This is a summer staple in our house now as well as for both Huz and I growing up, so the tradition continues!!! Homemade strawberry jam with fresh picked berries…doesn’t get any better. Just a warning, once you make this you won’t ever want to go back to store-bought, there is no comparison…
Strawberries in Michigan are still picking until the end of next week. The season is a bit later this year due to the cold spring. Usually strawberry season runs from about June 1 – June 25-ish in West Michigan. Recipe difficulty rating: easy to maybe medium. Lets get started…
Things you will need for a single batch of Strawberry Freezer Jam:
- A batch will net you 5 cups of freezer jam, so wash, rinse, and set aside enough freezer containers, glass or plastic work fine.
- Rinse thoroughly about 2 quarts of berries, a batch usually uses about 1.5 quarts, so if you wanted to double use 3 quarts of fresh picked berries.
- 4 cups of white sugar
- 1 box of Sure-Jell… it’s a yellow box usually found in the canning section at stores. Here is a link to the website so you have a visual of what you are looking for. This blog post is simply following the recipe for “strawberry freezer jam” in this box, with a few tips thrown in for extra success!!!
Rinse berries thoroughly, the last thing you want is sand or dirt in your Jam, gritty = not good. We fill a sink with cold water, dump the berries soak and swirl them for a minute or two. If the water is really grubby, we repeat until it looks better, it will never be perfectly clear. Then we rinse in the colander for a final time. Once rinsed cut/hull the berries so the green little stems are removed. See below.
Then crush the hulled berries into medium size chunks with what ever tool you have, pastry blender, chopper, hand chopper, etc. The larger the chunks the more in your jam, the finer the chunks the finer your jam. Crush enough for 2 cups. *TIP* Measuring is key to this recipe. Make sure your measurements as exact as possible, this ensures the jam sets up after you add the fruit pectin (Sure-Jell). Measure exactly 2 cups of crushed berries, and 4 cups of white sugar and combine into a bowl and mix to incorporate berries and sugar. Steps below.
This next step is just as important as rinsing and measuring… you wait! The sure-jell box of directions says to let the strawberry/sugar mixture sit for 10 minutes and stir occasionally. We have found it is best to let them set for much longer, around 25-40 minutes depending on the berries “juciness”. This longer resting time allows for the sugars to dissolve better, sometimes if you do not let this combo sit long enough your jam can come out a bit grainy from sugar. So take your time here… clean up some of your mess, prep your freezer jars, and stir occasionally until it looks good and clear.
Next step is to open your box of Sure-Jell fruit pectin and follow the directions:
Stir on box of sure-jell pectin and 3/4 cup of water in a small saucepan. (The pectin may start out a bit lumpy) Bring to a boil on a high heat, Boil for 1 minute stirring constantly. Remove from heat and pour into your berry/sugar mixture that has been sitting for a good 25 minutes. Stir constantly for 3 minutes, this step also helps to dissolve any of the remaining sugars to eliminate “grainyness”
Once you have stirred for at least 3 minutes it is time to pour into your freezer jars. See below
Once done pouring, cap, and let sit out on your counter for 24 hours this helps to set the pectin, then freeze until ready to use. This stuff will stay good up to 2 years in the freezer. Don’t forget to sample some of the fruits of your labor. It is delicious and so so fresh when first made! YUM!
Please let me know if you have any comments or questions! Enjoy ~ Megan