Strawberry Freezer Jam

  • 2 c sugar
  • 1/4 c Instant Clear Gel (it's a powder)
  • 1 pkg strawberry Kool-Aid (also a powder)
  • 5 c whole or 3 1/2 c crushed strawberries
  • 1/2 c Karo syrup (light corn syrup)

Mix dry ingredients together well (first 3 ingredients). Mix wets & add to the dries. Mix well -- until sugar is dissolved. Put into jars and freeze, leaving 1/2" headspace.

My tips: ~I always, always double-batch (but never triple). A half-flat of strawberries (or 4 1-lb containers) makes about 7 cups of mashed/pureed strawberries; perfect for a double-batch. A double-batch yields about 11 to 12 cups of jam, so you'll need 11 to 12 half-pint jars or 6 pints. Crush/puree the strawberries by pulsing in the blender. My kids prefer "no chunks" so I do a total puree. If you want "chunks" I would puree part of them, then do a rougher blend on part, then mix those together. Cutting the berries in half after washing/hulling makes them blend more evenly. ~Really mix the dry ingredients together well. I pour them into a big bowl through a sieve and then I mix them together with a whisk or a slotted spoon. Instant clear gel is a modified cornstarch and will make lumps in the jam if not first mixed well with the sugar. You can get instant clear gel (note: has to be called Instant! Not the same as regular clear gel! I learned that the hard way!) from some specialty food stores but I order mine online; Amazon has plenty of vendors. Order a couple pounds of it and it will last you for the next few years' worth of jam. ~How do you know when the sugar is dissolved and it's time to put it into the jars? When you rub a little drop between your fingers and you can't feel the sugar granules anymore. It only takes a few minutes of good mixing. This is SO easy to make! ~This turns out more runny than other freezer jams or cooked jams. But that's okay with me! It's excellent not only on sandwiches or toast but also on pancakes, french toast, crepes; even ice cream. Mmmm.

Recipe courtesy of my mother-in-law Ruth

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