Homemade Strawberry Freezer Jam

I spent Mother’s Day weekend up to my elbows in strawberries. On Saturday, our family went out to a local you-pick berry farm and spent a couple of hours harvesting the sweetest, freshest, most delicious strawberries that I’ve tasted in a long time. I wanted to get enough berries to make strawberry jam and strawberry fruit leather, and still have enough left over to freeze for smoothies.

When it was all said and done, we paid for 17 pounds of berries and came home happy.

I spent most of the day on Sunday processing the berries; removing the caps took quite awhile, especially since the berries were very small. I was very excited about making the jam; we love strawberry jam and we had already attempted blackberry jam a few weeks earlier, which turned out pretty well for a first try.

How-to: Homemade Strawberry Freezer Jam

Freezer jam isn’t made the same way as jam you could keep in the pantry; this jam must stay frozen in order to avoid spoilage. It’s canning for beginners. You don’t need to worry about doing everything “to a T” – there’s a little more room for trial and error.

Besides the berries, you will need no-sugar pectin, white grape juice, and honey. You will want about one packet of pectin for every four cups of mashed berries, which will make around six half-pints of jam. (Don’t you love how precise I’m being?) I made twice that amount. After the berries are washed and the caps are removed, mash up the berries with a large fork, a beater, a potato masher, or all of the above. Little hands can easily help.

Then heat the white grape juice and the pectin together on the stove in a large pot. Stir frequently until it comes to a rolling boil, and then stir constantly for one minute.

Remove from heat and stir in fruit. Stir well for one minute and then stir in honey.

Then ladle it into your clean jars and put the lids on. The instructions below say to ladle it through a funnel, which would have been handy for avoiding mess except that I forgot to clean my funnel; oh, well!

Doesn’t that sound easy?

This was a project where the whole family could participate. The jam has no crazy artificial colors or flavors, and no refined sugars. It’s a healthier alternative to store-bought jam, and believe it or not, it’s cheaper than buying similar jam at the grocery! I love that I was able to source local strawberries and support that farmer, and let’s not forget the taste – yum…this jam is so much more delicious than anything I’ve purchased. It has fresh and vibrant flavor, just like the berries.

So don’t fear making jam! This is a perfect way to begin exploring the world of canning and preserving foods. You can use the same recipe for blackberry jam, too. I haven’t tried any other fruits yet, but I’m sure raspberries would also be delicious.

Recipe: Homemade Strawberry Freezer Jam

Supplies:
• 6 half-pint freezer safe canning jars with lids and bands
• tongs
• ladle
• potato masher
• funnel
• large pot
Sterilize all equipment prior to use; you can do this in a dishwasher or in a pot of boiling water for 20 minutes.

Ingredients:
4 cups of mashed berries (do not use a food processor; the jam will not be the right consistency)
1 3/4 cup of white grape juice
3/4 cup honey
1 packet of no-sugar pectin

Directions:
Mash berries by hand. Then set up all the jars next to your stove; you will want everything arranged before you begin. Keep the lids in a pan of simmering water on the stove (not boiling).

Pour white grape juice and pectin into pot, and bring to a boil on the stove top, stirring frequently. Once the mixture is boiling, stir constantly for one minute. Then remove from heat and gently pour in the mashed berries. Stir for one minute, then pour in the honey.

With your clean ladle, ladle the jam into the jars through the funnel, leaving at least 1/2 inch head room at the top of the jar. Then one at a time, use the tongs to remove the lids from the pan of simmering water and place on top of the jars. Screw the bands down until they are just “finger-tight.” Don’t make them overly tight.

Let the jars cool to room temperature, then put the jam in the fridge overnight. The next morning, you can move it to the freezer.

Have you ever made freezer jam? If you make this, please let me know how it goes; I’d love to hear!

About Katie

Katie loves to learn about natural living, and believes that caring for the earth and caring for yourself don't have to be mutually exclusive. She loves to help other people understand how they can both contribute to and benefit from a switch to a more natural and organic lifestyle. She is a stay-at-home mom and a native Texas girl, happily married to her best friend.

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  5. I am really excited to make this jam. I am confused as to what type of pectin to use. I rushed out to the store and bought Low or No Sugar Needed Pectin,(New Formula) but now I am confused and think I should of bought the packet of Pectin for freezer jam. The other concerning factor is the amount of pectin in the container is to make 22 half pints but does not break it down to how much for a packet recipe amount. Any help would be appreciated

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  8. This summer, I started making this freezer jam for my deli. Everyone comments on how wonderful the flavor is and how it tastes of fresh berries. I have adults come in for a peanut butter and homemade jam sandwich after nibbling on the kiddos! The only thing I have added is paper thin sliced lemon rind to the boiling juice and pectin. I try not to add too many of the fruit bits but it helps add a nice little tang! Thanks for an easy and delicious recipe.

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  12. Christine Lister says:

    Hi, I made Blackberry jam two weeks ago with Splenda and bottled pectin, it was very good, then last night I tried some from an opened jar, not kept in the fridge and the smell of acetone was very strong, I did the water bath and the lids popped .
    It has not affected me though, what could have happened?

  13. I’m going to try this….wish me luck. I’ll let you know how it turns out…: )

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  27. Ha ha what a preparation,really is i feel to eat this fruit.

  28. Would you recommend using agave nectar instead of honey? If so, would you use 3/4 cup?

  29. Katie! I found your blog via a friend’s–love it! Saw your pic at the bottom and remembered meeting you in Austin (I’m married to Kyle Truman). Do you know if this recipe works with other fruit? My son has a food sensitivity to strawberries. And grape juice, for that matter. :) I am thinking of using pineapple.

  30. can one make this WITHOUT the honey? i find i prefer just the sweetness of the berries themselves but am wondering how it would set up w/o the honey..?

  31. Shannnon says:

    I made this with strawberries a few weeks ago and it was on the soft/runny side. I made it today with raspberries and added an extra 1/2 pkg of pectin (1 1/2 total). It is definitely more tart with the extra pectin, but so far sitting on the counter it is thicker – it will not run off the bread like the other stuff. Great recipe though and I love the idea of no added sugar. The honey is a great sweetener and I actually just used apple juice since that’s what I had and it costs less than white grape juice.

  32. I’ve made strawberry freezer jam using honey and also using agave nectar. I have to say the batch with the agave nectar tasted so fresh! It was the best strawberry jam I’ve ever eaten. Yum. :)

  33. Nice job. I love the jam. Looks very delicious.

  34. Hi I tried this jam recipe and the flavor is great but it turned out super hard like ice. Not sure why? Any ideas.

    thanks

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