Method 1: Freezer Jam
This is a fast and easy way to make delicious jam to store in your freezer. To make this really inexpensive, look for strawberries in season, in farmers markets or at u-pick operations. This can also be made from frozen berries if those are on sale.
The ingredients: Strawberries (or other fruit), Sugar and Pectin. You need enough strawberries to have four cups of crushed strawberries. We picked a gallon bucket, and then ate strawberries out of it all weekend, and then I made jam from the rest.
You can pick up pectin in your local grocery store in the canning section. It's usually by the ketchup and salad dressing. I'm not quite sure why. The directions are on the back of the pectin, so it's really simple.
First, mix the pectin and the sugar together in a bowl until combined.
Then get to work on the strawberries. I let my faucet trickle so I can rinse the strawberries one at a time and then hull them (removed the tops). If they are large strawberries I slice them, if they are wee ones then I just toss them into the blender. After all, they are just going to be pureed. This is the most tedious part--listen to a podcast or something.
Puree your strawberries. If you like chunky jam, don't blend it quite as much. Make sure you have the right amount of crushed fruit it calls for. If after I blend my berries the mixture is under the 4 cup line, I just add more strawberries and blend again.
Add strawberries to pectin/sugar mixture and stir. My directions say to stir for three minutes. So set the timer and go.
An important component of jam making is the containers! The beauty of freezer jam is that since it's going in your freezer, you can put it in anything, it doesn't need to have a seal on it. I use yogurt, sour cream containers, old jars, and baby food jars for the jam I'm going to gift away.
Ladle the jam into your containers, label the contents and date, and set on your counter top for 30 minutes to set, or until the time indicated in your directions.
Freezer jam will last for up to 3 weeks in your fridge and 1 year in your freezer.
Stay tuned for later today when we will make traditional style strawberry jam...