Strawberry Freezer Jam

I first heard of freezer jam this summer. A digi-scrapping friend of me that lives near some berry farms was talking about making freezer jam after taking her kids to pick berries. Hmmmm. Freezer jam?

So I looked it up and it seemed simple enough that I thought I should try it. We are trying to eat less high-fructose corn syrup these days and wouldn’t you know, it’s hard to find jams and jellies that don’t incorporate this ingredient at the store. I also went looking for some pick-your-own farms in our area. There are some for peaches, plums and blackberries, but most of them experienced damage to their crops from that freakishly late freeze that I caused.

Anyway, I was able to get some peaches two weekends ago at the local farmer’s market. I made freezer jam from those. Only problem was, the jam didn’t set real well, so it’s more like peach syrup. S’okay, though. Still tastes good!

After finding a great deal on strawberries and peaches yesterday at the store I stocked up and we made strawberry freezer jam today.

We started with the strawberries.

Fresh berries

Fresh berries

After inspecting the berries and removing any that had gone bad we threw the rest into the sink for a quick wash.

Strawberry Bath Time

Strawberry Bath Time

I let them soak for a bit while I assembled my other supplies – 2 glass bowls, a paring knife, large measuring cup, cutting board, sugar, pectin, straws, plastic freezer jars, and a potato masher. After a good rinsing I started to core the berries – using a straw.

Core the strawberries with a straw.

Core the strawberries with a straw.

I had some volunteers to help me with this job.

Hollywood cores strawberries

Note the strawberry juice on her face. Hazard of the job, I suppose.

MOTS cores berries

MOTS cores berries

While the girls cored the berries I started cutting them up. I inspected them again and removed any bruised spots and cut them into pieces that were about 1-inch in size and dropped them into a bowl. When the bowl was about half-full I used a potato masher to mash up the berries.

Mashing the berries

Mashing the berries

Once the berries were completely mashed I poured them into a 4-cup measuring cup. My recipe (from the back of the pectin packet) called for 4 cups of mashed fruit. We repeated this process until we had 4 cups of crushed berries. Then, I followed the packet directions to combine the sugar and pectin before adding the berries. Stir the mixture.

Finally, ladle the sweet, sticky mixture into freezer jars.

Fresh jam

Fresh jam

Then I left the jars, closed to sit on the counter for 30 minutes, as instructed. I think someone must have come through the kitchen and stacked the jars for me.

Pyramid of jam

Pyramid of jam

It definitely seemed thicker than the peach “jam” from last week. I think next I’ll try making the kind that requires cooking.

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