I was completely spoiled to grow up with fresh raspberry jam in the fridge, and a never-ending stockpile of raspberry freezer jam when the fridge jar was gone. My grandpa had a huge garden that included rows and rows or raspberry bushes, and my family benefited from the spoils 🙂
Many of my childhood friends would ask for a jar of my mom’s homemade raspberry jam for their birthday–that’s how yummy this stuff is! When I got to college and actually had to buy my own jam from the store, the choices were so disappointing! There’s just nothing that compares to homemade jam.
The best part about this raspberry jam is that you don’t need any special tools to make it. You can store it in any freezer safe container (it doesn’t have to be a glass jar, that’s just what I choose to use). One batch of jam will fill close to 4 pints and lasts up to one year in the freezer!
How to make raspberry freezer jam:
First gather your ingredients, including raspberries, sugar, 1 box of surejell fruit pectin and water. Be sure to use firm, ripe berries for the best flavor and set. If you use overripe berries the jam may end up more soft and runny (but if this happens, you can fix it! Read on).
Add the raspberries to a large bowl and mash them gently. They should still look pretty chunky and thick, just not “whole”. They will be stirred a lot with the sugar and pectin.
Measure out exactly three cups of mashed berries. It’s important to be particular in your measurements of the mashed berries and sugar, so that the jam will set up properly. (If you have a bit of extra mashed berries, save them for topping on waffles, pancakes or french toast, or freeze them to add to smoothies.)
To the three cups of mashed berries, add one cup of sugar and stir it in until dissolved. Repeat, adding just one cup at a time, until all of the sugar has been added. Let the mixture rest for 10 minutes, while you prepare the pectin.
Add the box of pectin and ¾ cup of water to a small saucepan. Stir the mixture well as you bring it to a full boil (a boil that doesn’t stop when you stir it), and then stir constantly and boil it for 1 minute.
Pour the pectin over the berries and stir to combine. Continue to stir the mixture until the sugar is completely dissolved, and you cant hear or taste any crunchy sugar granules. This step is really important, otherwise you could end up with pools of sugar at the bottom of the jam after it is in the jars.
Ladle the jam into containers, or use a funnel. Cover with a lid and allow the containers to rest at room temperature for 24 hours to allow it to set up. Then, store it in the freezer.
Frequently Asked Questions:
How long can jam be kept in the refrigerator or freezer?
You can store homemade raspberry jam in the freezer for up to 1 year! Once you take it out of the freezer, store it in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 weeks.
Can you use glass jars for freezer jam, and how many jars will I need?
How many containers you use depends on how big they are. This recipe makes about 7-8 cups of jam. I like to use pint size jars for my family and 2 cups of jam will fill a pint, so I can fill about 4 pints. Half pint jars are smaller and great for giving as neighbor gifts. A half pint jar is 8 oz and will be filled with about one cup of jam, so you’ll need about 7 or 8.
Can you use frozen berries to make freezer jam?
You can use frozen berries to make freezer jam! Be sure that the fruit is NOT sugared, substitute an equal amount of frozen fruit for fresh fruit, thaw the fruit to room temperature, and don’t drain the excess juice that is produced from the thawing process.
Can I use less sugar, or substitute an artificial sweetener?
If you want the jam to set properly, it’s important that the amount of sugar is not altered, and artificial sweeteners will not set properly either. If you’re looking for a jam recipe with low sugar, I would highly recommend using low-sugar surejell fruit pectin.
What to do if my jam doesn’t set?
If you end up making the jam and find that it’s too runny or soft, don’t worry, you can fix it! Maybe your berries were extra ripe and juicy, or maybe the sugar didn’t get dissolved well enough when you added the pectin and you see pools of liquid at the bottom of the jar.
The best thing to do is to pour all of the jam back into a large bowl. Cook another box of pectin with water (step 5), and add it to the jam. Stir it really well, until the sugar is completely dissolved. The extra box of pectin will help to thicken the jam further.
Consider serving with:
Raspberry Freezer Jam
- *Use firm, ripe berries for the best flavor and set. (You don't want to use overripe berries or the jam may be too soft and runny.)
- Wash and rinse glass or plastic containers. How many you use depends on how big they are. This recipe makes about 7-8 cups of jam.
- Add berries to a large bowl and lightly mash them. Be careful not to over mash them---hey should still look fairly chunky, but not like whole berries.
- Measure out exactly 3 cups of mashed berries and pour them into a separate large bowl. (If you have leftover mashed berries you could freeze them for smoothies or use them for topping on pancakes or waffles.)
- Gradually stir in 1 cup of the sugar to the mashed berries, and stir until sugar is dissolved. Repeat, adding just one cup of sugar at a time and then mixing, until you use up the remaining 4 ¼ cups of sugar.Let stand for 10 minutes.
- In a small saucepan, stir together pectin with ¾ cup water. Bring to a rolling boil (a boil that doesn't stop when stirred) over medium-high heat, stirring often. Boil for one minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat.
- Stir pectin into the berries mixture. Continue stirring the mixture until sugar is completely dissolved and no longer grainy. This step is important! (see notes in post above).
- Pour jam into containers, leaving 1/2in of space at the top of the container, for expansion. Cover with lid and allow jam to rest at room temperature for 24 hours before freezing.
- Jam will keep for up to 3 weeks in the refrigerator, or freeze for up to one year.
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*I originally shared this recipe in June 2013. Updated August 2018.
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