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Thursday, June 9, 2011

Time for Freezer Jam!

I have boxes of pectin and pounds of sugar sitting on my counter right now.

You know what that means…it’s that magical time of the year when we make tons of raspberry and strawberry freezer jam! We just ran out of last year’s supply, so the timing is perfect.

I’ve written about freezer jam before. Three times, in fact (here, here and here). Because if I accomplish nothing else with this blog, I hope I can get you non-freezer jam people to jump on the freezer jam bandwagon. It’s easy to make, you don’t have to sanitize or can anything, and it tastes better than pretty much any other jam on the planet. Why wouldn’t you make this stuff?

Gotta run! The 10 pounds of berries in my fridge are calling!

Click here for a follow-up post that tells you how many strawberries and raspberries to buy for jam.

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.


  1. jane, have you ever tried the low-sugar option? we’ve always done it with the white stuff, but I want to try it with a honey/agave alternative (at least for some of the sugar!).

    • Jane Maynard

      no, I actually haven’t. I’m going to put the question out there on facebook and twitter, see if anyone else has – I’m curious!

    • Jane Maynard

      Nina just posted this response on Facebook:

      “I made this version with apple juice and honey and it turned out GREAT!”

    • I substitute all but one cup of sugar in most jam recipes with 1/2 tsp powdered stevia, and I use the low sugar variety of pectin. I love that the fruit flavor in these jams is much more pronounced, instead of just the sweetness of sugar. There are a few recipes for low sugar jams on my blog. I am going to make some low sugar freezer jams next week too. I made a raspberry nectarine freezer jam last summer that the kids loved; this year I am going to try it low sugar.

  2. I’ve never made freezer jam (I prefer the cooked stuff), but either way there’s nothing like homemade jam! Even though canning is hot, sticky work, I love seeing the gorgeous jars of jam all lined up afterward.

  3. 3

    I made strawberry freezer jam with apple juice and agave:

    I almost always use the reduced sugar option and cut the amount of sugar in half. The end result yields less jam, but tastes great and is healthier. I once did apricot with no sugar (or sugar sub) and it was quite tart so I added it to oatmeal instead of using it on toast.

  4. I made freezer jam years ago with Kate Windsor and we bought 60 baskets of berries at Haymarket for $10!

  5. 5

    oh man! I have a package of sure jell just waiting for me to make this! i havent tried but i want to SO bad! we have been procrastinating when it comes to picking strawberries and now its a deathly 100 degrees here in eastern NC.

  6. Oh I am so jealous. I grew up with my mom making freeze jam and canning tons of fruit and veggies every year and I hate that I don’t have the kitchen space to do it now! I can’t WAIT to move into an apartment later this year so I can make some freezer jam!

  7. I am ready to rush out to the store right now and get the ingredients to make some jam. I will have to add this to my ‘must do list’.

    I think I will be on the freezer jam bandwagon real soon. I just joined the homemade bread, tortilla and salad dressing bandwagon, so why not.

    Thank you.

  8. Funny – I just did the SAME thing last week!! LOL We love, love, LOVE freezer jam.

  9. 9

    I wish-oh wish- the costs of berries in my part of the U.S. didn’t make this endeavor so cost prohibitive. When you have to pay 89cents for ONE lemon, $2.69 for one head of iceberg lettuce and $1.49 for one tiny bunch of cilantro there is NO way I could justify the cost of freezer jam. Plus, the berries have zero flavor. Soooo depressing.

    When raspberries are $4 a pint and strawberries are at least $3.50 a pound (yes, even at the one-and-only pick your own 3 hours away) Smuckers will just have to do.

    Count your blessings everyone else.

  10. 10

    We do the low sugar option, although I’ve never tried it with anything but granulated sugar, and its always really good.

    I had just had a baby this year when the local strawberries were ready, so I sent Steve and the older kids to pick 4 gallons of strawberries and then he made all the jam for me, too! Guess he didn’t want to miss out on it this year, either–we love the stuff.

    Up next is peach jam–almost as good as the strawberry 🙂

  11. 11

    Strawberry season is just around the corner for us! Guess what I hope to be doing on Saturday? Strawberry picking! Good thing too as we’re out of strawberry freezer jam!

    I also use the low-sugar freezer pectin. I wouldn’t go back to using the full sugar kind. It tastes just as good and is obviously better for you!

  12. Thank you, thank you, thank you for the reminder. Must make this delicious stuff!!

  13. 13

    Thanks for the reminder 🙂 Your blog made me try it out a couple years back and we haven’t bought jam at the store since!

  14. 14

    Jane…where did you get all your bulk organic fruits? I see the 6 oz and 1 lb containers but not the bulk. Thank you!

    • Jane Maynard

      so, I WAS going to buy it all from a local CSA around here (not the one I use but another one) that will do special deliveries on Saturdays for food that’s in season (that’s where I got my tomatoes and apples last fall when I preserved those). that’s normally my source for the bulk organic produce.

      HOWEVER…this time around I ended up getting all my berries for jam at Costco! The strawberries actually were not organic, but the Raspberries were and they were a great price – like $9-10 for six 6-oz containers. WAY cheaper than the grocery store sale prices for the non-organic raspberries from the same farm!

      I think the best spots are local markets, CSAs, U-Pick farms (if you want to put in a little work!) and Costco. Hope that’s helpful!

    • gretchen mckinney

      Thanks Jane…that did help! I am going to buy some today and make tomorrow. YIPPEE I notice that you just put in the Glad freezer containers. Do these keep from becoming freezer burnt?

    • Jane Maynard

      so, I haven’t ever had any freezer burn issues using these containers and I think this is the third or fourth year I’ve used them (second year for these actual containers). our jam never lasts more than 1 year, which is what the pectin box recommends anyway for storage time in the freezer. but I’m rambling…bottom line, they’ve worked great! when I was little my mom would store the jam pretty much in whatever containers she could scrounge up – jars, tupperware, you name it! 🙂

    • Jane Maynard

      and when I say that our jam doesn’t last more than one year….I meant that we always eat it all before a year is out, so I have no idea what would happen after that! 🙂

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