Don't you love strawberry season?! The smell, the taste and they look so pretty. My kids just wiped out our last jar of homemade strawberry jam so it was time to make more.
Although we didn't go out and pick strawberries like I did with my family when I was a kid the grocery stores are having pretty good sales right now so I picked up a ton of strawberry's to make a double batch of homemade freezer jam.
If you've never made freezer jam before now is the time to start. It's so easy and takes only 3 ingredients - strawberries, sugar and pectin. You're family will love you for it! (You will also need plastic/Tupperware containers - whatever size will fit in your freezer easily will be just fine).
The first thing you'll need to get is your pectin. I prefer the Sure Jell brand as it only uses strawberries, sugar and pectin (some other brands use corn syrup and lemon juice as well). Pectin can usually be found in these areas of the grocery store - near the berries, in the kitchen supplies area, or near the plastic wrap. Don't be afraid to ask if you can't find it. Regardless of the brand you choose turn the box over and it will tell you what ingredients you need to buy. If you want you could open the box and look over the instructions . . . as long as you buy the box of course.
The instructions on the box will tell you everything you need to know - from how many pounds of strawberries and sugar you'll need to pinpoint directions on putting it all together. It really is so easy to do and something that even your kids can help you with too. Look on your instructions for the Quick & Easy Freezer Jam recipe and follow each step. You'll be done before you know it.
Each brand has you do things slightly different but here are the general steps I took using the Sure Jell brand pectin.
Wash and remove the stems from your strawberries. I also cut mine in half or quarters as you can see above. Then you'll need to mash or puree your berries to your liking. I use my blender as my kids aren't fans of chunky jam so we make our strawberry jam rather smooth. You'll need to measure out your mashed/pureed berries according to your directions and put them in a big bowl.
The next step is to add the sugar and it will seem like a lot but that's what makes it so good right?! My instructions said to mix the sugar all in and then let it sit for 10 minutes stirring occasionally.
Once your berry/sugar mixture has been sitting for a few minutes you'll need to get your pectin ready to go. You'll measure the water according to your directions and add the pectin and water to a sauce pan. You'll stir this mixture over high heat and boil for one minute. Once the 10 minutes is up for the strawberry/sugar mixture you'll add the pectin mixture to the bowl of berries and stir for 3 minutes or until the sugar has dissolved.
Now your jam is done and ready to be poured into your plastic containers. How easy was that?! You'll need to leave your jam containers out on the counter for 24hrs and then they are ready to put in the freezer. Of course you'll want to put one in the fridge so you can enjoy it right away.
I made a double batch and used 4 cups of pureed berries and was able to fill 5 medium and 3 small containers. This obviously won't last our family of 6 a full year, but I've got to save room in our small freezer for making some raspberry and peach jam too. Homemade jam is so good. Yum!