If you've never made your own jam, you are totally missing out! I learned how to can fruit about five years ago from my amazingly talented sister in law, and since then I've made almost all of our jam, as well as preserving peaches, pears, applesauce, grape juice, and pie filling. It wasn't until last year, though, that I discovered how fast and easy it is to make freezer jam. No heating the giant canning pot of boiling water, no waiting for the jars to seal, and pretty much instant gratification! I also really like that the fruit doesn't get cooked, so the jam still has that amazing fresh fruit taste. I love using low-sugar pectin so I feel like we're getting more fruit and less sugar in each bite of jam.
This particular batch of jam took me about thirty minutes from start to finish. The recipe is so simple and easy, and the jam itself is amazingly tasty! I used some gorgeous bright strawberries from Costco, and they made the jam a lovely color. If you've been intimidated by making homemade jam before, this recipe is the perfect way to start!
Fresh Strawberry Freezer Jam
adapted from Fresh Preserving
3 cups crushed strawberries (I pulsed mine a few times in the food processor)
1 3/4 cup unsweetened apple juice
3 tablespoons low-sugar pectin (I used Ball brand)
1 1/2 to 2 cups sugar
Pour apple juice into a medium saucepan and whisk in pectin. Bring to a full rolling boil over medium-high heat, and boil one minute. Remove from heat and mix in crushed strawberries, stirring for one minute. Add sugar (more or less depending on the sweetness of your strawberries) and mix until well combined. Ladle into freezer-safe containers (I usually just use pint canning jars) leaving about 1/4 inch at the top of the jar for the jam to expand. Add lids and chill in refrigerator until set (usually in about 2-3 hours). Store in freezer for up to one year or refrigerator for up to three weeks.
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