Get fresh!

Less boiling keeps strawberry taste intense

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Freezer jam is — hands down — the easiest and prettiest jam you can make.

Traditionally canned jams involve first boiling the jam and the jam jars (in a water bath), effectively twice-cooking the berries. Blasphemy!

With freezer jam, you can skip all that while also capturing the berries’ super-fruity, crazy-fresh flavors and bright, red color for a taste of summer — all year long.

Berry Freezer Jam

  • 4 cups raspberries, blackberries or hulled strawberries
  • 4 cups sugar
  • ½ teaspoon finely shredded lemon zest
  • 1 packet regular powdered fruit pectin (1¾ ounces)
  • ¾ cup water

Makes about 5 cups

Shocked by all the sugar?

Yes, it’s a lot. But the high-sugar ratios in most jams allow the sugar to work as a powerful preservative. Sugar boosts firmness, too: As the pectin box directions say: “Do not reduce the sugar or use sugar substitutes as this will result in set failures.”

The good news is this: Freezer jam is so amazingly fruity and sweet, you can use it in moderation and still enjoy tremendous flavor.

Crush the berries with a potato masher in a medium-sized bowl until you have 2 cups.

Mix berries, sugar and lemon peel.

Let stand for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Combine pectin and water in a small sauce pan.

Bring to boiling over high heat and boil for 1 minute.

Remove from heat and add berry mixture.

Stir for 3 minutes or until sugar is dissolved and the mixture is no longer grainy.

Ladle into half-pint freezer containers, leaving half an inch of headspace.

Seal and label.

Let stand at room temperature for 24 hours or until set.

Store for up to 3 weeks in the refrigerator or up to 1 year in the freezer.


Source: Adapted from the Better Homes and Gardens New Cook Book


 

Pick your own!

Find local berries – at farmers markets or local U-pick farms – at minnesotagrown.com.