Easy Freezer Strawberry Jam

What's fresh bread without good jam?  Whether on toast in the morning, a slice of bread, or a leftover dinner roll, jam was meant for homemade bread.   (We're happy with a fresh dinner roll and strawberry jam for dessert.) 

It's strawberry time.  Most stores now have the best strawberries of the season.  Why not pick up a flat or two and turn them into this easy freezer jam—far better than anything you might buy in the store.  

Because the fruit is not cooked, freezer jam has more of that fresh, just-picked flavor.  We much prefer it over most cooked jams.  And most freezer jams are much quicker and easier to make—they should take less than one hour.

Debbie contributed this recipe but I think it is a derivation of a Sure-Jell recipe.  Feel free to use this recipe but make sure that the ratio of sugar to fruit to pectin is what is recommended by the pectin manufacturer regardless of the pectin brand you use. 

Here it is:

Four pints of fresh strawberries
Eight cups of sugar
Two 1.75 ounce packages of pectin (Sure Jell or equal) 

1. Wash and hull the strawberries, then crush them (you can use your blender to crush the strawberries if you prefer).  You should have one quart of crushed berries.
2. Stir the sugar into the prepared fruit.
3. Stir the pectin into 1 1/2 cups of hot water.   Bring the water to a boil stirring constantly.  Boil for one to two minutes. 
4. Stir the hot pectin mixture into the strawberry mixture.  Stir until the sugar is dissolved.
5. Pour into clean plastic containers.  Leave at least a half inch for expansion at the top.
6. Let stand at room temperature for 24 hours to set.

After the jam has set, store in the refrigerator for up to three weeks or the freezer for up to one year.

Hints for success:

• Measure the ingredients accurately.  Use the ratio of ingredients that the manufacturer suggests.
• Since the jam is not sterilized by boiling, it must be frozen or refrigerated to keep from spoiling.
• Since the natural pectin in the fruit is not activated by boiling, pectin must always be added.
• Cover the jam with clean, tight-fitting lids—never with paraffin.
 
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