Jen’s Honey Strawberry Freezer Jam
I’ve known Jen since we were pregnant with our almost 5-year-olds. She is the crock-pot recipe queen to me, and a very dear friend. I often wished we lived closer than the few hundred miles that separate us, because seeing her a few times a year just isn’t enough.
Here is her first recipe for our blog – but I hope it won’t be her last. I intend to talk her into a regular crockpot column here at Hallee the Homemaker!
Jen’s Honey Strawberry Freezer Jam
The other day I took my three boys to a local fruit and berry patch to do some strawberry picking. We had a great time and the boys ate probably as many as they picked. While they ate their lunch in the shade of the car, I went and filled up a couple of our buckets. One of the owners stuck up a conversation with me and I commented on how I needed to learn how to make jelly. He informed me that it was quite easy to make no-cook freezer jam and that they sold the pectin there. I was excited to try it out. The idea of standing over a stove in 85 degree weather was not appealing to me. And let’s face it, although I strive to provide my family healthy food, I can be a bit on the lazy side. Another advantage to the pectin they sell (with a calcium powder) is that you can use low sugar, fake sugar, honey, or no sugar at all.
4 cups of mashed strawberries
½ cup honey
¾ cup water
3 tsp pectin powder
4 tsp calcium water
sharp knife or chopper & cutting board OR food processor
2 pint mason jars
Wash and sterilize your mason jars and lids.
We got home and I quickly inspected the package of pectin and the instructions.
Inside is one package of pectin (gray powder) and a small package which contains calcium (white powder). I made the calcium solution which is ½ tsp of the calcium powder mixed with ½ cup water and stored it in a small plastic container. You can store it in your fridge for a number of months. If it discolors or molds, then you know it’s time to toss it.
I then proceeded to cut and wash all the strawberries. This was probably the most labor intensive of all the steps because of the volume of strawberries we had! I was left with a huge bowl full. I sorted some out to freeze for later use.
I mashed up some strawberries in my chopper (which worked great). If you have a food processor, then I would use that. You want to end up with 4 cups of mashed up strawberries. I poured them into a bowl and added a bit of lemon juice, which is optional.
Next, I added ½ cup honey (if using sugar add ¾ – 2cups, depending on your taste). Now you will take ¾ cup water and boil it (I used my microwave). Put the boiled water in a blender and add 3 tsp of the pectin powder. Vent the lid and blend about 1-2 minutes, until all the powder is dissolved. Pour the hot liquid in with the fruit and stir until well mixed.
Now you will need that calcium/water mixture that you made earlier. Add 4 tsp of the calcium water and stir well. Jell should appear. If not, continue to add 1 tsp of calcium water and stir until jell appears. I think I ended up adding 10 tsp total. I then noticed that the strawberry mixture started to jiggle when I lightly moved the spatula in it. I filled 2 ball jars and attached the lids. I then put them in the freezer overnight. This morning I pulled one out and put it in the fridge so we could try it out later. It will last about a week in the fridge but if you go thru as much jam as we do, it probably won’t make it that long!
When we got home from errands today, it was time to make lunch and I was happy to see that the jam was not frozen. The end result was an amazing jam sweetened with honey. Quite possibly the best jam I have ever had. My younger two boys enjoyed it on homemade dill bread (made in my bread maker). The four year old requested seconds so I take that as his seal of approval!
|Very low in saturated fat
Very high in vitamin C
Very low in sodium
High in calcium
High in manganese
I was impressed by how easy it was to make jam. Next time I will have my oldest and/or middle son help me make it. I look forward to going back to the fruit and berry patch and not only making more jam, but making more memories with my boys.
I would love to hear any feedback about this recipe. Did you make it? Did you enjoy it? Did you make any adjustments to it?
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