Are you looking for tips and tricks for making the best homemade strawberry jam? Learn how to make this easy small batch strawberry jam recipe without pectin and get my thoughts on uses and variations.
Gone are the days when canning was a hot, all day chore that many women suffered through. Most everything you could want is at the grocery store or the farmer’s market.
Even though I could pick up some organic strawberry jam at the farmer’s market, I find that making my own tastes better. I don’t know if it is from the satisfaction of making it myself or because it really is fresher from my pantry.
A lot of people think that making jam is laborious and tedious, but it really isn’t. With a few ingredients you can make your own fresh jam to go on scones, biscuits or toast. We love adding it to unsweetened organic yogurt too.
This is especially wonderful if you don’t live somewhere that you can buy fresh jam. With just a little patience, great tips and my recipe, you can make a jam that the whole family will love! Plus, you just may feel connected to family members of a bygone era when canning was necessary to life.
How to Make the Best Strawberry Jam
- Organic strawberries are preferred, since strawberries are on the dirty dozen list.
- Use fresh, dry fruit. Over-ripened fruit can turn to absolute mush and may spoil your jam.
- In most places, your setting point will be just around 220 degrees F.
- Pectin can be used to make your jam set. While we do not use it in our recipe, it is a very popular ingredient. Pectin is naturally found in fruit (like apples), and by adding additional pectin it will help your jam become thicker.
- Sometimes “scum” can accumulate at the end of cooking. Reduce this by stirring the jam in the same direction until it is gone.
- When you are filling the jars, fill them all the way to the top while the jam is still warm.
- Make sure to cut the tops off of your strawberries and remove the hull. I know this sounds like a given, but I actually know someone that cooked the whole strawberries. The jam was not delicious.
- Whether or not you crush them or cut them is a personal preference. Some people like larger chunks, while others just want texture.
- If you want smooth, seedless jam you should run them through the food processor or a high powered blender before cooking. That way everything is processed and the mixture is completely smooth.
- Make sure to wash the strawberries, even if they are pre-washed. You want them completely clean before starting.
- If you make the recipe below and it is too runny, you may need to add more lemon juice or a little pectin next time. Strawberries can differ in texture and water content when cooking, and some will be more watery than others.
- You can also buy organic strawberry jam if you don’t have time to make it.
The Easiest Strawberry Jam Recipe
- Cut and hull your strawberries. Let them soak overnight in the sugar.
- If you want to make seedless jam after they are finished soaking, run them through a food processor or your high powered blender. If you want chunky jam, just continue. If you want jam with texture, crush the strawberries lightly.
- When you are ready, gather a very large, heavy based pan. The strawberries should only go halfway. Anymore than that and the mixture will boil over causing a large mess.
- Bring the strawberries to a boil slowly. Stir occasionally until the sugar dissolves. When the sugar has dissolved, add the lemon juice.
- Cook the jam for about 30 minutes. When it is a syrupy, sticky consistency, it is done. If stays kind of wrinkly, you need to add a little more lemon juice to get it to firm up.
- Get your jars ready (make sure you have boiled and cleaned them). This recipe will make 3 medium sized jars. I allow my jam to cool before placing it in the jars, but you can do it hot if you prefer. Fill the jar all the way to the top and then quickly place the lid on.
- Allow the jam to cool to room temperature and then store in cool dry place away from direct light.