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.