A delicious, easy homemade Strawberry Jam recipe made with just four ingredients! This easy strawberry jam is perfect for beginner jam-makers to make a small-batch jam and use up lots of fresh strawberries.
Start by removing the stems and then mashing the strawberries in a large bowl. You can use a potato masher for this or a similar tool.
Next, mix the sugar and pectin in a separate bowl.
In a medium heavy-based pan, add the crushed fruit, lemon juice, and the sugar-pectin mixture.
Heat on low-medium heat stirring constantly, to dissolve all the sugar. Don't raise the temperature until all of the sugar is completely dissolved, or else you run the risk of a grain jam and the formation of sugar crystals on the jam
Then, bring to boil at high heat and let it boil for about 5 minutes without stirring.* Towards the end of the boil, you can skim the foam from the top of the pan, if you prefer jam that isn't at all cloudy or even add a small amount of butter ( like a fingernail size) and this will naturally disperse the foam.During this time your jam should have changed from a frothy, fast rolling boil, to a slower boil with a glossy mixture.
Finally, let the mixture cool down for about 10 minutes.
In the meantime, sterilize all the utensils and containers/jars you will be using for the jam. I wash everything with soapy water and then place it in the oven for about 10 minutes at 160ºC/325ºF to completely dry it.
Once done with the sterilizing, transfer the jam into the sterile jars. make sure not to touch the inside of the jar or jar lid at all and then seal the jars.
Homemade jam made without properly 'canning' will last in the fridge for up to three weeks or in the freezer for up to 6 months.
You can also use a boiling water canner method (the hot water bath method - check my Step-by-Step Guide to Water Bath Canning for Beginners) if you want to properly store your jam and strawberry preserves for long-term storage. That way your jam will last up to 2 years in a cool, dry, dark location.
* This is all it took to get to the 'setting' point in my particular pan. However, this may vary for you. There are two ways to test the jam setting point; first, you could use a thermometer and check that the mixture has reached 105ºC/220ºF OR you can place a plate in the fridge/freezer to chill. when you think your jam is set place a spoonful on the plate and leave for 30 seconds. When you press the jam, if it wrinkles ( even a little), then it will set.Ingredient NotesSugar: You can experiment with coconut sugar, brown sugar, unrefined brown sugar, etc.Pectin: You can buy/use 'jam sugar', which is a combination of white sugar mixed with pectin or buy pectin. I purchase the pectin separately as it allows me to experiment with different sugars/sweeteners, depending on the jam I'm making.Lemon Juice: If you want to guarantee a consistent pH level, then you can use bottled lemon juice.Also
Make sure to use a pan large enough to allow plenty of space for the mixture to boil up. It expands quite a lot when boiling.
It's best to use a large pan with a heavy base for quick, even cooking. Choosing one that's larger and shallow ( like a saute pan) is better than one that's very tall. Copper bases are best, if you have one - but not necessary.
You can lightly simmer the fruit to begin breaking it down before adding the sugar as this helps the fruit to soften faster and release its pectin. However, it's not necessary for such a small batch, I find.
You can experiment with making this jam without the pectin. To do this, you'll need to throw the lemon peels into the jam along with the juice ( and you may need to increase the lemon juice slightly) then omit the pectin. The lemon pectin will help to set the jam, although it will still be a softer set.
If having to use overripe strawberries- this will lead to a less acidic, sweeter strawberry mixture, in which case you can reduce the sugar quantity.
Be aware - If you want to experiment with using less sugar, then you can. However, this will increase the time it takes to reach the setting point ( up to 30-40 minutes!) and will lead to the mixture reducing in size, for a smaller yield. Lower sugar levels will actually also decrease the shelf life too.
If you end up making your jam too runny, this can be cooked again to thicken up - so it's always better to undercook rather than overcook.
The more jam you make, the longer it will take to reach its setting point. Mine is a small-batch jam, so it didn't take long at all.