My husband and I went berry picking last weekend to get the last of the strawberries before they went out of season. They were so red and ripe, I couldn’t wait to get home and make some fresh jam with them.
This was only my second time making jam and the result was quite successful! I made two batches with differing amounts of sugar and they came out a tad different, both equally good though.
If you go on the internet and search jam recipes, the variation in the amounts of sugar that is put into different recipes amazes me. Some recipes were putting in 1 cup of sugar for 4 cups of strawberries, others were putting in 5 cups of sugar for the same amount.
I am not the type of person add more sugar than strawberries into my jam, in fact, the less sugar the better, so I ended up adding as little sugar as I could.
First Batch: 1Cup Sugar—2lbs Strawberries
This first batch I made had the least amount of sugar. Some links I found like this recipe from The Kitchn asked for 1/2 cup of sugar for 1 lb of strawberries.
This jam came out slightly runny and not as thick and jammy as I had hoped. If you are so inclined as to add as little sugar as possible, I would still recommend using this ratio of sugar to strawberries. It still produces a rather fine jam.
2nd Batch: 2Cups Sugar—2lbs Strawberries
This second batch I used the recipe from Sweet and Savory blog that I used last year. She knows her stuff when it comes to jam. She said the minimum amount of sugar needed for the jam to set properly is 2 cups.
This recipe produced a thicker jam that set correctly. It was not at all runny like the last batch. It is thick and delicious and there is no pectin needed!
Jam is so easy to make! It’s also ten times tastier than store bought. It should last for at least a month in the fridge too if you don’t eat it all before then. My husband and I are definitely jam and jelly people. There is a whole shelf in our fridge devoted just to that, so I can’t imagine my homemade jam lasting long in our house.
The only ingredients you need are strawberries, sugar, and lemon juice. All of these are essential to making the jam, so don’t skip any of the ingredients. The lemon juice assists in helping the jam set properly. Here’s a great explanation if you want to learn more about it.
How to Make Jam
All you have to do is cut the strawberries up into equal sized pieces and place them into a pot. Mash them with a potato masher. You can leave the pieces bigger if you want some chunks of strawberries left in the jam, like I did. Mix in the sugar and lemon juice.
Leave the strawberries on medium heat and mix until the sugar is dissolved. Then bring it to a boil and cook about 25-30 minutes. You have to stir it frequently, so the bottom doesn’t burn. You will feel the jam start to thicken towards the end of the cooking time. It is done when the mixture reaches 220°F. Skim the foam off the top and then pour into jars and let it cool down before placing in the fridge.
How to Tell When Jam is Set
There’s a couple different ways you can use to tell if your jam is set.
- The Saucer Test: Place a plate in the freezer as you are starting to make your jam. When you think the jam is done, put a small spoonful on the plate and place back in the freezer for a few minutes. Take it out and put your finger through the jam. If it doesn’t run back together and leaves an open trail it is set.
- Temperature: The jam reaches setting point at 220°F. Once it reaches that temperature it’s done.
Jam is a basic recipe that can be used for lots of other recipes as well. I plan on using a bit of mine to make some homemade strawberry ice cream. It would be super delicious in a berry trifle as well or strawberry shortcake. Yum!
Strawberry Jam—No Pectin
- 2 Lbs Strawberries, diced
- 2 Cups Sugar
- ¼ Cup Lemon Juice
- Place strawberries in a large pot and mash with a potato masher. Mix in sugar and lemon juice.
- Mix on medium heat until the sugar is dissolved, then bring to a boil. Boil for 25-30 minutes or until the jam reaches 220°F.
- Pour into clean jars that have been soaked in hot water. Let the jam cool until it reaches room temperature, then place in the fridge. The jam will store for at least a month.