When I was a kid, canning season started early and lasted all summer long. My mom never bought something she could make herself, and so, starting with June’s strawberry crop, our kitchen always seemed to be full of jars cooling and piles of fruits and veggies waiting to be preserved.
Strawberry jam is one of my favorites, but with only two of us in our household, it just doesn’t seem worth it to invest in all the necessary canning supplies and equipment. Instead, I fall back on the easiest way to preserve the flavors of summer – freezer jam. This can be made in relatively small batches, in less than an hour, and is easy enough for just about anyone.
This year, I decided to add an extra kick to my strawberry jam by adding extra lemon. The result is a sweet-tart treat perfect over ice cream, shortcake, or on your breakfast toast. You can get the complete strawberry freezer jam recipe on the Sure Jell website, but here are the basic steps including my lemon modifications.
Strawberry Lemonade Freezer Jam Ingredients
- 2 cups crushed strawberries (about 1 qt. whole berries)
- 1 lemon, juice and zest
- 4 cups sugar (exactly – do not modify)
- 3/4 cup water
- 1 package Sure Jell pectin
Freezer Jam Instructions
- After crushing berries (a potato masher is great for this), add the juice of the lemon. Also add two tablespoons of lemon zest from the skin.
- Stir in all the sugar and allow to sit for 10 minutes. (Do no modify the amount of sugar. If you require a low-sugar recipe, see this link.)
- While the berries and sugar sit, combine Sure Jell and water in a small saucepan. Cook over high heat, stirring continuously, until it comes to a rolling boil. Set a timer and cook for one more minute, continuing to stir.
- Add pectin mixture to berries mixture, and stir well until the sugar is mostly dissolved (usually about 90 seconds for me).
- Pour into prepared freezer-safe containers. I like to use glass 2-cup containers, but there are plenty of options. Just be sure they can handle the freezer. Remember not to fill them completely to the top, as the liquid will expand when it freezes.
- Allow to cool. The jam will set fairly quickly – you’ll be able to tell if you jiggle the container.
- When completely cool, put the lids on the jars and place in the freezer. The jam is ready to eat immediately, though, so you might want to leave a container in the fridge to enjoy right away!
Do you make freezer jam? What interesting varieties have you tried? Tell us in the comments!