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Homemade Strawberry Jam Recipe

Maria is a master of public health and a master gardener. She and her husband, known as The Gardener & The Cook, live in coastal Alabama.

My first successful attempt at making strawberry jam

My first successful attempt at making strawberry jam

A few years ago we spent a week in Scotland and England, where we ate delicious scones with strawberry jam every day. Yes, every single day. In England, we had them with clotted cream. In Scotland, butter was used instead.

After returning home, we decided to try our hands at making our own. Bo began the search for a good recipe for scones. With one recipe, the scones tasted fine but did not rise, so the texture was off. With another, they rose a little, but were still not right. He continued making adjustments, and soon had perfected his own recipe.

Bo's English scones with currants

Bo's English scones with currants

With Scones, We Needed Jam!

When we kept having to return to the store to buy more strawberry jam, I decided to try my hand at making it. My first attempt resulted in something more like strawberry puree. It tasted great, but the texture was off, in other words, it was runny.

While my daughter, was visiting, she and I tried it again. This time, it jelled perfectly, and was a huge success.

Be sure to read the instructions before you start cooking. The first thing you want to do is prepare the jars.

The list of ingredients is farther down the page. While you’re waiting for the water for the jars to boil, you will begin crushing the berries as described below.

Step 1: Prepare the Jars

Boiling the jars. Be sure to put a small cloth in the bottom of the pot.

Boiling the jars. Be sure to put a small cloth in the bottom of the pot.

Instructions for Jars

  1. Place the lids and rings in another pot with water and bring to a simmer. Leave the lids and rings in this pot until the jars are filled with jam.
  2. This prepares the sealing compound in the rubber seal of the lids. DO NOT let the water with the lids come to a boil, or the sealing compound will be activated, and the lids will be useless before you can use them.

Step 2: Prepare the Lids and Rings

Heating those lids and rings

Heating those lids and rings

Instructions for Lids and Rings

  1. Place the lids and rings in another pot with water and bring to a simmer. Leave the lids and rings in this pot until jars are filled with jam.
  2. This prepares the sealing compound in the rubber seal of the lids. DO NOT let the water with the lids come to a boil, or the sealing compound will be activated, and the lids will be useless before you can use them.
Pureed strawberries cooking. They smelled so good.

Pureed strawberries cooking. They smelled so good.

Ingredients

  • 4 (16-ounce) packages strawberries
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice
  • 2 packages Sure Jell
  • 7 cups sugar

Jam Instructions

  1. Place strawberries in a blender or food processor, or crush them by hand with a potato masher.
  2. Pour blended berries into a large saucepan or a stockpot.
  3. Add lemon juice, then pectin. (I used Sure Jell, following the directions on the package.)
  4. Bring the mixture to a full boil over high heat, stirring constantly.
  5. Add the sugar, stirring well until it is completely dissolved, and bring the mixture back to a boil.
  6. Remove the pan from heat, and skim off the foam, if desired.
  7. With the 5 jars still in the hot water, ladle the hot jam into the hot jars leaving 1/4 inch headspace. (See note below that explains headspace). Wipe the rim of the jar with a clean, damp cloth. Place the lids on the jars, and carefully screw on the ring until it is fingertip tight. (Be sure to tighten more after they have cooled.)
  8. Leave the jam-filled jars the pot of boiling water for 10 minutes. Then remove jars and allow to cool. As the jars cool, the vacuum seal will form and you will hear the lids “ping” when the seal is complete.

Headspace

Headspace is the space from the top of the food to the top of the jar. With too little headspace, the food may boil over and prevent the lid from sealing.

With too much headspace, the processing time will not be long enough to drive the air out of the jar, preventing a proper seal. Either way, without a good seal, the food is likely not safe to eat.

Canned Food Safety Tips

  • Check the lids after 24 hours to make sure the lids do not flex up and down when the center is pressed.
  • If your jars do not seal, you can keep them in the refrigerator for 1 to 2 weeks, but no longer. The tiny jar in the photo at the top of the page was used to hold the last little bit of jam in the pan, so the headspace is far too large. We stored this one in the fridge and ate it first.
We got 11 small jars out of this recipe, and gave one away immediately. Next time, we will use 5 large jars.

We got 11 small jars out of this recipe, and gave one away immediately. Next time, we will use 5 large jars.

© 2021 MariaMontgomery

Your Comments Are Always Welcome

MariaMontgomery (author) from Coastal Alabama, USA on October 04, 2021:

Thank you, Peggy. The only strawberry picking I have done is in my garden. This year's crop was really good at first, then it went downhill. I have gone blackberry picking, though.

Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on October 04, 2021:

When we lived in Wisconsin many decades ago, I used to go strawberry picking with one of our neighbors. Some of it was turned into jam, but mostly we ate fresh strawberries daily during that season. It has been many years since I have done any canning. For those who wish to start canning, your instructions are good.

MariaMontgomery (author) from Coastal Alabama, USA on October 03, 2021:

Hi Brenda, It is, but the first time I made it, was my first ever attempt at canning. So I had a little learning curve. Now, it's easy-peasy. Thanks for visiting.

BRENDA ARLEDGE from Washington Court House on October 03, 2021:

This sounds fairly easy.

I love my strawberries.

Miebakagh Fiberesima from Port Harcourt, Rivers State, NIGERIA. on October 03, 2021:

MariaMontgomary, you're welcome.

MariaMontgomery (author) from Coastal Alabama, USA on October 03, 2021:

Thanks, Miebakagh. Enjoy it.

Miebakagh Fiberesima from Port Harcourt, Rivers State, NIGERIA. on October 01, 2021:

That I'm taking good note of.

MariaMontgomery (author) from Coastal Alabama, USA on October 01, 2021:

Heating the jars is necessary for preserving food for long periods of time, I.e., months or years. I suppose you could let the mixture cool, then pour it into cold jars, but ONLY if you make a small amount and you plan to eat it within 1 or 2 weeks.

Shauna L Bowling from Central Florida on October 01, 2021:

I love strawberry jam, Maria. Do you have to put the mason jars in hot water? Could you make the jam, let it cool, then put it in the jars and store in the fridge?

Miebakagh Fiberesima from Port Harcourt, Rivers State, NIGERIA. on September 24, 2021:

Maria, glad you respond. Thanks.

MariaMontgomery (author) from Coastal Alabama, USA on September 24, 2021:

You're welcome. Thank you, too. I'm so glad you enjoyed the article. Blessings to you, as well.

MariaMontgomery (author) from Coastal Alabama, USA on September 24, 2021:

You're welcome. I'm glad you liked it. The jam is really good, but it's very high in sugar. I'll bet that apricot jam was wonderful. I love apricots.

MariaMontgomery (author) from Coastal Alabama, USA on September 24, 2021:

You're welcome. It's work, but it's fun, too. When strawberries are in season, they are pretty cheap. Of course, you could always grow your own...

MariaMontgomery (author) from Coastal Alabama, USA on September 24, 2021:

I did. We don't get to see each other a lot, but when we do, we have a great time.

MariaMontgomery (author) from Coastal Alabama, USA on September 24, 2021:

You're welcome. Be sure to plan on a process that takes at least a couple of hours. If you make the jam, let me know how it turns out for you.

MariaMontgomery (author) from Coastal Alabama, USA on September 24, 2021:

It definitely takes some time. I haven't made any in a while. We've both been kicking extra weight to the curb, and the jam has a very high sugar content. Something I want to do is learn to make bread, but I can't seem to carve out the time for that. Not enough hours in the day.

Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on September 24, 2021:

I would love to do this, but making the time to do it is another matter. I have the time, mind you; I just choose to allocate it in other ways so far. But one day I'll follow your suggestions and dazzle everyone with my culinary skills. lol

Chitrangada Sharan from New Delhi, India on September 23, 2021:

This strawberry jam recipe sounds perfect. Well explained, and well presented. I would like to try this.

Thank you for sharing the useful instructions and stepwise pictures.

Poppy from Enoshima, Japan on September 23, 2021:

Great article! I bet you had lots of fun making jam with your daughter.

Miebakagh Fiberesima from Port Harcourt, Rivers State, NIGERIA. on September 23, 2021:

I like strawberry jam on my sliced bread. Thought it was expensive to buy in my local Mall. I will try making mine having understand your instructions. Much thanks.

Liza from USA on September 23, 2021:

Hi Maria, I love strawberry jam! I think it is my favorite fruit jam, especially when eating with scones. I'm sure your strawberry jam is delicious because it is homemade. Recently, my mother-in-law gave me an apricot jam that she made from her apricot tree. It was yummy! Oh, thanks for sharing the recipe, the scones though, ugh it makes me want to have a bite with that jam.

Misbah Sheikh from The World of Poets on September 23, 2021:

Maria, thank you very much for sharing this delicious strawberry jam recipe with us. I am not a very big fan of strawberry jam, but I do enjoy it on occasions with bread and butter or Philadelphia cheese cream sometimes.

You've provided detailed and easy-to-follow instructions for making this tasty jam. Thank you so much for sharing. Your efforts are much appreciated. Have a great time!

Many blessings to you!!

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