains in the jam. The last 2 batches I put in the freezer without letting them sit for overnight. The jars maybe sat for 6 hrs max. because the jam was well set. The recipe says 24 hrs. or until set. Yesterday’s batch sat overnight for approx. 17 hrs. There was no grainy texture this morning.

  • I have been making this jam for years and never had grainy problems until this year. I will use your tips next time. Thanks for your experience & willingness to experiment. I live near Vancouver, BC, Canada where strawberry season is legendary. :))

  • It’s recommended to not try to double recipes for jams and jellies. I just make 2 batches in separate jars at the same time. I’d hate to take the chance and spoil all the delicious berries! 🙂

  • your pictures are wonderful..i’m falling in love with the colour! very interesting to see a jam cooked in a different way!Cheers!

  • Thanks for the tip on minimizing graininess…I’ve eaten this lovely freezer jam but never made a batch. My hubby would love this…and berry season is approaching 🙂

  • Hi Chris,this is an amazingly easy jam to prepare!I’m keeping the recipe for next month when strawberries are in season,I just have to make this one..:)

  • I’ve never made jams before, but if I ever have courage to try, I’d pick strawberry jam! Hmmm I can totally see myself finishing up the big jar quickly. But like you mentioned above, moderation is all we need. 🙂

  • Your photos look like a spread in a magazine! Even though we are lucky enough to have fresh strawberries year-round in the CA Strawberry Capital, the winter varieties are not as soft, or sweet, as the summer ones. So, we still have them to look forward to. I’m forwarding your post to my mom who makes all kinds of jams. Just lovely, Chris!

  • Debra, yes it is white sugar. For this recipe I wouldn’t try using another sugar or decreasing the amount – it is a very exact recipe and I’ve tried using less – it doesn’t work. There are recipes out there however, that use less sugar and I’ve seen some recipes with honey. You could google this and probably find what you’re looking for. We don’t eat a ton of this jam but a little every now and then is a very special treat so I don’t worry about the refined sugar.I also love to use it for special desserts and even savory dishes which I will be sharing some of coming up. Thanks for your great questions! Chris

  • I have never tried to make my own jam or jelly, but I love strawberry jam. We don’t get much local fruit in the desert but our proximity to california allows us some pretty great deals this time of year.

  • this is a great idea, because I often miss the sweet fruits and berries of summer in winter. strawberries haven’t arrived here in the uk yet though, unfortunately!

  • This is great! My Mom used to make strawberry freezer jam and EVERY YEAR I bring up the idea of doing it together. But there’s usually some waffling about her recipe and la la la…

    Now I have a tried and true recipe and I might just surprise her with it!

    My Mom’s never was grainy I wonder if she’d figured out the same trick! Strawberry season isn’t until June here so I’ve got a bit of time to figure everything out. Thanks for this great post!

  • What type of sugar, white? Can you use a different type? I am trying to use less processed foods. What about using honey? What would happen if I reduced the sugar amount? Thanks!

  • Can you believe I actually NEVER tried this kind of jam… Me, THE strawberries lover!!!!!???? When our strawberries are going to be available (june), I’ll definitly give a shot to your recipe and I’m going to delight myself every morning!!!!

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