I would normally wait to share this recipe with you until the fall, but strawberry season is in full swing and I am taking full advantage. Whenever we get to the bottom of our clam shell there are always a few strawberries that are starting to look a decrepit and nobody wants to eat them. I chop the tops off and throw them in a freezer baggie and when I have enough strawberries, I make jam!
I’ve tried freezer jam using all different kinds of pectin. One time I bought some pectin from a brand I was otherwise impressed with. I had the jam all ready to smoother on a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. When I opened up my container of freshly made jam my husband and I looked at it and said at the same time, “It looks like brains.” And it was pretty tasteless. I’ve found MCP to be my favorite pectin. (I am not being paid to say that, but if you’re out there, MCP, I take checks, paypal, or cash.)
The one thing I find a little intimidating is the recipe that comes with the pectin. Making freezer jam is not that complicated, but there is so much information on this slip of paper, it is overwhelming just looking at it. I finally kept one copy, tore off information I didn’t need, and highlighted all over it. This is my well loved jam recipe.
In a large bowl, measure 3 1/4 cups chopped strawberries. (If you are using strawberries that have been frozen and thawed, don’t include too much juice.) Then mash ’em up. You can use either a potato masher or an immersion blender. The immersion blender works very fast. Be careful not to completely puree the strawberries, unless you like it really smooth. Add the lemon juice and stir it in.
Set the bowl aside for 30 minutes. Give it stir every 5 minutes to make sure the pectin is completely dissolved. There’s a lot of down time here. Have a little dance party, sweep your floor, wipe the counters. Your kitchen will be crystal clean at the end of the 30 minutes!
After the 30 minutes are up, add in the corn syrup.
Lastly, gradually stir in the sugar. Stir and stir and stir some more. You’ll be getting your arm work out in for the day. Stir the jam until all the sugar has dissolved. You can give it a quick test by rubbing the back of the spoon against the side of the bowl. If it feels gritty, keep going.
My favorite containers are Stor Keeper Containers. They are extremely durable and specially made to store frozen food. Freezer burned jam, anyone? I don’t think so. Or you can put some jam into a cute little mason jar, but there’s no need to can this jam in a water bath, just keep it cold.
- 3 1/2 cups strawberries, chopped
- 1/4 cup lemon juice
- 1 packet MCP pectin
- 1 cup corn syrup
- 4 1/2 cups sugar
- Place strawberries in a large bowl. Mash strawberries with a potato masher until slightly chunky. (You can also use an immersion blender. Just a1-2 pulses on all sides of the bowl will do.)
- Pour lemon juice on top of the strawberries and stir.
- Slowly stir in pectin until all the pectin is dissolved. (I found that if you do a little bit at a time it is much easier to get all the pectin dissolved. If you dump it in all at once, you will be finding lumps forever.)
- Set aside the strawberry mixture for 30 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes to insure all the pectin is dissolved.
- At the end of the 30 minutes, add corn syrup and stir in.
- Add sugar and stir until all the sugar is dissolved and the mixture is no longer grainy. This will take a while, just keep going.
- Place jam into freezer friendly containers, cover with a lid and let stand 24 hours to thicken.
Special Equipment I mentioned in this post.
* This post contains affiliate links, which means I receive an extremely small commission if you make a purchase using one of these links.