How to Make Homemade Freezer Jam

How to Make Homemade Freezer Jam

By Jessica Ellingsworth, Contributing Writer

Summer is arguably the best time for savoring seasonal foods, especially perfectly ripened fresh berries. As a child, the berries our family didn’t eat right away either got frozen for the long winter or made into freezer jam. If you’ve made freezer jam, you probably know what I mean when I say it is the gift that keeps on giving. Nothing on any grocery store shelf will even compare to homemade freezer jam.

I skipped making freezer jam on our move from Missouri to Texas about a year ago, and my children acted like I deprived them of an essential nutrient when our freezer was jam-less all winter. Well, I am back in the saddle this summer and I am sharing jam tips after getting my hands on these gorgeous raspberries this week.

How to Make Homemade Freezer Jam

F.A.Q.s About Freezer Jam

Let’s begin with some basic questions you may have before moving onto the method of making it.

What is freezer jam?

Freezer jam is not cooked, so the flavor is like ripe fruit and the texture is chunky. Plus, no standing over a hot stove in the summer! Expect a softer set than canned jam with a fresh fruit taste.

Do I need canning supplies or to sterilize anything?

Making freezer jam requires no sterilizing or sealing of jars. Just clean your jars with hot, soapy water or run through the dishwasher.

How long does freezer jam last in the freezer and refrigerator?

Jam keeps well in the freezer up to a year or more. Once it’s thawed in the fridge, it will last 4-6 weeks.

What kind of pectin do you recommend?

My favorite pectin is Sure Jell. They offer low sugar or no sugar options, as well as their classic recipe. Ball brand also makes a no-cook pectin that some jam folks prefer.

Any tips on what kinds of berries to use?

I know this seems obvious, but I’ll say it: perfectly ripe fruits make the best jams. Don’t be afraid of combining two of your favorite fruits into one jam. Peach-Raspberry, anyone?!

How long does it take to make freezer jam?

Perhaps my favorite part of homemade freezer jam is you can have a batch of freezer jam done in 30 minutes.

Any other freezer jam bonuses?

Why yes! It is a lovely, heart-felt gift for a teacher, neighbor, or friend. Kids also love helping with the basic measuring, stirring and simplicity of freezer jam. My two-year-old son and I had a wonderful time making this together.

How to Make Freezer Jam

Here are the steps, complete with photographs, for the best jam every time:

1. Wash and measure out the fruit. The pectin comes with a guideline; follow it exactly so the jam will set well. I used 3 pints of raspberries for 7 cups of jam.

How to Make Homemade Freezer Jam

2. Get out a good ole potato masher and crush the berries. Sieve out 1/2 cup pulp to remove some seeds, if you prefer. I skip this and go for full pulp.

How to Make Homemade Freezer Jam

How to Make Homemade Freezer Jam
3. Measure exact amounts (according to the recipe on the pectin) of crushed berries into a bowl.

How to Make Homemade Freezer Jam

4. Add sugar (again, according to the recipe on the pectin) and let it sit for about 10 minutes. Sugar helps set the pectin and preserves the fruit.

How to Make Homemade Freezer Jam

5. Now’s the time to add the pectin according to package directions. If using Sure-Jell, bring the package and 3/4 c. water to a boil for 1 minute. Pour into the fruit and stir for 3 minutes, making sure everything is incorporated. The two year-old stepped in and stirred for me.

How to Make Homemade Freezer Jam

6. Fill jars. Using a basic funnel makes it really easy.

How to Make Homemade Freezer Jam

Now your homemade freezer jam is ready for the freezer or the first piece of warm sourdough toast!

About the Author

Screen Shot 2013-08-12 at 10.45.46 PMJessica Ellingsworth is the editor and curator of Mayvn serves as a lifestyle spot for stylish, yet simple homemaking. Jessica is the wife of a musician/composer, mother to two beautiful daughters and one dashing son. When she isn’t running around with the children, she can be found honing her photography skills in her city of Austin, Texas, experimenting with makeup artistry, and romancing her handsome husband with culinary treats.



  1. michaela says

    I was wondering can the jam go in the fridge for a few weeks and then go in the freezer by chance?

    • Jessica says


      Sealing the lids up tight and refrigerating (without using) for a few weeks should be fine if you eventually move them to the freezer for long-term keeping. If you are going to use one right away, just keep it in the fridge–there is no initial freezing required.
      Hope that helps–Jessica

  2. Kimberly says

    My daughter made the jam and set it on the cabinet for the jars to seal. None of them sealed and they sat out for 24 hours. Does she need to throw it out or can she go ahead and freeze it?

    • Rachel says

      Right, freezer jam won’t seal because it was never processed. That’s why you have to freeze it (to preserve it). I’m not sure what to tell you about it sitting out for 24 hours. If it were me, I’d probably still eat it since there’s nothing super perishable in it (like dairy). I’ve definitely left opened jam out of the fridge for 24 hours before and ate it. But, I’m not an expert about food safety, so I’d hate to steer you wrong.

  3. Cheryl Ramirez says

    I have made freezer jam several times in the past few years but it never occurred to me to mix flavors!! Great suggestion!

  4. Lynn says

    I made strawberry freezer jam by the SureJell directions. I left the 6 jars out on the counter for 24 hours and then placed them in the freezer. The next day I looked in the freezer and all 6 jars had a white blob all around showing through the jar. I took one jar out of the freezer to thaw in the frig and it thawed and the white blob is no longer visible. The white blob was not there either before I placed the jars in the freezer to begin with. Have you ever heard of this and what would cause a white blob to show up only in the freezer?

    • Rachel says

      I don’t know for sure. Were your jars completely cooled when you put them in the freezer? Do you think it was just the moisture in it that had frozen around the sides?

  5. billie says

    If I want to make freezer jam for Christmas gifts, and I take them out of the freezer on Christmas Eve to give, does the jam need to be refrigerated right away, or can it be left out of the refrigerator until the person gets home with it?

    • Rachel says

      It will stay frozen for a while, so I’m guessing it will be ok.

  6. Krystal A says

    Have you ever had a batch that came out really liquidy? I made one with my grandma like that yesterday any suggestions on how to fix it?

    • Rachel says

      I’m going to have to defer this one to other readers, since my friend, Jess, is really the expert here. Does anyone have any suggestions for Krystal?

  7. Jax says

    Hi, I’m going to try this for the first time, so I’ve been doing a lot of research. Several recipes I’ve found have said to let the jam set out for 24 hours and then freeze it. I didn’t notice anything in this recipe about how long to let them set before refrigerating/freezing? Thanks!

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Posted in Eat Well, Recipe, Condiments & Mixes, Eat Well, Eat Well, Recipe, Freezer Meals, Freezer Misc, Jessica Ellingsworth, Eat Well, Recipe