You know what we love on top of a warm buttermilk biscuit? Some delicious jam and butter. Know what we don't love? Spending a fortune on the fancy-schmancy stuff. Let's learn how to make freezer jam! It's easy, breezy, and oh-so-yummy.

glass jar of strawberry jam with spoon, from Shelf Cooking

Does anyone else always seem to end up with a four-pound tub of strawberries that's about to go bad? Glad we're not the only ones! And good news — you don't need to toss that fruit. You can make a batch of jam that's freezer-safe in no time.

*Note: When you click the links in this post, we may receive a commission at no extra cost to you.

If you're a jam novice, you're in luck! We'll show you how to make the world's yummiest freezer jam. And spoiler alert: it's SO easy.



HOW TO MAKE FREEZER JAM: A FEW DISCLAIMERS

Before we go any further, we want to fill you in on some quick (but important) details. We figured we'd lead with this info because it could mean the difference between a jam disaster and a jam masterpiece. Okay, now that we've got your attention, time to spill the tea (a drink with jam and bread):

  • Don't Double the Recipe – Gasp! Yep. We just said that. Here's the thing. Jam recipes don't double or triple well. When it comes to jam-making, the measurements have to be precise. That doesn't mean you can't make more than one batch. It does mean that we highly suggest you make those batches separately. Trust us!
  • Gather & Wash Some Mason Jars – Jam is best stored in mason jars, and if you're buying new ones, you need to wash them first. Don't skip that step!

Pro Tip: Mason jars are dishwasher safe, so if you have time to plan ahead, toss them through a cycle before you start the jam-making process. You'll save yourself the time and hassle of washing by hand!


FREEZER JAM RECIPE SWAPS

mason jar of mixed berry jam, from Shelf Cooking

One of the great things about jam is there are endless varieties to try. That means making swaps and substitutes is pretty dang easy! So, if you find yourself missing an ingredient or two, here are some ideas:

  • Strawberry Substitutes – Try other berries instead, or a combo! Raspberry, blackberry, and blueberry are just as yummy, so use what you've got.
  • Lemon Juice Substitute – The best substitute for lemon juice is lime juice because the acidic content is so similar. In a pinch, orange juice works, too. Just know that orange may alter the flavor a bit!
  • White Sugar Substitute – If you don't have any white sugar on hand, use a sugar substitute like Stevia instead. One word of caution: if you use Stevia, make sure the fruit pectin you use is low or no-sugar; otherwise, your jam will turn out too sweet.
  • Corn Syrup Substitute – No corn syrup in the pantry? No problem! Don't run to the store. You can use honey instead.
  • MCP Pectin Substitute – We happen to prefer MCP Pectin, but any fruit pectin will do! Feel free to use your brand of choice.

Now you're ready for anything! Time for the fun stuff. Add-ins. You know we love to find fun ways to use up the ingredients we have, so let's experiment!


FREEZER JAM ADD-INS

There are TONS of ways to customize homemade jam, and half the fun is trying new flavor combinations! Looking for a few ideas? Here you go:

  • Basil – If you keep fresh herbs on hand, you're in for a treat! Basil + strawberry = a match made in heaven. We're already drooling!
  • Ginger – You really can't go wrong adding fresh ginger to anything.
  • Lime – Freshly squeezed lime juice and a little lime zest taste amazing in a strawberry jam!
  • Mint – Crush up some fresh mint and toss it in. It's super refreshing!
  • Vanilla – Berries and cream jam, anyone? Add a few drops of homemade vanilla extract to your fruit mix for a nice treat.

A quick word of advice: don't go overboard! If you decide to try a mix-in, stick to one or two. Otherwise, things could get weird. We're down with some cool, funky jams, but nobody likes funky jam.

Now, let's use that jam! You KNOW we won't leave you hanging, so keep reading for fun ideas.


WAYS TO USE YOUR FREEZER JAM

red and orange fruit leathers, from Shelf Cooking

Obviously, this jam is just begging for some toast or a warm, flaky biscuit! But besides slathering your freezer jam on bread, what can you do with it? LOTS of things! Here are a few ideas:

  • Brie – Warm up some brie in the oven, top it with your jam, and boom! You've got a super fancy appetizer that's sure to impress. It's one of our favorite party tricks!
  • Fruit Leather – You may have noticed we're a little obsessed with dehydrating food. How cool is this? You can use your food dehydrator to turn jam into the ultimate snack — homemade fruit leathers!
  • Grown-Up Grilled Cheese – Grab some gouda and goat cheese, slather a little jam on some bread, and make a decadent version of the traditional classic!
  • Ice Cream Sundaes – Instead of chocolate sundaes, why not have strawberry sundaes?! This homemade ice cream will take it to the next level.
  • Mocktail Mix-In – Add a spoonful or two of jam to your next batch of tea for a fancy little concoction! You can also try mixing a little jam with club soda and some fresh mint and basil. YUM!
  • Popsicles – Making a batch of popsicles for the kids? Add some jam into the mix. If you need a great treat try this popsicle recipe!
  • Waffle Topping – Whip up a few homemade waffles, then top with butter and jam!

We could keep going, but you get the idea! There are SO many ways to put homemade jam to use. Be creative and have some fun.


HOW TO MAKE JAM: OUR FAVORITE RECIPE

sliced strawberries on a cutting board, from Shelf Cooking

Who's ready for the EASIEST freezer-friendly jam recipe that our family loves?! Drumroll, please. Here we go!

glass jar of strawberry jam with spoon, from Shelf Cooking

Easy Freezer Jam

This jam tastes just like the kind grandma used to make, and we promise it's way easier than you might think!
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 45 mins
Resting Time at Room Temp 1 d
Total Time 1 d 1 hr
Course Sauce
Cuisine American
Servings 8 jars

Ingredients
  

  • cups strawberries
  • ¼ cup fresh lemon juice
  • cups white sugar
  • 1 cup light corn syrup
  • 1 box MCP pectin

Instructions
 

  • Wash your jars. Remember, don't skip this step!
  • Wash your berries and remove stems, then quarter.
  • One cup at a time, crush your berries in a food processor or blender. Blend to desired consistency, but don't puree. Jam should have tiny chunks in it.
  • In a large bowl, combine your crushed berries and the lemon juice.
  • Gradually stir in the pectin and mix thoroughly with a whisk. Let sit for 30 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, measure and pour sugar into another bowl.
  • After 30 minutes, pour 1 cup of corn syrup into the fruit mixture. Mix well.
  • Gradually stir in the sugar, and continue stirring until sugar is completely dissolved.
  • Use a measuring cup to pour your jam into the mason jars.
  • Let it sit at room temperature for 24 hours until set, then put in the freezer. Refrigerate up to 3 weeks. It can be stored in the freezer for up to 1 year.

Notes

As your jam sits, a small layer of foam may settle on top. You can skim it off the top or leave it. It won't impact the flavor, just the appearance. Be sure to wipe the rim of the jars before putting the lids on. You want to make a tight seal and remove any sugar or seeds that might be in the way.

See? We told you that it was easy.


TURN YOUR FREEZER JAM INTO THE PERFECT GIFTS

One last thing! Besides using it up in our favorite recipes, we also love giving a batch or two to friends and family. You can print your own cute labels for the mason jar and attach a gift tag with some ribbon. Voila! An adorable, easy, homemade gift. It's perfect for teacher gift baskets, last-minute gifts for the neighbors, or Secret Santa gift exchanges!

And there you have it. You know everything there is to know about making easy, breezy, freezy jam! Now we have to know. What's your favorite jam flavor? Leave us a comment.

Image with text that reads "how to make freezer jam" from Shelf Cooking

Looking for a few more fun recipes to try?

Jam on!