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Monday, August 30, 2010

Freezer Jam ROCKS

Note: I now use Pomona’s Universal Pectin, click here for reasons why and the recipe for freezer jam using Pomona’s. Also, click here for a Freezer Jam ingredients buying guide for both Sure-Jell and Pomona’s.

I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again…freezer jam is the best, for two important reasons:

  • It tastes amazing, fresh, delicious, wonderful…did I mention fresh and amazing?
  • It’s so easy to make. I mean EASY. And it’s easy to store, too. No canning necessary, just pop in a tupperware or jar or whatever you have and stick it in the freezer.

If you haven’t made freezer jam before, please give it a try! There are all kinds of yummy fruits just begging to be preserved this time of year, so go ahead and make their dreams come true.

A few quick tips:

  • I don’t have a recipe to share because I just follow the directions inside the pectin box and everything comes out just lovely.
  • Follow the directions to a T! One time I put the fruit in a food processor instead of mashing with a potato masher like the directions said – the jam barely gelled. Another time  I put the wrong amount of fruit in (apparently because I can’t read) and it didn’t gel at all. Just do what the instructions say and everything will work. Promise!
  • To figure out how much fruit you need, buy the pectin, open the package and look at the instructions for freezer jam. Do that ahead of time so you get the right amount of fruit. You can generally find pectin in the baking aisle at the grocery store – go with the powdered pectin, I’ve had better results.
  • Even though freezer jam is fast and easy to make, if you DO end up having fruit you want to make jam out of and just don’t have time, mash or chop the fruit up as per the directions, put in a ziploc bag and freeze the fruit…then make the jam later when you get a free minute. I’ve done this several times, with good results. That way you can take advantage of the in-season fruits, even if you’re not ready to make your jam.
  • If you really want to know everything I have ever said about freezer jam in addition to this post, click here.

My favorite flavor by a long shot is RASPBERRY. But peach is pretty amazing. Who am I kidding, the strawberry is pretty darn good, too. Happy jamming!

Click here for a follow-up post on how many strawberries and raspberries to buy to make jam.


  1. 1

    We are still eating the peach freezer jam I made last fall — frantically trying to get it all eaten (a real chore, I know) before my Utah Fruit boxes arrive next month. My Costco has some lovely raspberries right now so I’ll be making the raspberry variety this week. I just love this time of year, “putting up” fruit as my mama would say! If it wasn’t 110 degrees this week I might just bake some homemade bread to go along with the jam. Sounds like a Paradise Bakery loaf will just have to do… Thanks for the post! I second it 110%.

  2. 2

    Oh, by the way, I’m wondering how long you spent cleaning out your freezer before you took that photo. If your freezer is always that pristine, you are more perfect than I originally thought!

  3. 3
    Jane Maynard

    ha ha! I wondered when someone would mention the freezer…and it was the first person to comment! makes me laugh! I thought I’d just let people think I am the perfect housekeeper until I got called out….just figured I’d have longer than an hour for that. 😉

    actually, I have a kitchen built in the backyard just for photographs for the blog, martha stewart style.


    it’s not my freezer. I wish it was, I’d love a clean empty freezer like that just lying around! It’s actually a vacant apartment by where I live that I was able to get into to get such a great shot…no worries, no illegal breaking and entering going on, promise! 😉

  4. 4

    we have become obsessed with freezer jam jane. once we moved, we bought an upright freezer for the basement and it’s packed with all sorts of freezer jam. hannah keeps telling me, ‘wow mommy, you must really like jam.’ it just tastes so much better than store bought stuff. bleh.

    you should try raspberry peach… that’s my new favorite.

  5. 5
    Jane Maynard

    ah, don’t say that! I was totally going to do raspberry peach….but um yeah the mention about me using the wrong amount of fruit….it was a bust. NEXT TIME I”m totally trying that flavor – glad do know it’s good!

    I’m so jealous of your upright freezer, btw…

  6. 6

    Knowing that you’ve had a few bumps along your freezer jam road makes me feel a bit better. I tried to make raspberry jam for the first time this summer and it turned out awful. I think I’ll give it another stab. 🙂

  7. 7

    can’t think of anything worse than having raspberry jam NOT work out – with the cost of berries it kills me when it doesn’t work…. but runny raspberry jam is great ‘syrup’ on pancakes.

    Just made jam with Costco berries last weekend (here in NJ) – it is funny when I buy jam, a 12 ounce jar lasts 12 months – when I make jam we can go through 12 ounces every few days if we aren’t careful!!!


  8. I have been making freezer jam for a few years and love it more than any jam I could ever buy. I use the easy way out though and make no cook freezer jam. You can buy the packet right alongside the pectin at the grocery store. I think this version also uses half the sugar so it’s like we eat barely sweetened fruit as our jam. My fav so far is mixed berry (blackberry, raspberry and strawberry). It may tie with straight up strawberry though. I’ll have to try peach next.

  9. 9

    I made freezer jam for the 1st time this year and we love it!

  10. The jam sounds fantastic! I can’t wait to try it! I am a religious freezer stocker. But, I have severe freezer container anxiety. What kind of containers do you use?

  11. 11
    Jane Maynard

    I used to always use mason jars with the rings and tops that come with them…but recently I’ve just used the Ziploc twist cap plastic containers (pictured) that you get at the grocery store and haven’t had any problems. hope that’s helpful!

  12. 12

    Gah, your freezer looks so pretty! And totally has me wanting to start making some jam 🙂

  13. 13
    andrea p

    My friend is also a freezer jam fanatic. She likes to freeze the finished jam in ziploc bags, so it’s flat and thaws quicker. When she’s ready for a new bag of jam she pulls out a baggy, after it thaws clips a corner and transfers it to a container for storage in the fridge.

  14. 14

    Great minds think alike!! I made freezer jam today too, Costco had great looking strawberries and Plums so that’s what I made!

  15. 15
    Jane Maynard

    I like that freezer bag trick! very cool!! thanks, andrea!

    mmmm….plum jam. sounds heavenly, elisa.

  16. 16

    i’m with christina. i tried the pectin that’s strictly for freezer jam and requires no boiling of the pectin. you just sprinkle it over the sweetened fruit. just when i thought i couldn’t love freezer jam more–this just tastes like you’ve spread fresh fruit on your bread vs. fruit swimming in sugar. i’ll never go back!

  17. 17
    Jane Maynard

    okay, I”m gonna have to try that stuff!!!!

  18. 18

    I grew up on freezer jam and can barely eat anything else. My kids have helped in the jam-making for several years now. I’m glad that tradition will be passed down! 🙂 Enjoy the jam!

  19. 19

    I’m inspired. I’ve been putting off making freezer jam for years now, but seeing how beautiful your shot looks I want some for myself. Thanks for the recipes!

  20. You are making me wish I hadn’t missed strawberry season. Strawberry jam and baking a cake. Those are my only Martha type skils!

  21. 21
    Colleen Patten

    quick question!! Can you eat it after 24 hrs w/o freezing it or do you have to freeze it first and then defrost it?

  22. I am sooo making this. Making jam via the water-processing method has always made me a little antsy. I have visions of killing people with bad jam. Going the freezer route seems so much easier and fool-proof, at least for jam-a-phobes like myself. 😉

  23. 23

    colleen – after that 24 hour waiting period you can either put it in the fridge or the freezer…so the answer is YES you can eat it!!! 🙂

    carolyn – I think this is perfect for you! 🙂

  24. Inspired by this post, I just made my first batch (or two) of peach raspberry freezer jam. Tastes yummy!!

  25. 25

    Congrats on the 1000th post!

    Just a suggestion on the jam that doesn’t set. Use it as pancake or dessert syrup. I tried making jam last year when you posted about it and the first batch never set, we used it for pancakes throughout the year. It’s also great in vanilla ice cream for some delish milkshakes. Yummy!

    I have since ventured into full on canning and love it, this year I took on tomatoes, thanks for the inspiration!

  26. 26

    I have never heard of freezer jam and am so glad I read this!! I’m trying it for sure this weekend! Thanks so much!

  27. 27

    My mom has been making blackberry and raspberry freezer jam for years now and I love it. At 36 I think it’s time to try to make it myself. 🙂 I have several asian pears that I think would be divine as freezer jam! My mom doesn’t think so…she says, they are too good plain to make jam out of. Hence why I’m making it on my own. 😉 Going to store to get some pectin. Wish me luck!

  28. 28

    Made the jam last Saturday. I made first two batches by putting the pears in the blender and then later remembered one lady said, not to do it that way because it wont jell. I went out and picked the last ones off my tree and made it the right way by mashing them. It turned out wonderful. The first two aren’t too bad just froze a bit harder. I tried the new packets of “Freezer Jam” pectin and it was soooooo easy. Thanks for all the recipes. Will be trying more soon. 🙂 I have cherry,asian pear,apple and quince trees. Plus, raspberry bushes in my back yard. Never knew what to do with them all….I KNOW NOW!

    • Jane Maynard

      I’m glad the pear worked out! (and I did that once where I blended the fruit and THEN read that you’re not supposed to. whoops!

      anyway, just wanted to say I am SO JEALOUS of your raspberry bushes. raspberry freezer jam might be one of my favorite foods in the world. 🙂

  29. 29
    Pam Wilson

    I made a batch of peach freezer jam that did not set. Any suggestions?

    • Hi Pam!

      Oh, man, that is the worst thing. It’s only happened to me twice over the years but is just SO disappointing when it does.

      There are instructions in the pectin box for when the jam doesn’t gel/set. You basically cook up another package of pectin and add it in, but the instructions are more detailed than that. I’ll be honest though, I tried that with my raspberry jam last year that didn’t set and the fix didn’t really fix it…sadly. ALTHOUGH we did eat all of the jam! I froze it anyway and we still enjoyed it thoroughly on pretty much everything except for PB&J sandwiches.

      So, aside from trying the “Fix” directions in the sure-jell box (or on their website), I don’t really have any suggestions. You could try contacting the pectin company, see if it at least you can get some money back! It’s still a mystery to me why this sometimes happens – the two batches that did that to me were prepared exactly as the directions prescribed.

      I hope this is helpful even a little bit!

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