How to Make Freezer Jams – We’re Jammin’ Now!

How to Make Freezer Jams – We’re Jammin’ Now!

I am in total disbelief that it is Friday again. Wow! I am not a big fan of releasing posts on Friday because I realize that although I may not have a life, many of you do and do not spend as much time on the computer as I do once the weekend rolls around. But, here I am writing this anyway since I goofed I was too busy to get this done yesterday!

This article, however, might just make your weekend because it is all about making one of the easiest home canning items that you can possibly imagine…freezer jams! I know you will want this incredibly valuable information before all of these wonderful fruits are gone this Summer. So, I say get to reading and then head off to the Farmers’ Market, stop by Walmart and get yourself some canning supplies and get jammin’ (thanks, Bob Marley!) in your kitchen this weekend!

Just in case you are not familiar with freezer jams, these jams are prepared by mixing fresh fruit with sugar and pectin. Depending on the type of fruit and the brand of pectin, you may or may not need to cook it for a few minutes. You then fill your jars (no sterilizing needed) and pop the jars full of your homemade jam into your freezer and it will last for one year! To quote Ina Garten, “How easy is that?”.

Blueberries from River Road Farms. Yummy!

You might remember my Strawberry Freezer Jam from May (and if not, you can click on the link). That was Mr. Bunkycooks favorite back then because it tasted just like a fresh strawberry (and of course, we can now not purchase any strawberry jam at the store because homemade is so much better and tastes like real fruit)! Then came the blueberry freezer jam made by yours truly, the blueberry thief from berries picked at River Road Farms. Suddenly, this was the new favorite of Mr. Bunkycooks and nothing would do but putting up more blueberry jam in the freezer!

Naturally, I couldn’t stop there, so I made blackberry jam too (also from fresh berries at River Road Farms). This particular one was a bit sweeter (they were really sweet blackberries!) and Mr. Bunkycooks is not a fan of the seeds (even though I strained some), so this was third in the food chain as far as jam rankings go at the Bunkycooks house.

Well, sakes alive! I did not stop at the blackberries and thank goodness I didn’t because I have finally hit the perfect and most incredibly delicious freezer jam! It is fresh South Carolina Peach Freezer Jam! If you want to think you are eating a fresh Summer peach come February when you are freezing your butt off it is snowing outside, you need to get going and make this jam this weekend!

I will tell you what I have found out about this whole jammin’ thing after making about 100 jars of several varieties this Summer!

Blueberry Freezer Jam in a Cool Photo!

First of all, there are several brands of pectin and I have purchased three of them. The first one I bought and actually did not use was the yellow box of Sure-Jell Pectin. This one is good for making cooked jam and jellies that you need to can the proper way with a canner. It can also be used for freezer jams, but requires between four to seven cups of sugar per batch (depending on the fruit). That’s enough sugar to put oneself into a coma, so I did not use that stuff.

I then purchased the pink box of Sure-Jell Pectin, which is what I used to make strawberry, blueberry and blackberry jams. This jam is for us normal folks who do not like and do not need the over the top sugar taste. You can also use a sugar substitute (like Splenda) when using this pectin. Again, this pectin will work for the troublesome more time consuming cooked jams and jellies or freezer jam. The recipes (that come in the little pink box) require between two and a half cups to three cups of sugar to make jam! That’s waaay less sugar and jam made with this pectin has a lovely fresh fruit taste!

We really enjoy the flavor of the fruit, so this was my choice for all of my jams until I tried the Ball Instant Fruit Pectin (the little green bag)! This pectin is used just for making freezer jams and it only requires one and a half cups of sugar! And when faced with twenty-five pounds of peaches to put up and can, that would be a whole lotta sugar if I were using the other pectin! Besides that, this really is our favorite (just because it’s the latest in the jam expedition…). This jam tastes just like a fresh, local, juicy Summer peach plopped right down on a big ole hunk of buttered toast! It doesn’t get much better than that (or else I have totally lost touch with reality!).

Blackberry Freezer Jam in a Row!

Although freezer jams do not require the same cumbersome steps and sterilization methods as regular jams, I still would suggest that you wash your cute little crystal quilted 8-ounce Ball freezer jam jars in either hot soapy water or your dishwasher right before using them. Be sure to also wash the lids and rims in hot soapy water and dry them right before using. You cannot re-use the lids again as the seal will not work the second time around, but of course, they sell packages of replacement lids.

Just in case you don’t know, do not use any fruit that has been compromised in any way (like little critters nibbling on your fruit while on the tree). It is not worth the risk of contamination just to save a peach or two. Of course, I don’t have fruit trees to have critters nibbling at my fruit, but I thought I would mention that since some of you do!

Here is a recipe for the Bunkycooks latest and new favorite – South Carolina Peach Freezer Jam! Just so you know, there is one added step in this recipe that used to be on the little green bag of Ball’s Instant Fruit Pectin. They removed this step on the newer bags, but I say do it. Bring the peaches to a boil first (and this only applies to peaches). It will make your jam set up thicker. Now you be jammin’ mon! Have great weekend!

Blackberry Jam on toast. There is nothing better than homemade jam!

South Carolina Peach Freezer Jam

Makes 5 to 6 8-ounce jars

Ingredients:

4 cups of ripe, fresh crushed peaches (that have been peeled and pitted)
1 1/2 cups of granulated sugar
3 tablespoons fresh squeezed lemon juice
1 package (1.59 ounces) of Ball Instant Fruit Pectin

Directions:

Bring your peaches to a boil in a medium saucepan. Stir in sugar and lemon juice. Let this mixture sit for 10 minutes.

Gradually stir in bag of pectin (be sure not to get clumps). Once the pectin is combined, stir the mixture constantly for three minutes. Ladle into clean jam jars, seal with lids and rims. Let stand for 30 minutes.

You can enjoy immediately or place in the freezer. The jam will be good for a couple of weeks in the refrigerator (if it lasts that long!) or it will last up to one year in the freezer.

84 Responses to “How to Make Freezer Jams – We’re Jammin’ Now!”

  1. 1

    MaryMoh — August 20, 2010 @ 2:30 pm

    Thanks very much for sharing this lovely recipe. I love peaches. Hope to try out one day. I wonder whether I need to put into the freezer…will finish too quickly :D

    • bunkycooks replied: — August 20th, 2010 @ 6:18 pm

      Hi Mary,

      You will finish it quickly! Our jars barely last a week, so if you want some for later on, freeze it right away! :)

      Gwen

  2. 2

    5 Star Foodie — August 20, 2010 @ 4:54 pm

    Thanks for sharing this – I definitely would love to make some of those freezer jams. Love the shot of the blueberry ones!

    • bunkycooks replied: — August 20th, 2010 @ 6:19 pm

      Thank you, Natasha! These jams are so much easier than the ones that you have to process with traditional canning methods. It really is worth giving a try!

  3. 3

    Marie — August 20, 2010 @ 5:16 pm

    Perfect timing — I JUST bought 5 lbs of wild Maine blueberries and was wondering how to make freezer jam. Thanks!

    • bunkycooks replied: — August 20th, 2010 @ 6:19 pm

      Hi Marie,

      Sounds like you now have weekend plans! ;)

      Gwen

      • Marie replied: — August 21st, 2010 @ 4:56 pm

        So true! But Tiron wanted to fly today. We flew to a little airport….that had a farmer’s market on site, with fresh peaches! So, adding to the blueberries, I now have lovely peaches (inspired by your post).
        We stopped at the store on the way home to get pectin (thanks for emphasizing GREEN so I could remember which to get). I just realized that I need more jars, so I’ll go out again later.
        Love your pictures.

  4. 4

    Magic of Spice — August 20, 2010 @ 6:43 pm

    Wow, and no I had never heard of this process…Great information, and the jam sounds delicious :)

  5. 5

    redkathy — August 20, 2010 @ 7:57 pm

    Funny you ended up liking the Ball brand. My aunt and grandma used nothing else even if they were old timers canning the long, hard way. I have yet to try my hand at it, shame on me! Loved our tours and this jammin’ post too! Have a great weekend.

    • bunkycooks replied: — August 23rd, 2010 @ 7:41 am

      Kathy,

      You do need to try this. It’s so easy. I made more yesterday. I may never have to purchase jam again! That Ball pectin won’t work for everything, but when I can use it, I do because I can use less sugar.

      Gwen

  6. 6

    Monet — August 20, 2010 @ 11:17 pm

    I was singing Bob Marley as I read through your post :-). This is a great idea that I’ve never heard of. I’m always too lazy to jar jam the traditional way, and I always regret not doing it when fall and winter roll around. I’m going to the farmer’s market tomorrow where I hope to pick up some peaches. Thank you for sharing!

    • bunkycooks replied: — August 23rd, 2010 @ 7:42 am

      Hi Monet,

      That song is addictive! :) I hope you try freezer jams. They taste fresher than a regular jam, too.

      Gwen

  7. 7

    Suzanne — August 20, 2010 @ 11:49 pm

    Lovely, Lovely pictures as usual. I love making jam and canning things. I hope to get some peaches tomorrow at a farmers market here and I will try your freezer jam out!

    • bunkycooks replied: — August 23rd, 2010 @ 7:43 am

      HI Suzanne,

      Canning in fun. I have really gotten into it this year. I almost wouldn’t call this canning, since it’s so much easier!

      Gwen

  8. 8

    Liren — August 21, 2010 @ 2:28 am

    Lovely! There’s nothing prettier than beautiful jam jars! I’ve only done the regular jamming method, but I think you’ve convinced me to try the freezer method. It does seem so much easier. I just need to check if I have room in the freezer…

    • bunkycooks replied: — August 23rd, 2010 @ 7:43 am

      HI Liren,

      Freezer space can be an issue, but these jars aren’t too big, so hopefully, you will find a corner to sneak them into!

      Gwen

  9. 9

    sippitysup — August 21, 2010 @ 6:04 am

    A finally Georgia peaches! GREG

  10. 10

    penny aka jeroxie — August 21, 2010 @ 6:25 am

    beautiful photos!

  11. 11

    Lenny — August 21, 2010 @ 7:59 am

    Ok, so now we have an easy way to use our berries. We have always made our jams and preserves for market, now we can make some for ourselves. Maybe I better go pick some before they are all gone for the season! Thanks

    • bunkycooks replied: — August 23rd, 2010 @ 7:44 am

      Hi Lenny,

      This is a great way to use those berries! Your berries are in those jars in the photo! :)

      Gwen

  12. 12

    marla {family fresh cooking} — August 21, 2010 @ 12:09 pm

    Thanks for tips on freezer jam. This post is one I will come back to regularly. The Friday posting thing: I am a Tuesday-Friday poster. Just works for my life right now. The folks that miss the weekends all show up on Monday :) xxoo

    • bunkycooks replied: — August 23rd, 2010 @ 7:46 am

      Hi Marla,

      I hope you do use the recipe. Thanks for your message about posting days. Looks like I may be on that rotation again this week, thanks to Daring Bakers. We’ll see how it works!

      Gwen

  13. 13

    SMITH BITES — August 21, 2010 @ 5:38 pm

    I used to make freezer jam every summer but haven’t now for quite some time; it’s by far the best way to make jam (IMHO) – you’re left with a fresher tasting jam because it’s not cooked down AND as you said, you can control how much sugar you add to each batch. Lovely photos too Gwen!

    • bunkycooks replied: — August 23rd, 2010 @ 7:47 am

      Debra,

      It does taste fresher and more like the actual fruit. I like that and the fact there’s far less sugar. Thanks for the comment.

      Gwen

  14. 14

    Drick — August 21, 2010 @ 7:45 pm

    wow, who couldn’t love easy…never made a freezer jam, always did the canning method… what a great way and recipe

  15. 15

    Chef Dennis — August 21, 2010 @ 11:06 pm

    freezer jams sound so much easier to make, I would love to put up some of our great peaches….thanks so much for sharing !

  16. 16

    Kim at Rustic Garden Bistro — August 22, 2010 @ 12:23 am

    Alright, SOLD! Going to see if I can make a run to the farmers’ market tomorrow morning to jam some peaches. :-) Then I’ll also be jammin’!!

    [K]

  17. 17

    Cookin' Canuck — August 22, 2010 @ 11:08 am

    As I completely intimidated by the sterilization and sealing process, these freezer jams are right up my alley. I will definitely be trying this with some fresh peaches I got at the market this week.

  18. 18

    The Mom Chef — August 22, 2010 @ 9:23 pm

    I don’t make freezer jams simply because I don’t have enough room in my freezer to keep them. Once we get one of those basement freezers that works for body disposal and containment as well, I’ll start in on them. Until then, I’m not scared of the sterilization process so I’ll just continue with that. I do love that double color photo of the jelly. Very beautiful.

    • bunkycooks replied: — August 23rd, 2010 @ 10:24 pm

      LOL! I don’t know if I should laugh or run away! You are a hoot.

      Forget about the dead people and just preserve the produce when/if you get one of those freezers! ;)

  19. 19

    Debbie — August 23, 2010 @ 11:50 am

    Thanks for sharing this, I have never made jam before and always thought I would have too much jam around. The though of freezing it for the holidays sounds like a great idea!

  20. 20

    Cristina — August 23, 2010 @ 1:45 pm

    This is such a timely and informative post. You are a very productive person! I didn’t realize there were different type of pectin for different methods. I’m going to try my first time making jam using figs…I definitely have more homework to do! ;) Thank you for a great post and the inspiration.

  21. 21

    Evan@sweets — August 23, 2010 @ 8:41 pm

    I just bought all the goods to make some jams! I’m so excited.. as soon as MountainMan is out of the kitchen its jaaammmmin time!

  22. 22

    denise @ quickies on the dinner table — August 24, 2010 @ 11:26 am

    The jars of blueberry jam look gorgeous! I haven’t yet got around to trying freezer jam – so used to boiling away the fruit that it scares me a bit to cook them so briefly! I have to get up the nerve to try this though – the jams look so vibrantly fresh and I bet they taste wonderful too!

  23. 23

    BAM — August 24, 2010 @ 8:45 pm

    Liked your article. I make lots of jam, cooked, traditional freezer etc. Just tried this low sugar pectin for the first time this year. Like the low sugar content and fruit taste to the jam. Strawberry jam was fine. Blackberry and raspberry were runny and so was the peach. We will try heating the peaches. Any idea why we are having trouble with the consistency? Sounds like you have lots of experience with the product.

    Thanks much!

    • bunkycooks replied: — August 24th, 2010 @ 9:10 pm

      Hi,

      Thank you for your comment. I used the pink Sure-Jell to make my strawberry, blueberry and blackberry jams. They are not runny, but they are softer jams. I followed the directions and had great success. They are “jelled” and we really enjoy them. I then found the Ball Instant Pectin while purchasing more jars more canning supplies and then made the peach jam. I have made at least 5 batches (and am about to make more). I have found it to be as firm as the other jams. I did bring my peaches to a boil before adding them to other ingredients. Much of this has to do with reducing the liquids in the fruit.

      I have to say (and probably need to add this to my post) that this is all about a chemical reaction between the fruit, sugar, pectin and any other ingredients (like lemon juice). I have had a number of people contact me and just so everyone knows, that this is not a recipe to play with. You need to use fresh fruit (not over-ripe), the exact amount of sugar and cook it (or not, depending on the pectin) and depending on the recipe.

      The directions do say not to change the amount of sugar, etc. If you make any changes, then you may experience a difference in the texture. I also have to say to everyone that you will not get a “store bought” jelly or jam texture from a homemade version, especially when it contains so much less sugar.

      I hope that answered lots of questions. If not, please contact me.

  24. 24

    Eileen — August 28, 2010 @ 8:13 pm

    I love making freezer jams. I went a bit beyond this summer and made cooked jam. It wasn’t as easy but I’m out of freezer space! Your blueberry jam photo’s are beautiful!

  25. 25

    Brittany — August 29, 2010 @ 8:43 pm

    This sounds amazing…I am so tempted to go buy some peaches right now and make this! Do you think pears would work well? My parents and my aunt both have a pear tree that produce a ridiculous amount of pears! My dad’s been canning them (i took a couple cans home with me and they are delicious) and I was thinking of passing this recipe along to him to try. I think it’d come out delish! I’m just wondering if anything might need to change due to pears having different texture, water content…etc…

    I’d love to have your input and thanks for the great recipe!

  26. 26

    Sherri — September 11, 2010 @ 8:36 am

    I started with strawberry…also made black sweet cherry…then blueberry and now peach…the instant pectin worked great except for the peach…I did boil the peaches first and followed the directions exactly…the peach didn’t set up…any suggestions as to why?…would sure like to try again but don’t want to end up with any more syrup…some one suggested adding a bit more pectin but couldn’t tell me how much…hope you can help.

  27. 27

    Sherri — September 11, 2010 @ 10:26 am

    Really hope someone can help with the problem of getting the peach freezer jam to set up. I would like to try again. Thanks…Sherri

    • bunkycooks replied: — September 11th, 2010 @ 9:54 pm

      Hi Sherri,

      One of the reasons you may be having a problem with the jam setting setting up properly is that the fruit you used was overripe or if you cut the amount of sugar at all, it will not set up. Maybe cut back on the amount of liquid in the peaches (drain them first). As you probably know, freezer jams are not very firm and can take up to two weeks to jell properly. Peach jam can be more of a problem than other jams. Here is a link that might help you http://allrecipes.com//HowTo/freezer-jam/Detail.aspx. If your jam does not set up properly, you can also cook it again. I would wait to see if you jam sets up over a week or two and then freeze it. It will hold a few weeks before you need to freeze it, so give it a chance to jell on its own.

      I hope that helps!

      Gwen

  28. 28

    Chris — September 14, 2010 @ 7:38 pm

    Hello, I recently bought the “green bag” of Instant Fruit Pectin, but did not read that it was for freezing jam. So, I mixed up the sugar, pectin and lemon juice in a bowl, then I added it gradually to the peaches and stirred it for 3 minutes. I ladled it into jars, and put lids on them. I did not put in the freezer right away and did not put in the refrigerator either, until 1-2 days later when I was re-reading the directions. Is it still going to be safe/okay to eat? Can I still put them in the freezer? (It did not set up very well either, runny. Can I cook it on the stove and add a little more pectin/sugar, to thicken it up? Any help would be really appreciated. I would hate to have to throw it out, as the jar we opened first and referigerated really tasted good, but just was a little runny. Thanks Again!

    • bunkycooks replied: — September 14th, 2010 @ 7:51 pm

      Hi Chris,

      Not to worry! If it has only been a day or two, that is fine. The freezer jams also thicken over time, so it could take a week or more to thicken. They are softer than regular jams, so they will never jell completely. Next time, bring the peaches to a boil and then mix with the other ingredients. It seems to thicken better when you do that extra step. For now, though, go ahead and pour the jam into a saucepan and bring it to a boil. It will get thicker as it cools. Place it in clean jars with clean lids and then you can freeze the jam or keep it in the fridge for several weeks.

      Definitely don’t waste it, it will be fine as long as it’s only been a couple of days at room temperature. Hope that helps!

      Gwen

      • Chris replied: — September 17th, 2010 @ 8:24 pm

        Thank you very much for getting back to me, I REALLY APPRECIATE ! I have never really done much canning, just learning yet. Have an awesome weekend!
        Chris

  29. 29

    Christine — July 24, 2011 @ 4:53 pm

    I picked this recipe for my first try at jam making,but I became just a little confused. Your directions didn’t include how much water to use. Can you clear that up, please?

    • Gwen replied: — July 24th, 2011 @ 5:04 pm

      Hi Christine,

      There is no water in the recipe. You bring the mashed peaches to a boil in the pan without water. You then add the sugar and lemon juice and then the pectin, as directed. It’s really simple and the recipe just has 4 ingredients. I hope that helps! Good luck. The Peach Freezer Jam is one of our favorites. :)

      Gwen

  30. 30

    Suzanne — July 25, 2011 @ 12:50 am

    Do I have to process the jars in a canner to make this jam, or just put the jam into clean jars and freeze? Also, can I use plastic containers with lids, (such as margarine containers) to put the jam in? I really want to try this on my home baked bread! My in-laws are going to be visiting soon from the Maritimes.

    • Gwen replied: — July 25th, 2011 @ 8:09 am

      Hi Suzanne,

      You do not have to process these jams. They are incredibly easy to make and require less sugar, so I actually prefer making them to regular jams and jellies. I wash my jars in the dishwasher and the lids in hot soapy water (dry them, of course) before filling. Be sure they are freezer safe jars. Ball (the canning company) makes them. I prefer using glass over plastic. I’m not sure how well the jams would hold up in the type of plastic container you are asking about. Plastic is not as safe for food storage and they might crack when frozen. The jam in glass jars will last for a year in your freezer when prepared properly.

      Remember that they will be a softer set jam than a regular jam because they are not cooked and there is less sugar. They will set up a bit more after they sit, but they are a different consistency than a regular jarred jam. They really taste like fresh fruit and are not so sweet.

      I hope that helps. Good luck and let me know how your jams turn out!

      Gwen

  31. 31

    C.C — August 18, 2011 @ 11:47 am

    None of my packets are 1.59. I do have the container of pectin, how much do i use for 4cups of peaches?

    • Gwen replied: — August 18th, 2011 @ 3:54 pm

      Hi there,

      Each pectin is different. They are many types (liquid and several types of powders). Depending on the pectin, you will need to use varying amounts of pectin and sugar for your jams. This recipe call for Instant Fruit Pectin which requires 4 cups of peaches and less sugar than many other recipes (1 1/2 cups). If you have the pectin from Ball that comes in the round plastic container, you should follow the directions on that container. I believe it is a little bit different from the Instant Fruit Pectin that comes in the 1.59 ounce package. It should tell you how many tablespoons or cup measurement to use with 4 cups of fruit. Good luck!!

      Gwen

  32. 32

    Michelle — August 20, 2011 @ 4:07 pm

    I have been making strawberry freezer for a year or so using packets that I found at a local hardware store. This year I found the same pectin…the Ball real fruit instant in a jar and cheaper too. I love the jam. I do have a question though, can this only be used for fruit jam? I was wondering if it could also be used for making jalapeno pepper jam as I found some recipies for making it for the freezer too.

    • Gwen replied: — August 20th, 2011 @ 4:19 pm

      Hi Michelle,

      I would follow the recipe you have for the jalapeno pepper jam. Each pectin is different and will require a different amount of sugar. I checked the back of the package of instant fruit pectin (Ball) and it does not have a recipe for pepper jam, so my best is that it will just work with fruit. Check the Ball website too. They have all sorts of recipes. I hope you have great success. I need to make some too before the season is over!

      Gwen

  33. 33

    Nicole — September 13, 2011 @ 10:57 am

    Those are some lovely jams! I am very low on freezer space, and getting a little less intimidated by the canning process with every batch. So, I was wondering if you knew if the Instant Pectin can be used in the traditional (cooked) way?

    • Gwen replied: — September 13th, 2011 @ 11:11 am

      Hi Nicole,

      I know all about the freezer space issue. We had to get a separate freezer just to store our preserved foods!

      I would not use instant pectin in a cooked jam or jelly recipe. It is meant for just making quicker or “instant” batches of jams or jellies. There are various types of pectin that are specifically made for certain recipes (instant, low sugar or no sugar, traditional, liquid, etc.). It will hold until next year in a cool place, so I would suggest that you save it and purchase the type of pectin that is called for in the recipe you are making. It’s not worth losing the fruit or spending the time to have it not work out.

      Good luck!

      Gwen

  34. 34

    Debbie — October 4, 2011 @ 3:48 pm

    I wanted to make your peach jam but I couldn’t find a 1.59 oz packet of the Ball instant pectin. When I looked on the Ball website they don’t have a 1.59 oz packet listed as a product they make. The green envelope they have listed only makes 2 cups of jam and is only 0.6 oz. Did you use the 0.6 oz size pkg in your peach recipe that calls for 4 cups of fruit? That doesn’t seem like enough pectin. I did find the 4.7 oz container of pectin, but wasn’t sure how much to use for your recipe. It is the same instant pectin that is in the green pkg. Also, does it matter if the lemon juice is fresh or can you use the concentrated bottled lemon juice?

    • Gwen replied: — October 4th, 2011 @ 4:08 pm

      Hi Debbie,

      I’m not sure why the Ball website does not list that package size. Perhaps, it has been discontinued, although I purchased the 1.59 ounce bag of Instant Fruit Pectin all summer at Wal-Mart, Ingles and Ace Hardware stores. It does say “new” by those products on the website, so that could be their new packaging.

      I would guess that if it says it is the Instant Fruit Pectin, that it is the same pectin as what is in the bags. However, I suggest that you follow the recipe on the container that you have just to be sure. If it is the same, you should be able to measure 1.59 ounces our of the jar and use that with 4 cups of fruit. I need to buy a jar of the new pectin myself so I can see if it’s identical to the bags. I still have some of the 1.69 ounce packages that I have not used.

      As for the lemon juice, I prefer to use fresh squeezed lemon juice, unless we are putting up lots of tomatoes or other items that require quite a bit of lemon juice. If you are making a small batch of jam, I would use the fresh squeezed lemon juice. I hope that helps.

      Gwen

  35. 35

    Lynda — June 3, 2012 @ 5:00 pm

    THANKS fora GREAT website! Just discovered you — by accident — on Pinterest! Your discovery could not have come at a more timely fashion! Taking time off from work to put up veggies & fruits & make goodies for later. THANKS AGAIN!! GOD bless!

  36. 36

    Peaches — June 16, 2012 @ 6:26 pm

    I saved this blogpost because of the Freezer Jam info; didn’t even notice the Ball Instant Pectin note and coincidentally found the 0.6 oz package at Walmart. It makes 2 8 oz containers (1 2/3 c crushed fruit, 2/3 c. sugar) for berry jams. I made olallieberry jam and the whole process took no more than 15 minutes.

    Going to try their peach recipe shortly – would the lemon juice requirement apply to apricot, plum, pluot, and/or nectarine jam?

    • Gwen replied: — July 11th, 2012 @ 9:02 am

      Hi,

      The package of instant pectin says that lemon juice is only required for the peach jam, however, the following recipe for Apricot Freezer Jam calls for 1 Tablespoon, but it uses a different pectin. http://www.freshpreserving.com/recipe.aspx?r=111. Maybe you can use this as a guideline for making jams with the fruits you mentioned. I know that lemon juice is not needed for any berry jams. I hope that helps.

      Gwen

  37. 37

    Susan — July 6, 2012 @ 6:08 pm

    I just found your blog and LOVE LOVE LOVE it! I’m a writer and moved to the “country” a couple of years ago. I’m learning to actually grow food, (LOTS of trial by error there) and want to start learning to can and all the country whatnots I haven’t learned yet. I want to start with freezer jam, since I remember making it with my mother when I was a little girl. I want to surprise my hubby when he gets back from camp with blueberry and blackberry freezer jams, but can’t find the exact amount of each kind of berry I need. Do you have recipes for Blueberry Freezer Jam and Blackberry freezer jam? I read this post twice, so I think I have the general idea and lots of great tips from you, so I just need the recipes now! Thanks a zillion! :) -Susan Fahncke in Kansas

  38. 38

    Maggie — July 7, 2012 @ 1:10 pm

    THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU! I just made the peach jam it was so easy and yummy I want to try more freezer canning!

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    Pam — July 12, 2012 @ 5:16 pm

    We have peaches falling off our tree and would love to try this freezer recipe. You made a comment about making sure no little critters had compromised the fruit. As any fruit tree owner knows….this is not easy. Can the “bad” spots just be cut out?? While we try our best, we hesitate to spray the trees with chemicals. Therefore, well, you get the picture. Thanks for posting the guided help!!

    • Gwen replied: — July 12th, 2012 @ 5:29 pm

      Hi Pam,

      I referenced the information that Ball gives on their website and in their canning manuals and books. I do understand your situation and cannot advise you what to do. We encountered the same problem when given a basket of plums from a neighbor that had mostly compromised fruit. She was upset and did not understand why we could not make jam with them.

      Personally, I would be concerned if there was obvious damage by insects and in particular, small animals. I am sure you can cut out some places, but I would use good judgement in what fruit you choose to use. This is the advice from Ball whether you are sterilizing or not and I would be most concerned with freezer jams since they are not sterilized. I hope that helps.

      Gwen

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    Georgia — July 18, 2012 @ 9:49 am

    Is there any way to make this work with mock strawberry jam – using figs and strawberry jello? I really dread the whole canning process.

    • Gwen replied: — July 18th, 2012 @ 4:09 pm

      Hi Georgia,

      Freezer jams do not require the entire canning process. They are very simple to make. It is just fresh fruit, instant pectine and sugar and lemon juice (depending on the type of fruit). You only need to have clean freezer-safe jars and lids and then freeze the jam. I cannot tell you whether or not the jello idea would work, however, it certainly will not have the same flavor or consistency of homemade jam.

      Gwen

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    Ruth — July 30, 2012 @ 9:00 pm

    Hi Gwen,
    thanks so much for the recipe, I am new to making jams and the freezer variety seemed like a good jumping off point before I work my way up to the water bath types. I have a question, probably a stupid one, once I take it out of the freezer can it be used immediately or does it need to sit out and defrost for awhile. I want to use them as Christmas gifts and want to make sure what the best way to approach it is. Thanks again, my kids are loving the flavor of it.

    • Gwen replied: — July 30th, 2012 @ 9:08 pm

      Hi Ruth,

      No question is a stupid one as I was told when I was a kid. ;-) The freezer jams will thaw quickly in the fridge. They will probably be ready to use in the morning or the next day, depending on how cold your refrigerator is. Once they are opened, it is best to use them within a week or two. While they are best used from your freezer within a year, we have been thawing some that are older and they are fine. The times I mentioned are for the optimum results, but once you start to make them, you will know what works best for you.

      Good luck!

      Gwen

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    Jessica — August 9, 2012 @ 8:40 am

    Thanks for this recipe and for all of your tips. I needed to know NOT to fudge the recipe. I probably would have gone with 4.5 cups of fruit and more or less lemon juice, but I was EXACT and it’s wonderful! Already in the freezer ;-)
    So easy. Who knew?

    • Gwen replied: — August 9th, 2012 @ 8:45 am

      Hi Jessica,

      I am glad that the recipe worked well for you. We love freezer jams and I do not make any other type of fruit jams very often since these are so simple, taste like fresh fruit and have much less sugar. Enjoy!

      Gwen

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    Carol Frink — September 16, 2012 @ 10:30 pm

    I made 3 batches of peach freezer jam from a box of sure-jell. I followed the recipe exactly, which included way more sugar than we like. I let them set at room temp for a day then put in freezer. When thawed they were very liquid. Is there anything I can do to reduce the sugar and get them to set up now?

    • Gwen replied: — September 16th, 2012 @ 11:08 pm

      Hi Carol,

      Did you use the instant Pectin? The one I use comes in a packet and it works perfectly every time. It actually uses less sugar than any other recipe with other kinds of pectin, so I am not sure if you used the same type of pectin.

      You probably cannot do anything else to a freezer jam since the containers are not sterilized, especially if you have frozen them and then thawed them. These jams are a bit runny and not like traditional jams since they are not cooked and have less sugar and pectin. They will only be good for about two weeks once thawed, so you need to be aware of that if you have thawed all of the jars. We thaw them as we use them, just one jar at a time. They will hold in the freezer for a year.

      If you prefer a jam/jelly that is more congealed, you should prepare a cooked recipe that will require a different pectin and more sugar.

      I hope that helps.

      Gwen

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    Barbara — September 17, 2012 @ 3:06 pm

    I have a husband who is diabetic, and I’d like to make pepper freezer jam preferably using Splenda, which has the 1 cup = 1 cup real sugar formula. Do you have a recipe for such a jam? I used to make regular canned jams and jellies, and tons of freezer jam, but now am challenged by his diabetic diet. What pectin should I use? Ball green bag is not available where I live, and I don’t have time to order online, peppers are dirt cheap right now where I live…
    THANX!

    • Gwen replied: — September 18th, 2012 @ 4:37 pm

      Hi Barbara,

      Ball has stopped selling the Instant Pectin in the green bags. You will now find it in a small plastic container with a green lid. There is a purple oval on the container and it says Real Fruit Instant Pectin.

      You are able to use this with granulated Splenda and make a freezer jam. I could not find a recipe for a regular pepper jelly, but did find this for a Pineapple Pepper jam. Maybe you can adapt this to work for just peppers.
      http://www.freshpreserving.com/recipe.aspx?r=170

      I hope that helps.

      Gwen

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    Barbara — September 18, 2012 @ 11:49 pm

    Thanks for the advice about the “little green bag.” I purchased a couple of enveiopes of powdered pectin, used Splendda, turned out pretty good, except it’s a little liquidy,not firm…

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    Erin — October 17, 2012 @ 6:48 pm

    Hey there, I was just wanting to respond saying that you can make pepper jam with the Ball Instant Pectin. I just followed the directions for the other jams.

    1 2/3 cup various peppers; run through food processor
    1 tbsp lemon juice

    then i combined 2/3 cup sugar and 2 tbsp instant pectin, then mixed all four things together for 3 min. let sit 30 min at room temp; took about 45 min-1 hr to set completely. had it with cream cheese and crackers. it was SO delicious!!!

    • Gwen replied: — October 18th, 2012 @ 10:05 pm

      Hi Erin,

      Thank you for getting back to me with your results. That is great to know that it works to make basic pepper jelly! We love it with cream cheese and saltine crackers. It is perfect comfort food. :-)

      Gwen

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    Kate Graham — July 9, 2013 @ 7:53 pm

    Hi! My husband and I bought 24 lbs of peaches from our co-op that we participate in here in Texas and had no idea what to do with them until I came to your recipe on Pinterest! This is so exciting!!! I am going to buy the equipment and pectin immediately to try this out! THANK YOU!

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    Gord — July 18, 2013 @ 1:40 am

    OK, I know nothing about this sort of thing. Pardon my ignorance but, don’t you need water in this to allow you to bring the peaches to a boil? Same thing I would think if you were making berry jam. Sorry if this is a dumb question.

    • Gwen replied: — July 18th, 2013 @ 7:57 am

      Hi,

      You do not need water since the peaches will have quite a bit of juice when you mash them. You just bring them to a boil, mix in the other ingredients, and then let them sit for 10 minutes.

      Just so you know, I do not think Ball sells the packets of Instant Pectin any longer. I haven’t been able to find them. Their Instant Pectin is now available in larger plastic containers, so follow the directions for making the freezer jams based on the instructions found on that container. You will have to measure out the appropriate amount of pectin. I have tried another brand of Instant Pectin (in packets) that I don’t care for as much, so I would suggest buying the Ball brand.

      I hope that helps.

      Gwen

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    Gordon — July 18, 2013 @ 6:39 pm

    Thanks very much Gwen. I’m so new at this I don’t really know what I’m doing but I would really like to some jams for my daughters and their kids. I appreciate these kinds of web sites that help people like me along.

    • Gwen replied: — July 19th, 2013 @ 7:52 am

      Hi Gordon,

      You are welcome. Freezer jams are the easiest way to get started with canning. They take very little time, almost no equipment, and frankly, we like them almost better than cooked jams or jellies. They use very little sugar and have a really nice fresh fruit taste.

      Gwen

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    Harner Farm Peaches!! | happyvalleylearntocook — August 13, 2013 @ 10:59 pm

    [...] Fruit Fresh and put them in a Ziploc bag to make trifle for Christmas dinner.  Tonight, I made freezer jam – using Ball’s INSTANT pectin that uses only 1 and 1/2 cups of sugar for 4 cups of [...]

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    andrea santoni — August 25, 2013 @ 1:46 pm

    So thankful to find a freezer jam recipe with less sugar. I LOVE to make strawberry freezer jam but have always wished there was a way to do so with less sugar. Just made peach jam for the first time with the yellow box of SureJell. I look forward to round 2 using your recipe. Thank you!

    • Gwen replied: — August 25th, 2013 @ 4:04 pm

      Hi Andrea,

      Thank you for your comment. We really enjoy the jams and jellies with less sugar. I just made hot pepper jelly today and it took 6 cups of sugar. Unfortunately, many traditional canning recipes require a lot of sugar, that’s why I prefer the freezer jams for many things. It also tastes more like the actual fruit and less like sugar.

      Gwen

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