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Last weekend, I went strawberry picking, and I picked a whole bunch of beautiful ripe berries. After a few days, though, they started to get that soft, squishy feeling to them. And, as much as I love strawberries, I’m really not a big fan of the mushy ones. I can’t handle the texture. I hated the thought of wasting them, though, so I had to figure out something to do with them.
The solution to my squishy strawberry problem was to make jam since, when the strawberries are all cooked down together into delicious jam, you can’t tell which ones were mushy to begin with anyways!
The bonus of making homemade strawberry freezer jam is that you can put anything into it that you want to. When you buy store bought jam, you’re limited by the (often questionable) ingredients they use, but when you make your own, you can use whatever sweeteners and flavorings you like.
(Note: I called this a “freezer jam” because I store it in the freezer rather than preserving it with the canning process, but after writing this post I realized that there’s also a separate category of jams called freezer jams where the fruit isn’t actually cooked, so technically my jam isn’t really a freezer jam by that definition.)
Here is the recipe I used:
Strawberry Maple Freezer Jam
- 2 cups hulled and halved strawberries
- 1/4 tsp lemon peel (I used freshly grated rather than dried)
- 6 Tbs maple syrup (I used Grade B syrup for a stronger maple flavor)
(*Note* I only had 2 cups of strawberries left over, so I only had enough to make one 4 oz jar of jam, but this recipe could be easily doubled or tripled if you have extra strawberries.)
- Hull your strawberries to remove the stems and leaves and slice them in half (or in quarters if you have any really big ones).
- Crush the strawberries with a potato masher until no big pieces are left.
- Simmer the berries in a saucepan on medium heat, stirring often so they don’t stick to the bottom of the pan (I’ve definitely made that mistake before!)
- Add the maple syrup and the lemon peel and continue simmering and stirring until the jam reaches a thick consistency — about 30 minutes. Even though this recipe doesn’t have any added pectin (mainly because I didn’t have any on hand at the time), my jam still thickened up really well just with the simmering.
If you want a really smooth jam with no pieces of berry in it, you could strain the jam through a sieve, but since I don’t mind a few strawberry pieces mixed in I just left mine as it was.
This recipe makes enough to fill one 4 Oz Mason Jar. If I had had more mushy strawberries, though, I definitely would have made more!
This jam should keep in the fridge for 1-2 weeks, but for long-term storage it should go in the freezer. If you get the freezer-safe 4 oz jars, you can actually just put it right in the freezer (once it cools a bit) if you’re not planning to eat all your jam right away. Mine’s still in the fridge, though, because I’m pretty sure I’ll be polishing it off within the next couple of days!
What’s your favorite way to use up leftover, mushy strawberries?
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The information in this post is not to be taken as medical advice and is not intended to diagnose or treat any disease.