Comprised from The Prepared Pantry Magazine “Country Home Kitchen.” To sign up for a free subscription to the magazine click here>>
My grandmother had the most magnificent raspberry garden.
I remember walking down the rows of thorny bushes as a child, and picking sweet, plump berries as I went.
I popped them in my mouth as I strolled along, being careful to blow off any spiders, and usually emerged from the raspberry labyrinth covered in thin scratches on my arms and squishes spots of red-purple on my shirt.
When I managed to gather enough berries in a bucket, Grandma would wash them and begin making her famous raspberry jam.
I sat on the stool in the kitchen and watched her mush berries and add tons of sugar. Sometimes she would let me help her with the mushing.
I always looked forward to waking up the next morning to the smell of toasted English muffins. Grandma would top them with salted butter and sweet raspberry jam. Delicious.
For this reason, raspberry jam is my favorite, but strawberry is a close second. Read on for some strawberry and raspberry freezer jam recipes.
The Clear Jel recipe comes from Washington State University, Skagit Extension, and is used with permission.
There are advantages to Clear Jel and it’s a handy ingredient in the kitchen. But for us, the main reasons to use Clear Gel in freezer jam are:
1. 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.
2. Clear Jel is less expensive than pectin.
We will show you two recipes that we love. One is simply fruit, sugar, and pectin. In this one, the pure fruit flavor really comes through. The other has lemon to make it tarter and accentuate the flavor. It also has an addition of corn syrup. Corn syrup in place of sugar, tends to mask fruit flavors but this is dominantly composed of sugar and is very good jam.
About Freezer Jam
When it’s strawberry time, pick up a flat or two and turn them into this easy freezer jam. You’ll make better jam than anything you can buy in the store.
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.
- Cover jam with clean, tight-fitting lids-never with paraffin.
- Use the paddle and your stand-type mixer to crush berries. This will incorporate air in into your jam. The jam will be opaque and lighter color but quite attractive.
- Once the pectin begins to set up, do not stir. Continuing to stir will break down the pectin and make for syrupy jam.
Easy Strawberry or Raspberry Freezer Jam with Clear Jel
4 cups crushed strawberries or raspberries
1/4 cup lemon juice
7 tablespoons Clear Jel
Sugar to taste (approximately 1 1/2 cups)
1.Add lemon juice to berries.
2.Combine the Original Clear Jel with 1/4 cup of the sugar. Add this to the strawberries or raspberries.
3.Bring the berry mixture to a boil, stirring constantly. Add the rest of the sugar and boil for one more minute, stirring constantly.
4.Pour into jars, leaving 1/4″ headspace.
5.Freeze. This jam can also be hot water processed instead of frozen.
Easy Freezer Strawberry or Raspberry Jam
This is a great, easy pure fruit recipe. Debbie Frantzen, who used to be our Operations Manager, contributed this recipe.
Four pints of fresh strawberries or raspberries
Eight cups of sugar
Two 1.75 ounce packages of pectin (Sure Jell or equal)
1.Wash and hull strawberries, then crush them (you can use your blender). If you are using raspberries, wash and crush them. You should have one quart of crushed berries.
2.Stir sugar into fruit.
3.Stir pectin into 1 1/2 cups hot water. Bring water to a boil stirring constantly. Boil for one to two minutes.
4.Stir hot pectin mixture into strawberry or raspberry mixture. Stir until the sugar is dissolved.
5.Pour into clean plastic or glass containers. Leave at least a half inch for expansion at the top.
6.Let stand at room temperature for 24 hours.
7.Store in fridge for up to 3 weeks or freezer for up to a year.
Strawberry or Raspberry Freezer Jam
This makes great strawberry or raspberry freezer jam.
Lemon juice is added for tartness and to help preserve color.
3 1/4 cups strawberries or raspberries 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
1.Wash and dry five pint-sized jam jars or plastic containers. Jars must be clean. Lids should fit tightly.
2.Wash and hull strawberries and slice or crush them. If you are using raspberries, wash and crush them. Measure fruit to make certain you have the right amount. Place measured fruit in bowl of your stand-type mixer. Add lemon juice.
3.Using paddle attachment, stir in pectin thoroughly. Turn mixer to lowest setting and let it run for 10 minutes. Let sit for 20 minutes.
4.Add corn syrup into fruit mixture. Corn syrup reduces likelihood of sugar crystallization. Add sugar and stir with mixer until completely dissolved and no longer grainy, about 5 minutes.
5.Immediately, pour jam into prepared containers leaving 1/2 inch clearance for expansion while freezing. Let jars stand on the counter for 24 hours to allow the pectin to set then freeze.
Casey is a journalist who has experience working in the newspaper industry. She was trained in English and journalism at Brigham Young University-Idaho. She has works in marketing and loves writing about cooking and baking at The Prepared Pantry. Cooking has been a hobby of Casey’s since she was a little girl. She also enjoys cooking for her husband and trying new recipes.
She enjoys food photography and graphic design as she works as the editor of the “Country Home Kitchen” ; magazine at The Prepared Pantry.
Casey lives in Rigby, Idaho with her husband, David. Not to mention an energetic but adorable chocolate lab, Copper.
Top of FormDennis Weaver has burnt food from Point Barrow, Alaska, to Miami, Florida. He is the founder of The Prepared Pantry in Rigby, Idaho and the author of How to Bake: The Art and Science of Baking ;, available free in an e-book or as a Kindle book on Amazon for $10.
He loves to help people bake and is giving away Free Digital Cookbooks and Magazines. There is no cost or obligation. To sign up for the FREE subscription of “Country Home Kitchen” and other great E-books and giveaways, click here. ;
Dennis lives in Rigby, Idaho, with his wife, Merri Ann. They have five wonderful children.
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