strawberry jam

Sometimes, you are meant to do something.

In this case, I was meant to have strawberries.

A lot of strawberries.

At one point, I had 12 containers of strawberries in my fridge.  For $1.50 a container, how could I pass it up?  They are my favorite fruit after all.  Ariana and Harper (and baby!) love them almost as much as I do.

But what to do with dozens upon dozens of strawberries?  Freeze some sliced berries (for use in oatmeal) + make jam of course!

This is my pectin-free freezer jam method… I’m sure there are dozens of better recipes, but I am pretty darn happy with my way.

1.  Buy a bunch of strawberries (it honestly doesn’t matter how many containers-worth you have).

2. If you’re saving some for other uses, sort the berries into two bowls- one for good berries, one for slightly mushy/ ugly berries.  I use basically all berries unless they are moldy.

3.  Thoroughly wash berries and remove caps.

4. If desired, slice berries into smaller chunks.  In the above picture, the bowl on the left are my berries-to-freeze.  The bowl on the right is my soon-to-be-jam berries.

5. Sugar those jam berries!  I sprinkle some sugar on (maybe 1/4 of a cup), stir carefully, then re-sugar (another 1/4c), stir and if needed, I add a little more.

6.  Stick the bowl of berries in the fridge for a couple of hours or overnight to let the sugar absorb and let the juices start to release from the berries.  I don’t bother covering them, but you can I’m sure.

7.  Pull the berries out of the fridge and toss em in a saucepan or stockpot.  I use a stock pot because I think it’s easier.  If you like really sweet jam, add another 1/4c sugar now (I didn’t for this batch because the berries were sweet to begin with).

8. Cook, cook, cook the berries!  I turned the burner on medium heat and let the berries cook, stirring often, until they boiled a little.  Then I turned the burner down and cooked them (stirring occasionally) for 20 minutes or so.  I like chunky jam, but if you’d like, you can mash the berries down as they cook.  When the berries thicken to your liking, they are pretty much done!

9.  Ladle into ramekins or other freezer-safe containers (I’m too cheap frugal to buy real freezer jars), leaving 1/2 to 1/4 inch head space.  Let cool on the counter, uncovered, for a few hours.  Transfer to fridge to cool completely, then move into freezer.  Voila!


And on homemade bagels with a little cream cheese?  Ohh yes.  Check out those berries!

And of course, they are taste-tester approved!


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