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Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Strawberry Freezer Jam (and, of course, some biscuits to go with)


I have been making strawberry freezer jam every year for about 10 years. It's so simple -- really not much more complicated than mixing strawberries with sugar. And though I have been tempted to try to make "real" jam (cooked and processed instead of frozen) I really prefer the flavor and texture of fresh strawberries. That's the difference between this jam and "real" jam -- the strawberries are not cooked in this recipe, so you get that yummy fresh fruit flavor every time you open a jar. It's the best thing on toast -- nothing else compares. Yum!

This is just the recipe from the package of Sure-Jell. I noticed the last time I bought it that they now sell a Freezer Jam package. I don't know if the product was any different -- I think just the packaging. It tasted just like the jam I make every year.

I have just a few notes in the recipe in italics -- those are just my thoughts, learned from experience. You can double this recipe, and I did, though I wouldn't do that with just any jam recipe.

The biscuit recipe is easy as pie (easier, actually) and is the most wonderful recipient for that delicious, mouth-watering jam.

Strawberry Freezer Jam

2 cups crushed strawberries (buy 1 qt. fully ripe strawberries)
4 cups sugar, measured into separate bowl
3/4 cup water
1 box Sure-Jell Fruit Pectin

Rinse 5 (1-cup) plastic containers and lids with boiling water (or use any combination of glass jars and plastic containers -- I like the small jars because I am the only one who eats it -- yes my kids are picky about chunks of fruit in their jam). Dry thoroughly. 

 These are just grocery store berries, bought when they were super cheap. If you have a glut of garden berries, please do use those. I don't get more from the garden than we eat fresh, so I use grocery store berries, which are just wonderful for this purpose -- plenty of sugar to make up for any mediocre flavor.

Cut, but not yet crushed

Stem and crush strawberries thoroughly, 1 cup at a time (I cut the berries into smaller parts and crush about 2 cups at a time). Measure exactly 2 cups prepared fruit into large bowl (do not use more than 2 cups or your jam will not set up -- if you have leftover crushed berries, sugar them, and eat them over ice cream). 

Stir in sugar. Let stand 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

 Crushed with sugar

In the meantime, mix water and pectin in small saucepan. Bring to boil on high heat, stirring constantly. Continue boiling and stirring 1 minute. Add to fruit mixture; stir 3 minutes or until sugar is almost dissolved. (A few sugar crystals may remain.)


Fill all containers immediately to within 1/2 inch of tops. Wipe off top edges of containers; immediately cover with lids. Let stand at room temperature 24 hours. (this last time I froze them right away and it turned out just the same)

Jam is now ready to use. Store in refrigerator up to 3 weeks or in freezer up to 1 year. Thaw in refrigerator before using (because jam has no preservatives, use it withing a month of removing it from the freezer).

Buttermilk Biscuits
makes about a baker's dozen

3 c. flour
1 T. baking powder
1 T. sugar
1 t. baking soda
½ t. salt
⅔ c. shortening
1 c. buttermilk

Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.
Combine flour, baking powder, sugar, baking soda and salt in a large bowl. Cut in shortening. Add buttermilk and stir into a soft dough. Knead dough on floured surface and cut into rounds with a biscuit cutter. 
Place on a baking sheet and bake 10-12 minutes.



Mari said...

I could almost taste the jam.... it looks delicious!! i love the idea of cooking it this way to get the fresh fruit taste. Thanks for sharing the recipe.

Liz B in PA said...

I've made freezer jam for several years, using the freezer jam pectin the last couple of years, but I haven't been able to find it this year. I bought regular pectin this year with fingers crossed. Thanks for the encouragement. I look forward to trying it in the next couple of day!

Nanette said...

Can I use any fruit with this recipe? Is putting it in the freezer the reason that it doesn't need the wax top that I see on some homemade jams? I've never made jam...I like this recipe. Thanks. N

scmom (Barbara) said...

You can use any fruit but the fruit to sugar ratio is different for some fruits. Some require lemon juice as well. There are instructions in the Pectin box/package.

Freezing the jam replaces the processing (boiling) and sealing that is done with jarred jam. Freezing it prevents any bacterial growth (and it's way easier!).

Dwija {House Unseen} said...

Charlotte just sent me this post because I'm about to make black raspberry jam for the first time. I'll modify for the sweetness and add lemon....and then I'll come back and let you know how it turned out! This recipe looks just so easy. Much better than trying to boil and preserve the traditional way. Thanks!

scmom (Barbara) said...

Not only is this method so much easier, Dwija, but the fresh fruit flavor is so much better (in MY opinion!).