Thanks to the discovery and commercial production of pectin mixture in the early 20th century, making quick and easy jams like this easy strawberry jam recipe cuts down or completely eliminates any cooking time and is as simple as combining ingredients, allowing the jam to set and then storing it in the refrigerator or the freezer!
If you’re unfamiliar with “pectin”, it’s a component in fruit that has natural congealing properties – meaning that it helps the gelling process required for jams and jellies to set. Since different fruits have different pectin levels, the ability to isolate pectin and add it to jams with naturally low-pectin fruits (such as strawberries) is just brilliant!
Sure – you could opt to cook your strawberry jam instead of adding in pectin, but you’ll need to cook it for much longer to get it to start gelling, in some cases for 30 minutes or longer while attentively checking the temperature of the jam mixture.
With the busy schedules we all lead, making a quick and easy jam that looks beautiful and tastes just as good is a no-brainer! Treat yourself and the family to fresh small batches of homemade Strawberry Freezer Jam that you can enjoy on bread, or crackers, use as a glaze, or add it to some tea-time pastries…the options are endless! If you love jams and spreads, be sure to check out my Balsamic Peppercorn Fig Jam, Crockpot Strawberry Raspberry Jam, or Lemon Curd.
- Strawberries – Use fresh strawberries crushed by a potato masher.
- Granulated sugar – It’s important to measure the exact amount of sugar when making this strawberry freezer jam recipe.
- Fruit Pectin – This is a thickening agent for easy strawberry freezer jam. I used Sure Jell, but you can use another box of pectin.
You’ll need a large mixing bowl, clean jars, or other sterilized freezer-safe containers, a potato masher or food processor if you want no chunks in the strawberry mixture, a small saucepan, and a ladle or canning funnel.
Variations and Substitutions:
- Reduce the sugar in this delicious strawberry jam using low-sugar or zero-sugar Sure-Jell pectin.
- If it’s not strawberry season, use frozen strawberries instead. Obviously, you won’t get as fresh a strawberry flavor as ripe strawberries.
- Other fresh berries can also be used, such as raspberries, for raspberry freezer jam. You may also want to change the flavor of Sure-Jell fruit pectin to match the fresh fruit used.
- Consider adding a squeeze of lemon juice to the jam if the flavors need more balance.
PREP: Sterilize glass jars and lids in boiling water or by running them through a dishwasher cycle.
Step 1: Wash and remove the stems from the strawberries and crush them with a potato masher. Add them to a large bowl.
Step 2: Combine the crushed strawberries with the exact measurements of sugar called for in the recipe. Set aside.
Step 3: In a saucepan, combine the pectin and water.
Step 4: Bring the pectin and water to a boil over medium-high heat, constantly stirring, for 1 minute.
Step 5: Pour the boiling pectin mixture into the crushed strawberries and stir until all of the sugar has dissolved.
Step 6: Ladle the freshly made strawberry freezer jam into clean glass jars. Seal the jars and allow the jam to set for 24 hours. You can then tighten the lids completely and store the jam in the fridge or freezer.
SERVE: Serve this delicious homemade jam with English muffins, pour it over a serving of vanilla ice cream, or make a classic peanut butter and strawberry jam sandwich!
- When making any jam, it’s vitally important to measure all the ingredients as precisely as possible. If you alter any of the amounts in a recipe then you risk compromising the consistency of the jam. In some instances, this can result in your jam not setting properly.
- This recipe doesn’t instruct you to cook the fruit and pectin together. If you want to cook them together, you’ll need double the amount of fruit and sugar (while keeping the quantity of pectin the same). You’ll end up with a larger quantity of freezer jam, so keep that in mind as well for when you clean and sterilize jars.
- Remember, it’s not absolutely necessary to process jars in a boiling water bath when making freezer jam since freezer jam is intended to be stored in the refrigerator or the freezer. If you want to store your jam at room temperature, you MUST sterilize the jars beforehand to prevent any growth of bacteria.
- Don’t skip the important step of allowing your jam to sit for 24 hours prior to storing it in the refrigerator or the freezer. This is so the pectin has time to set properly.
Strawberry jam was one of the first fruit preserves to be commercially produced and sold in the United States. The first recorded sale of strawberry jam in the US was in the late 1700s by the Dickinson family, who later went on to establish the famous Dickinson’s brand of fruit preserves.
Yes, it is! You’ll notice when making freezer jam that you aren’t required to simmer the sugar with the fruit till you end up with a smooth consistency like you would when making traditional jam. In fact, this recipe doesn’t involve any cooking of the strawberries whatsoever!
Instead, this Strawberry Freezer Jam offers delicious chunks of strawberry that retain brightness in color and fruity flavor much better than the traditionally cooked jam does.
While this quick and easy freezer jam is chunky, it does have a thinner consistency compared to cooked jam which is perfectly normal. With that said, your freezer jam will thicken up when stored in the refrigerator
It’s a must to sterilize jars or containers that are going to be storing jam at room temperature to reduce the possibility of bacteria growing in the jam. It’s not, however, an absolute necessity if you are making freezer jam that you intend to store in the refrigerator or freezer.
This jam can be refrigerated for up to 3 weeks or stored in the freezer for up to an entire year.
Normally, freezer jam that hasn’t included the serialization of jars (i.e. the jars are clean but haven’t been sterilized with a boiling water bath procedure) should NOT be stored at room temperature for any length of time. If you did opt to sterilize your jars then this jam can in fact be stored at room temperature for as long as 1-2 years if stored in sterilized, airtight jars that are not in direct contact with sunlight and are not exposed to humid and/or hot conditions.
Any good quality sealable glass jar, like mason jars, can be used for storing this freezer jam. When using jars, make sure to leave a small amount of space (about ½ inch) at the top of your jar to allow for expansion when freezing.
Of course, you could also use plastic containers that have good sealable lids and are appropriate for freezer storage.
If you intend making this beautiful Strawberry Freezer Jam as a gift, then consider using a pretty decorative jar. There are tons of jars on offer online or in-store to choose from such as:
Diamond Design Mason Jars;
Ball Collection Elite Jam Jars;
Bormioli Rocco Quattro Stagioni Glass Mason Jars.
That’s a great question! It’s important to note that you can’t simply reduce the sugar called for in this recipe to make a low-sugar freezer jam as it will affect the outcome of your jam.
My suggestion to you is to opt for a no-sugar or a low-sugar box of fruit pectin such as Ball Real Fruit Pectin, which can easily be used in place of Sure-Jell without any impact on the outcome of your jam.
More Strawberry-Inspired Recipes
Strawberry Freezer Jam Recipe
- 2 cups crushed fresh strawberries about 1 quart
- 4 cups granulated sugar
- 1.75 oz. box of fruit pectin I used Sure-Jell
- ¾ cup water
- Prepare mason jars and lids by washing and sterilizing in boiling water or running through the sterilization cycle on the dishwasher.
- Rinse and remove stems from strawberries. Slice into halves or quarters if desired (this makes crushing them a bit easier).
- Use a potato masher to crush the strawberries into very small pieces (do not puree unless you want no pieces in the jam).
- Measure precisely 2 cups of the crushed strawberries (and juices) and place in a large mixing bowl.
- Mix precisely 4 cups of granulated sugar into the strawberries and set aside.
- In a small saucepan, stir together the full package of fruit pectin and the water.
- Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring constantly. Continue stirring and boil for 1 minute.
- Pour the boiling pectin mixture into the strawberry/sugar mixture and stir until all the sugar is dissolved. Only a few sugar granules should remain.
- Ladle the mixture into the prepared jelly jars, secure the lids, and leave the jars to set for 24 hours.
- After 24 hours, tighten the lids completely and store in the refrigerator or freezer.
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