Strawberry Vanilla Bean Jam

So before we get to this recipe, I need your help.  Don’t worry, nothing major but it has to do with this recipe.  I have made this 4 times now, all with slight variations but I have kept the base the same.  What I can’t figure out is why they will not freeze.  I have had a few jars in the freezer for close to 3 weeks now, and they will not freeze.  What mad kitchen scientist out there can tell me why?  It is driving me nuts because I just can’t figure it out.  So pretty please, if you know, leave me a comment or toss out any ideas you may have.  Oh and just to say, I love it that is stays so cold and doesn’t freeze though, it makes eating it so much more fun.  Especially since I have been using it to slather all over my Banana Bread.

Strawberry Vanilla Jam

One major note for this recipe, the quality of your honey will make a huge difference.  HUGE.  So make sure you get a really amazing, quality sourced and good flavored honey.  My favorite so far has been the local orange blossom honey I get at my farmers market. Also, you can substitute the strawberries with any fruits or compliment them.  The grapes are used for the natural pectin to help thicken.  Ideally, cranberries would be the best option instead of grapes, but they are not in season and I couldn’t find them anywhere.  So grapes it was and it worked wonderfully.

Strawberry Vanilla Jam

I really am out of things to say, but I am still frustrated because I don’t know why this won’t freeze.  Haha so please leave me a comment with any ideas you may have.  Google has failed me on this one and I am relying heavily on you.  No pressure, haha, yes there is tons.  What is the answer?

Strawberry Vanilla Jam

4.9 from 10 reviews
Strawberry Vanilla Bean Jam
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 1 cup red seedless grapes (150 grams)
  • 4 cups strawberries, quartered (537 grams)
  • 1 vanilla bean, slit down middle
  • 1 cup raw organic honey (can adjust depending on your berries)
  • juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 4 slices peppered bacon cooked crispy, diced (optional)
Instructions
  1. Place your grapes in a food processor or blender and process until completely pureed
  2. Transfer to a medium saucepan and add your strawberries, vanilla bean, and honey
  3. Place over medium/medium high heat and bring to a boil, stirring often
  4. Let your jam boil for 15-20 minutes ensuring you stir often as it starts to thicken
  5. Reduce your heat to low and let simmer, uncovered for 20 more minutes stirring occasionally as your jam continues to thicken
  6. To test to see if your jam is done, dip a spoon in your jam and place on a plate in the freezer for 5 minutes. If the jam thickened and didn't pour off the spoon, it is ready
  7. If your jam was not ready, continue to simmer on low until it is
  8. Once done, remove your pan from the heat and stir in the juice of 1/2 lemon
  9. You can also stir in your bacon bits right now if you are going to add them
  10. Let your sauce cool where it will continue to thicken
  11. Transfer to sterilized glass jars ensuring you leave at least an inch of space on the top if freezing and tightly secure lid
  12. Refrigerate for up to 2 weeks or freeze for a month. If you are into canning you can also follow that route for storage
  13. Each batch will net you a different amount depending on how long you let it simmer, this batch got me 12 ounces
Notes
I prefer to keep this in the freezer as the colder it is the better it tastes to me. Does anybody know why it doesn't freeze?

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69 Comments

  1. Hey, you mentioned cranberries as a substitute for the grapes. Does that only apply to fresh cranberries or does dried cranberries work?

  2. Do you have to freeze it? Can you do water bath instead? I don’t have much freezer space and prefer traditional canning instead. :)

      1. I don’t know if i’m commenting right but regarding your jam not freezing. I have found the higher and more raw the honey the less it freezes. I’m sure in the hive it should be able to withstand sub zero temperature x

  3. I used this basic recipe and made jam from cherry plums from my brother’s Oregon orchard. It is fantastic!! I didn’t have to use any extra grapes, etc for the pectin, since I had all the skins. Also I didn’t put bacon in this one, but hope to try another version with bacon :) Thanks for the basic recipe! Oh and mine set up very nicely…not super thick but froze well and is just thicker than a sauce when thawed. It made a yummy ice cream topping too!!

  4. I have to disagree with the above comments about the honey not freezing. I make homemade strawberry jam and it has honey in it and mine freezes. SO I do not know why people are saying that I have had no problem having my jam set in the freezer.

  5. Hey George! I’m a jam-maker but haven’t been since going Paleo 8 months ago. Thanks for the recipe, which I tampered with. :) Instead of grapes, I used dried figs, ground in the food processor. Because they’re quite sweet, I reduced the honey by half a cup and used a quarter cup maple sugar instead. No vanilla bean but a 1/4 tsp cinnamon. It sets up a little better than the honey alone, and the dried figs have a lot of natural pectin. Great basis for lots of jam ideas, thanks!

  6. Made this Sunday night and took it Monday morning to a breakfast at my sisters. We all loved it!!! I ended up giving it to my pregnant sister because she loved it so much… She was eating it wih a spoon! :) I plan to make more tonight from the strawberries I picked out of the garden last night. Thanks for the recipe. I love it and will have fun experimenting with it.

    The not freezing is due to the honey, as stated by others above. You could always add pectin to it so it sets up like a jelly more. I myself really enjoyed the loose, jam like consistency.

      1. You can also use vanilla bean paste. It’s expensive, but a little goes a long way. It’s great for baking, I sub it for vanilla if I want those beautiful vanilla bean flecks.

  7. Try experimenting with some quince or even apples (roast them first to sweeten and intensify the flavor) to add to the mixture. Both have natural pectin in them which help things to set. Not sure how it will counter with the honey, but worth a try.

  8. First…I am so excited I found your website! I am adjusting my diet to be gluten-free or at least cut back on it. This is forcing me to actually cook, which for some reason is intimidating. Second, I wanted to ask about freezing jam in general. How long can you freeze it before it loses flavor? Or does it? I can’t wait to try this and everyone who has posted on here has provided a lot of helpful information. Thanks,
    Nicole

  9. Have just made this, and is excellent! I didn’t have a vanilla bean so subed with 2 tea of organic vanilla essence and used 1/2 c of organic coconut sugar – I don’t have a big sweet tooth – and it turned out perfect.

  10. Honey won’t freeze. Alcohol will also not freeze. So if you’re trying to create a creamy frozen concoction like a sorbet – honey or alcohol is your best friend to keep your ice cream from becoming ice cube.

    1. Its true… In all likelihood the same reason that most microorganisms won’t grow in honey (no spoiling) and why it won’t freeze…. is its low water content.

  11. In answering why your recipe won’t freeze. I freeze grapes and they only freeze like slush, so it is probably the grapes.

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