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Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Easy Homemade Strawberry Freezer Jam



With strawberry season, comes time to make strawberry freezer jam. I fell in love with this jam as a kid and always remember my mom making it. I like to make a batch or two every year when strawberries are in season to stock up my freezer. I have a small strawberry patch that we enjoy fresh strawberries from, so I have a strawberry picking day to pick a good amount to use for my jam. You can find a strawberry farm or purchase some at your local farmers market. Jam can also be made from strawberries from the grocery store as well, although I think the best flavors will come from fully ripened berries that you may not always find at the grocery store.

This is what you will need to make your Sure Jell Strawberry Jam. One quart of strawberries makes roughly 6 - 8 oz. jars of strawberry freezer jam.


-One box of Sure Jell Pectin
-2 cups strawberries, crushed and slightly pureed
-4 cups sugar
-containers (either Rubbermaid plastic containers or Ball Jelly Jars are great - I use both).

I have made strawberry freezer jam for quite a few years and this is the recipe I always use. Inside the box of Sure Jell, there is the recipe to use. There is also a list of several other fruit jellies and jams you can make. It's pretty simple to make your own homemade strawberry freezer jam, so let's get started.

First thing first, you need to wash your jars or plastic containers that you will be putting your jam in. Run them through the dishwasher or hand wash in the sink. You do not need to sterilize your containers/jars as they are not going to be stored at room temperature, like green beans for example.

Once your containers are clean and dry, you'll need to clean your strawberries. I just fill my sink with cold water and pour my strawberries in. Give them a good swoosh around in the water to get any dirt off. Have a colander ready and as you pull each strawberry out of the sink, hull them by cutting the tops off and cut into 4 pieces or so. It's handy to have your colander in the other side of your sink for the berries to drain more.



Once all your strawberries are cleaned, hull and cut up, I simply go off the recipe on the list provided in the Sure Jell pectin box.

Next you will prepare your strawberries. I first use my masher to crush them up. Then I use my hand blender and pulse the berries so they are somewhat pureed but not completely. I like to have a little bit of small chunks in my jam.



Measure out 2 cups of prepared strawberries in your liquid measuring cup. Then measure out 4 cups of sugar and place in a bowl. It is really important that you measure exactly when canning and freezing. Using a measuring cup for solids and level with a knife is helpful. Then mix the strawberries and the sugar together. It will be grainy.


The next step is with the Sure Jell pectin. Place the contents of the package and 3/4 cup of water in to a sauce pan and bring to a boil on the stove. This will happen fast. Let boil for 1 minute and continuously stir. Then remove from heat and pour immediately into strawberry/sugar mixture. Stir until well blended. 


Fill your containers or jars. Be sure to leave 1/2 inch space at the top to allow for expansion during freezing. Then go ahead and cover.

You'll need to leave your containers/jars set at room temperature for 24 hours. You should see that they are setting up right away. After the 24 hours, place them in your freezer and that's it. :) They should last up to a year in your freezer. When you're ready to enjoy them, simply place in your refrigerator, where they can store for 3-4 weeks. If your family is like mine, we go through them pretty fast!

PRINT HOW TO RECIPE HERE

It's as simple as that! Continue through the process until you have all the strawberry freezer jam you want in your fridge. I usually plan to do 15-20 containers a summer. It is so delicious and refreshing on toast in the morning. The kids love it for peanut butter and jelly! It's great on top of ice cream and also in smoothies and milkshakes. Enjoy!!

**You can also prepare your berries all at once and mix with the sugar if you're making a large batch. Simply figure out the measurements needed. 2 cups of prepared berries, per 4 cups of sugar, with 1 package of Sure Jell pectin. **



This post is part of The Backroad Life Freezing & Canning series I will be doing. 

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