Strawberry Freezer Jam Discovery

I promised I’d post about my strawberry freezer jam experience, so here it is. I must confess that the results of this recipe were disappointing after the Homemade Peach Jam experience. See my conclusions at the end to see why. For now, here is the recipe I followed. It is the typical freezer jam recipe you get when you buy a pack of pectin, but I did what it said NOT to do (reduce the sugar)…

Strawberry Freezer Jam – Reduced Sugar

1lb strawberries
2.5 tsp lemon juice
3.5 tsp pectin
1.25 cups sugar (original recipe calls for 1.4 cups)
Yield: 3 cups jam = a little over 1.5 lb (1lb 10oz)
  1. Cut the tops off of the strawberries and dump in a food processor. Chop to desired chunkiness (or the lack thereof).

    1lb of Strawberries

    1lb of Strawberries

    Dump in Food Processor

    Dump in Food Processor

    Strawberries in Food Processor

    Food Processor-ize!

  2. Combine strawberries and lemon juice in a sauce pan. Gradually stir in pectin. Bring the mixture to a boil. Stir mixture for about 5 minutes while it continues to boil.

    Cooking Strawberry Freezer Jam

    Looks like tomato soup…

  3. Add sugar. Stir constantly for 1 minute while mixture is still at a rolling boil.
  4. Remove from heat. Let cool. Dump in a jar.

    Jar of Strawberry Freezer Jam

    How domestic :)

  5. Eat it!

    Strawberry Jam on Toast

    Yummy!

Conclusions

This jam was a success in that it tastes good and is only 23 calories per TBSP as opposed to Smucker’s Strawberry Preserves at 50 calories per TBSP. However, I have to say that I was disappointed in it for 2 reasons:

  1. The jam turned out a little runny. I realize that the recipe did warn me that if I didn’t put in the full amount of sugar, the pectin wouldn’t be able to set the jam. I figured a 10% reduction wouldn’t do much harm, but it looks like it did make a difference. Also, even with the reduction in sugar, I feel like the jam is still a bit too sweet! I will be looking in to making the jam again, except next time I want to try it the old-fashioned way – without pectin.
  2. After all the time and effort I put in to this, in my opinion, Smucker’s Strawberry Preserves tastes better and is cheaper! You can get it at Costco for cheaper than what it cost me to make this jam! I got the strawberries at what I thought was a really good deal ($2.50/lb), but it wasn’t good enough. I found that you’ve got to get the strawberries at about $1.85/lb just to meet (not beat) Costco’s price. (See the price breakdown in the table below.)
    My Homemade Freezer Jam
      Price Calories
    1lb strawberries $2.50 145
    lemon juice $0.03 3
    pectin $0.26 0
    sugar $0.29 953
      $3.08 1101
         
    per oz: $0.12 42
    per TBSP: $0.06 23
         
    — VS —
         
    Smucker’s Strawberry Preserves
      Price Calories
    2 32 oz jars at Costco: $6.05
    per oz: $0.09
    per TBSP: $0.05 50

So, until I find a more successful recipe AND find strawberries at a screaming deal, I would recommend simply getting a jar of Smucker’s Strawberry Preserves – assuming you are okay with 2x the calories.

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2 thoughts on “Strawberry Freezer Jam Discovery

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