This past weekend I went to a u-pick strawberry farm and it was absolutely wonderful. I got so caught up in the beauty of the strawberry field and the gorgeous sunshiny afternoon, that I had accumulated quite the mass of strawberries before I even looked down to see what my strawberry status was. Well, by the time we got out of there we had picked 15 pounds of strawberries. Yes, you read correctly… 15 pounds.
So on the way home, we began brainstorming some ideas as to how we would use these strawberries. After gorging ourselves when we got home, we decided we would make some jam. Thank goodness my mom was here to help because my jam experience is limited, to say the least. As it turns out, I could have made this recipe with absolutely no experience and without any help from anyone. It is that easy. It is freezer jam! I didn’t even know that freezer jam existed. It is so much better than regular jam. It retains a freshness that is cooked out by the regular canning process, and it also remains a beautiful bright red without any dulling.
As with all good things, there is a catch. This freezer jam needs to be stored in the freezer. It can’t sit out in the pantry or cupboard until you use it. But it can be stored in the freezer for a year, and surprisingly lasts up to three months after thawed in the fridge. Again, not as long as it’s traditionally canned cohort, but believe me – after you open the jar, it won’t last that long!
Here is the process of the easiest, best tasting jam you will ever make.
2 Cups Strawberries
4 Cups Sugar
1 Small Package Pectin
3/4 Cup Water
Sanitize jars. Do this by boiling the jars for five minutes or using the sanitize setting on the dishwasher. Be sure to sanitize the lids as well. Since this is freezer jam, it does not matter what jars or lids you use, just use whatever you have on hand. Just remember that the jam only stays good for three months when removed from freezer and placed into fridge; so don’t store in a container that holds more than you can eat in that time frame.
Crush 2 cups of strawberries. I do this with my mini food processor, but a full sized food processor, or doing this by hand will also work very well.
In large bowl, add sugar to crushed strawberries. Let sit for 10 minutes.
While the strawberry sugar mix is sitting, bring pectin and 3/4 cup water to rolling boil. Boil for one minute.
Add boiling pectin to strawberry mix and stir thoroughly. This will dissolve the sugar granules and create a nice smooth texture. Taste to be sure all sugar granules are dissolved before moving onto next step. If sugar is not dissolving, place bowl of strawberry mix over a pot of boiling water to create a double boiler. Warm the mix very gently until the sugar completely dissolves and the jam has a smooth texture. This should only take a minute or two.
Spoon jam into sterilized jars. Let jam sit at room temperature for 24 hours. After 24 hours, move jam that will be consumed immediately into the fridge, and place the others into the freezer. Again, this jam lasts in the freezer for up to one year, and in the fridge for up to three months.
Look at that gorgeous red! This jam took me about half an hour from start to finish. It is super easy and unbelievably delicious. Anyone, and I mean anyone who tries this will be thoroughly impressed that you made it yourself!!