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How To Make Homemade Jam From Frozen Raspberries, Blueberries and Marionberries

How To Make Homemade Jam From Frozen Raspberries, Blueberries and Marionberries
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Homemade jam has to be one of my all time favorite things to make. I love the way my house smells when I make it. I love the beautiful bright color of the jam. I love stacking jars and jars of it in my pantry. And most of all…baby. I love the taste. There really is no comparison between homemade jam and store purchased jam, am I right!

I made a bunch of jam yesterday, and thought you might enjoy seeing a little tutorial in case you want to make homemade jam a reality in your life. I am aware that it is the middle of October and fresh berries are hard to come by. I have had a lot of success using frozen raspberries, blueberries and marionberries for jam. (Please don’t use frozen strawberries). Which means, you don’t have to wait for prime berry season to make heavenly jam. Frozen berries work just as well.

There are a lot of methods around for making jam. There is Freezer Jam, Cooked Jam and Really Quick/Easy Jam, just to name a few. I prefer the Cooked Jam method, mostly because that’s what I grew up with. I have mentioned to you all in the past that my late Grandma made the most delightful cooked raspberry jam ever to walk the planet. Why would I want to mess with perfection! And so, her method is my method. The tips and tricks I share in this post come straight from her experience of making jam for decades upon decades. She most often used raspberries from her garden that she stored in the freezer until she had enough to do a batch of jam.

If you have any tips or advice for making jam, I would love for you to leave them in the comment section at the bottom of the post.

SUPPLIES NEEDED:
Frozen Raspberries, Blueberries or Marionberries
***NOTE: I do not recommend using frozen strawberries. I have made jam with frozen strawberries before, without much success. However, several readers have informed me they use frozen strawberries with fabulous results. Perhaps I will try it agian and see if I can do better next time. :) ***
Pectin
Jars (I buy regular mouth, pint-sized jars)
Lids
Rings
Sugar
Butter

1. Lay your berries out to thaw. I purchased my berries at Costco in a triple berry medley bag, and then separated them out. I purchased three 5 pound bags which gave me enough berries for 5 batches of jam, about 19 pints worth.  Now, don’t leave your berries out for hours and hours to thaw. I like them to still be a little bit cold when I put them into the jam making pot. I generally lay them out to thaw and then get my jars washed, dried and ready to go. Once my jars are ready the berries have thawed enough to start using them. The longer they sit, the more juice they lose and this can affect the thickening process. All told I was able to make all 5 batches in about 2 1/2 hours. The last batch of berries used were getting pretty juicy, but it still turned out well. Also, please note that mixed berry jam is wonderful as well if you would like to skip the sorting step and keep your berries mixed.

2. Find yourself some pectin.

Open it up and along with the actual pectin, you will find a chart that tells you exactly how much fruit and how much sugar you will need for each batch. I have found there to be several different brands of pectin available and each one varies a bit as to how much fruit and sugar to use. So, it is best if you read the specific recipe that comes with the pectin you end up purchasing. However, just for reference, I will list the increments I used for each kind of fruit so you can get an idea of about how much fruit and sugar you need to buy.

Raspberry: (Makes 4 pints)
5 cups crushed raspberries
7 cups sugar

Blueberry: (Makes 3 pints)
4 cups crushed blueberries
4 cups sugar

Marionberry: (Makes 4 pints)
5 cups crushed marionberries
7 cups sugar

3. While your berries thaw, wash your jars in hot soapy water. Dry them well and set them aside.

4. Place your rings

and lids into a sauce pan and cover them with hot water. Please note that the rings may be re-used from year to year, but the lids can only be used once.

Put the sauce pan on the stove and let it come to a boil. Reduce the heat and let them simmer until you are ready to use them. Keeping them nice and hot really helps the lids to seal nicely once they are on the jars.

5. Measure out the appropriate amount of sugar you will need for the first batch. And let me just interject here, and inform you that as disappointing as it may seem…it isn’t a great idea to double the batches. It just doesn’t turn out as well and the jam won’t thicken up like you want it to. Then you will have wasted money and time and you might want to crawl under the kitchen table and hide for a day or two. Just stick with one batch at a time, ok? Power through, man. :) Heavenly tasting jam is a just aroung the bend.

6. Measure out the correct amount of berries and place them in a large, heavy pot. If you are using raspberries or marionberries, just mash them up a bit with a potato masher. They are such delicate little beauties, it won’t take much to break them up. They will also come apart really quickly once they start to heat up, so if you skip the mashing step…it will be just fine.

However, if you are using blueberries it’s a good idea to blend them up before you place them in the pot. This helps the outer skin of each berry become incorporated into the jam. I find it handy to use an immersion blender, but you can use a regular blender as well.

7. Sprinkle the pectin over the top of the berries and stir it in with a large spoon. Turn the heat to high and stir the berries constantly until you have a hard boil. What in the wide world is a hard boil, you are wondering? A hard boil means that the mixture can hold a bubbling boil, even while you are stirring. Once this happens…

Quickly add the sugar to the pot and stir it in.

8. Continue stirring constantly while the mixture returns to a hard boil. Once the hard boil has been attained, let it boil away for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Now, if your jam starts to pop and explode and get really wild, just turn the heat off. Leave the pot on the burner and watch it to make sure it’s still boiling away. Once it has boiled for 1 minute, remove the pot from the heat.

9. Add 1 teaspoon of butter to the pot and stir it around until it’s melted and incorporated. The butter helps the jam stay glossy and eliminates foam.

10. Place a wide mouth funnel onto the top of a jar.

Dip a large measuring cup into the pot of hot jam and fill it up. Pour the hot jam into each jar. Do you like how I so nicely laid out some paper towels to catch any drips that might happen. Notice the drips…? Kind of missed the paper towel, didn’t I. Have I mentioned to you that I am a work in progress?

11. Take a damp paper towel, or dish rag and wipe off the rim of each jar. You want to be sure they are free from any of the sticky jam, so the lids will seal up nicely for you.

12. Place a lid on each jar and fasten it with a ring. Let the jars cool. It’s really important that the lids seal to the jars. (I don’t want you or your loved ones to be poisoned…please take heed.) You will hear a popping noise as the lids seal to the jars. This usually takes about 30 minutes to an hour after the jars have been filled. You can also tell if the jars have sealed by pressing your finger gently into the center of the lid. If the lid has any give to it, it has not made a seal. If the lid is  firm, you are good to go. Generally, the jam is so hot that the lids will seal without needing to be processed in a water bath. I haven’t ever had any trouble with mine.  We generally eat the jam within 4-6 months. However, if your lids don’t seal you will most definitely need to process them. I did a little searching on YouTube and found this tutorial on water bath canning to be helpful. If you should need it. :)

13. The jam will take about 24 hours to thicken up. Store it in a dark, cool spot.  Once each jar is opened, please store it in the refrigerator.

Enjoy!

 

 

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43 Comments

  1. 1
    Janelle
    October 19, 2012 at 9:16 am

    Is it okay to use frozen berries for freezer jam? I’ve always thought they had to be fresh for that…but maybe I was wrong? I didn’t get my batches made this summer, and I’m already missing it.

  2. 2
    AprilM
    October 19, 2012 at 10:43 am

    My sister freezes her fresh fruits in the summer so she can make jam in the fall for winter when she wants to heat up her kitchen with all the processing. The first time she did it because the fruit would have gone bad and she didn’t have time to process it. Now she does it on purpose.

  3. 3
    Heather H.
    October 19, 2012 at 10:43 am

    Have you ever combined berries to make a mixed jam?

  4. 4
    Ann Humhreys
    October 19, 2012 at 10:56 am

    Can you use any kind of berries in the jams? I like the idea of making my jam

    Thanks,
    Ann

    • 5
      Jamie
      October 20, 2012 at 11:28 am

      Hi Ann,
      I have had good luck with raspberries, blueberries and marionberries. I have tried it with strawberries, but without much luck. However, several readers have informed me they have had good luck with strawberries.
      Good luck!
      ~Jamie

      • 6
        Georgette
        May 30, 2014 at 6:39 am

        I just made a batch of strawberry preserves w/Certo as my pectin. The preserves are lovely and thickened nicely.

  5. 7
    Bernice Ymker
    October 19, 2012 at 11:33 am

    I do this same procedure all the time using frozen strawberries with excellent results. I’m wondering why you recommend not using them

    • 8
      Jamie
      October 20, 2012 at 11:26 am

      Bernice,
      Thanks for letting me know you have had success with strawberries. It tried it once, with terrible results. :) Perhaps I will give it another try. Might I ask you a question. Do you let your strawberries come to room temprature, and then do you blend them or just mash them before you cook them. I think I had an excess of juice which made the jam not set properly. Thanks!
      ~Jamie

  6. 9
    Tammy Henderson
    October 19, 2012 at 12:08 pm

    Jamie, I too love home made jam. Yummy! When we moved here we found an acre or so of wild raspberry and blackberries on the property. August is such a busy time, though and I found that it was so much easier to freeze the berries on cookie sheets, transfer them to freezer bags once their frozen, and then I can make jam whenever I have time for it. Since my berries are wild though, I find they have a lot more seeds, so I usually process about half of them through my applesauce mill to get rid of some of them. Thanks for the great tips and the reminder that I have 5 gallon bags of berries in the freezer waiting to be made into jam. :o )

  7. 10
    Holly W
    October 19, 2012 at 4:04 pm

    My mom and I were just discussing the other day that I should make jam out of my frozen berries. I am so glad you posted this. I would have just followed the sure-jell recipe but could you tell me why you add butter? Is that part of the pectin recipe? I don’t add butter when I make freezer jam from fresh berries so I’m wondering why it needs to be added. Thanks so much!

  8. 11
    Sarah
    October 19, 2012 at 9:27 pm

    I freeze my berries AND chopped rhubarb in large gallon baggies for this very purpose. I just don’t have the time in the Summer and the heat from the waterbath is just so awful on a day that’s 100 degrees or worse. I smash up the rhubarb in the blender and have used it with all kinds of berries with awesome results. Thanks for reminding me to go get that those finished now that I have the time and all of my equipment is out from canning up all the tomatoes! ;)

  9. 12
    Sarah
    October 19, 2012 at 9:29 pm

    Heather, we made a triple berry jam one year for presents that was by far the favorite.

  10. 13
    Donna
    October 19, 2012 at 11:43 pm

    I read your newsletter everyday and really enjoy your recipes. I have been making jam/jelly for years. I want to say that boiling your lids is not a good idea because it can ruin the “glue”. It is best to put them in very hot water. I also put my jars in my dishwasher right before I put the jelly/jam in so that the jars are hot/warm before putting the hot liquid into them to avoid cracking. After filling the jars, leaving 1/8″ head space, place jars in a large pot fill with water to 2″ above tops of jars, bring to a boil and boil 5 minutes and remove. This seals the jars and helps to keep the fruit from spoiling. You will hear them popping. If you don’t hear one pop just check the lid to see if the lid is flat. To be sure it has been sealed when it is cooled, unscrew the ring and hold it by the lid and it should not move or fall. Just my 2 cents.

  11. 14
    October 19, 2012 at 11:49 pm

    Beautiful, Jamie! I don’t think I’ve ever tried marion berry jam. I’m impressed you separated 15 pounds of berries – what a job! You’re brave to hand wash your jars. I didn’t grow up eating home canned foods so I’m cautious and always sterilize my jars in the dishwasher to be on the safe side since botulism caused by bacteria which does not affect the smell or flavor of contaminated foods. Needless to say, I process in a water bath too (unless I plan to freeze or refrigerate short-term). It’s a little more work, but I sleep better knowing I’ve done it.

  12. 15
    October 19, 2012 at 11:55 pm

    PS – I blogged about strawberry jam made with frozen berries (also from Costco, my favorite store).

  13. 16
    October 20, 2012 at 6:29 am

    Jamie, what an awesome tutorial! I have canned berry jams before, but never using frozen berries. I LOVE this idea and your super simple method. I would much rather do this after the weather cools down so that I don’t create a steam bath in my already hot summer kitchen. It’s great to know it’s not too late to can some jam for holiday gifts, too. I’m heading for Costco today! (Pinned it, too.)

  14. 17
    October 20, 2012 at 5:44 pm

    Just found this on Pinterest, that was about the best description of canning I’ve seen. You really took the mystery out of it for me and now it doesn’t seem so scary! Thanks!!

  15. 18
    Jamie Hall
    October 20, 2012 at 10:00 pm

    I use strawberries all of the time, but I only make them into freezer jam. It is delicious. And I don’t pour off any of the water…I just mash them and follow the recipe on the box of sure-gel. My family loves it, and it saves so much time (and energy!) Love your blog. Now following!

  16. 19
    October 21, 2012 at 12:02 am

    I am making your Jam in both Marionberry and Rasberry flavor. I will be using costco berries as well. Jam is the best thing on the planet. Thanks for the tutorial. I would never have had the guts to try without it. Its one of those super intimidating projects. I made labels for my jam and posted them on my blog. Would care if I put a link to my blog in a comment on your post? I am new to blogging. Thanks, Emily

  17. 20
    Anne
    October 22, 2012 at 8:34 am

    Do any of you know which costco carries the marion berries , mine had a different blend. of blueberries,raspberries and blackberries . thanks

  18. 21
    Holly W
    October 23, 2012 at 9:28 pm

    I looks like I am the only one with the butter question, but in case someone else wants to know as well – butter reduces the foaming when you’re cooking the berries. That’s why it’s added, however it’s not necessary to the success of the recipe.

  19. 22
    Mary Ellen
    October 31, 2012 at 6:56 pm

    I use exactly the same method as you do with one exception. After each jar is filled and the seal is on, I turn the jar up-side-down until I’ve finished filling all of the jars (about 10 minutes) . It helps the seals to stay really hot. I’ve never had to water-bath can any jams.

  20. 23
    Chris
    November 14, 2012 at 7:05 pm

    I have alot of frozen peaches I obtained (fresh) from an orchard in south Georgia. They were fantastic fresh and I bet they would make a great jam. I bought a small jar of what the orchard sold ($5 for 8 ounces — OUCH!!) but it was darn good! I was trying to see the fruits listed but surely peaches would be. I think I’m going to try them. Wish me luck!

  21. 24
    Ranni
    December 17, 2012 at 4:25 pm

    I have a question here: Can I make using the mixed berries from costco. Not separating them but use the mixed berries together!!

  22. 25
    Lauren
    December 23, 2012 at 7:37 am

    Hi Jamie.
    Love the picture tutorials. We took a canning class a couple months ago but are trying it out on our own for the 1st time today, hopefully in time for Christmas (by the way, the yarn adds a simple classic touch!). Need your help putting a rumor to rest. My significant other insists you can use brown sugar in place of white sugar, but I’m not sold on the idea. Please help us out. Thank you and Happy Holidays!

    • 26
      Jamie
      December 23, 2012 at 8:39 am

      Hi Lauren,
      I haven’t ever heard of using brown sugar. I would stick with white. :)
      Good luck!
      ~Jamie

  23. 27
    bette webster
    January 6, 2013 at 1:00 pm

    So I am going to start this process hope I don’ t mess it up.

  24. 28
    Melissa
    January 16, 2013 at 9:35 pm

    I would love to hear success stories for using frozen strawberries and what you did differently to make it successful. My family will only eat homemade strawberry jam and no other kind. We are on our last jar of jam. I need to make more but the fresh strawberries right now are look nasty. Im sure the frozen are much better. Any suggestions?

    • 29
      February 7, 2014 at 10:27 pm

      Oh I need to get my butt in gear and get some berries…I got a few to eat on the wekeend but need to go get more…where do you go?Love your milk glass my friend…red and white..beautiful together. Hugs for a great day. oxox

  25. 30
    marge
    April 24, 2013 at 1:37 pm

    cMy Aunt (the most famous jam maker) taught me if you are just short of your berries, add crushed pineapple(no juice) to make up the amount you need. I have done it for years and it works very well. Also, nice to find a bit of pineapple in the jam when eating it.
    I hate to say, I always double my recipes and have the best of luck. Never have had a failure. I always use Certo. And Aunt told me that on the final boiling, to boil two minutes, not one.
    PS not advising anyone to double reciepes.

  26. 31
    Katie
    June 7, 2013 at 8:12 am

    Jamie, I am a jam lover as well. I make dozens of pints and half pints every year. I also make pickles, relishes, mustards, chutneys and ketchups. I would encourage you to read about the USDA’s canning guidelines. You are recommendinga couple of things that we now know are just not safe- canning in unsterilized jars and not using a hot water bath. These are procedures that kill botulism and other dangerous bacteria.

    http://nchfp.uga.edu/publications/usda/INTRO%20section%20Home%20Can.pdf

    LOVE your blog… just want you to be safe and to teach others the safe way to do things!

  27. 32
    Karla
    July 9, 2013 at 1:10 pm

    This is the first time I’ve made jam and I just have to say I love how you used pictures! I am sitting here looking at the jars and call me geeky but my toddler and I get excited every time we hear the lids pop as they seal! That’s a great sign for us to know that we canned the jam correctly! Thanks so much for posting this tutorial!

  28. 33
    babs
    September 21, 2013 at 8:57 am

    I found a recipe for chocolate Lavender raspberry jam by jennifer vasich and would like to incorporate the lavender/chocolate portion to your recipe. I wonder if it would work. Any ideas?

  29. 34
    barb
    October 21, 2013 at 2:42 pm

    3 hours ago I made Cherry Triple Berry Jam following your tutorial. Thanks so much, It is already setting up and I know it will be a success! I used 3 bags of cherry triple berry mixed fruit from the freezer section at Trader Joe’s for a single batch (with 1 1/2 cups leftover that I refroze and will use for smoothies). I pulsed the frozen fruit in the food processor. Put it on the stove with one box of Sure Jell. Then added 7 cups of sugar according to your directions. I jarred up 12 half pint and 4 pint jars. I Then used the water bath method. Easy peasy. Thank you so much for this recipe. It is a keeper for sure.

  30. 35
    jay
    October 22, 2013 at 12:02 pm

    can I use frozen rhubarb

  31. 36
    barb
    November 2, 2013 at 1:55 pm

    I just made this with frozen mangos. “mango citrus jam” Steeped 2 TBS of cardomon pods in the juice of a few fresh lemons, limes and one big orange. strained it after 20 min and added it to the mango. Then followed your directions. Added the zest of the orange at the end before canning. Ta Da! Perfection.

  32. 37
    Evelyn
    March 31, 2014 at 7:57 pm

    Actually, you do not need to boil the rings at all. They just need to be clean (I run mine in the dishwasher with the jars if they have been used. The ring doesn’t come in contact with the jam at all.

    So, I simmer the lids on the stove, not the rings.

    I make raspberry jam ALL the time with bagged, frozen fruit. I got tired of buying expensive raspberries that were molded in the middle of the pack.

  33. 38
    Sandy
    May 16, 2014 at 10:49 am

    Hello, what changes would I need to make if I was mixing all three berries for a triple berry jam using sure jell? Hoping to make it today!

    • 39
      Jamie
      May 19, 2014 at 7:33 am

      Sandy,
      There are no alterations needed in order to mix the berries. Just read the package directions and use the amount of fruit required for raspberry jam. Best of luck to you!
      ~Jamie

  34. 40
    Ramona
    July 4, 2014 at 8:04 pm

    Thank you for posting this. After 42 years living in the AZ desert, we’ve moved to where I can grow things. This property came with a raspberry patch and this year we’ve got a bunch! Of course, they don’t all ripen at once, so I was wondering about freezing them until there were enough to make a first attempt at jam. I do believe you’ve answered all the questions and I’m anxious to try this. Thank you for sharing your Grandmother’s recipe. I treasure my Grandmother’s recipes and I think we can learn so much from the “old ways”.

  35. 41
    Leona Wagner
    July 15, 2014 at 6:20 pm

    Can you make freezer jam with frozen strawberries and frozen rhubarb?

  36. 42
    Angie
    July 19, 2014 at 9:24 am

    I am glad to know I am not the only one that doesn’t process the jars after making jam! I helped my mother-in-law make peach jam a few years ago and we did not process the jars. She was about 70 years old at the time. I was concerned about spoilage but it never happened. I figured if she had been canning with her mother since she was a little girl and none of them got sick or died then we should be ok! So, I don’t process my jars and have never had a spoilage problem. I do put my jars and lids in a hot water bath before I put the hot jelly in and then after they are tight I turn them upside down because that is what she did. I don’t know the purpose of turning them upside down.

  37. 43
    rita
    July 19, 2014 at 5:26 pm

    made this jam with frozen raspberries with my 11 year old son for a 4-H project. turned out great. He did everything except pouring hot jam in jars. have 2 more bags in freezer so will make this recipe again

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