Fresh, farm-ripe strawberry season is finally in full swing, even for us late-bloomers out here in the dreary Pacific Northwest!
In my house, that means freezer jam. Lots and lots of freezer jam, storing up the beautiful fresh berry harvest for the rest of the berry-less year.
Now, we definitely eat our fair share of the berries just as they are… fresh, sweet, juicy, red to the core and bursting with flavor. Sometimes the whole lot of it gets no farther than our mouths.
But we are so lucky to live close to a beautiful berry farm. We can pick berries to our hearts content (or buy 1/2 flats picked for us, which happens much more often!) until the season is done.
Strawberries come first, and then raspberries, blueberries and marionberries. All beautiful. All perfect. All my favorites!
There is just nothing more simple and pure to do with berries this perfect than making homemade freezer jam. You just can’t beat it, as long as you have access to really good fresh berries.
(I’m sorry, but store-bought conventional berries just aren’t going to give you great freezer jam. You’ll taste what’s lacking… Freezer jam is only as good as the berries that it’s made out of!)
Give this a try the next time you get a chance to go berry-picking. Or knock on my door and I just might be willing to part with a pint or two!
Strawberry Freezer Jam
adapted from Ball
makes 3 pints (or about 6 cups!)
5 cups smashed strawberries* (from about 1/2 flat or 4 pounds berries)
2 cups sugar
6 tablespoons instant pectin
Wash and dry your freezer-safe containers.
*The easiest way to smashed fruit, after you have rinsed, dried and hulled: Place in a large bowl and gently smash with a potato masher until mostly smashed with lots of small chunks of berries still visible. Measure out from this bowl… you will likely have a tiny bit extra. (Or if you have snacked on the berries a bit, just the perfect amount!)
In a large bowl, whisk together the sugar and instant pectin until combined. Measure in the 5 cups of berries, stir to combine and then continue stirring for 3 minutes.
Pour the jam into your clean, dry containers, leaving 1/2″ of headspace to allow for expansion in the freezer. Cover and let sit on the counter for 30 minutes or so before transferring to the freezer.
Store in the freezer for up to a year. Once you open one and put it in the fridge, try to use it up within 3 weeks (like that’s ever a problem!).
Enjoy on your toast, crackers, or stirred into your favorite plain yogurt with some granola on top!