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  1. Thursday, June 16, 2011

    Freezer Jam Fruit Buying Guide

    This post was updated on 4/26/20 to include a visual freezer jam fruit buying guide, including information for Pomona’s Universal Pectin as well as Sure-Jell pectin. Original post was written 6/16/11.

    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 if you plan to make strawberry or raspberry freezer 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!

    Freezer Jam Fruit Buying Guide: Chart showing how much pectin, raspberries or strawberries and sugar to buy for making freezer jam with either Sure-Jell or Pomona's Universal pectins

    Here is the above chart broken down into text form:

    Sure-Jell Pectin Freezer Jam Buying Guide

    • 3 boxes Sure-Jell pectin for 64 ounces strawberries and 12 cups of sugar. Yield: 15 cups jam (64 ounces also labeld as 4 pounds crushes to 6 cups with a few berries left over)
    • 1 box Sure-Jell pectin for 24 ounces raspberries and 5 1/4 cups sugar. Yield: 7 cups jam

    Pomona’s Universal Pectin Freezer Jam Buying Guide

    There are approximately 9 teaspoons of pectin in one box, so you should be able to do two batches of jam with one box of Pomona’s pectin, based on the measurements below:

    • 4 teaspoons Pomona’s pectin for 44 ounces strawberries and 3/4 – 2 cups of sugar. Yield: 4-6 cups jam
    • 4 teaspoons Pomona’s pectin pectin for 32 ounces raspberries and 3/4 – 2 cups sugar. Yield: 7 cups 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.

    PLEASE NOTE: If you are using SURE-JELL pectin, a couple years ago some of the boxes got bad directions. Click here to make sure that your directions in the box are the correct ones!

    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.