Homemade jam can feel like a real chore, but it doesn't have to be that way. Instead of going through all of the tedious steps for canning, try a freezer jam instead. Safely frozen, these easy jams don't require sterilizing or boiling, but will still keep for months.
Recipes written specifically for keeping in the freezer are a little different than a typical jam recipe. Instead of cooking the fruit with sugar until the jam naturally thickens up, freezer jams often use raw, mashed fruit and pectin. The fresh flavor of the fruit is preserved and the pectin helps the jam to thicken up. Pectin can be purchased at most grocery stores or wherever canning supplies are sold. Freezer jams tend to be thinner than other jams but still showcase seasonal fruit nicely.
The recipes below are a mixture of freezer jam recipes and classic jam recipes that include instructions for storing in the fridge or freezer without canning. Both types of jams will last in the freezer for three months to a year or the fridge for up to a month.
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If you're lucky enough to have a surplus of fresh blueberries, then don't let a single precious berry go to waste. Freezer jam is a quick and easy way to preserve blueberries while capturing their fresh flavor for months to come. You can use fresh or frozen berries for this recipe—just make sure it's the best quality you can find. A splash of lemon juice highlights the berries nicely.
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You only need a few simple ingredients to make this ultra-simple strawberry jam. For strawberry jam that tastes more jam-like than the freezer variety and doesn't require pectin, this recipe is ideal. Fresh berries, sugar, and lemon juice cook until the perfect temperature is reached, releasing the fruit's natural pectin. Store extra in the freezer for up to three months or the fridge for up to three weeks.
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Peach Freezer Jam
Fresh peaches have a relatively short season, but they can be enjoyed all year long when you turn them into this freezer jam. Peeled, crushed peaches are combined with pectin, sugar, lemon, and corn syrup for a light and super fruity spread. Use high-quality, ripe fruit, since freezer jams put the flavor of fresh fruit front and center.
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Fresh figs can be easily turned into a delectable jam that's great served with cheese, on toast, or with scones. Cooked with sugar and lemon until the gel stage is reached, this recipe doesn't call for any pectin. It's sweet and jammy but doesn't require canning (see the tip at the bottom of the recipe). Skip the canning steps and store your jam in jars with at least an inch of room at the top. Keep in the freezer for a month or more and—once moved to the fridge—use within about a week.Continue to 5 of 10 below.
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Fresh rhubarb, sugar, and pectin are all you need to make this sweet and tart freezer jam. The rhubarb turns a lovely red color when cooked and you can add a little fresh ginger if you're so inclined. Store in the freezer and defrost in the fridge overnight before using. Try serving this jam on top of vanilla ice cream or swirl it into Greek yogurt.
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If you've recently acquired some mulberries, you may be wondering what to do with them. Beyond eating them out-of-hand, mulberry jam is a great way to enjoy the unusual fruit. Before using, make sure the berries are well cleaned and free of sticks and stems. There's no need to can this simple recipe (see the note under "canning or other storage"): simply add the warm jam to jars, leaving some room for the jam to expand as it freezes.
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Capture the flavor of fresh strawberries in this quick and easy freezer jam. A simple mixture of mashed fruit, pectin, sugar, and water are combined to make a sweet and flavorful topping, no cooking required. Use on biscuits, for strawberry shortcake, or to top a slice of pound cake. Add in other berries to make a mixed berry jam if you like.
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To preserve the flavor and some of the texture of cherries, make a freezer jam. This tasty recipe combines cherries with a few raspberries for extra berry goodness and to help thicken up the cherry juice. Note that you'll need to pit all of the cherries. If you're making a lot of jam, you might want to invest in a cherry pitter (or enlist the help of friends and family).Continue to 9 of 10 below.
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A unique combination of pears, pineapple, and ginger make this truly memorable jam. Cooked down and puréed, it's silky smooth and sweet, tart, and lightly spicy. This recipe is a traditional keeper jam but includes instructions for skipping the canning process. Store excess in jars in the freezer, leaving at least an inch of room at the top. Try it on French toast or use it to glaze roasted chicken or duck.
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Have you ever tried cantaloupe jam? Sweet and fragrant, it's a unique jam that captures summer in a jar. Use melons that aren't over-ripe for this recipe so that the jam isn't too sweet. To turn this into a freezer jam, simply ignore the canning steps and store filled jars in the freezer for up to three months. The defrosted jam will keep in the fridge for up to 10 days.