When it’s strawberry time, why not pick up a flat or two and turn them into this easy freezer jam. You’ll make far better jam than anything you might buy in the store. As of this writing, we have three recipes for strawberry freezer jam on our website. How do they compare? What are the differences?
Strawberry Freezer Jam: Pectin vs. Clear Jel
Two of our strawberry freezer jam recipes are made with pectin and one with Clear Jel. The Clear Jel recipe comes from Washington State University, Skagit Extension, and used with permission. There are advantages to Clear Jel, and it’s a handy multi-use ingredient in the kitchen. But for us, the main reasons to use Clear Jel in freezer jam are:
- You can use less sugar. While ingredient ratios must be carefully adhered to when using pectin, the amount of sugar can be adjusted using Clear Jel.
- Clear Jel is less expensive than pectin.
About Freezer Jam
Because the fruit is not cooked, freezer jam has more of that fresh, just-picked flavor. We much prefer it over most cooked jams. And most freezer jams are much quicker and easier to make—they should take less than one hour. Hints for success:
- When making freezer jam with pectin, make sure that the ratios of sugar to fruit to pectin is what is recommended by the pectin manufacturer regardless of the pectin brand you use.
- Since the jam is not sterilized by boiling, it must be frozen or refrigerated to keep from spoiling.
- Cover the jam with clean, tight-fitting lids—never with paraffin.
- Using the paddle on your stand-type mixer to crush berries will incorporate air into your jam. The jam will be opaque and a lighter color but quite attractive.
- Once the pectin begins to set up thickening the jam, do not stir. Continuing to stir will break down the pectin and make for a syrupy jam.
Easy Strawberry Freezer Jam with Clear Jel Recipe
- 4 cups crushed strawberries
- 1/4 cup lemon juice
- 7 tablespoons Original Clear Jel®
- Sugar to taste (approximately 1 1/2 cup)
- Add lemon juice to the berries.
- Combine the Original Clear Jel® with 1/4 cup of the sugar. Add this to the strawberries.
- Bring the berry mixture to a boil, stirring constantly. Add the rest of the sugar and boil for one more minute, stirring constantly.
- Pour into jars, leaving 1/4” headspace.
This jam can also be hot water processed instead of frozen.
Easy Sure-Jell Freezer Strawberry Jam Recipe
This is a great, easy pure fruit freezer jam recipe. Debbie Frantzen, our operations manager, contributed this recipe, but I think it is a derivation of a Sure-Jell recipe.
- Four pints of fresh strawberries
- Eight cups of sugar
- Two 1.75 ounce packages of pectin (Sure-Jell or equal)
- Wash and hull the strawberries, then crush them (you can use your blender to crush the strawberries if you prefer). You should have one quart of crushed berries.
- Stir the sugar into the prepared fruit.
- Stir the pectin into 1 1/2 cups of hot water. Bring the water to a boil stirring constantly. Boil for one to two minutes.
- Stir the hot pectin mixture into the strawberry mixture. Stir until the sugar is dissolved.
- Pour into clean plastic or glass containers. Leave at least a half-inch for expansion at the top.
- Let stand at room temperature for 24 hours to set.
After the jam has set, store in the refrigerator for up to three weeks or the freezer for up to one year.
Strawberry Freezer Jam with Lemon Juice Recipe
This makes great strawberry freezer jam. Lemon juice is added for tartness and to help preserve color. Ingredients:
- 3 1/4 cups strawberries sliced or crushed
- 1/4 cup lemon juice
- 1 package pectin, MCP brand or equal
- 4 1/2 cups granulated sugar
- 1 cup light corn syrup
- Wash and dry five pint-sized jam jars or plastic containers. The jars must be clean and bacteria-free. Make sure the lids fit tightly.
- Wash and hull the strawberries and slice or crush them. Measure the fruit to make certain that you have the right amount. Place the measured fruit in the bowl of your stand-type mixer. Add the lemon juice.
- Using the paddle attachment, stir in the pectin thoroughly. Turn the mixer to the lowest setting and let the mixer run for ten minutes. Let sit for 20 minutes.
- Add the corn syrup into the fruit mixture. The corn syrup reduces the likelihood of sugar crystallization. Add the sugar and stir with the mixer until it is completely dissolved and no longer grainy, about five minutes.
- Immediately, pour the jam into your prepared containers leaving 1/2-inch clearance for expansion while freezing. Let the jars stand on the counter for 24 hours to allow the pectin to set then freeze