In the past, I have always followed the recipe on the side of the pectin box. But dang, that stuff is kind of pricey, especially if you have a LOT of strawberries! The traditional recipe calls for one box of pectin for every two cups of strawberries. With as many berries as I had, that meant I would have to buy five boxes of pectin, which would cost about $10. What if I told you there's a way to make freezer jam without buying pectin? And the total cost for 10 cups of strawberries would only be $2? And it's something you might already have on hand?
Here's the secret ingredient:
Good old Jell-O!
Yup. At 50 cents a box, Jell-O is much cheaper than pectin! Thanks to my awesome aunt, who loves saving money as much as I do, for introducing this recipe to me. So, do you want to learn how to make it?
Jello-O Freezer Jam
10 cups strawberries, washed and crushed
2 cups sugar
2 large (6 oz) or 4 small (3 oz) boxes strawberry Jell-O
|Using a potato masher was the easiest way to crush the berries!|
In your largest pot, combine strawberries and sugar. Let stand for 1 hour. Heat to boiling, then simmer for 15 minutes.
|Wipe down the sides of the pan so no sugar granules remain or the jam will have a grainy texture later.|
Stir in the Jell-O. Fill clean containers with jam. I used old canning jars even though I didn't can the jam. They were the containers I had, but you could use plastic containers also. Freeze the jam. Thaw in fridge before serving on toast, waffles, sandwiches or even ice cream.
|The hillbilly jar filler: a plastic cup with a hole in the bottom!|
I got six and a half pints from this recipe, which is perfect....the half-filled jar is for eating right now.
One really cool thing about making this kind of jam is that you can change the flavor of the jam by using different flavors of gelatin. How about strawberry lemonade jam or strawberry/raspberry jam? So many different combinations are possible! This time I went with two boxes of strawberry and two boxes of raspberry and the jam is to die for. In fact, I'm going to go make me some toast right this minute! Enjoy!