Small Batch Refrigerator (or Freezer) Jam
I have been super excited to share this recipe with you guys for weeks, because I have been gobbling it up! And every time I dig my spoon in to slather a piece of toast with this jam, I’m just in heaven– so I know it’s a winning recipe that you guys are going to love too!
When it comes to homemade jam, I generally stay far, far away from making it on my own. My mom best the best jam on the planet, and she keeps us supplied pretty well in the summer months.
But I recently had a craving for some homemade strawberry jam and also happened to have some extra strawberries on hand that were starting to turn. I knew we weren’t going to eat them in the condition they were in (we’re super picky fruit eaters around here), but they were basically untouched cartons of strawberries, and I didn’t want them to go to waste!
So I figured jam was the perfect solution– minus the fact I didn’t have a TON of strawberries. It seems like all the recipes for jam call for, like, a million pounds of fruit! But after a little bit of digging around online for small batch solutions, I found a number of recipes for refrigerator jam (essentially freezer jam, but a smaller batch) that were exactly what I was looking for!
I found this recipe from Recipe Girl was closest to the type of recipe I was looking for, with the exception of the small addition of cornstarch that I used in mine.
The jam turned out DELICIOUS. I really could just eat it with a spoon! And sometimes I do ;)
A few things to note… keep in mind that refrigerator jam is NOT going to have the same consistency as other homemade jam recipes that call for the use of pectin. The jam texture is achieved through the sugar, corn starch, and boil time– and while it is thicker than a sauce, it’s not going to be as firm as pectin jam. But, I can personally assure you, the the texture of this jam is one of its charming qualities that makes me prefer it over other jams!
Refrigerator jam is not necessarily meant to have as long of a shelf life as pectin jams. Most recipes I read through suggest a 2 week shelf life, but we are on week 5-ish and it’s still wonderful. In my opinion, the sugar and lemon juice really keep this recipe fresh for a VERY long time. Still… something to keep in mind.
Can you freeze it like freezer jam? I don’t know. We didn’t. But my best assumption would be: yes, you can!
This recipe made about 2- 16 ounce mason jars for me. Maybe a little more– we actually ate a lot of it warm right out of the pot on this homemade french bread, so I’m not 100% sure on how much the yield is exactly. But it’s close to 32 ounces. Maybe a touch more.
- 5 cups strawberries, fresh or thawed from frozen
- 5 tbsp. lemon juice
- 1 tbsp corn starch
- 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
Add the strawberries to a pot (I used a 4 quart saucepan) and mash. You could use a potato masher, pastry cutter, or fork-- anything to mash up the fruit and release the juices.
Pour the lemon juice into a sandwich-size ziptop bag and add the cornstarch. Seal and shake the bag until the cornstarch has dissolved. Pour the mixture into the pot with the strawberries.
Add the sugar and stir all ingredients together.
Turn the stove top to medium-high and bring mixture to a ROLLING boil (as in, the bubbles don't stop when you stir them). Allow the jam to boil for 20-25 minutes, stirring often. Mixture should thickly coat the back of a spoon.
Remove from heat and allow to cool before dividing the jam into jars. Store in the refrigerator.