I can’t wait to pair a jar of my Strawberry Freezer Jam with a fresh batch of Cheddar Baking Powder Biscuits. What is your favourite way to eat jam? Leave a comment below for a chance to win a copy of Getty’s book – Prairie Fruit Cookbook. be well…Jenn
Manitoba summers are the best! There are so many beaches, festivals, golf courses, parks, lakes, cottages, pools, markets, historical sites and arts and cultural events to see, explore and enjoy throughout the province. Knowing we have a finite number of beautiful, hot sunny days to enjoy them makes them all the more precious.
For me, preserving fresh, local produce is another summertime experience that I thoroughly enjoy. It’s like bottling up a piece of summer and it’s a tradition that I want my kids to enjoy as well.
So, in the spirit of making preserving something pleasant and enjoyable, we decided to host a strawberry jammin’ party at our house. We invited some friends to join us in our campaign to preserve a little piece of summer to savour and enjoy all year long.
After sending out invitations, we went to the local market to get freshly picked Manitoba strawberries. Usually, we would go picking ourselves (for a listing of local U-pick farms check the Prairie Fruit Growers Association’s website), but that just didn’t work out for us this year. Instead, we had fun checking out all the gorgeous fresh produce at the local market.
We gathered around our dining room table – 3 adults, 4 kids, 10 baskets of strawberries and 26 bowls! Our time together was spent washing, hulling and creating fabulous no-cook recipes. We ended up with strawberry freezer jam, strawberry vanilla freezer jam, strawberry mint sauce, strawberry vanilla sauce, frozen strawberries and enough hulled strawberries for snacking on and making fresh desserts.
What normally would have been a chore done at the end of a long day of finding ways to entertain the kids turned into a fun activity for everyone. Sure it required a little more coordination and a little more clean-up, but making jam has never been this fun. I know that the taste of summer will be even sweeter when we open up a jar of strawberry freezer jam this winter and get to remember this time with friends.
Strawberry freezer jam is an easy, no-cook way to introduce kids to jam making. Here’s the recipe we followed from the Prairie Fruit Cookbook.
No Cook Strawberry Freezer Jam
More fruity than sweet, this soft jam tastes like fresh, crushed strawberries on toast. It’s one of my family’s favourite. We also use it as a topping for ice cream, pancakes, yogurt, etc.
6 cups strawberries, fresh or frozen (1.5 L)
1½ cups sugar (375 mL)
1 pkg freezer jam pectin* (1 pkg)
- Wash and clean berries (if frozen, thaw first).
- Crush strawberries, one layer at a time with a potato masher. You should get approximately 4 cups (1 L) of crushed fruit.
- In separate small bowl, mix sugar and pectin.
- Add pectin to strawberries. Stir until pectin is completely dissolved, about 2 to 3 minutes.
- Pour into clean jars or plastic freezer containers leaving a ½ inch (1.2 cm) headspace to allow for expansion.
- Wipe rim with clean cloth and seal.
- Let stand for 30 minutes to set.
- Freeze for up to 1 year. Will keep for 3 weeks in refrigerator.
Makes: 5 half pint (250 ml) jars
*Note: Not all pectin is the same, be sure to get “Freezer Jam Pectin” for this recipe.
Getty is a Professional Home Economist, mom, gardener, speaker and writer. She welcomes opportunities to share and express her passion for growing, harvesting and sharing local food with family and community.
She is the founder of Fruit Share a volunteer group that harvests and shares surplus fruit, author of the Prairie Fruit Cookbook: The Essential Guide to Picking, Preserving and Preparing Fruit and blogger at Veggie Delight a gardening blog that shares tips and ideas for growing a family garden in the prairies.