Strawberry Freezer Jam

by Kristen on June 8, 2011 · 59 comments

in Preserving, Recipes

Last summer I sang the praises of freezer jam and I also shared a recipe for blueberry jam. (if you’re wondering what freezer jam is, go read that post!) It’s not quite blueberry season yet here in the Mid-Atlantic region, though, so I thought a strawberry jam recipe might be more in order. This is the strawberry jam my mom always made when I was growing up.

It’s super easy and super delicious. If you can operate a spoon, you can make this jam.

First, you’ll need to crush enough fresh strawberries to make 2 cups. I pulse the berries in my food processor until they’re chopped (make sure you don’t puree them by accident!)

Next, mix the strawberries with 4 cups of sugar.

If you just had a heart attack when you heard how much sugar goes into the jam, you should go read this post and then come back.

<Kristen waits>

Ready to proceed?

Let the combined berries and sugar sit at room temperature for about 20 minutes.

After 20 minutes, combine a package of Sure-Jell pectin and 1 cup of water in a small saucepan (I like to use a whisk to make sure it’s thoroughly combined). Bring it to a boil, and boil and stir for 1 minute.

Add the pectin mixture into the berry mixture, and stir for 3 minutes. The jam will start to thicken up a little bit even while you stir it.

Ladle the jam into freezer-safe containers. You can use glass containers if you leave enough space for the jam to expand upward as it freezes or of course you can use plastic.

I try to use glass food containers whenever possible, so I mostly put my jam into Mason jars.

Yum.

The jam will become thick at room temperature, but you shouldn’t store it at room temperature (you can only do that with jams that are processed at high heat). You can keep it in the fridge for a month and for longer storage, you should put it in the freezer. When you’re ready to use a jar, just put it in the fridge to thaw.

As an aside, I also made some strawberry jam this season using a no-cook freezer pectin, but I wouldn’t necessarily recommend going that route. It’s not that hard to boil a package of pectin, and the jam I made with the no-cook stuff turned out kind of runny.

It’s a gorgeous red color and it tastes really, really good, but it’s just not as thick as jam should be.

If you do decide to use no-cook pectin, don’t follow this recipe…use the one on the no-cook pectin package.

Strawberry Freezer Jam

makes about 3.5 pints

2 cups crushed strawberries
4 cups sugar
1 package freezer pectin (I use Sure-Jell or Ball)
1 cup water

Combine crushed berries and sugar in a large bowl. Let stand 20 minutes.

Whisk pectin and water together in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Boil and stir for one minute.

Stir pectin into the strawberry/sugar mixture and stir for 3 minutes. Pour or ladle into freezer-safe containers. Store in the fridge for up to 4 weeks or in the freezer for a year (I haven’t tried storing mine longer than that because we always eat it!).
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Today’s 365 post: I must have a thing for tiered skirts

Joshua’s 365 post: He doesn’t have one ready since he was gone camping on Monday and Tuesday. But I’m sure he’ll have some pictures for you later today. ;)

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{ 59 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Kristin Aune June 8, 2011 at 8:15 am

Hi Kristen,

Making Jelly (Jam) is on our list of 50 things to do this summer. It will be my first time making it, so this post is timely thanks! I have two questions though. How many jars will this fill and why is it freezer jam? Do you freeze it so that you can keep it for a while or does it have to be frozen to set up properly?

Thanks,
Kristin

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2 Kristen June 8, 2011 at 8:38 am

I’m sorry about the confusion! I should have been more clear about storing freezer jam and I’ve now updated the post. It’s freezer jam because you store it in the freezer instead of processing it in boiling water to make it shelf stable. The resulting jam has a more fresh taste to it since it hasn’t been cooked.

I’ve never paid attention to exactly how much this makes, so I called my mom and she says it makes a little over 3 pints of jam…about 3.5 pints.

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3 Kristin Aune June 8, 2011 at 6:31 pm

Thanks for clarifying! Your post is so helpful, since I know absolutely zero about canning or making jam. I don’t even know the difference between jelly or jam, lol!

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4 adventuresindinner June 8, 2011 at 8:29 am

Yay! Canning season begins again. I hope to get some rhubarb and ginger packed away this weekend.

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5 Mae June 8, 2011 at 8:40 am

Can’t wait to try it, thanks for the recipe!

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6 Maureen June 8, 2011 at 8:45 am

I’ve already bought the equipment (since I previously sold all of my equipment) and I’m ready to try the freezer version. I’ve never done that.

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7 The Mrs June 8, 2011 at 9:02 am

I am hoping very, very hard that I make time to do this again this year. What else will I do for housewarming, hostess and Christmas gifts if I don’t get my act in gear?

I found that when I made strawberry freezer jam last year with the no-boil stuff it tasted funny (read: different from my mom’s). I’m going with the short boil jam this year.

If I do it.

Which I will. Probably.

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8 adventuresindinner June 8, 2011 at 9:43 am

I always have good luck with the Certo version but last year I made a neat type with honey and lemon juice. I found it just tasted fresher.

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9 Carol m June 8, 2011 at 9:09 am

Here in CT we have already startd putting up seasonal fruits into jams: strawberry, strawberry-rhubarb, and what I am calling “berry-barb”-a blend of rhubarb, raspberries, strawberries, blaskberries. As fruits come into season, we make more, different kinds. Meanwhile, I consolidated last years preserves on my canning shelves, to be sure to use it up first.

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10 Dawn June 8, 2011 at 9:15 am

Freezer jam is my favorite. Not only is it easy. It also tastes like fresh strawberries. Yum!

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11 sara June 8, 2011 at 9:41 am

bookmarking this recipe-the U Pick strawberry patch across the street from us is opening up in just a few days yay!

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12 carmen @ life blessons June 8, 2011 at 10:10 am

i’ve seen freezer jam recipes before, but this one seems really easy and doesn’t require too many ingredients, so i’m saving it to try this summer. thanks for sharing!!

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13 Debbie M June 8, 2011 at 10:35 am

I was wondering if you could use splenda in the place of sugar in this recipe? Also can you use splenda in the place of sugar in the standard recipe for canning jams/jellies? Thank you and I really enjoy your blog :)

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14 lisa basso June 8, 2011 at 10:40 am

Kristen
I have another recipe for freezer jam that works great. In fact my 5 year son loves it. It is done with rhubarb and I use a lot less sugar. ~4 cups rhubarb(chopped), ~2cups strawberries, cherries, raspberries or mixed(I’ve done all combinations) chopped, ~1 1/2-2 cups of sugar depending on your sweet tooth. Mix together and let sit for 8hr or O/N. Bring to a boil, let boil ~10 min and add a box of flavored jello (matching the fruit) + 1 pack of non flavored gelatin (before bringing the mix to a boil, I take ~1/4 to 1/2 cup of liquid out and then put gelatin on that), stir to mix (whisk or spoon) Ladle into jars and refrigerate. Understand that this is really cheap for me b/c I grow rhubarb, strawberries, raspberries and blueberries, and the sugar is quite a bit less. This also works great if you want to freeze the fruit up front, then make jelly when you have the time or run out of the current stuff. Also, I add the extra pak of gelatin to thicken it…you can use a knife to spread it, and not a spoon. Thanks for the great blog and have fun with jelly making!

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15 WilliamB June 8, 2011 at 3:51 pm

When you say less sugar, are you accounting for the sugar in the jello?

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16 lisa basso June 9, 2011 at 8:11 am

William
Yes…even with using 1-1/2cups of sugar at the beginning, if you use a jello pack, that adds at most another 1/2 cup. Sometimes depending on the flavor of the jelly (dip a spoon and taste the liquid) prior to boling, I might just add 1/2 pack of the jello. I use the smaller box. Also, if you want, you could use the sugar free jello, which is just flavor and gelatin. I made mixed berry(raspberry, blueberry, strawberrries and blackberries) the other day, I used 1/2 pack of strawberry jello and only ~1 1/2 cup of sugar it turned out great flavor and not overly sweet.
Great way to use up rhubarb!

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17 Sarah June 8, 2011 at 11:17 am

I give it 100% A plus. Yummy

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18 Amy June 8, 2011 at 11:20 am

This looks yummy!

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19 Kimberly June 8, 2011 at 11:41 am

Since organic fresh strawberries are out of my budget, I would like to use organic frozen strawberries… Do you think that would be OK?
I can ‘t wait to try!!
Thanks!

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20 jan June 8, 2011 at 11:50 am

there’s NOTHING like getting a jar of strawberry freezer jam out for Christmas breakfast or in the depths of winter. It’s THAT good.

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21 debbie June 8, 2011 at 12:07 pm

hi- just started reading your blog recently. I’m a frugal gal too! I just made freezer jam for the first time 2 weeks ago and loved it so much, I have since made a second batch. It is so good. I used the sure jel low sugar (pink box) and love it. It set nicely and is not overwhelmingly sweet. It is 4 cups crushed berries and 3 cups sugar, so not so sweet. Also, you boil the pectin, sugar, and water together- so no need to worry about the sugar ending up grainy in your jam.

Thanks for the post. Freezer jam is my latest “favorite thing”

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22 E. Ryan June 8, 2011 at 12:09 pm

I’ve never made jam of any kind, but my soon-to-be father-in-law makes strawberry freezer jam and I joke that his jam is the reason I’m marrying his son. (that’s not true, but it really is that good :P)

I’ve always thought that all jam needs to be sealed in a pressure cooker or something similar, and once the seal on those lids has been broken, they can’t be reused. Is this true for freezer jam too? Or can I just use any kind of jar?

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23 Danielle@sixtasteschef.com June 8, 2011 at 6:01 pm

You’ve inspired me… I’m making this jam this weekend right after I get strawberries at the farmers’ market. Great pictures.

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24 Tina (Tightwad Mom) June 8, 2011 at 6:42 pm

Woo Hoo! Freezer jam is the bomb! I have a flat of strawberries ordered from the produce co op I belong to. I pick them up Saturday, and am promptly turning them into freezer jam. So delicious on toast, pancakes, and french toast.

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25 Jennifer June 8, 2011 at 8:51 pm

Okay so when strawberries were fresh here a couple of weeks ago we went and picked a ton and I did not know exactly what I wanted to do with them….so I washed them, dried them really good and then quartered them and placed them in the freezer. Kristen can I pull those out of the freezer and thaw them and then make the jam?
Thanks!

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26 Kristen June 10, 2011 at 7:09 am

I asked on my Facebook page, and quite a few of my readers have thawed strawberries and then used them to make jam. So I say go for it!

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27 minders June 10, 2011 at 8:25 am

I froze raspberries last year that I didn’t have time to deal with, then pulled them out when I had time and used them to make jelly. It worked just fine, with great flavor, but jelly is a little different than jam. I’ve also used frozen blueberries (thawed of course) to make blueberry jam, but didn’t think it had quite as much flavor as it should. Maybe that was just because of the berries I had? I would go for it! :)

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28 Sarah June 9, 2011 at 9:28 am

I made this recipe a few times last year and it was fantastic. I prefer strawberrry/blackberry jelly, so I’m waiting for our blackberries to ripen. Hopefully, in a month, we too will have some yummy freezer jam.

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29 Sarah G. June 9, 2011 at 12:06 pm

I am canning this summer for the first time, and I am very happy to be able to use this recipe among some others; we just purchased an extra fridge from a friend so there will be ample space.

Can you substitute other fruit, such as blackberries or rhubarb, without any recipe alterations?

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30 Katie June 9, 2011 at 1:43 pm

This looks delicious. My one question since I’m super new at this is where do you find pectin? It sounds like it’s supposed to be similar to jell-o based on another poster’s recipe. Can I find it in a regular grocery store and should it be near the jell-o/cooking aisles? Thanks for your help!

P.S. I came on your blog today to follow your yogurt recipe again – had a blast making it the first time and my family loved it!!! :) Thank you!!

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31 minders June 10, 2011 at 8:35 am

I have found pectin at pretty much any regular grocery store, and (at least at Weis) it is not near the jello. It seems like they always have it on an end cap, or another very random location. If you have a local “farm store” kinda place, I would look there after you try a batch or two of the jam and like it. In my experience that is a much cheaper place to find pectin in bulk if you are wanting to do more freezer jam. I paid something like $5 for enough pectin to do 5 times as much jam as what you pay for the individual pectin packages in the grocery stores. Much more cost effective :)

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32 minders June 10, 2011 at 8:41 am

Oh yeah, at our local farm store they don’t call it pectin. It is called “Dutch-Gel”

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33 Katie June 13, 2011 at 8:09 pm

Thank you! :)

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34 Ms. Practical at riceandbeanslife June 9, 2011 at 8:08 pm

This sounds fantastic! I need to go make room in my freezer and give it a go.

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35 Jessica June 9, 2011 at 11:00 pm

I made strawberry freezer jam last summer with the no-cook pectin mix and it did turn out a little runny like you mentioned (delicious, but runny). But I have made some this summer (I did a mixed berry freezer jam with blackberries, raspberries, blueberries and strawberries) but I used a little less fruit than the package said (I think instead of 4 cups, it was like 3 3/4 cups). The jam set up a little better and had a thicker consistency. But next time I am not using black berries or raspberries because I can’t stand the seeds! :)

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36 Elaine June 12, 2011 at 4:37 pm

I have to say I absolutely love your whole wheat bread recipe. It is the only wheat bread I make now. I usually throw in about a half a cup of either oat or wheat bran too.
I have tried several of your recipes and none have failed me yet, I have to say though that I should have stuck with my freezer jam recipe. I usually always use the Ball Freezer Jam Pectin and it only calls for 1 1/2 cups of sugar to 4 cups of crushed fruit. I thought I would give yours a try and WOW is it sweet. We will still use it up but I am afraid I have to go back to my old jam recipe. The fruit flavor just seems fresher with my recipe.
Lisa, yours sounds interesting and I might have to give that a try.

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37 susan July 21, 2011 at 5:09 pm

I made a freezer jam that called for boiling the fruit. I put it in my glass jars that I had ran through the dishwasher and they all sealed..do i have to put them in the freezer if the jars sealed or can I leave them out? thanks

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38 jamlover September 3, 2014 at 9:11 am

Yes you can. All this ridiculous nonsense of canning jam is not necessary. As long as there is a high proportion of sugar, you boiled the jam and sterilised the jars it will be fine. It’s how everyone on Europe makes jam and we don’t have any more cases of botulism than the USA

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39 lisa basso July 22, 2011 at 7:14 am

Susan
Even though they sealed, if you want to store them at room temp, they will need to be water bath…potentially even pressure canned. You can google Ball or Kerr, and they will give you the specifics, but if you do can them, the jam will need to be removed from the jars and re-boiled before putting back into jars. Otherwise, throw this batch in the fridge/freezer and make the next batch with canning method. Good luck.

Lisa

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40 Jessy M May 2, 2012 at 1:20 pm

What is the purpose of letting the sugar and fruit sit? Some of the recipes call for 10 min, 20 min, 8 hours, overnight…what is the difference? Thanks!

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41 Barb May 31, 2012 at 3:42 pm

I followed directions exactly and cannot understand why my jam has not set. It is still very runny after sitting on the counter for 24 hours. Can I use additional pectin and try boiling it again? Thanks!

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42 Kristen May 31, 2012 at 5:53 pm

Check in the brochure that came with your pectin…they should have directions for remaking the jam!

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43 Kerry July 3, 2012 at 2:13 am

I made this tonight… It taste soo good.. i never made it before either…
But after a while looking at the recipe i got another evelope out and realized i got the no cook one… i didnt pay attention.. Taste good still… just a little runny..:O( oops i guess its still ok to eat.

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44 Kristen July 3, 2012 at 8:54 am

Yep, still totally safe to eat.

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45 Kerry July 3, 2012 at 10:41 am

Thank you so much.. i can’t believe i grabbed the wrong ones..lol I even boiled and everything to the tee.. First time i ever made this.. I know now to make sure i pay close attention to the label… but it taste very good still.. thanks again…:O)

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46 Marie W July 18, 2012 at 10:32 am

This is my first time “canning” anything….I used to help my Mom but that was a life time ago and my memory has faded. I made strawberry freezer jam yesterday. I let it sit on the counter as the recipe instructed (for 24 hours). Is this a bad thing to do. You say to refrigerate. I plan to put it in the refrigerator today.
Also it seems less jammy than I expected. I thought it would be thicker with fruit. All the fruit is at the top and at the bottom is the “jelly” like stuff.
Can you offer any suggestions? Help!

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47 megan July 9, 2013 at 2:17 pm

This looks marvelous. I’ve just gone a’ pickin’ and have lots of strawberries, but won’t be able to get jars for another day or 2. Would it be alright, do you think, to store the jam in a glass covered bowl for a day and then transfer to the jars?

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48 Kristen July 9, 2013 at 3:14 pm

I imagine that would be ok, but I’ve never tried it before. So, take my opinion with a grain of salt!

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49 Marian July 12, 2013 at 6:34 pm

Will certo work for making freezer jam?

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50 Kristen July 12, 2013 at 7:56 pm

I actually don’t know. Have you tried googling to see if you can find out?

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51 Deb July 16, 2013 at 11:07 pm

I made some cherry freezer jam from some tart cherries that I picked and pitted and seems grainy and sugary. I had pitted a large bowl the night before and refrigerated them and then just took out enough for the 2 cups that I needed today. Maybe I should have used some of the juice in the bottom of the bowl. It hasn’t yet been 24 hrs. so maybe just need to wait. If it is too sugary is there anything I can do. I have never made freezer jam before.

Thank you for any tips you might have, hate to waste this if it is too sugary.

Deb

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52 Kristen July 19, 2013 at 9:36 am

Hmm. It sounds like maybe your sugar wasn’t dissolved enough, which I suppose could have happened if you didn’t have enough juice in your fruit mixture.

I hope it was all fine after 24 hours!

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53 Jessica May 25, 2014 at 10:41 pm

I followed this recipe and read the pamphlet in the pectin packet to kill time while I stirred. This recipe calls for 1 cup water while the box calls for 3/4. Kristen, do you adapt your recipe?

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54 Kristen May 26, 2014 at 6:12 am

Well, this is an old recipe that my mom had, so perhaps the proportions are from what old pectin packages called for?

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55 Jessica May 26, 2014 at 9:57 am

Must be. It still seems good to me but next time I will cross reference. Just learning! Thanks for taking time to respond; love your blog!

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56 Dawn June 14, 2014 at 8:27 am

I’ve been making freezer jam for years, ever since we moved away from my family. My mother and aunts always made freezer jam and you are so right that there’s no comparison! With Dutch Jell the cost is much lower and if you use low sugar varieties it can be lower still. Good strawberries are 1.50/pound to pick around here, even organic. So, even with full sugar recipes, the freezer jam is cost-effective, and it certainly never is wasted like some of the jars of store bought jams that end up sitting in my refrigerator for ages. The hard part for us is saving some for later. :)

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57 Dorothy July 3, 2014 at 7:08 pm

My jam lids pop when I touch them I made freezer jam are they eatable should I freeze them or reseal them or throw them away

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58 Kristen July 3, 2014 at 8:56 pm

Oh, for freezer jam, your lids won’t seal. That’s only necessary for jam that will be stored at room temperature.

Freezer jam is stored in the freezer until you are ready to open the jar. After that, you can store the jar in the fridge.

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59 jamlover September 3, 2014 at 9:06 am

That is NOT jam. At best it is a fruit coulis

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