Monday, August 1, 2011

Jam: Step-by-Photo-Step

So here's the deal with jam: I know a lot of people are hesitant to make freezer jam because they think it must somehow be "less" than regular jam because it is so quick and easy. But actually, I prefer the taste of freezer jam to regular jam--because you don't actually cook the fruit when making freezer jam, it retains most of its original taste. This means that when you pull out a jar of strawberry freezer jam in the middle of December, it tastes just like the fresh strawberries you get in the summertime. In other words, you'll want to eat the jam with a spoon.

I also like freezer jam because it calls for MUCH LESS sugar than traditional jam (1.5 cups with freezer jam compared to 4 or more cups with traditional jam). So, without further adieu, here's how to make freezer jam in 6 simple steps:

Step One: Gather your materials

You'll need 3-5 pounds of the fruit of your choice, 1.5 cups white sugar, one package of Instant Fruit Pectin (note: lately, I've only been seeing the packets that make 2 jars in the canning isle--make sure you get the packet that makes about 5 half pint jars, which you may have to go to the gelatin isle to find), and some freezer safe canning jars. Some glass jars are freezer safe, but not all. So, if you're in doubt, I'd pick up a few packages of the plastic freezer jam jars. Just FYI, I have always gotten more than 5 jars worth of jam, so you may want to consider buying an extra package of jars.

Step Two: Mash your fruit

Use a spoon or a potato masher to mash your fruit up, while leaving a few chunks. I know some people use a food processor, but I don't recommend it--using a food processor can break down the natural pectin in the fruit, which can prevent it from setting up like jam. Anyway, you'll need almost exactly four cups of mashed up fruit.


Step Three: Combine the sugar and pectin

Pretty self-explanatory. Stir the sugar and packet of pectin together in a large bowl.

Step Four: Add the fruit

Add the fruit to the sugar/pectin mix, and stir for three minutes. No cheating on the time!

Step Five: Ladle into jars

I got this neat little funnel for less than $2 in the canning isle, and it was money well spent. I use it all the time to help ladle jam into the jars with very little mess. Most of the plastic jam jars have a fill-to line, but just use your common sense and remember that jam expands when frozen.

Step Six: Wait

Once the jam is in the jars and the lids are screwed on tight, let it sit out on the counter according to your brand of pectin's instructions (for the Ball Instant Pectin, that's half an hour). Then pop a jar in your fridge and the rest in your freezer--it keeps about three weeks in the fridge and up to a year in the freezer. 

Seriously guys, it is SO easy to make freezer jam and SO worth it. Trust me, and please give it a shot! If you do try it, I'd love to hear how it went! 


  1. SO easy! I'm going to make some next time I go to the grocery store! Now, if I could just make some room in the freezer...

  2. Oh my! This looks sooo easy to make! Why haven't I tried this before?!

  3. Yummm! I am adding this to my "to do" list!

  4. I remembered your tutorial from last summer, so I just used it today! It was so easy! The hardest part was finding the right kind of pectin around here. Thanks!


Thanks for visiting La Buena Vida and taking the time to leave a comment--I love hearing from you!

Please know that you do not need to agree with me in order to leave a comment! All comments that are respectful and not anonymous will be published. Thanks again for visiting!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Blog Archive


Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.