We have been making jams and jellies for many years. We like both freezer and cooked jams. Freezer jams have a tendency to have a hight sugar content, but have a fresher flavor, closer to a fresh berry taste, since the berries have not been cooked. There are some jams we prefer as freezer jam. One of them is Strawberry. Jams can be made with frozen fruit and taste pretty much the same as being made with fresh fruit. This advantage allows you to make jam any time of the year, in small batches, as you need it! Many times frozen fruit is processed at the peak of ripeness and is sometimes of better quality than available “fresh” fruit that has been in transit for several days or weeks.
Start with simple ingredients, Fresh or Frozen fruit, Sugar, and Sure-Jell. There are other pectin products beside Sure-Jell, but we have always used it successfully and have not experimented with other similar products. You will also need clean jars, lids and rings. We like the wide mouth type jar because the jar is easier to empty and clean. We prefer the Kerr® Jars, but Ball® Jars work as well. Read the Sure-Jell label for complete instructions and recommendations. Our recipe follows the Sure-Jell instructions. We have added our own photos from our kitchen.
Follow the instructions for the type of jam you are making on the Sure-Jell instruction sheet, which is included in every box. The amount of fruit, sugar, and other additives (like lemon juice) is listed for each recipe.
Ingredients for Strawberry Jam:
1) 2 Cups Strawberries crushed (berries should be at room temperature)
2) 4 Cups Sugar
3) 1 Box of Sure-Jell
Putting it all together:
1) The first step is to prepare the fruit. For strawberry jam, we crush the room temperature berries and measure out 2 cups of crushed berries.
2) Measure out 4 cups of granulated sugar. We have used both cane and beet sugar with equal results. If we have a choice we use cane sugar.
3) Combine the sugar and crushed strawberries in the bowl and let it stand for 10 minutes. This time period allows the sugar to start to dissolve in the strawberry juice and pulp.
4) Place your clean jars upside down in a water bath on medium heat to sterilize the inside of the jars. Let the water come to a boil and simmer on low heat. The water will have a tendency to fill the jars. Move the jars and the water will release back into the pan.
5) Place the lids in a small sauce pan and bring to a boil on medium heat, then reduce to low heat until you are ready to seal the jars. We remove the lids with tongs from the hot water.
6) Add the package of Sure-Jell to 3/4 cup of water. Stir in with the water quickly to remove any lumps. Bring to a full boil on high heat. Stir constantly for 1 minute and take off the heat.
7) Pour the hot Sure-Jell mixture into the bowl of sugar and strawberries. Stir constantly for 3 minutes. Most of the sugar should be dissolved by now. Prepare to fill the containers immediately!
8) Fill the containers. Leave 1/2 inch of space at the top of each jar. The space is to allow for expansion when frozen. Cover with the lid and seal with the ring.
9) Label you jars. Let the jam stand at room temperature for 24 hours. Then place in the freezer.