You can make wonderful homemade jams and jellies all winter long when you make them from frozen berries and fruit. Either freeze them up yourself in the summer OR buy frozen fruits and berries anytime to fill your pantry. This post is going to tell you everything I know about How to Make Jelly from Frozen Berries.
How to make jelly from frozen berries
First of all, you need to HAVE frozen berries to make jam or jelly with. All summer I spend little bits of time putting away fruits and berries as they come into season. I like to freeze them to make jams out of when I have more time. Say, January when everything is bleak.
And the perfect antidote for cold, windy weather is something hot and bubbling on the stove. When it reminds you of that day in summer, when it was so hot and the berries were ripe, it is so much sweeter outside.
I know I can make jam from frozen strawberries. Or blackberry jam from frozen blackberries. I even freeze bing cherries to make this AMAZING Bing Cherry Pie Filling!
And if you love rhubarb like we do then I have this WHOLE post all about how to use up ALL the rhubarb you can grow.
How to Flash Freeze Berries for Making Jam
I like to flash freeze berries, cherries, and chopped rhubarb. That way I have individual berries to work with later on. One note on freezing berries don’t overload the deep freezers by adding a bunch of warm berries at a time. Most deep freezers can handle 2-4 pounds of berries at a time while maintaining their 0° temperature. So you need to space the freezing of fruit or berries out over a couple of days, which works perfectly if you’re harvesting your own berries.
- wash or clean berries as desired or needed, sometimes they only need to be picked over if you grew them
- if washed let them dry
- line baking sheets with parchment paper OR foil OR plastic wrap
- lay dry berries on the baking sheet
- cool in the refrigerator to speed the freezing process
- put in deep freezer at 0° for a minimum of 24 hours or until frozen solid
- working quickly so the berries don’t thaw out bag in serving size bags (I put them up in 4 cup increments) or vacuum bags
- OR put in one big gallon ziploc and squeeze out all the air
- quickly put them bag in the deep freeze so the berries don’t thaw out
Bigger fruits like peaches, nectarines, or plums must be blanched first before freezing for use later. If you don’t blanch you risk an enzymatic break down of your fruit. Read more about blanching from any cooperative extension service or read this piece from the Oregon State University
OR you can buy frozen fruits or berries to make jams and jellies
Now let’s just say you didn’t put away any fruit or berries this summer because you don’t grow them or didn’t get them in season. First I’d like to say join the club, we all do that!
For goodness sake I live in Alaska, there is no way I can pick all the blueberries my family eats so I buy organic frozen Strawberries, raspberries, and blueberries from Costco. No shame in that, they are sustainably farmed, organic, and taste great.
How do I use frozen fruits to make jam or jelly?
Now that you’ve got frozne fruit to work with HOW do you do it?? I know it seems like a silly question but when I first started I didn’t know what to do either!
This is one reason I love to flash freeze berries OR use frozne store bought berries, you can measure them! Most recipes on the pectin box call for a certain amount of berries to be used. If you’ve frozen them so you can open the bag and measure them out most berries translate straight across, so 4 cups of frozen blueberries are equal to 4 cups of fresh.
To make strawberry jam from frozen strawberries you will need to thaw them slightly to measure them because they will either need to be chopped or mashed depending on the recipe.
Where do you get a GOOD recipe?? ON THE BOX OF PECTIN OR FROM ANY COOPERATIVE EXTENSION SERVICE RECIPE WILL WORK AND BE A SAFE RECIPE. Do not willy nilly use a recipe off Pinterest because it may not be following best practices for canning! And you can make yourself or people you love SICK.
All jams MUST be prepared using a boiling water bath.
What kind of pectin should I use to make jelly?
Use the recipe from the package of pectin you have. And you can USE ANY KIND of pectin.
I love Pomona Pectin because you can use no sugar, low sugar, honey, or sugar substitutes. That’s a game-changer when you have Type 1 Diabetic kids who love PBnJ. They also urge you to make up your own recipes using their pectin.
Regular pectin works just fine too! Use what you have or can get easily.
See how EASY it is to make jam or jelly from frozen berries?? So get out and buy some fruit or dig some out of the deep freeze and put a little sunshine in your day!