This recipe for Easy Strawberry Freezer Jam is the perfect way to use those fresh strawberries by making quick and easy jam that requires no canning expertise! Just make, fill, and freeze!
What if I told you that you could make beautiful, amazingly delicious strawberry jam with no water bath and no canning expertise in less than an hour? It’s true!
This Easy Strawberry Freezer Jam only calls for 5 ingredients and is as simple as can be!
Admittedly, I’ve always been afraid of canning. Even after watching my grandmother, mom, and others for years, the whole idea of sterilizing jars, using water baths, sealing, popping lids… it all just intimidates me. And everything has to be precise or folks can end up getting really sick. So, I’ve always avoided it.
A few years back, though, a friend introduced me to freezer jam and my life hasn’t been the same since.
Freezer jam allows you to make crazy delicious jam without having to know about any of that stuff. It’s as simple as prepping the jam, pouring it into freezer-safe containers, and freezing.
And being that you don’t have to cook the fruit, you end up with jam that tastes as fresh as the berries when you made it.
It’s perfect on hot Buttermilk Biscuits, pancakes, scones, waffles, ice cream, pound cake, etc. Something tells me you’ll find all kinds of uses for this jam once you taste it!
Even still, you do have to be a little precise when it comes to the measurements when making this jam. It is science and science is pretty precise. But I’ve included some tips to ensure that your jam turns out perfectly every time.
Several years ago, I shared a recipe for Peach Freezer Jam. It used an instant pectin and didn’t require any cooking at all. The problem is that the instant pectin was quite finicky. A few readers had trouble getting it to set. So I started doing some investigation.
Now, freezer jam won’t set as firm as traditional jam and jelly, but shouldn’t be runny either. What I found was that the margin of error with that instant pectin was just too great. So, in working on this recipe for the strawberry version, I went ahead and updated the peach version to this method, too.
This version has you dissolve the pectin in boiling water. And while it’s an additional step, in our testing, the jam always turned out perfectly using this method.
A few things to keep in mind…
Measurements need to be precise. You’ll need 1 pound of strawberries, which, when crushed, should give you 2 cups of crushed strawberries.
While the sugar does seem like an awful lot, it’s all got to be in there for the jam to set correctly. I said it was delicious, not healthy. 😂 Freezer jam does require more sugar than traditional jam or jelly, but the fresh taste from the uncooked fruit makes it so delicious. If you’re watching your sugar intake, you can find “No Sugar Needed Sure-Jell Fruit Pectin” in the pink box and follow the instructions in the package to make it with less sugar.
Also be sure to stir, stir, stir to get all that sugar dissolved. Don’t skimp here. The sugar is what helps the pectin set. Undissolved sugar can also lead to grainy jam.
When it comes to the jars, make sure you’re using jars that are safe for the freezer. It should indicate on the box if they are. You can also find great freezer safe plastic containers made just for freezer canning.
In this case, I used 5 (1-pint) jars, but you could use smaller jars if you feel like you won’t use it all within 3 weeks – as that’s about how long it lasts in the fridge once thawed. This jam keeps in the freezer for up to a year.
When filling the container, you need to allow some room at the top to allow for expansion as the jam freezes. This is called head space. I recommend leaving about 1/2-inch. If not, your jars could crack or even burst.
If all else fails…
Following these instructions and tips should yield perfect results, but there are times when things go awry. If all else fails and your jam doesn’t set, you can pour all the jam back into a large bowl, clean the jars well (I like to run them through the dishwasher), and then start with Step 3 of the recipe to add another package of pectin to the jam. Then follow the instructions from there on.
Easy Strawberry Freezer Jam
- 2 cups crushed fresh strawberries (about 1 pound)
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 4 cups white sugar
- 3/4 cup water
- 1 (1.75-ounce) box Sure-Jell Fruit Pectin
- Hull the strawberries and place them in a large bowl. Use a potato masher or another tool (like a cocktail muddler) to crush the strawberries. They should be crushed very well, but not puréed. You will need exactly 2 cups of crushed strawberries, so be sure to measure them.
- Add the lemon juice to the strawberries and stir well. Add the sugar and stir until dissolved. Let stand 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- In a small saucepan, stir the water and pectin together. Place over high heat, stirring constantly – the pectin might be lumpy at this point. Bring to a boil and boil for 1 minute. Stir constantly. Remove from heat.
- Add the pectin mixture to the strawberry and sugar mixture and stir for about 3 minutes – or until all of the sugar is completely dissolved. A few sugar crystals are ok, but you don't want it to be grainy.
- Spoon the jam into 5 clean pint-size freezer-safe jars or containers with tight fitting lids ensuring you leave about 1/2 inch of space at the top of the jar to allow for expansion in the freezer. Loosely cover the jars. Allow them to sit at room temperature for 24 hours to set. Seal tight. Store the jam in the refrigerator or the freezer. The jam will last in the refrigerator for 3 to 4 weeks and in the freezer for about a year.