Homemade Strawberry Jam
Fresh, ripe strawberries are the star of the show in this Easy Strawberry Jam Recipe. Sweet and tangy, this is the perfect topping for your morning slice of toast or the best friend to your peanut butter sandwich. So simple to make with fresh strawberries, sugar and lemon, the kids could do it themselves. (with supervision, of course!)
Strawberries are becoming such a sweet treat lately and their season is just ramping up. We’re eating strawberries by the pint on the hour and can’t seem to get enough. I think this year’s season is one for the record books….or I’m just so completely bored that I’m eating them like it’s my last meal.
But even though we’re eating them as quickly as they enter the house, I still set aside a bowl full to make Homemade Strawberry Jam. This easy jam recipe is made without pectin and thickens up when it chills in the fridge.
What is Strawberry Jam?
Making homemade jam, or fruit spread, is kind of therapeutic for me. I love watching the strawberries break down into a sweet gooey pot of heaven. The bubbling and spurting while it cooks is so relaxing….and the stirring, I could fall asleep right now.
Strawberry jam is made by cooking down crushed fruit. This makes the jam less stiff than jelly, almost like syrupy in nature. When making fruit preserves, the fruit is cooking in chunks or larger pieces that cooked in a gel or syrup.
Preserves have much more fruit in them than jam does making it easier to whip up Strawberry Jam with fewer berries.
The Difference Between Jam and Jelly
Now….who’s ready for the big debate…the Jam vs. Jelly debate. I guess it’s not really a debate when there’s a clear reasoning between which is which. In case you ever wondered, here it is: In jelly, the fruit comes in the form of fruit juice. In jam, the fruit comes in the form of fruit pulp or crushed fruit (and is less firm than jelly).
How To Make Strawberry Jam
Making Homemade Strawberry Jam is super simple to do. You just need a little bit of time to hover and stir until the jam thickens up a bit.
- Heat the sugar, lemon juice and zest over medium heat until the sugar is dissolved.
- Add the strawberries and continue cooking for 30 minutes until the mixture is the consistency of a loose jam.
- Cool the jam for 15 minutes at room temperature.
- Transfer to 2 pint jars and seal with a lid.
- Store your Strawberry Jam in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.
Technically, this is a “refrigerator jam” recipe since you’re not canning it for shelf stable storage. If you’re a canning fan, you can totally process your jam using a water bath sealing method for longer term storage.
Tips for Perfect Jam
- No Pectin Necessary – Because this jam contains lemon juice and zest, you don’t need to add a commercial pectin to the mix. It may be a little runnier than store bought jam but the flavor is exponentially better.
- Freezer Test – To ensure your jam is ready to remove from the heat, at the beginning of cooking…place two small plates in the freezer. Once you reach the 30 minutes of cooking time, put a small drop of jam on the plate and return to the freezer for 2-3 minutes (remove the pot of jam from the stove while you wait in the event it is done cooking.) Pull the plate from the freezer and tap the jam with your finger. If it’s no longer watery, your jam is ready to cool. If it is still watery, cook for an additional 5 minutes.
- Use a thermometer – Try to keep your jam cooking at 220˚F for the duration of the cooking time. That’s the temperature at which the sugar begins to gel.
This Easy Strawberry Jam needs to be on your Sunday breakfast table…along with a loaf of this bread. I fully intend on slathering a slice of toast with my jam, pretty much, every day.
We also love using it to fill these easy, buttery thumbprint cookies!
Get the Recipe: Homemade Strawberry Jam Recipe
- 1 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- juice and zest of one lemon
- 2 cups chopped fresh strawberries
- 1 saucepan
- Add the sugar, lemon juice and zest to a medium saucepan over low heat. Cook and stir the sugar until the sugar is completely dissolved.
- Add the strawberries to the pan and continue to cook over low heat for 30 minutes until the mixture is at a low boil. (The mixture should be thickened a bit and almost the consistency of loose jam.)
- Remove from the heat and allow to cool for 15 minutes.
- Transfer to 2 pint jars and seal with the lid.
- Store in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.