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There isn’t anything much better than butter melting on warm biscuits with fresh strawberry freezer jam.
I received an email from Peru this week asking about a pastry filling with less sugar. That lead to sugar-free jams. She said it was fall in Peru but soon her raspberries in Rexburg would be bearing. She was serving her eighth mission. Good for her! I love her and all the other missionaries who so generously serve.
But back to the berries. Every spring I look forward to fresh strawberry freezer jam. I love the fresh berry taste with less sugar. It’s one of the first indulgences of spring. Raspberries and peaches make great freezer jam but maybe I’m jaded by the time the summer fruits come on.
Today we would like to share three freezer jam recipes, two with pectin and one with Clearjel.
Clearjel is a starch product used commercially in pie fillings. It’s a clear, bright filling that shows off the fruit, not opaque like flour or cornstarch would be. It’s less temperamental than pectin and requires less sugar. Since it’s a corn product, it’s less expensive.
Hints for success
When making freezer jam with pectin, make sure that the ratios of sugar to fruit to pectin are 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-colored, 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 Clearjel
4 cups crushed strawberries or raspberries
1/4 cup lemon juice
7 tablespoons Original Clearjel
Sugar to taste (approximately 1 1/2 cups)
- Add lemon juice to berries.
- Combine the Original Clearjel with 1/4 cup of the sugar. Add this to the strawberries or raspberries.
- Bring the berry mixture to a boil, stirring constantly. Add the rest of the sugar and boil for one more minute, stirring constantly.
- Pour into jars, leaving 1/4″ headspace.
- Freeze. This jam can also be hot water processed instead of frozen.
Easy Freezer Strawberry or Raspberry Jam
This is my daughter Debbie’s recipe. It makes great jam.
Four pints of fresh strawberries or raspberries
Eight cups of sugar
Two 1.75 ounce packages of pectin (Sure-Jell or equal)
- 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.
- Stir sugar into fruit.
- Stir pectin into 1 1/2 cups hot water. Bring water to a boil stirring constantly. Boil for one to two minutes.
- Stir hot pectin mixture into strawberry or raspberry mixture. Stir until the sugar is dissolved.
- Pour into clean plastic or glass containers. Leave at least a half inch for expansion at the top.
- Let stand at room temperature for 24 hours.
- Store in fridge for up to 3 weeks or freezer for up to a year.
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
- Wash and dry five pint-sized jam jars or plastic containers. Jars must be clean. Lids should fit tightly.
- 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.
- Using paddle attachment, stir in pectin thoroughly. Turn mixer to lowest setting and let it run for 10 minutes. Let sit for 20 minutes.
- 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.
- Immediately, pour jam into prepared containers leaving a 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.
About the Author
Dennis Weaver has burned 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 as an E-book or as a Kindle book on Amazon. Dennis lives in Rigby, Idaho, with his wife, Merri Ann. They have five wonderful children and six beautiful granddaughters.