06 May 2011

Strawberry Freezer Jam with Less Sugar - Even Better My Way


Strawberry freezer jam is something I don't usually get around to making until June, but I got my hands on some perfect organic local berries the other day and decided to get a jump on summer. I posted Strawberry Freezer Jam with Less Sugar last June, but I've changed my technique a bit since then. While making Peach Freezer Jam with Less Sugar last August, I got a great idea (if I do say so myself)!

If you've made freezer jam, you know it has a softer set than regular jam. I'm okay with that, but still I just couldn't help thinking I could make it better. And I DID! I made my first batch according to directions and found that after 24 hours it was much softer than I would like, so I decided to experiment on the second batch. I heated the peaches a bit before adding them to the pectin mixture. When I tried the jam after 24 hours, I was amazed! The consistency was perfect, and it still tasted like fresh peaches!

So, of course, I had to try my new technique on these strawberries. Wow! (Sure-Jell, if you're reading this and want to send me piles of cash for my idea, that can be arranged!)


Strawberry Freezer Jam

(Makes 7 half-pint jars)

I used the same ingredients as the Sure-Jell recipe but made a crucial change to the method, so this is my jam.

4 cups prepared fruit (buy about 4 or 5 pints fully ripe strawberries)
3 cups sugar
1 box
Sure-Jell Premium Fruit Pectin for Less or No Sugar Needed Recipes

1 cup water


1 Rinse clean half-pint glass jars and lids with boiling water. Dry thoroughly. Straight-sided jars are best.

2 Slice and, with a pastry blender (works better than a potato masher), thoroughly crush strawberries, one layer at a time. Or use a food processor*: With metal blade in place, add halved strawberries to work bowl and chop using several 1-second pulses. Or, as my dear friend and honorary grandmother Elsie does, use a blender. But don't puree; leave some little chunks. Measure exactly 4 cups crushed strawberries in 1-quart glass measure.

3 Pour fruit into 2-quart saucepan. Cook, uncovered, over medium heat just to the boil (bubbling in the middle as well as around the edges). Remove from heat.

4 In 3-quart saucepan, stir together sugar and pectin. Stir in water. Bring to boil over medium-high heat, stirring constantly. Boil and stir 1 minute; remove from heat. Immediately add strawberries; stir 1 minute or until well blended. Pour into 2-quart glass measure; spout and handle make it easy to fill jars neatly.

5 Fill all jars immediately, leaving 1/2 inch space at top for expansion. Wipe any drips off top edges of jars; immediately cover with lids. Let stand at room temperature 24 hours. Jam is now ready to use. Store in refrigerator up to 3 weeks or freeze extra containers up to 1 year. Thaw in refrigerator before using.


* I have the Cuisinart DLC-10E, which (understandably after all this time--I've had it since I was very young) is no longer available. See Cuisinart DLC-2009CHB Prep 9 9-Cup Food Processor, Brushed Stainless and other available models.


24 comments:

Southerner said...

Jean, I've been reading your wonderful recipes and the way you discuss them, for a while on this blog now.

Isn't it about time you created some podcasts and actually SHOWED us all how it's done?

I for one would a be a great fan from the start.

All the best,
Tony

Jean said...

Tony, thank you so much! Actually, I've been giving some thought lately to making some short videos. It does take me a bit of time to figure out technology, so be patient!

Cranberry Morning said...

That looks beautiful. I'd like a spoonful of that on my yogurt and flaxseed this noon!

Jean said...

Thanks, Judy! It IS tasty and a wonderful texture.

Jenn said...

Looks lovely Jean! I'm gonna stop back by later for the recipe.. this is definitely one I want to try :)

Jean said...

Thanks, Jenn! Please DO try it, and be sure to let me know how it turned out for you.

Thomas "Sully" Sullivan said...

Oh, man, I could watch someone else cook all day! I mean, this sounds great – or least it would be if it was blackberry jam. Does this recipe travel? School me, please(school not scold :-)). Is the difference between jam and jelly just that the former loads your teeth with little seeds that you can use to kill squirrels with at 10 feet? And what is freezer jam? Sounds like an Eskimo rock combo.

Jean said...

Mmm ... blackberries ... wish I could get my hands on some right now. I'd love to school you: Jam is made from crushed fruit, jelly is made from just the juice of the fruit. The advantage of freezer jam over the regular stuff you can store on a shelf is that it doesn't involve special canning equipment and "processing" AND it tastes fresher.

Mrs. Tuna said...

The Big Tuna loves strawberries, who am I kidding, I do too.

Jean said...

Mrs Tuna, hey, what's not to love about strawberries! Make a batch of this, then you can both enjoy the taste of fresh berries all year round.

Sasa said...

This looks like my kind of jam! I just overcame my fear of canning last year with Powidl, an Austrian plum jam but I haven't ventured into jam territory again because of all the sugar you see...

Jean said...

Thanks! I hope you'll try it soon. Having a lot less sugar than most jam, the fruit flavor really shines.

Anonymous said...

Heating the fruit to give it more body is a well known technique. Claiming to have come up with this doesn't help your credibility.

Jean said...

Hello, Anonymous. I make no claim to having invented the idea of heating up fruit! But heating the fruit is NOT part of the *freezer* jam recipes and instructions, and since I don't know anyone who has changed the technique in this way, I thought perhaps it would be new to some of my readers as well.

Jean said...

Thanks, Anonymous. Of course, I know I did not invent the idea of heating fruit! But heating the fruit is NOT part of the recipe or directions for freezer jam, and I don't know of anyone else (though there might be) who does it, so I thought others might appreciate my idea.

ms gingham said...

Jean! What a fabulous low sugar tip! From one jam fiend to the next, brava!

Jean said...

Thank you so much, ms gingham! I hope it works well for you.

Anonymous said...

I stumbled across your blog from a Google search when looking for low sugar freezer jam. I canned 25 jars of Strawberry Jam yesterday following all of these steps. It is sooooo delicious!!!! I greatly appreciate you sharing this recipe with he world. I plan on using it always. Thank you all the way from Pensacola, FL!!

Jean said...

Thank you so much! I'm always happy when I hear from readers who have had such success with my recipes. Let me know if you try any others.

Amanda Riggs said...

So I am trying to figure out exactly how much low sugar fruit pectin to use for your recipe. I got a 4.7 oz container. It said the old box used 3 tablespoons of low sugar pectinn. Any ideas exactly how much to use? Thanks. Amanda

Jean | Delightful Repast said...

Hi Amanda. Sounds like you have the Ball RealFruit Low or No Sugar Needed Pectin. I've never used it, but I did some research. It said that 6 tablespoons (which is 1/3 cup plus 2 teaspoons) equals one box of other brands. Be sure to use level measures. And do let me know how it turns out for you!

luv2bake said...

Thanks for the recipes and tips about heating the fruit. Made some this afternoon. Looks awesome in the jars! Getting a little nervous after I read Amanda's comments from May. I only used 3 tab of the Ball RealFruit Low or No sugar needed stuff. Well, if it doesn't turn out, we love pancakes with syrup!

luv2bake said...

Thank you for the wonderful recipe and tips! I made some this afternoon.. Looks beautiful in the jars on the counter.

Jean | Delightful Repast said...

luv2bake, DO let me know how it turned out for you using just 3 tablespoons (half the recommended amount) of the other brand. Did you have jam or delicious strawberry syrup?! It's all good!

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