Saturday, May 11, 2013

No Cook Strawberry Freezer Jam


When I had the chance not long ago to buy a whole flat of these beautiful Louisiana strawberries, I had several things in mind, but the main two that I knew I wanted to make was the fresh strawberry pie that I shared last week, and as much strawberry freezer jam as I had berries to make.

I'm especially partial to freezer jam, in part I think because it's so easy to make, but also, since it isn't heat processed, when you thaw it and use it, it tastes just as fresh as the day you put it up.  When we were in Georgia, my husband picked buckets at a time of ripe blackberries that grew wild around his job site, and I made backberry freezer jam every year, as well as a couple of different kinds of blackberry pie.

My pectin product of choice is the Ball brand, for two reasons--one, it requires no cooking at all, and two, it uses more fruit and less sugar than some brands do for freezer jam.  You can buy it in envelopes or pouches, like I did when I made the blackberry jam, or in a little jar, like I used this time.

I had an especially hectic day the day I made this jam, and I had mixed results--mostly completely my fault, I'm convinced.  Here is the basic recipe, and I'll tell you what I did right, and what I did wrong.

  • 1 2/3 c mashed strawberries (not completely crushed, you want more fruit than juice so that the jam will have some body)
  • 2/3 c sugar or Splenda
  • 4 T Ball fruit pectin (or one small envelope)
Mix the sugar (or Splenda) and the pectin together in a bowl.  Add the fruit, and stir for about 3 minutes, or until the sugar and pectin are well dissolved.  Pour into jars or containers, and allow to set for 30 minutes.  Because this is not heat processed, you can use regular glass canning jars, specially made freezer jam jars, or even repurposed plastic or glass containers of your choice.  Once it's set, store in the fridge for immediate use, or freeze for use later.

I made one small low-sugar batch, using Splenda, which set with no problem.

Then I made a larger, slightly-more-than-doubled batch, which didn't set.  When I realized that this batch wasn't working, I went back over my math to be sure I figured everything right.  Then I dumped the jars all back into my bowl and added a little more sugar and pectin and stirred it all up. 

Still nothing. 

The directions do say not to try to make more than 6 jars at a time, or it may not "set", but I don't think that was the issue.  I think the problem was, instead of mashing the berries in small batches, say a cup at a time, I put the last batch in my big bowl and just went to town with a potato masher.  By this time I had made pies, jam, cleaned the kitchen several times, put away my freezer beef delivery, etc, and I was tired, and trying to hurry the process.  So I mashed and mashed, and I think I mashed too much, so that I had too much juice and not enough actual fruit in the last batch. 

So, my final tally, is 2 2/3 jars of low sugar strawberry jam, and 6 1/2 jars of sweetened mashed strawberries, that when, thawed, make a delicious strawberry syrup to pour over ice cream, or maybe even mix with pound cake and cool whip for a really juicy strawberry shortcake.  Or mix into cake and frosting to make a delcious strawberry cake.

At any rate, it will be eaten in some form or the other, and I have to say, it's not bad as peanut butter and jam, as long as you mix it into the peanut butter and not try to just spread it on the bread. 

I've had too much success with freezer jam to let this be a discouragement (although, I have to admit, I was pretty discouraged the day I made this!)

What success and failure have you had in the kitchen lately?

Until next time, good (no-cook) cooking, and good eating...

This post linked to:
Meatless Monday at My Sweet and Savory
Church Supper at Everyday Mom's Meals
Sweet and Savory Sunday at Cookin' for the Seven Dwarfs
Make, Bake, Create at Hope in Every Season
Back for Seconds


  1. I have failures when making jam too, Charlene. I think it's because there's so many variables in it. I always test it by putting a dab on a cold plate to see if it has set before canning it. If not it's a matter of cooking it longer. It will eventually set. Made strawberry-rhubarb jam on Saturday.

    PS: Te decluttering is coming along great. Today we did the attic. (I'm running out of rooms!)

    1. Maybe I should try cooking this and seeing what happens!