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This small-batch Refrigerator Jam recipe is pectin-free, 4 ingredients, and can be made with fresh or frozen fruits like fresh strawberry!
Sometimes called freezer jam, Refrigerator Jam is an easy recipe that makes delicious fruit spreads with minimal effort. My favorite is strawberry jam but almost any fruit will work. It’s delicious spread on flaky biscuits and toast and is so easy to make.
What is refrigerator jam?
Refrigerator jam is a jam that has not been preserved. It’s not shelf sustainable as it has not gone through the canning process. Refrigerator jam has to be stored in the fridge from the start. It has a relatively short shelf-life even under refrigeration. The benefit of making refrigerator jam is that it removes the extra work of canning with the same sweet reward. You can also make smaller batches of fridge jam whereas preserving fruit jams produces larger quantities. For health and safety, canning recipes are rarely reduced so you have to make big batches. Refrigerator jam gives you more flexibility.
Ingredients and equipment for strawberry jam
Strawberries– I’m using fresh strawberries but frozen works really well. Use equal amounts of frozen to fresh after defrosting and draining. You can also change the fruit to your desired preference. See the list of suggestions below.
Lemon juice– Fresh lemon juice or bottled is fine.
Heavy bottomed pot– You will need a pot that will not heat up too quickly. A heavier pot like an enameled cast-iron dutch oven (affil link) conducts heat much better than thin aluminum or steel pots.
Wooden spoon– A plastic or rubber spoon will do but wood works best for the streak test in my opinion and they are kinder to your pots.
Jar with lid (affil link)
Funnel (affil link)
Other fruits for refrigerator jam:
Tips for making fridge jam
- Stir consistently and adjust to heat. The boiling sugar in this recipe is what allows it to be pectin-free. Boiling sugar can burn easily so frequently stirring and lowering the heat when needed can prevent this.
- Dissolve the cornstarch. This step will save you from great upset. The cornstarch will clump in the jam instantly. Be sure to dissolve the cornstarch sufficiently before adding it to the jam.
How to make strawberry jam
To heavy pot, add the prepared fruit and sugar. Dissolve the cornstarch in the lemon juice and pour it over the fruit. Place the pot over medium heat. Once the sugar melts and the fruit will release moisture the jam will start to boil; lower the heat to low flame, and stir.
Place the lid on the pot to simmer for 15 minutes to thicken. Stir frequently to avoid burning; replace the lid. Bring the heat to high again to allow the jam to darken and thicken for another 5 minutes. Stir constantly to avoid burning.
After the required time you should have a jam thick enough to coat the back of the wooden spoon and pass the swipe test. Run a finger along the back of the spoon. The streak should remain without covering over from a runny sauce. Once that happens you know it’s ready.
Remove it from the heat to cool. Carefully spoon the jam into a clean airtight jar (affil link). This recipe yields about 4 ¼ cups of jam but can be halved easily. It keeps for about 2-3 weeks in the fridge or 3-4 months in the freezer.
LET ME KNOW WHAT YOU THINK OF THE RECIPE. SUGGESTIONS AND HONEST OPINIONS ALWAYS APPRECIATED. LEAVE A REVIEW IN THE COMMENTS, RATE THE RECIPE, AND SAVE IT FOR LATER!
- 2 lb strawberries trimmed and quartered
- 2 c sugar
- 1/4 c lemon juice fresh
- 1 tbsp cornstarch
- Dissolve cornstarch in lemon juice
- Dissolve cornstarch in lemon juice. Place prepared strawberries in a heavy bottomed pot with sugar and lemon juice mixture over med to high heat.
- Bring to a rolling boil for about 12 min, lower heat to simmer and cover the pot with a lid for 15 min. Stir frequently.
- Bring the heat to high again and allow the jam to darken and thicken; about 5 minutes. Stir constantly to avoid burning; adjust the heat as needed.
- Remove the pot from the burner and let it cool completely before placing it into jar for storage.
- Store in the fridge for 14-21 days.