It’s berry season, y’all. So that means I’m making all of the berry jams to have fresh in my house and to give away to family and friends as gifts. Making jam is easier than one might think, but does require a little bit of patience. Growing up, my mom would always tell me these stories of my grandma making jam in the summer to have fresh for the winter.
This strawberry jam recipe has only three ingredients and will work wonderfully in your next PB&J, piled on a fresh biscuit or mixed into a yogurt parfait. Don’t get nervous about canning your jam, either — there are so many good canning kits out there that make it super easy. All you need is a large pot, water and some Mason jars, and you’ll be good to go.
Trust me when I say, after you make this strawberry jam at home, you’ll never buy jam from the store again. This is not too sweet, bursting with flavor and guaranteed to satisfy the masses.
Preparation time: 2 hours, 45 minutes of active time
Servings: 5 to 6 cups of jam
- 2 pounds fresh strawberries
- 1½ cups sugar
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- Hull and dice strawberries into large chunks.
- Combine strawberries, lemon juice and sugar in a Dutch oven or a heavy-bottomed pot and mash until juice starts to form. I don’t like to mash the strawberries too small, because I love the chunky pieces of strawberry in the finished jam.
- Heat strawberry mixture over medium heat, constantly stirring. The mixture should start to bubble; it shouldn’t boil over as long as you keep stirring.
- Place a small plate in the fridge to chill.
- After about 20 minutes, the jam should be thick and reduced.
- Spoon a small amount of jam on a chilled plate, and drag a spatula through the jam. If it leaves a trail that does not immediately fill, the jam is ready. If the trail fills up immediately, continue cooking the jam over medium heat and repeat the process every 2 minutes.
- Once the jam is ready, take off the heat and let cool for 10 minutes.
- Serve warm, or proceed with the jarring process.
- Thoroughly wash everything you will be using to preserve the jam with hot soapy water. The items you will need are:
- Mason jars with lids and sealing rings
- Clean towels or paper towels
- Bring a large pot of water to boil. Make sure it is enough water to cover the Mason jars you use by at least an inch.
- Separate the Mason jars from the lids and the sealing rings.
- Using tongs, place the Mason jars and the sealing rings in the boiling water.
- Boil for at least 10 minutes before removing with the tongs.
- Turn off the heat, and add the lids to the water for 5 minutes. (Note: We turn off the heat here to ensure the sealing compound on the lids doesn’t melt.)
- Remove the lids from the pot and place everything on a clean towel or paper towels to drain.
- Using tongs to ensure you don’t contaminate the jar pieces, place the funnel in the top of the Mason jar.
- Fill the Mason jar with the jam, leaving about 1½ inches between the jam and the top of the jar.
- Wipe the lip of the Mason jar clean with a paper towel.
- Using the tongs, add the lid and the sealing ring, twisting until the jar is just sealed. You don’t want to completely tighten the sealing ring until after the jars, with the jam in them, have been boiled.
- Place the jars back into the pot of water, using the tongs. Make sure the jars are covered with at least an inch of water. Add more water if necessary.
- Turn the heat to high, and bring the water to a boil. Let the jars boil in the water for at least 5 minutes.
- Remove the jars with tongs, and place on a clean towel to cool. Once completely cooled, finish tightening the sealing ring until completely tightened.
- If everything is done right, the jam can last for up to a year in a cool dry place. I like to keep mine in the fridge.