With just four ingredients, this homemade strawberry jam recipe couldn’t be easier to make and has less sugar than the jams you buy in the store. Plus it tastes even better!
It is officially strawberry season here in Maryland. If you follow this blog at all, you’ve probably already realized that as I recently shared a strawberry gin smash and strawberry ice cream recipe. When you “accidentally” pick 20 pounds of fresh strawberries, you find every way possible to utilize them. And to me the most obvious was a homemade strawberry jam.
One of the benefits of homemade jam is that you can control the sugar level. A typical jam has a 1:1 ratio when it comes to sugar to fruit. You might be asking why that is? It was actually developed centuries ago to preserve fruit. By boiling the fruit with sugar, you destroyed potentially damaging micro-organisms, and the sugar binds to the water in the fruit, reducing the amount available for the growth of bugs. So why am I digging into this? To let you know that if you plan on eating the jam in a reasonable time frame, you don’t need to load it with sugar.
And the great thing about fresh strawberries is that they are sweet enough that you don’t need to load them with sugar. And while there are just a few ingredients, this homemade strawberry jam recipe is delicious. So if you have an abundance of strawberries on hand, or just want to make some homemade jam, give this a try. Hope you enjoy!
What Ingredients are in this Strawberry Jam Recipe?
- Cane sugar
- Lemon juice
- Sea salt
How to Make Strawberry Jam
- Add strawberries, sugar and lemon juice in large saucepan. Heat over medium-low heat and stir until sugar is dissolved.
- Increase heat to medium-high to bring mixture to boil.
- As mixture is starting to boil, mash strawberries with potato mash to get desired consistency. The more you mash, the less fruit pieces you’ll have.
- Boil for 15 minutes or until jam is thickened. If you have a candy thermometer, just boil until the temperature reaches 220°F. Add pinch of salt.
- Transfer jam to jars.
- Screw on lids and keep for in fridge for 1 month. You can also freeze and use within a year.
Canning Strawberry Jam
If you are going to can the jam and store for later use, you need to go through the canning process. This allows you to keep the jam for up to 2 years if left unopened. First you will have to clean the jars and lids with warm soap water. Then place the jars in boiling water for at least 10 minutes. Once 10 minutes has past, remove from heat and add lids. You don’t want to boil lids or you’ll ruin the sealing process.
Once you are ready to can your jam, just take out a jar from the water and quickly dry. Add the jam but do not fill to the top. Place the lid on and twist the side lead with just enough pressure that your fingertips can handle. You don’t want to twist on too tight. Then you’ll place the sealed jam in boiling water where the jar is covered by at least 1 inch of water. You will boil for 10 minutes before removing. At this point the jam should be sealed. You will know if it worked, if you press down the top of the lid and nothing happens. If you can press down, then it didn’t seal and you’ll have to redo the process. You’ll want to leave the jam out at room temperature for 24 hours before placing in a dark, cool place for up to 2 years.
When is the Jam Set?
Put a plate in the freezer at the beginning of your cooking time. Once you think that your jam has reached its setting point or has thickened, spoon a bit of the jam on the plate and tilt it vertically so the jam runs down. You are aiming for a slow descent and not a runny mess. If it runs slow, it is set.
You can also let the spoonful of jam sit on the cold plate for 30 seconds and then push it with your spoon or finger. If it wrinkles up, you have reached your setting point.
How Long Does Homemade Jam Keep?
If you can correctly like mentioned above, your homemade jam will last about two years if stored in a cool, dry place. Once opened, it will last about a month in the fridge.
Is Lemon Juice Necessary for Homemade Jam?
Yes. The main reason it is used is it helps prevent the growth of bacteria, which is something you don’t want. If you want to get really in-depth in the reasons why, check out The Kitchn.
Other Sauce Recipes
- 2 lbs fresh strawberries, hulled
- 1 1/2 cups organic cane sugar
- 1/4 cup lemon juice
- pinch of sea salt
- Heat large saucepan over medium-low heat and add strawberries, sugar and lemon juice. Stir until sugar is dissolved.
- Increase saucepan to medium-high to bring mixture to a boil. Continue to boil for 15 minutes or until thickened. If you have a candy thermometer, just boil until the temperature reaches 220°F. Remove from heat and add pinch of salt.
- Transfer the strawberry jam to a jar and let cool at room temperature. Store in fridge and use within 1 month.
- If you want to keep for longer remove from the stove & immediately ladle into sterilized jars. Place lids on jars and screw on. Place in boiling water with at least 1 inch covering the jars for 10 minutes to seal the jars. Remove and let sit at room temperature for 1 day. Store in cool dark place. Once opened, you need to store in fridge and use within 1 month.