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Learn how to make homemade strawberry jam with or without sugar, strawberry jam without pectin, and raw strawberry jam. Stock your pantry by prepping and canning!
Strawberry jam is one of everyone’s favorite and most delicious treats. With its sweet taste, chunks of delicious fruit, and wonderful aroma, it satisfies taste buds of all ages for generations. It has a long history, therefore there are many recipes, but we’re sharing several versions of classic recipes that are perfect for small batches of strawberry jam. All four are basic recipes and are useful for when you don’t plan on making 50 jars – but you surely can. Homemade is always better, and these recipes are no exception!
You’ll also find various information about the fruit and which strawberries are best for making a homemade jam as well as two additional recipes for sugar-free strawberry jam for a more natural and delicious taste, and a recipe for a quick strawberry jam without cooking.
From the moment they appear in the markets or, if you are lucky, in your garden, strawberries are in high demand. This red, fragrant fruit is very often eaten fresh, but they are very good for canning as jams, jellies, and marmalades.
Homemade Strawberry Jam
Strawberries are harvested by hand with the stem, depending on the firmness of the fruit, before or at the moment of full maturity. They ripen depending on the variety. Most domestic varieties start to ripen in May until the end of June. It is certainly preferable to buy local strawberries, but when they are in season they are very affordable in all retail chains.
When buying a strawberry, you should make sure that the fruit is undamaged with the steam attached. The fruit should be firm and fragrant. Strawberries are very sensitive to storage and are subject to spoilage, so it is important to determine their quality. When preparing jam, it is important to choose high-quality food, because this affects the safe storage of the final product – jam.
To prep strawberries, first, you need to remove any leaves and the stems and rinse them. To crush the strawberries you can either use a food processor, a masher, or a blender, then you measure the strawberries to make the jam.
All recipes use a small batch of strawberries and only sugar (or no sugar in the sugarless version) and lemon juice. Nothing fancy, and nothing you can’t pronounce. Add lemon zest and you’ll get the extra burst of flavors added to your jam. You can, of course, skip that part.
Strawberry Jam With Sugar
The preparation involves cooking the strawberries with an additional amount of sugar. Just be careful not to exceed the total amount or you will get oversweet jam. Other types of fruit and spices can be added to the jam if desired, but this basic homemade jam recipe uses only strawberries, sugar, pectin, and lemon juice. It takes less than 20 minutes – and you’ll get 8 jars of jam (250 ml jars) to store in the fridge, so make sure you double or triple the ingredients if you plan on storing a bigger batch of strawberry jam. It will be good for about 2 weeks, but if you do the pasteurization, it will stay fresh even longer.
- 4 1/2 cups (553 g) of strawberries, frozen or fresh
- 2 tbsp (25 ml) lemon juice
- 1 package (28.5 g) of fruit pectin crystals
- 7 cups (1400 g) of granulated sugar
- Wash the strawberries and cut them into smaller pieces.
- In a large pot, mix fruit, lemon juice, and pectin. Crush fruit using a pastry cutter or potato masher. Mix everything.
- Put the pot on high heat, stirring constantly.
- When the mixture starts boiling, add the sugar and stir in. Let boil for one minute, stirring constantly.
- Remove the mixture from heat and skim the foam off the top.
- Pour the hot jam into sterilized jars almost to the top, leaving 1 cm of space at the top and close with lids.
Strawberry Jam Without Sugar
For those who don’t eat sugar, you can ditch all the added sugar and make a sugar-free homemade strawberry jam. This recipe is simple, low carb, and also has no pectin. Although sugar is a natural gelling ingredient that makes the jam nice and thick, it also acts as a preservative. But, you can replace it with Stevia or erythritol and add a little bit of xanthan gum or gelatin if needed. 1 1/3 granular Stevia measures 3/4 teaspoons and replaces 2 teaspoons of sugar. From this recipe, you’ll get 4 (8 oz) half pints.
- 1 1/3 cup of stevia
- 1.75 ounce pectin
- 1 cup water
- 4 cups hulled and crushed strawberries
- Prepare water in a larger pot and heat jars in simmering water until they’re ready for use. Do not boil. Wash all lids in warm water.
- Mix strawberries in a medium saucepan and gradually add and stir in pectin. Bring mixture to a full boil for 1 minute, stirring constantly.
- Remove the saucepan from heat and skim foam if necessary.
- Pour hot jam into hot jars leaving 1 cm headspace and wipe jar rim.
- Place lids on jars and put them in a boiling water canner and process jars for 10 minutes. Turn off the heat, and let the jam rest for 5 minutes.
- Take them out and cool for 12 – 24 hours at room temperature.
- Check lids for seal, as they shouldn’t flex when you press the center.
Strawberry Jam Without Pectin
Lemon juice plays a huge role in strawberry jam recipes. First, it is a natural pectin enhancer and second, it prevents the growth of bacteria, making your jam last longer. Fresh strawberries naturally contain pectin that is released by heating the jam. However, it doesn’t contain enough to keep your jam protected from spoilage for a longer period. This is why to help jam last longer, we add natural acid – lemon juice that also adds a nice flavor to your jam.
If you want to double or triple the ingredients just keep in mind to add 3/4 cup of sugar for each cup of berries and 2 tablespoons of lemon juice per cup of strawberries. From this amount of ingredients, you will get 2 (8 oz) jars. It can be kept either in the fridge for 4 – 6 weeks or 2 – 3 months in the freezer
- 4 cups cut strawberries
- 3 cups sugar
- 1/2 cup lemon juice
- Smash cut strawberries with a food processor or potato masher to get the desired consistency.
- Put all ingredients into a medium saucepan and stir continuously
- Place on medium-high heat until mixture boils.
- Reduce heat to medium-low and boil for about 15 minutes.
- Remove the saucepan from heat and pour it into jars, leaving 1 cm of space from the top of the jar, and let it cool to set.
Raw Strawberry Jam
Although the raw preparation cannot be called jam, this spread has a very similar taste and is a great substitute if you don’t have time. No sugar or citric acid is added to it as a preservative, only agave syrup for extra sweetness and carob for thickness. The amount of jar is enough for approximately 1 (8 oz) jar. It should be kept in the refrigerator and can’t be stored in the pantry for a long time.
- 2 cups of strawberries
- 1/3 cup agave syrup
- 1 teaspoon of ground carob
- Wash the strawberries and cut them into smaller pieces.
- Add all the ingredients to the food processor or blender and mix until you get a smooth texture.
- The jam should be consumed within a week.
If stored properly in sterilized jars, strawberry jams can last for about 6 months, depending on the ingredients and preparation. However, after opening, it must be stored in the refrigerator, where it will be good for consumption for ten days. If you see mold, the entire jar should be thrown away because contamination has occurred.
Sugar as a natural preservative protects jams from spoilage. This is why jams without sugar have a shorter shelf life.
When filling jam into jars, make sure that the edge of the jar is clean, as well as the jar itself and that the lid is sterilized. It is very important that the jam is hot while pouring and that we turn the jar upside down once we fill it. By inverting, a vacuum is created inside the jar and prevents the development of undesirable microorganisms.
How To Use Strawberry Jam
Ripe and aromatic strawberries are a prerequisite for the most delicious jam. Therefore, pay attention to their quality. They should not be stored for a long time or in the refrigerator before preparation but should be used as early as possible.
Strawberries go well with the flavors of vanilla and rum, as well as rhubarb stems, mint, and even as an unusual combination with balsamic vinegar.
Photo: congerdesign / Pixabay