Aug 23

Easy Triple Berry Freezer Jam

Easy Freezer Jam

Food preservation is making a comeback in a big way! I've noticed an explosion of sites sharing recipes for canning tomatoes, pickles, homemade applesauce and more -- which are all great ways to extend the usefulness of your garden and fruit-bearing trees well beyond the summer months.


While I have experience canning my own jams and jellies, salsa, tomato juice, grape juice, among others, I still get a sense that many home cooks are intimidated by the canning process. I was lucky enough to learn from my mother, who walked me through every step of the process on several occasions, but I'm always seeing classes offered in my community, and I bet they're available in yours, as well, if you're willing to seek them out.

However, today I want to share a process for making and preserving jam at home that's super easy, requires few tools, and requires absolutely no cooking... Making freezer jam is the perfect starting point for anyone new to food preservation!

Freezer Jam Supplies & Ingredients

I picked up all of the supplies at my local Walmart. You'll find the freezer Ball Plastic Freezer Jars (these are the 8-oz. half-pint jars) and Ball Dissolvable Labels in the housewares section, as well as the pectin. Note that Ball makes several different kinds of pectin, and they are not interchangeable, so make sure to pick up the Ball RealFruit Instant Pectin that is intended for use in freezer jam.

Depending on how quickly you think you'll use up your freezer jam, you may or may not need the labels. Since the freezer jam recipe I'm sharing makes a small batch of five half-pint jars, I opted not to use labels -- we'll use up this jam well before the recommended freezer storage of 12 months.

Easy Berry Freezer Jam

My favorite aspect of preserving food at home is that I have complete control over the ingredients I use. I chose to use organic fruits, as well as organic sugar, in this triple berry freezer jam.

Incidentally, you can also customize this jam to your own tastes. The recipe calls for four cups of crushed berries, and I opted for a mix of one cup of blackberries, one cup of raspberries, and two cups of strawberry, but you could easily just make straight strawberry freezer jam, blackberry freezer jam or raspberry freezer jam -- or any combination you desire!

Freezer Jam

Making freezer jam is a great way to get kids involved in the kitchen. Even young kids can help crush the berries, stir together the sugar and pectin and stir together the crushed berries and sugar/pectin mixture!

Easy Freezer Jam

Yield: 5 half-pint (8-oz.) jars

Easy Freezer Jam

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups crushed berries
  • (I used 1 c. blackberries, 1 c. raspberries & 2 c. strawberries)
  • 1 2/3 cup sugar
  • 5 tablespoons Ball RealFruit Instant Pectin

Instructions:

  1. Prepare your jars by washing the jars and lids in hot water and drying them thoroughly.
  2. Combine the crushed berries in a medium mixing bowl.
  3. In a separate larger bowl, whisk together the sugar and pectin. I like to use a large batter bowl so I can just pour the jam into my jars directly from it.
  4. Add the berry mixture to the sugar and pectin and stir for three minutes, ensuring they are mixed well.
  5. Ladle or pour the jam into into the jars, leaving about 1/2-inch of headspace at the top of each jar. Ball Freezer Jars have fill lines embossed on them to make it simple to gauge.
  6. Place the lids on the jars and let them stand for 30 minutes before freezing to allow the jam to thicken.

http://unsophisticook.com/freezer-jam/



A few tips for best results:

  • Yes, it seems like a lot of sugar, but reducing the amount is not recommended. Sugar not only sweetens the mixture, but it prevents bacterial growth and is necessary for the jelling process. For best results, follow the recipe exactly.
  • We personally don't use no calorie sweeteners, but you can substitute an equal amount of a product like the granulated Splenda for a lower calorie jam.
  • Doubling the recipe is not recommended. If you wish to make more than 5 half-pint jars, make multiple batches.
  • Frozen berries can be substituted for fresh -- just make sure they are unsweetened and allow them to thaw first and then crush.
  • Freezer jam can be store for up to three weeks in the refrigerator and for up to 12 months in the freezer.

What's your favorite combination of berries for freezer jam?

Walmart Moms Disclosure

by Tara | 13 comments

{ 13 comments… read them below or add one }

Jennie August 23, 2013 at 5:13 pm

Can I put the fruit in a food processer instead of crushing?

Reply

Tara August 23, 2013 at 6:12 pm

I don’t see why you couldn’t, Jennie! You could probably use a blender, as well. Jam is always a little chunky though, so I’d just pulse it a few times. You don’t want a full-on puree for this.

Reply

Joyce Chaplow August 24, 2013 at 1:25 am

My question..may be silly…but your freezing the jam in glass jars? I would be afraid they would crack or break.

Reply

Tara August 24, 2013 at 8:43 am

Not silly at all, Joyce! While you can freeze jam and other foods in glass jars with the proper amount of headspace for expansion, these jars are actually plastic.

They’re Ball Plastic Freezer Jars, and you can pick them up at Walmart and other stores. What’s really nice about them is they seal well, and they have the fill line etched into the jar so you know exactly how much jam to pour into them.

Reply

Tee August 24, 2013 at 2:06 pm

I can’t wait to make this, I love berries and this will be yummy this winter. Thanks for sharing!

Reply

Tara August 24, 2013 at 7:37 pm

Enjoy, Tee! We’ve already gone through one half pint, so I’ll definitely be making a few more batches.

Reply

Mita August 24, 2013 at 2:49 pm

If I were to freezer the jars then move them into the fridge to use them, will they last three weeks in the fridge? Or is it three weeks if they go straight to the fridge.

Reply

Tara August 24, 2013 at 7:34 pm

Hi, Mita! Yes, it should last for about 3 weeks after thawing — sugar is a natural preservative.

And that brings up a good point that I need to add to the post. Thawing in the refrigerator is recommended, so be sure to pull out a fresh jar in the evening if you’re planning to use it for breakfast in the morning.

Reply

Liz September 8, 2013 at 1:29 am

My question is about the pectin… is it a necessity and if so, why? What happens if you leave it out? I made freezer jam once at a church thing, but I can’t remember if the lady used the pectin.

Reply

Tara September 8, 2013 at 12:50 pm

Yes, the pectin is what thickens it up to a jam consistency. Without it, it would just be a very thin sauce-like consistency.

Reply

Liz September 9, 2013 at 9:01 pm

Ok, that makes sense. :-) Thanks!

Reply

Nancy Thatcher September 9, 2013 at 10:19 am

Can you actually can this jan so you do not have to waste you freezer space? I have a small freezer so would prefer not to use up that much space for jam.

Reply

Tara September 9, 2013 at 10:46 am

Nancy, you could not can this particular recipe because, as I mentioned in the post, there are different types of pectin, and the type of pectin used in this recipe is specific to the freezer preservation method. Recipes used in canning need some acidity in them to keep them from spoiling, so substitution pectin would not work in this case.

I’ll be sharing another recipe soon that can be used for canning though, so watch for that!

Reply

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