Menu Banner

Thursday, June 16

Buying the Right Amount of Strawberries & Raspberries for Jam

EmailPinterest55Facebook22Twitter3Google+0StumbleUpon0

My jam is all made and stored in the freezer, ready and waiting to make our year a happy jam year indeed! We ended up with 28 cups (14 containers) of raspberry freezer jam and 48 cups (24 containers) of strawberry freezer jam. I bought WAY more berries than I realized, but I must admit that I’m happy to have such a large supply!

Every year when I go to buy my berries and pectin, I end up standing in the store feeling frustrated. I can never figure out how many boxes of pectin I should buy for the amount of berries I have. Generally the containers the berries come in are measured in ounces, but the pectin recipe tells you how many pints of berries to buy. And it’s surprisingly annoying to figure out how those match up. AND…I’ve found that the amount of pints that the pectin box recipe suggests doesn’t necessarily yield the amount of crushed berries that they tell you it will.

SOOOOOOOO…this year I kept track! And I crushed so many berries that I feel like this is pretty fool proof. This post will be helpful for those of you who are planning to make strawberry or raspberry jam. And it will be very helpful for me next year when I go to make more jam. I’ll actually have all the amounts written down. No more frustrating google searches on my iPhone and hasty calculations on the back of a receipt while my girls tear the store apart, only to end up being wrong! This post will forever keep me on track. Yippee!

So here’s how it broke down:

  • Four 6-ounce containers of raspberries crushed to 3 cups (if you’re making freezer jam, this is the amount you want for 1 box of regular pectin and you will use 5 1/4 cups of sugar – this will make 7 cups of jam)
  • A 64-ounce container of strawberries (which was also labeled as 4 pounds) crushed to 6 cups with a few berries left over (if you’re making freezer jam, this is the amount you will use with 3 boxes of regular pectin and you will use 12 cups of sugar – this will make 15 cups of jam)

This year I used sixteen 6-ounce containers of raspberries (4 boxes of pectin and 21 cups of sugar) and three 64-ounce containers of strawberries (9 boxes of pectin and 36 cups of sugar) to end up with the amounts of jam I outlined in the first paragraph of this post.

Someone asked in the last freezer jam post about the Ziploc containers I use. Growing up my grandma and mom used all kinds of containers – jars, random tupperware, even Ziploc bags! For freezer jam, as long as it’s clean and can close, you’re good to go! I personally use the small (2-cup) round Ziploc containers that have a screw-top lid. We always eat our jam within a year and we’ve never had ice crystals or freezer burn. Then I save the containers for next year – they stack nicely so they don’t take up too much space while waiting for the next batch of jam. (One quick tip – often there is a $1 coupon inside the Ziploc containers for the pectin I use. I never discover the coupons until the jam is already made and am kicking myself for not saving $13! Just keep that in mind if you buy these containers for jam.)

I hope all of this is helpful for at least some of you. Even if it isn’t, I have to admit it will be for me. I know, so selfish.

EmailPinterest55Facebook22Twitter3Google+0StumbleUpon0

33 Comments »

  1. 1
    Grace

    Thank you for that. I made 11 12 oz. jars of strawberry preserves a couple of weeks ago and I bought DOUBLE the strawberries I needed! I don’t know what I was thinking. Fortunately there is no such thing as too many strawberries so I froze half of the leftover whole to do something with later, and I sliced the rest, tossed them with sugar and froze it after achieving syrup. Yum!

    • Jane Maynard

      I did the same thing…I thought I bought the right amount of pectin, but I had bought about half of what I needed…sounds like we were using the same conversion chart ;) I just bought more pectin and also did what you did – froze a few of the extra strawberries for smoothies!

  2. 2
    Alexis R

    Made strawberry and blueberry/ strawberry jam last week. I bought a big quart basket at the farmer’s market and now have 15 (8 oz) jars of jam. When I go blueberry picking, I will make some blueberry jam. I might even make some more strawberry jam, if the
    Farmer’s market has them.

    • Jane Maynard

      yea, more measurements! when you make blueberries, come comment again and let us know how many blueberries made how much jam! and I’ll cross my fingers your farmer’s market has more strawberries so you can make even more jam! :)

  3. Thank you for all that information! I’m just waiting for berry season to start out here in the NW – half the fun will be picking berries with the kiddos. :)

    • Jane Maynard

      I will always remember my mom taking us to pick strawberries in New Jersey to make jam. Very fun!

  4. I love jam making but find that to make strawberry or raspberry jam you need to spend quite alot on fruit so I prefer to use fruits from the garden (or the wild) that grow in gluts such as apples, plums or bilberries (perhaps strawberries and raspberries are cheaper where you are?). They make for interesting jam although I have to admit that raspberry is still my favourite and a must for a Victoria sponge!

    • Jane Maynard

      I think I spent about $20 on all the strawberries and probably $30 on the raspberries…strawberries are DEFINITELY easy to come by in california, I think it definitely depends on where you live! I am all for finding what grows where you live and using that…

      although, I think no matter where I live, I’ll always have to splurge on a few raspberries for a bit of raspberry jam. it’s my favorite! :)

  5. But Jane, you don’t actually need to use pectin if you’re making strawberry and raspberry jam unless you’re cutting way way back on your sugar.

    • Jane Maynard

      but you know I’m addicted to freezer jam… is there pectin-less recipes for freezer jam? you are definitely the jam expert here, not me! :)

  6. 6
    na

    You are using more than 1:1 ratio for the sugar to fruit so you really don’t need pectin. Pectin is only required if you were using 0.5:1 or even less sugar

    • Jane Maynard

      kristen is saying the same thing to me. :)

      I’m just following the directions on the box and LOVE the way the jam tastes, but I think Kristen is actually going to come and make some jam with me sometime without the pectin, which will be fun to learn!

  7. 7
    stacy

    you know i love this post.

  8. 8
    Kady

    Hi Jane, I don’t know if you remember me but I was in your San Diego ward. I have read your blog for quite awhile now and love all the great ideas. We live in Long Beach, CA now and have a plum tree going crazy in our backyard. Any advice on plum jam/jelly?? Does any fruit work for freezer jam?

    • Jane Maynard

      hi kady! nice to “see” you! :) I think plum jam should work great! I can’t remember if it was listed in the fruits on the instructions for the pectin I bought, but I know you can do it. maybe try googling it if you don’t see instructions for it in the pectin box. but you should go to town making jam with all those plums…I’m sure it will be delicious!

  9. 9
    SONJA

    Your freezer jam posts were so informative and got me so excited to make freezer jam! My first attempt was a success. Thanks for the motivation and guidance! Now…can freezer jam be shipped as gifts like traditional homemade jam? Thanks!

    • Jane Maynard

      wonderful – so glad your first attempt was a success! :)

      and, sadly, no shipping of freezer jam. it needs to be cold – either in the freezer or the fridge. if you can ship it on ice packs or something, then probably…but probably too hard to figure that out!

      my sister once rode the train from utah to san francisco to visit me – the train ride was someĀ ridiculousĀ length of time – my grandma sent her with a big thing of raspberry freezer jam just in a bag, and that survived…but it anne had it in her possession the whole time, so no unexpected temperature changes or anything like that.

      enjoy!

  10. 10
    megan

    So Jane, we make (and consume) a lot of freezer jam around here. Love to go to the pick-your-own farms during strawberry, blueberry and raspberry seasons. I LOVE the jam we make, but it is the ball no-cook freezer jam pectin that I swear by. I promise, the jam is every bit as wonderful, but uses WAY less sugar. It’s always nice to cut back on sugar when you can. The recipe calls for 1.5 cups of sugar to 4 cups of fruit. I know you may be skeptical, but give it a try next time, seriously, it’s delicious! Plus, no stove necessary. You just crush the fruit and stir in the pectin + sugar.

    • Jane Maynard

      I am so glad you commented because I’ve often wondered if that pectin worked and made good jam…so I will definitely give it a try!

  11. Made my first batch this week. And it was SOOOO good! (Didn’t make it to the u-pick, though, got my berries at the farmer’s market). Thanks for all the tips!!

  12. 12
    Lisa T

    I had great success with my freezer jam! I bought the reduced/no sugar pectin and so I only used 1 cup of sugar for every 3-4 cups of fruit. I thought it was perfect, but I’m used to buying low sugar Smuckers. Also, my fruit was perfect and sweet (strawberries).

    I made strawberry freezer jam with a little lemon juice and zest. AND I made Raspberry Nectarine. OMG.

    • Jane Maynard

      I’m so glad it was a success! thanks for reporting back on the reduced sugar pectin!

      and raspberry nectarine sounds like heaven to me…

  13. 13
    Carol

    Thanks so much! We have a sweet strawberry sale going on in Boise, but I couldn’t figure out how much to buy to make a decent supply of freezer jam. What a great post!

    • Jane Maynard

      Glad this came in handy for you!

      I am in the same boat right now…I am sooooo glad I put this post up last year, buying berries will be so much easier this year!

  14. 14
    Wendy

    Just came home from pick your own with 8lbs. of strawberries here in Easton,Pa. I am off to the grocery store for my pectin. Thanks to you I know how much to get. Thank you!Will be freezing low sugar jam before supper.

  15. 15
    Melissa

    Thanks a bunch. Very helpful!

  16. I am doing this by weight using your calculations. if 4-6oz containers makes 3 cups crushed, then that means each container is 6 oz by volume crushed (the starting volume) (180mL=170g), which means 1 2/3 c/400mL (the amount called for on the on the pectin label) is 400g. I weighed my berries (they came in at over 170g, which is what the label said) and it means I’m using about 4.5 containers of raspberries for a double batch, or just over 2 containers for a single batch. That would be about 14 oz by volume whole berries. so, according to my scale, it takes slightly more than what you calculated but still pretty close.

    The gist of this if you have a scale:

    use 400g of berries per batch

    • Jane Maynard

      I love your comment and I love that you have a scale and I love that you shared the weight – SO helpful! thank you! :)

  17. 17
    Cindy C

    Thank you! This was very helpful.

    I was standing in the grocery store just staring at berries yesterday for maybe 10 minutes trying to do calculations in my head. The employees probably thought I was crazy!

  18. 18
    Sonya

    Hi, this post is super helpful – I will be putting up jam for the first time this year and I was wondering: How long did your supply last an what size is your family. My goal is to have enough to last the year.

    Thank you for your helpfulness!!!

    • hi sonya!

      my supply last year didn’t last long enough – we ran out about 2 months ago, so this year I’m making even more!

      I feel like we go through a 2-cup container about every 1-2 weeks, and I feel like we are probably considered heavy jam users. ;) this year I’m going to make about 50 containers of jam (so 100 cups or so), planning for about 1 a week to last a year. I’d rather have too much than not enough – we were all heartbroken when the freezer jam was gone! :)

      hope this is helpful!!!

Leave a comment

Martha\\\'s Circle
Eat Less Meat
SocialLuxe
ONE