Five years ago, I took our little girl to her first Strawberry Festival Parade, to celebrate that wonderful sweet treat of June, in our small farming community. We would carry big bowls and buckets to the surrounding fields and pick pounds of the juicy red berries.
With fresh strawberries, it is vital to prepare them quickly, to prevent them from getting moldy or overripe in that hot June heat. (Overripe berries can result in runny, syrupy jam that doesn’t jell well.) Toss some berries in the freezer for smoothies throughout the year, and make a batch of strawberry jam to brighten up a winter morning.
I just made a big batch of jam for our inn, and have been using it as a cupcake filling, a breakfast condiment, and stirred into pretty buttercream frostings (that are naturally pink!).
Low-Sugar Strawberry Freezer Jam
4 Cups Washed & Mashed Organic Strawberries (about 3-4 lbs of berries)
1/4 Cup Lemon Juice
1/2 Cup Honey or 1 1/2 Cups Raw Sugar
3/4 Cup Boiling Water
3 tsp. Pomona’s Pectin Powder
4-12 tsp. Pomona’s Calcium Water (included in pectin package; follow preparation instructions)
Add sugar to the mashed fruit, and stir to combine. Combine boiling water and pectin powder in a blender*. (Make sure to vent the opening in the lid, so it doesn’t explode all over!) Blend a couple minutes until the powder is dissolved. Pour the pectin liquid from the blender into the fruit, and mix well. Add in the calcium water a few tsp. at a time, while stirring, until a soft “jell” forms. Fill jam jars, leaving 1/2″ headspace, and freeze. (Any jam stored in the refrigerator should last about 1 week.)
Makes 5-6 cups
*A blender does seem essential. I’ve tried preparing this with just a whisk in the past, and it gets too clumpy and doesn’t combine well at all.
Please note, this recipe will only work with Pomona’s Pectin!