18 June 2010

Strawberry Freezer Jam with Less Sugar

Strawberry freezer jam is the perfect answer for anyone who likes strawberry jam. You know how there are recipes for the easy version of something and then there are recipes for the best version? Well, strawberry freezer jam is both easier and better than regular strawberry jam.

Back when I wanted to spend an entire day in the kitchen "putting up" various things, including jam, I turned up my nose at freezer jam. I thought it was for people who couldn't make the real thing. Then my dear friend and honorary grandmother Elsie, who at 91 still likes to pull out all the canning equipment, gave me a taste of her strawberry "less sugar" freezer jam. Wow! It tasted like fresh strawberries! Why would anyone make any other kind!

I looked at the directions in the box of Sure-Jell Premium Fruit Pectin for Less or No Sugar Needed Recipes and thought "This is too simple. Grandma must have added some special something to it." But, no, that's all there is to it!

Perfectly scrummy on a scone, it's always the jam on my tea table. And if you can save a biscuit for after dinner, slather it with strawberry "less sugar" freezer jam to cap off a good Southern meal. And toast--spread this jam on a piece of toasted whole grain bread or homemade classic white sandwich bread. It's so good you don't even need butter.

Have you made freezer jam yet? Or regular jam? What's your favorite flavor? You can whip up a batch of this in under an hour. C'mon, just do it!

(05/06/11 Note: I made a little change to the method, so read my latest on Strawberry Freezer Jam before you proceed.)

Strawberry Freezer Jam(Makes six 8-ounce jars)

Adapted from the recipe in the pectin box; all ingredients the same, just a few additions to the directions.

4 cups prepared fruit (buy about 4 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 containers and lids (I use glass jars) with boiling water. Dry thoroughly.

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 short pulses. Or, as my dear friend and honorary grandmother Elsie does, use a blender. Measure exactly 4 cups crushed strawberries into large bowl.

3 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. Add strawberries; stir 1 minute or until well blended.

4 Fill all containers immediately to within 1/2 inch of tops. Wipe off top edges of containers; 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 was recently cleaning off my Cuisinart DLC-10E food processor and putting it back in its place of honor on the counter when I realized I've had it for about thirty years! It seemed terribly expensive to the young girl I was at the time, but I never imagined I'd be using it for so long. I've replaced the work bowl for cosmetic reasons, but the motor/base is just like new. Sounds like a pretty wise investment! (See the "My Little Shop" page for a current model.)


Amy (Shiny Cooking) said...

How does the lower sugar compare in taste to the regular? At the very last minute (like, as I was hulling the strawberries) I was wishing I'd picked up some of the pink box pectin to try the lower sugar for comparison.

Isn't it neat how easy it is? If you have a teensy bit of freezer space there's no reason to buy jam ever again!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

I don't know, Amy. I've only ever had the lower sugar kind. Most things taste too sweet to me, and I make everything with less sugar, so of course I went for the lower sugar jam recipe. When I make pumpkin pie for just my husband and me, I only put 1/4 cup of sugar in it! I've never tried it out on anyone else, just assuming it would come as too great a shock to them!

Drick said...

Jean – Thanks for visiting my blog and a nice jam recipe, one I have not heard of before....Now, Foodbuzz is a wonderful community where I’ve met many friends and now more knowledgeable than ever. To you and all food enthusiasts joining is a great idea. As for the tastemaker program, with every giveaway, there is an opt-in for participation and I hope my candor in today’s post is taken as a mere jest of folly.

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

You'll love this jam, Drick, even on store-bought bread!

Chef Dennis Littley said...

sounds like a pretty good jam recipe.....I love fresh jam!

Kimmie said...

Thought I would visit your blog and thanks for reading my post! I recently, a little over a year ago, cut out sugar. I was what you would call a sugarholic. I'm always looking for low sugar or no sugar treats. I love strawberry jam on my toast and this one sounds great! Although I'm not much of a cook I do try sometimes. Thanks for the wonderful recipe!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Kimmie, you don't have to be "much of a cook" to make this wonderful jam! You can SO do this! Let me know how it works out for you.

Sanjana said...

Ahh this is brilliant- I love the feeling of knowing I'm eating less sugar while eating the foods I love! Great recipe! Thanks for visiting my blog- I look forward to following you!