This recipe came my way in a graduate school culinary class. My professor, Chef Wai Chu, dedicated one class entirely to canning which I found endlessly fascinating, especially freezer jam. The benefits over regular jam are that it can skip the jar sealing process and use less sugar since you don’t have to worry about long-time storage. Of course, since you skip those two things, you have to store it in the freezer if you want it to last longer than a week. Hence, the name “freezer jam.” It’s a great way to be introduced to the jam making process if the rest of it seems overwhelming. Plus, you still get to enjoy the bounties of the berry harvest all year round!
Makes about 3 pints
- 4 ½ cups (900 grams) ripe strawberries, hulled and coarsely chopped
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped mint
- 1/2 – 3/4 cup (100 – 150 grams) granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup (84 grams) honey
- 3/4 cup (177 grams) water
- 1 tablespoon pectin, preferably Pomona’s Universal Pectin
- 4-8 teaspoons calcium water
Make the Jam:
- Place the strawberries into a bowl and use a potato masher or the side of a fork to mash the berries into a chunky paste. Add the mint, ½ cup sugar, and honey and stir until combined. Taste the mixture for sweetness and add more sugar if needed.
- Bring the water to a simmer in a small saucepan and then remove from heat. Sprinkle in the pectin and whisk until the mixture is thick and smooth. Add to the mashed fruit and mix well.
- Add 4 teaspoons of the calcium water and stir well. The mixture should jell into a sticky mass. If not, continue adding the calcium water, 1 teaspoon at a time, until the mixture thickens.
- Divide the jam among sterilized glass jars, cover and refrigerate or freeze. The mixture will last up to a week in the refrigerator. If frozen, it will last up to 6 months. Just thaw in the refrigerator before serving.