The ultimate guide to freezer jam ~ easy no-can refrigerator jam, jelly, and curd recipes for every season of the year!
FREEZER JAMS, JELLIES, AND CURDS
Freezer jam is the ultimate luxury when it comes to preserving your favorite fruits. You can make any amount you want, even a handful of berries can make an amazing jam! And you’re free to experiment with creative recipes without worrying about all those strict safety rules for canning. First up, there are a few tips that apply when making a great freezer jam, no matter which of the following recipes you decide to make.
- Freezer and small batch jams are quick, easy, and have better color and flavor than canned jams. They maintain more of the integrity of the fruit and tend to be a healthier alternative to sugar laden preserves.
- You can make freezer jam with any amount of fruit, even just a handful, so experiment with unusual fruits, or get creative and and feel free to mix and match! Combine different berries together, or pair berries with stone fruit.
- You can use fresh or frozen fruit, both will work.
- Even though you will not be canning your jams and jellies, be sure to start with scrupulously clean jars.
- Freezer jam recipes don’t require the large amounts of sugar that canning often call for, so feel free to use minimal sugar, or none at all for a super healthy product. Note: I find a little bit of sugar can actually serve to intensify the flavor of the fruit, so I will sometimes add a bit for that reason.
- Pectin is optional, you can thicken your jam by cooking it down on the stove until it thickens naturally as the moisture evaporates. Pectin comes in dry or liquid form, and some is specifically made for low sugar recipes… if a recipe calls for pectin, follow the directions carefully and don’t try to substitute one type for another.
- Kick up the flavor of your jam with lemon juice, or even a little bit of liqueur. I like to use a touch of spice, like cinnamon or cardamom with fall jams.
CONVERT ANY JAM RECIPE TO A FREEZER JAM
- Did you know that ANY jam recipe can be converted to a freezer jam, just skip the canning stage and send right to the freezer after cooling.
- After ladling your hot jam into clean jars, let it cool completely at room temperature before capping and refrigerating or freezing. You can freeze jam in plastic or glass, and you can even freeze jam in zip lock freezer bags, just be sure to press out any extra air before zipping them up.
- Be sure to leave at least 1/2 inch free space at the top of the jar to allow for expansion in the freezer.
- Jams and jellies will keep for a month in the refrigerator, but up to a year in the freezer.