How to Make Freezer Jam

How to Make Freezer Jam

Freezer jam is one of the all-time easiest ways to make your own jam. It takes 45 minutes – most of which is just waiting and stirring occasionally – and there is NO cooking required. It is wonderful! I thought I’d write a post on how to make freezer jam so I could give you some tips and tricks for how to make it turn out every single time!

How to Make Freezer Jam

My mom has been making freezer jam for as long as I can remember. It’s one of those recipes that just reminds me of being a kid at home. In fact, I actually didn’t know you could purchase jam from the grocery store until I was….wait for it….18.

Yep.

That’s true. HA.

How to Make Freezer Jam

And homemade freezer jam is so darn easy! Plus it doesn’t require cooking anything, which is a major plus during the summer in my book.

I’m going to walk you through the process with photos and give you tips along the way. Here’s a little secret though – I don’t really have my own recipe when it comes to fruit:pectin ratios. I totally use the ratios on the Sure Jell pectin box.

How to Make Freezer Jam

Here’s why: Fruit {and vegetables} naturally contain pectin, and different kinds of fruit contain differing amounts of pectin. Softer fruit has less pectin, more firm fruit has more pectin. They way freezer jam sets up is through adding more pectin.

So, the most common reason for freezer jam to not set up is a problem with the pectin to fruit ratio. Since someone has already gone to the trouble to experiment out the amount of pectin needed for different kinds of fruit, it doesn’t seem like a good use of my time to retest.

I do, however, play with flavors. This can get a little dangerous in the pectin ratio zone too. Playing with freezer jam flavors will, if the fruits are different enough, change the pectin ratio. So I usually figure out the ratios in the given recipe and adjust from there.

This time around I made:

Raspberry
Raspberry + Blueberry 
Peach + Raspberry
Strawberry + Raspberry

I am dying over the fruit combos. They are my favorite! I also experimented with halving some recipes and measuring out pectin for that situation. I’m still not 100% confident in my method but I’ll be sure and share when I feel like I have it down.

Without further ado, here is how I make freezer jam!

1. Crush your fruit. It is totally personal preference on how crushed you like your fruit. I like my jam pretty smooth, so I really go to town. I’m not afraid to whip out my immersion blender either!

And lemme just let you in on a little secret: I don’t peel anything. Not peaches. Not apricots. Nope. I just slice, remove pits, and blend it all up. No one ever knows and it still tastes amazing. Peeling is the worst!

How to Make Freezer Jam

If you want your jam ultra smooth and feel the urge to strain it – this is your caution! Straining it will change how much pectin is in the crushed fruit and will probably alter how the jam sets up.

2. After you have your fruit crushed, add the pectin. I add mine slowly while whisking so it doesn’t clump. Then I get two timers. I set one for 30 minutes and one for 5 minutes. I stir vigorously  every 5 minutes for the whole 30 minutes.

How to Make Freezer Jam

Like, think of everything that made you angry this past week and STIR, BABY! Vigorous stirring ensures that the pectin is totally dissolved, which is necessary for your jam to set up correctly.

3. Now, add the sugar. Stir vey well until the sugar is totally dissolved.

How to Make Freezer Jam

You can see here how there are still sugar crystals on the sides of the bowl. I took this just after I’d added the sugar and mixed it in.

How to Make Freezer Jam

I usually mix every 3 minutes for about 9 minutes to ensure the sugar is dissolved.

This is at the end of that time, you can see there are few, if any, sugar crystals on the side of the bowl.

How to Make Freezer Jam

4. Jar it up! A recipe that uses one box of pectin gives me enough jam to fill 4 pint size jars with enough room in the top to let the jam expand. When anything freezes, it expands, so leaving about 1 inch of room in the top of your jar is important.

Expanding liquids are stronger than glass jars. We don’t need to discuss how I verified this fact at home.

I don’t boil my jars since the majority of the time it is being stored, the jam is in the freezer. BUT I always ensure they are very clean. I run a load of jars in my dishwasher and leave it closed and sealed until I’m ready for the jars.

How to Make Freezer Jam

Then when the jam is ready to go in, I take them out of the dishwasher, fill them, and immediately put a lid on.

Please note! If you are canning ANYTHING that is going to be stored at room temperature, it is vital your jars are 100% sterile. Botulism ain’t no joke, folks!

5. Let it set. The jam will need to sit at room temperature for 24 hours. All biological and chemical processes slow and can even stop at low temperatures – so putting the freezer jam in the freezer before it has time to set will leave you with runny jam after you thaw it. Giving the pectin that time to do it’s work is important!

Ya just can’t rush nature. Or science. Or a toddler learning to go potty…

…never mind.

How to Make Freezer Jam

6. After the jam has set, I stick the jars in the freezer. Well, not all the jars. I keep a few out for immediate consumption. 🙂 And yes. That is regular old loaf bread from regular old Walmart. Cuz #reallife.

How to Make Freezer Jam

Let me know if you have any questions or tips of your own!

Raspberry Freezer Jam

Yields About 4 pints

Learn all the tips and tricks for how to make freezer jam that is perfect every time. All you need is a bowl, a whisk and some time! No cooking required!!

45 minPrep Time

45 minTotal Time

Save RecipeSave Recipe

Ingredients

  • 3 1/4 cups crushed raspberries (see note)
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice (or lime juice)
  • 4 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 packages MCP Fruit Pectin

Instructions

  1. Crush berries to desired consistency - do not strain (see note).
  2. Mix with lemon juice.
  3. Gradually whisk in pectin.
  4. Set two timers simultaneously - one for 30 minutes and one for 5 minutes. Mix every 5 minutes for 30 minutes. This ensures that the pectin is completely mixed in.
  5. After the 30 minutes, whisk in sugar.
  6. Whisk for 2-3 minutes until the sugar is completely dissolved.
  7. Transfer to CLEAN jars.
  8. Let set for 24 hours.
  9. Freeze or refrigerate after jam as set for 24 hours.

Notes

• The amount of berries you use can vary slightly, within a half of a cup. More variation than that will lead to problems with your jam setting up.

• Fruit (and vegetables) naturally contain pectin, and different kinds of fruit contain differing amounts of pectin. Softer fruit has less pectin, more firm fruit has more pectin. They way freezer jam sets up is through adding more pectin. The most common reason for freezer jam to not set up is a problem with the pectin to fruit ratio. Doing things like straining the pectin can vary this ratio.

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http://longbournfarm.com/2017/08/02/how-to-make-freezer-jam/

Learn all the tips and tricks for making perfect freezer jam every time. All you need is a bowl, a whisk and some time! No cooking required!!

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1 Comment

  • Reply
    Heather
    August 4, 2017 at 7:14 AM When I asked my mom about her fruit combination ratios (like how many peaches to raspberries) she said she just followed the box. I guess I should follow the box more often. Also, thanks for the tip about letting it set - I wonder if that's why mine didn't work out last time. So runny out of the freezer.
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