Three Types of Strawberry Jam – Freezer, Low Sugar, Classic

Let’s look at three types of strawberry jam you can make with fresh or frozen strawberries – freezer jam, low sugar jam and classic full sugar jam.

three types strawberry jam
Three types of strawberry jam. Which is your favourite? Classic cooked jam, low sugar cooked jam or freezer jam?

Also Read: Overview of How to Make Jam, Strawberry Rhubarb Freezer Jam, Troubleshooting Jams & Jellies

Strawberry jam makes a regular appearance on my breakfast table, especially strawberry freezer jam or sugar reduced strawberry jam. I love the fruity flavour of these two types of jam. But they do have their drawbacks. Here’s a look at the pros and cons of three types of strawberry jam made with different commercial pectin. Read here for more details on different types of pectin and this to make your own pectin.

chart comparing jams
What’s most important to you in a jam?

Sugar is an important ingredient in jam. It’s not just about adding sweetness. Sugar works with pectin to create a gel – the more sugar, the stronger the set of a jam. Sugar also helps preserve the colour, texture and flavour of jams for long term storage. The less sugar in a jam, the quicker the jam will degrade and lose it’s colour. Finally, sugar binds with water to make preserves less hospitable for pathogens on the pantry shelf and once opened. You’ll find a jar of low sugar jam will get moldy much quicker than classic jam.

cooked jam on spoon
Full sugar cooked jams have a firmer set, more translucent appearance and have a longer shelf life in the pantry and once opened in the fridge.

As long as you are aware of these differences and eat/store your jams accordingly – all of them are great options.

strawberry freezer jam
Freezer jams are very fruity and easy to make with a looser set.

General Tips for Making Jam

A good recipe will outline all the steps you’ll need to make your preserve. Step one is finding a great recipe, see below for where to find well tested recipes. The following are a few general tips to help you be more efficient and successful.

  • Find a credible recipe specifically for the type of jam you’d like to make and follow it. (See list in How to Make Jam)
  • Use the pectin variety identified in a recipe; pectin varieties are not interchangeable.
  • Use fresh pectin. The Best Before Date on pectin really does matter.
  • Make one batch at a time. Doubling or tripling batches often results in soft or runny spreads.
  • Organize and assemble everything you need before you begin.
  • Wash and check jars for cracks. Always prepare one or two extras, just in case.
  • Always put hot foods in hot jars to prevent glass from cracking.
  • Add ½ teaspoon of butter or margarine with fruit to reduce foaming.
  • Stir constantly to avoid burning.
  • Do not overcook. Boiling too long or too slowly can destroy pectin and prevent it from gelling.
  • It can take up to 48 hours or longer for jelly to set.
  • If your jelly doesn’t set, use it as syrup for pancakes, waffles, ice cream or beverages. Or read Troubleshooting Runny Jam & Jelly.
  • Any type of jam can be put in the freezer, but only cooked jam that’s been hot water bath canned is safe to store on the shelf.
  • Processing jams in a hot water bath removes oxygen in the jar and ensures a tight seal that will last for a long time. Having the lid “pop” just from sitting on the counter is not sufficient. Yeast, mold or lids popping off during storage can be prevented with proper processing.
  • If you don’t have time to make jams or jellies this summer, freeze seasonal fruit and make it later in the year.

Three Strawberry Jam Recipes

Here are three strawberry jam recipes for you to consider. Remember, always read the instructions that come with your package of pectin and use them if they differ from these ones.

strawberry freezer jam
Print Recipe
5 from 3 votes

Strawberry Freezer Jam

Add a little flare with flavourings like vanilla extract or mint leaves. You can also substitute some of the strawberries with other fruit like rhubarb (3 cups strawberries & 1 cup stewed rhubarb), blueberries (2 cups strawberries & 2 cups blueberries) or mangoes (2 cups strawberries & 2 cups mangoes).
Prep : 15 mins

Ingredients

  • 6 cups strawberries - fresh or frozen
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 pkg FREEZER JAM pectin

Instructions

  • 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 of crushed fruit.
  • In separate small bowl, mix sugar and pectin.
  • Add pectin to strawberries. Stir until completely dissolved, about 2 to 3 minutes.
  • Pour into clean jars or plastic freezer containers leaving a ½ inch 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 2 weeks in refrigerator.

Notes

Be sure to use Freezer Jam Pectin - regular pectin will require cooking before freezing.
You can eat your freezer jam right away - it does not need to go in the freezer first. It will keep in the refrigerator for 2 weeks. If you want to store it longer than that, it must be kept in the freezer. Freezer jam cannot be stored on a shelf.
Yield 5 half pint (250ml) jars
Tried this recipe?Mention @GetGettyS or tag #GetGettyS

 

cooked jam low sugar in jar
Print Recipe
5 from 3 votes

Low Sugar Strawberry Jam

Try this low sugar strawberry jam for a fruity flavoured jam that is shelf stable for 6 to 9 months. Adding some sugar will provide a better texture and flavour to jam than using no sugar.
Prep : 20 mins
Cook : 20 mins
Total Time: 40 mins
Servings: 6 jars

Ingredients

  • 4 cups chopped/crushed strawberries fresh or frozen
  • 1 cup unsweetened apple juice
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 package Low Sugar or No Sugar Pectin

Instructions

Prepare Jars & Lids

  • Wash and check jars for any cracks or chips. Tip: Always prepare at least one more jar than called for in a recipe.
  • Wash lids and rinse. According to the latest, lids do not need to be boiled or heated before using. Simply wash and set aside.
  • Place jars upright in pot and fill with water until completely covered. Bring to boil and boil for 10 minutes to sterilize. Keep jars hot until ready to fill.

Make Jam

  • In large pot, combine crushed strawberries, apple juice and no sugar needed pectin. Mix until pectin is fully dissolved.
  • Stir and bring to hard boil.
  • Add sugar and return to boil. Boil for 3 minutes, stirring constantly.
  • Remove from heat and remove any foam.
  • Pour into hot, sterilized jars leaving a 1/4”( 7mm) headspace.
  • Wipe rim with clean cloth and seal with sealing lid.
  • Screw band on top and tighten finger tight.
  • Process in hot water bath for 5 minutes. If you are at an altitude of 1000 feet or more, add 1 minute of processing time for each1000 feet of altitude.
  • Remove jars, cool undisturbed for 24 hours and check seal. Keep any jars that have not sealed in fridge or re-process. Label and store well sealed jars without the outer ring of the lid for 6-9 months.

Notes

Yield 5-6 half pint (250 ml) jars
Tried this recipe?Mention @GetGettyS or tag #GetGettyS
Course: Side Dish
Keyword: jam
cooked jam on spoon
Print Recipe
5 from 3 votes

Classic Strawberry Jam

Try this classic full sugar strawberry jam made with regular powdered pectin. You'll get a beautiful jewel toned jam that's thick and stays where it's put! It holds its flavour, texture and colour for up to 2 years on the pantry shelf and will last the longest once opened and kept in the fridge.
Prep : 20 mins
Cook : 20 mins
Total Time: 40 mins
Servings: 8 jars

Ingredients

  • 5 cups chopped/crushed strawberries fresh or frozen
  • 4 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 7 cups sugar
  • 1 package regular powdered pectin

Instructions

Prepare Jars & Lids

  • Wash and check jars for any cracks or chips. Tip: Always prepare at least one more jar than called for in a recipe.
  • Wash lids and rinse. According to the latest, lids do not need to be boiled or heated before using. Simply wash and set aside.
  • Place jars upright in pot and fill with water until completely covered. Bring to boil and boil for 10 minutes to sterilize. Keep jars hot until ready to fill.

Make Jam

  • In large pot, combine crushed strawberries, lemon juice and regular powdered pectin. Mix until pectin is fully dissolved.
  • Stir and bring to hard boil.
  • Stir in all sugar at once and return to hard boil that can't be stirred down. Boil for 1 minute, stirring constantly.
  • Remove from heat and remove any foam.
  • Pour into hot, sterilized jars leaving a 1/4”( 7mm) headspace.
  • Wipe rim with clean cloth and seal with sealing lid.
  • Screw band on top and tighten finger tight.
  • Process in hot water bath for 5 minutes. If you are at an altitude of 1000 feet or more, add 1 minute of processing time for each1000 feet of altitude.
  • Remove jars, cool undisturbed for 24 hours and check seal. Keep any jars that have not sealed in fridge or re-process. Label and store well sealed jars without the outer ring of the lid for 6-9 months.

Notes

Yield 8 half pint (250 ml) jars
Tried this recipe?Mention @GetGettyS or tag #GetGettyS
Course: Side Dish
Keyword: jam
beauty shot of strawberries
Such beauties.

Strawberry Equivalencies

Here are some approximate measures to help you figure out how many strawberries you’ll need.

4-5 cups crushed strawberries = 3 lbs of fresh strawberries/2 quarts/8 cups

1 pint of strawberries = 24 medium or 36 small berries/2 cups whole strawberries

10 oz frozen whole strawberries = 1 1/2 cups – 2 cups

8 whole large fresh strawberries = 1 cup

Remember these are just estimates to get you an approximate amount. Always buy or pick extra, just in case.

Are you ready to get jamming!? Which type will you make first? Leave a comment and of course, if you make one of the jams above, share a photo on Instagram and tag @getgettys so I can see it and like it!

Getty Stewart is a Professional Home Economist,  speaker, frequent media guest and writer dedicated to putting good food on tables and agendas.  She is the author of several recipe books on enjoying and preserving fruit, Founder of Fruit Share, a mom and veggie gardener. Sign up to get articles by Getty delivered to your inbox. You’ll get recipes, practical tips and great food information like this.

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