Serves: Makes ~4-5 large pots
Preparation time: ~30 minutes + 12 hours
Calories: ~20 per teaspoon
So, here is what I had to prepare after returning from my picnic in my last post. Strawberries. Big, plump, red, delicious strawberries. I don’t often do much with berries. There’s something so beautiful about them that it seems almost a shame to cook them all up until they’re virtually unrecognisable – as delicious as the final product may be. Blueberries and raspberries are expensive and so I’m always eager to try and enjoy them as much as I can in their “raw”, basic form. Strawberries are still quite pricey, not quite as much though, so I figured that here was as good a place as any to leap into my berry adventures.
The jam turned out a rich, deep claret colour. Almost black when viewed in the pan, and when you lifted up a spoon you could see how deliciously deep red it was. I decided to mash the berries a little at the end – I greatly enjoy spooning out whole strawberries from jars of jam sometimes, but not for every single berry, so mashing them before you jar it will provide a bit more body to the jam.
Of course – the flavour? Well… if you’ve had good strawberry jam before then you’ll know what I’m talking about. That divine flavour of “summer in a jar” – sweet and sticky and delicious. While placing the jars into my cupboard I took stock of what I had. Quince jelly, a gift from an acquaintance, Apple, Nectarine and Courgette Chutney, Piccalilli, and Lemon Marmalade. Aah, how I love conserving things. The chutney especially is now a year old – I shall likely open it in a few months and I’m positively salivating at the thought of just how rich the flavour is going to be.
I’ll be off to IKEA (again!) tomorrow most probably. My wife’s birthday is coming up soon. It falls in August which happens to be when the historical “kräftpremiär” date falls – a date when crayfish harvesting was legally allowed to begin in Sweden, many years ago. Summer sees many crayfish parties in Sweden – many people still stick to the traditional time of August, hence the reason this month is often known as the “crayfish month”, even though crayfish can now be purchased all summer long, and as a result it makes a rather timely and delicious meal for my wife’s birthday. I’ll be sure to post some photos later of our dinner and the cake!
In the meantime, I hope you enjoy the jam – have a great week and I’ll be back soon!
Easy Strawberry Jam
- 1kg of fresh Strawberries
- 900g of Sugar (preferably jam-making sugar with added pectin)
- Juice from 2 Lemons
You’ll also need
- ~4-6 Preserving Jars
- The night before you make the jam, wash the strawberries well and then hull them. Sort through them, cutting away any very soft parts, and removing any bad ones. Place into a large bowl and add in half of the sugar. Stir well to mix and then cover and store in the refrigerator overnight.
- The next day, start off by placing a small saucer into the freezer to check the setting point of the jam later. You will see that the strawberries have released a good quantity of juice during the night. Pour the contents of the bowl into a large, high-sided jam-making pan, being sure to get any remaining syrup or sugar from the bowl. Pour in the rest of the sugar and add the lemon juice as well. Wash your preserving jars thoroughly in hot, soapy water and rinse well. Preheat your oven to 140 degrees Celsius.
- Place your preserving jars into the preheated oven to sterilise. Leave in the oven for about 20 minutes while you make the jam. Heat the pan on a medium setting, stirring all the time until the sugar has dissolved and can no longer be felt when pressing against the bottom of the pan with the spoon. Once this is done, bring the jam to the boil and once boiling, leave it cooking in this manner for a good 15 minutes. Remove the small dish from the freezer and spoon a small amount of the jam onto the dish. Leave for a couple of minutes and then press the sample gently with your finger. If the surface wrinkles then it’s ready to jar. If not then continue boiling, testing every 10 minutes or so to see if setting point has been reached.
- Once ready, remove the pan from the heat and skim off and discard any pink scum from the service of the jam. If the strawberries were large then you may want to mash some of them. Bash the mixture a little with a potato masher to break them up a little, although before sure to leave some whole.
- Transfer the jam into the still hot preserving jars. Fit the washed seals, if you’re using the type of jars I have, and seal immediately. Allow to cool and store in a cool, dark place. The jam should keep for around a year or more ideally. If you have the kind of jar that is pictured below, you can check for an airtight seal by gently unclipping the lid. The lid should stay “sucked down” to the jar. If this is the case then the jam should keep well. If not, then you’ll need to keep it refrigerated and consume it rather more quickly. Enjoy!
Nami | Just One Cookbook says
YUM!!! I love blueberry and strawberry jam most (well it’s tough call to pick only one). How wonderful to make jams out of fresh strawberries! I’m too “cheap” to use the whole fresh strawberries to make jams. While I am washing, I think I start eating and not too many strawberries are left. xD Hehee.
Hi Nami – I think I actually prefer raspberry. My grandmother used to make a wonderful jam with something called tayberries as well… you don’t see those much but that’s a delicious jam too!
Lovely! What a vibrant color!
I too, would prefer to have the berries in its raw state as they are also quite costly here. But we recently have been growing our own strawberries (not me, some clever folks in the highlands) and now we get the local ones at more affordable prices. So I have made strawberry jam out of them, with less regret 🙂
Your recipe is similar to what I do but I add a tsp of balsamic vinegar to every 3 cups of fruit. (Learnt that from Nigella). You might want to try this out one day. It brings out the “strawberriness” of the strawberries 😀
Your jam is so appropriate for what I’d just posted! We should have a joint venture!
Oh, Happy Birthday, Mrs Charles!
Fear not – still a few days until her birthday :)… which is lucky really since IKEA had no crayfish last weekend!
Hi Ping – I love that idea… the balsamic vinegar… I’ll have to give this a try next time for sure. Balsamic goes really well with strawberries so I bet it would be a delicious addition! And yeah – I did notice your lovely looking scones and couldn’t help but chuckle at our respective post timing 😀
That last photo is a money shot, oh I just love jam!
Couldn’t agree more – thanks Shuhan 🙂
Sharyn Dimmick says
I have never made jam. Last December someone brought at least a full flat of unripe strawberries to a party at my house. I was horrified that anyone would bring me strawberries in December and a lot were left over. I roasted them with some ginger root and sugar, pureed the results and stored it in a clean jar, eating it on my toast for quite a while.
That sounds like a great way of using them up Sharyn. I love making jam myself… I find the whole process very satisfying… the idea of “locking in preservation” and still having a jar or three good to eat in a year or more is very rewarding, although I might have to roast up some “strawbs” sometime with some ginger and sugar because that sounds lovely – great on ice-cream no doubt!
Eva Taylor says
I adore home made strawberry jam, Charles. My Mom used to make an incredibly delicious one that was not too sweet, and not overly pectiny either. I loved it. I noticed that you did not boil your jars after you added the jam and sealed the lids…will it still keep like that? I was under the impression you had to boil them post. BTW, absolutely LOVE the jars, so cute.
I bet this would make a wonderful topping on yogurt or even ice cream!
Eva kitcheninspirations.wordpress.com says
How rude, I forgot to say Happy Birthday to your wife!
Fear not! Her birthday isn’t for a few days, although it was our wedding anniversary!
Eva Taylor says
Yes, I just saw that on Maria’s post. Happy belated anniversary to you and your wife, Charles. How lovely to have a summer anniversary.
Hi Eva – I think different countries use different methods. I believe the USDA recommends boiling them. This method is the one I’ve always used (I’d never heard of boiling the jars actually!) and my mother too and I’ve never had any problems at all. When I first started canning I had a couple of instances of jam going mouldy but I’ve learned that I wasn’t heating the jars for long enough in the oven. I leave them in for about 15-20 minutes at ~140 degrees. I take them out and fill them with jam when the jars are still very hot. Getting the seals on can be fiddly with a lava-hot jar but I succeed and it cools to pull in the lid and create an air-tight, perfect seal. I have a number of preserves in my cupboard which are more than a year old now and still looking delicious!
Those berries look stunning and happy. I can just taste the jam. My grandma always used to make it. Soooooo good! Happy per b-day to your wife! I have no doubt you’ll whip her up something fabulous. 🙂
Thanks Kristy – luckily it’s still a few days until my wife’s birthday, which is good because IKEA had no crayfish last weekend… I should call it “EEEEEKea”… I hope they get some in for this weekend coming!
Green Dragonette says
Lovely strawberry jam Charles!
I make it every year and I have to say the home-grown taste is truly superb!
Your wonderful photos Charles, will I hope, encourage others to make this, so well done you!
Thanks GD – my grandmother used to make an absolutely fabulous raspberry jam… that’s next on my agenda!
A man after my own heart! What a fabulous recipe! I would probably call these preserves since you let them sit overnight and kept them whole, but whether they are called preserves or jam – they still look absolutely delicious! Nothing better than homemade jam in my book and, after spending hours upon hours in the kitchen jamming, I LOVE these easy recipes! So will you be doing a crayfish (we spell it “crawfish”) recipe this month? I love, love, love crawfish!
Hi MJ – I actually mushed some (most) of the strawberries near the end because I like whole strawberries in jam, but I don’t like it to be all goo with the occasional giant berry, so this way I got the best of both worlds!
I must admit that the crayfish come frozen and ready-boiled in dill water and spices so you just need to defrost them and you’re good to go. I’ll definitely post pictures though, even if there won’t be so much “cooking” involved 😀
[email protected] Picnic at Marina says
Charles, lovely post. I need to say that your photos are so realistic that I can almost smell the strawberries from the screen! You are right about blueberries and raspberries, they are expensive and we eat it raw as much as we can afford. Some years ago, when we lived in the Northern Europe, the only berries we had were wild blueberries, lingonberries, and cranberries. That was the only time I preserved blueberries because we couldn’t eat it all! 🙂 It’s amazing how region you live in changes some food from common everyday one to a luxury rarely enjoyed one.
Thanks so much Marina – it’s very kind of you to say. I’ll admit to being a bit annoyed because I sprayed the berries with water right before taking the photo (I thought they’d look better), but the water just made all the little hairs on the berries stand up which made them look less good… oh well 🙂
Wild blueberries and lingonberries… Yes! I can’t wait until I live in Sweden one day so I can collect these. Have you tried cloudberries? I can’t wait to pick these and post some recipes of those too!
[email protected] Picnic at Marina says
Hi Charles, I did tried cloudberries, I love them! I haven’t “met” a berry I don’t like… 🙂
Yes, Sweden is beautiful country, and when I lived in Europe, I use to go to Stockholm just to spend weekends.
You know, when I started blogging, I made a post http://www.picnicatmarina.com/2011/11/picking-berries-in-sweden.html
check it out if you like. 🙂
Thanks Marina – I’ll pop over to read it after this. I love that they even have “berry pickers”… little devices like dustpans with a little spinning thing on the front for pulling along the forest floor and harvesting lingberries! So cool 😀
I love jam and this looks crazy good. I love the simplicity of this recipe. Looks like a very easy and delicious jam recipe. Will try it out soon.
The photographs are just beautiful!
Thanks Asmita – do let me know if you give it a try 🙂
Charles, I love the vivid colour of your strawberry jam and those finished bottles must be a gratifying sight in return for the work you’ve put into making the jam, in spite of the fact that you call it “easy” strawberry jam.
That final shot is really the ‘moneymaker’ or payoff to make you smile with pride at the accomplishment. 🙂
PS: Happy Birthday Mrs. Charles.
Happy Anniversary to you both.
Thanks A_ – the final colour of the jam was incredibly satisfying… so deep and rich! 🙂
Laura (Tutti Dolci) says
Strawberry jam is my absolute favorite, Charles! This looks exquisite!
Thanks so much Laura 🙂
When you think about it, is there any jam better than strawberry jam? I wish I had gotten some made while the strawberries were in season, but I can just taste that goodness looking at yours!
Thank you Betsy – I have to admit that sometimes I prefer raspberry… it has such a beautiful flavour, but I doubt I’ll be making that any time soon. The amount of money I’d need to spend to make even a small batch of jam would be astronomical… sigh 🙁 Maybe if I can grow my own one day…
Hotly Spiced says
The strawberry jam looks so good Charles. Such a rich, pretty and vibrant red. And I love your jars and labels. It all looks so inviting. Happy birthday to your wife and I’ll look forward to seeing what you do with the crayfish xx
Thanks Charlie – I’ll be sure to take some photos of our crayfish feast 🙂
Beautiful jam, Charles. I make strawberry jams every year (for my husband and for me the strawberry hot sauce I posted a while ago), but I always cut the fruit before I make the jam. It seems easier. I also add some pectin because my jams are not as sweet (I never add more sugar than 1/2 of the strawberries weight and also lemon juice). I’m looking forward to see you celebration delicacies 😉 Happy Birthday to your wife!
Hi Sissi – in my travels reading about strawberry jams, I read that one recipe called for a large box of redcurrants, which were boiled with the strawberries. They’re rich in pectin apparently and will give a nice tart flavour to the strawberries. Maybe something you’d like to try? I know I might give it a go myself next time!
Thanks, Charles. I often combine crème de cassis with strawberries, but not in jams. My husband prefers the simplest natural version of strawberry jam and as I said I don’t make strawberry jam for myself. I rarely eat it.
Creme de cassis sounds like a great addition – will have to try that too!
The Squishy Monster says
I would like this by the spoonful, please =D
Hehe, me too 🙂
The colours……how beautiful they are! Too bad no one at my house likes strawberries, and no one will touch jam in any form or flavour. But it looks beautiful.
Thanks Minnie. I can’t believe no-one at your house likes strawberries… does that include you? Too bad… they’re so delicious! 🙂
Maureen @ Orgasmic Chef says
The saddest day in my kitchen is when the last scrapings are taking from the last jar of homemade strawberry jam. I haven’t made jam yet and strawberry season is in full swing here. I need to get my skates on and get cracking! (how Australian did that sound??)
Hehe, I always get that way about any preserve to be honest… it always seems so sad. Something you put such care into, and it’s been sitting in storage, safe for a year, and then it all goes!
Walter White says
I’m just embarking on this whole preserve-making world (Charles’ excellent lemon marmalade was my first go) and I’m looking forward to trying some strawberries when they come around in season. I suppose we’re lucky out here (west coast USA) in that we actually have TWO strawberry seasons; the summer is so hot that we actually have spring and fall yields. Unfortunately I seem to be between harvests, but I can still plan ahead 🙂
Kitchen Belleicious says
yum yum yum! First of all happy birthday to your wife and secondly that jam looks amazing., I love a good homemade jam. I don’t even buy store-bought. I either use my jam from my grandmother canning every year or buy homemade at the farmer’s market. Nothing compares to it!
Hi KB – totally agree… Urgh, some of the stuff that passes for “jam” these days… It’s so sad, and people grow up eating this swill thinking it’s what “food” is!!
My mom and I actually canned some peach jam the other weekend, but didn’t get around to strawberry (my favorite jelly!!) Yours sounds amazing. Love the last shot with the strawberry chunks. 🙂 AND your jars are fantastic. Need to invest in some of those! We just used mason jars.
Hi Caroline – I love the jars… I have some really small ones (right in the back of the picture), the medium sized ones and then really, really big ones which I use for pickling things like onions and eggs! Really recommend them. If you lend them to friends though, make sure you tell them to give the damn things back on pain of death. We’ve lost loads of jars when people just never give them back!
Barbara Bamber | justasmidgen says
I think this is just the prettiest, sparkling set of jam jars! I’ve been contemplating canning for the first time this summer and this is so inspiring. Nothing beats homemade jam! I hope your wife has a wonderful birthday! And Happy Anniversary!!
Hi Smidge – I really recommend giving it a try… it’s so fun and rewarding. A nice set of jars will last for ages (maybe a lifetime?!) too! Thank you for your well wishes 🙂
Barbara Bamber | justasmidgen says
I bought some canning equipment today!! I think I will try peach jam since I have a flat of those in the kitchen! Thanks so much for your encouragement! I’m currently using these lids that you only use once. The jars in your photo… are you able to use the plastic rings over and over?? xx
The Wife says
I know the answer to this one! 😉 The plastic rings are good as long as they seal perfectly. Storing them properly will prevent cracks and the like quite well though. I think we’ve had our set for 2-3 years with no problems.
Hi Barb – as my dear wife mentioned, yeah. The rings we have are actually made of rubber (well, some are made of silicone, some of rubber). You’ll need to sterilise these separately because heating them in the oven may destroy it… not sure, but it’s usually sufficient to put them into a bowl of boiling water for a few minutes before popping them onto the jars. They’ll last for years!
I love strawberries!! However, I’ve never made my own strawberry jam as I don’t use a lot of jam unless it’s to be sandwiched in cake. This looks delicious – I think I’ll have to give it a go and then make a lovely victoria sponge cake with it 🙂
Hi BA – I don’t eat a lot either I have to admit, although it’s nice to have it in the house. Once open, stuck in the refrigerator it’ll last pretty much forever… well, not quite, but *months*, and it’s good to have on hand! 🙂
Norma Chang says
Your jam looks so invitingly delicious.
Used to make strawberry jam years ago when the kids were home and I had a large strawberry patch. Maybe I should save some of my blackberries and make jam.
Happy Birthday to your wife.
Hi Norma, my mother used to have some strawberry plants, right in front of the rhubarb bushes coincidentally. They never produced much… I think we’d get the tiniest handful of berries each year. Enough for a little “snack” as you walked by, but that was about it 😀
My mother always made blackberry and apple jam though, every year. We used to mock her for it because it was one of the things she did every year without fail. Of course we got tired of it and longed for raspberry jam, apricot jam etc. Now that I’ve moved away from home I actually kind of miss it!
I haver to grab some berries soon before summer goes away and make jam! Nothing like home made jam!
Couldn’t agree more Kankana, and this gave a great yield too!
[email protected] in disguise says
Summer in a jar is a perfect way to describe it 🙂
I too think that it is a shame to cook fruit till it is unrecognizable but then again, enjoying the hints of summer later in the year is worth it sometimes
Hi Sawsan – at the same time though, I see people every year making the most amazing things with berries and I want in. They’re not so rare or special these days that we need to treat them like little queens… I have to start cooking more berries! 😀
Karen (Back Road Journal) says
Your jam looks like a glass of burgundy wine with chunks of lovely strawberries suspended in it.
Thanks so much Karen – I was really happy with the colour by the end… it came out beautifully!
fati's recipes says
Sorry if this was covered already in the comments, but if I can’t get jam making sugar, how much pectin should I be using instead? 🙂 Since I saw Rufus’ recipe, and now yours, and you guys make it seem SO easy, I really want to do some strawberry jam… and it’s strawberry season, so why not?! 😀 I love how you’ve kept your strawberries whole 🙂 I like mine that way, too 😀
Hi Fati – you can usually bypass the adding of pectin easily by adding acid. Lemon juice is a perfect addition. Adding the “right” amount won’t affect the flavour, and even adding too much isn’t a bad thing. It will just give a delicious tartness to the jam. For about 1kg of strawberries, I would try to add about 100ml of lemon juice. That should give you a good set and mean you won’t have to boil the jam down too much. If you want a darker jam then add a bit less lemon juice so the setting point isn’t reached so fast 🙂
Bear in mind as well that jams can take 24 hours to fully set, so don’t be worried if it’s still looking a bit floppy after a couple of hours in the pot!
fati's recipes says
Thank you, Charlesss!!!
Jenny @ Ichigo Shortcake says
I don’t know if I’ve seen jam making sugar…it might be easier than to add in pectin myself. 😀 Thanks for the great recipe! Although I’ve made persimmon jam, I’ve actually yet to make the good ol’ strawberry variety. 😀
Hi Jenny – It’s always surprising – things that are so common to me here seem to maybe not exist in other places. Jam-making sugar is really common in France and England! Let me know if you give it a try 🙂