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a spoon full of homemade strawberry jam being taken out of the widemouth mason Ball jar

Easy 30-Minute No-Pectin Strawberry Jam (With Video)

This quick and easy homemade strawberry jam recipe (aka strawberry freezer jam) is delicious! It tastes as good slathered toast as it does drizzled over ice cream or used as a strawberry cheesecake topping. And it’s what I use to make one of our all-time favorite strawberry desserts –this Italian strawberry crostata (and little strawberry jam cookies from the leftover crostata dough). This is a fresh strawberry jam recipe, but it works just as well if you use frozen strawberries (I’ve done it many times). The best part — you get to adjust the sugar to your liking (or dietary needs). Read on to discover my not-so-secret ingredient that makes this strawberry jam taste even better and watch the ‘how to make strawberry jam video’!

Why We LOVE This Homemade Strawberry Jam (Strawberry Preserves)

  • It’s super easy and ready from start to finish in 30 minutes (and that includes prep)
  • It tastes like summer strawberries through and through
  • Easy homemade jam recipe that kids can help make
  • There are no added preservatives or dyes (just all-natural fruit and sugar)
  • This is a no-pectin strawberry jam recipe (which saves money and time)
  • This jam requires no hot water bath and you don’t have to sterilize the jars
  • Easily double the batch to make the easiest strawberry freezer jam
  • It’s a low-sugar strawberry jam recipe (but you ultimately decide how sweet to make it)
  • This strawberry jam makes the best strawberry cheesecake topping or slathered on strawberry scones
  • Adding a little blood orange juice (or regular orange juice) makes the strawberry flavor burst even more

Easy Homemade No-Pectin Strawberry Jam Ingredients (Strawberry Freezer Jam)

All you really need to make homemade strawberry jam or strawberry preserves is fresh or frozen strawberries, sugar, and a little lemon juice. But I like to add my “secret” ingredient (a little freshly squeezed blood orange juice or regular orange juice) which adds something amazing to the overall flavor. In fact, it helps brings out the “strawberrieness” in the strawberries and adds extra pectin for this low-pectin fruit. I’ve been using this trick to enhance the flavor of strawberry sauces, jams, and coulis for the better part of 20 years now and hopefully, you’ll love it as much as we do.

  • fresh or frozen strawberries
  • granulated sugar
  • freshly squeezed blood orange juice (or regular orange juice)
  • freshly squeezed lemon juice

A few things to remember: before adding sugar, first understand how naturally sweet or tart the strawberries are. You may need to add just a bit more (or less sugar) to balance the sweetness and tartness of the fruit. Just be sure to use at least one tablespoon of lemon juice which is necessary to help the jam jell (because the acidity lowers the pH in the mixture).

How to Adjust the Sugar in Homemade Strawberry Jam (to Make a Lower Sugar Jam That Gels Properly)

With homemade freezer jams or quick jams that you just plan to cook and refrigerate for a week or two, it’s easy to play around with the level of fruit and sugar in the recipe. This is because when you’re not making a jam that needs to be shelf-stable (like a traditional preserved or canned jam, you can add less acidity and sugar than a typical jam calls for. If you have dietary restrictions or just want to eat less sugar, making your own homemade jam is a great solution. 

First I want to dispel a myth that I’ve seen claimed on some very reputable food sites (ones I love). It’s not true that strawberry jam (because it’s a low-pectin fruit), will not properly gel or set if you don’t use commercial pectin as you can see by this recipe). You can watch the video for extra proof if you need it which shows the strawberry jam has excellent gel point even before it’s been refrigerated.

All fruit (whether fresh or frozen) have different levels of natural acidity, sweetness, and pectin. And making any jam requires natural pectin from the fruit (or commercial pectin), acidity (usually lemon juice) to lower the pH in the mixture, and also contains high amounts of natural pectin which both helps it to gel properly), and sugar (which also helps homemade jam to set properly).

You may use the precise measurements called for in this recipe, or feel free to add a little more (or less sugar) depending on the natural sweetness of your fruit. If you add less sugar, you may have a less “set” jam which is still delicious and often what homemade Italian marmellata is like, or you may need to cook it just a few minutes longer.

How to Make Strawberry Jam From Scratch — Measure, Cook, Set & Serve. 

If you’ve ever wondered “how do I make strawberry jam”, you’re in the right place. Making strawberry freezer jam or jam you plan on storing in the fridge, is really quick and easy. Follow these simple steps and enjoy the taste of sweet strawberries on all your favorite desserts or breakfast goodies. Once you make this, you’ll never look back.

  1. Measure the ingredients. In a medium heavy-bottomed pot, add the chopped strawberries, sugar, lemon juice, and orange juice and stir well to combine.
  2. Make the strawberry jam. Bring the mixture to a boil over high heat and cook stirring frequently to avoid scorching for 25 to 27 minutes, or until the strawberries are mostly broken down and the mixture coats the back of a spoon (see photos). Remove from the heat and ladle the jam into a heatproof glass canning jar (Mason/Ball/Kerr/Weck/Quattro Stagione) and allow it to cool to room temperature. Use right away, or refrigerate which will further set the homemade jam. Store for 2 to 4 weeks in the refrigerator, or up to 1 year in the freezer. Enjoy!

Easy Homemade Strawberry Jam recipe step-by-step photos

(Below) How a Finished Strawberry Jam Should Coat the Back of a Spoon 

How Can You Tell When Homemade Strawberry Jam Is Set Properly?

When homemade jam has jelled properly, it should coat the back of a spoon and when you swipe a finger through it, the swiped area should remain clean without any sauce dripping down into the “clean” just-swiped area (see the photo example above). For this strawberry jam, it should also have 2 drips coming off of the spoon after dipping it into the jam that soon after quickly converges into a single large drip or sheeting off the spoon. See the video for how to identify when this jam is set.

If you have a candy/deep fry thermometer, you’ll know you’ve reached the gel point when the mixture reaches 220°F/104.4C.

Can you Freeze Homemade Jam in Glass Canning Jars (like Ball/Mason/Kerr/Weck/Quattro Stagione)?

Yes, you can freeze jam (even other items like soup, broth, etc.) in tempered glass jars like Ball, Mason, Kerr, Weck, and Bormiolo Rocco (Quattro Stagione), but you need to make sure to leave at least an inch or more of headspace (unfilled area at the top) so that as the jam or other ingredient freezes and expands, it won’t break the jar.

How Long Does Homemade StrawberryJam Last (in the Refrigerator and Freezer)?

When stored properly in an airtight container, homemade strawberry jam lasts in the refrigerator for up to 4 weeks and you can freeze it for up to 1 year but it probably will never last that long because it’s delicious.

Can You Use Frozen Strawberries or Other Berries to Make Homemade Jam?

Yes, you can definitely use frozen berries and stone fruits to make the best homemade jams. Frozen strawberries, raspberries, cherries, blueberries, apricots, and even peaches all make great homemade jams. Just be sure to purchase only frozen fruit without added sugar (so you have control over the amount of sugar), and always add all the contents of the container including any juice from the fruit.

Ways to Use This Easy Homemade Strawberry Jam 

If you love recipes featuring strawberries or need inspiration for how to use this homemade strawberry preserves recipe, below are a few of our favorites to try.

Let’s get started!

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a view down into a widemouth Mason Ball glass canning jar filled with bright deep red best homemade strawberry jam

Easy No-Pectin 30-Minute Homemade Strawberry Jam


5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star

5 from 2 reviews

  • Author: Kelly
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 12 1/2 ounces (360g) of Jam 1x
  • Diet: Vegan

Description

This quick and easy homemade strawberry jam recipe (aka strawberry freezer jam) is delicious and tastes as good on slathered toast as it does drizzled over ice cream or cheesecake. The best part — you can use fresh or frozen strawberries and you get to adjust the sugar to your liking (or dietary needs). See the recipe below to discover my “secret” ingredient that makes this strawberry jam taste even better. Watch the short video below for how to make no-pectin strawberry jam!


Ingredients

Scale
  • 17.5 ounces (about 2 1/2 cups) fresh or frozen strawberries, diced (500g)
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar, or more to taste (150g)
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed blood orange juice (30g) (sub regular navel, clementine, or mandarine orange juice)
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice (15g)


Instructions

  1. Measure the ingredients. In a medium heavy-bottomed pot, add the chopped strawberries, sugar, lemon juice, and orange juice and stir well to combine. 
  2. Make the strawberry jam. Bring the mixture to a boil over high heat and cook stirring frequently to avoid scorching for 25 to 27 minutes, or until the strawberries are mostly broken down and the mixture coats the back of a spoon (see photos). Remove from the heat and ladle the jam into a heatproof glass canning jar (Mason/Ball/Kerr/Weck/Quattro Stagione) and allow it to cool to room temperature. Use right away, or refrigerate which will further set the homemade jam. Store for 2 to 4 weeks in the refrigerator, or up to 1 year in the freezer. Enjoy!

Notes

  • A few things to remember: Before adding sugar, first understand how naturally sweet or tart the strawberries are.  You may need to add just a bit more (or less sugar) to balance sweetness and tartness. Just be sure to use at least one tablespoon of lemon juice which is necessary to help the jam gel (because the acidity lowers the pH in the mixture and lemon juice has lots of natural pectin). 
  • For an even lower-sugar strawberry jam Use 1/2 cup sugar + 2 tablespoons (130g). It’s still plenty sweet and lets the strawberries shine. You may also add freshly juiced (sweet) apple juice which can add natural sweetness without compromising the flavor of the strawberries (although you may need to cook the mixture slightly longer to give it time to gel). 
  • I don’t skim the strawberry jam as it cooks because I don’t mind the foam (and it settles and all but disappears after setting up anyway). To me, that’s just more jam we could be adding to a piece of toast. But feel free to skim the foam off the jam as it cooks.
  • If you want to double this recipe, use a pot that is twice as wide as the pot I’ve used.  This will help you cook the strawberry mixture quickly because the surface area will be large enough to accommodate the larger amount of ingredients. If you doubled the batch and used the same medium-sized pot, the strawberries would have to cook for so much longer in order to reduce (or cook off the water) and thicken properly. This would result in an inferior-tasting strawberry jam. A stainless steel sauté pan is perfect to use when doubling this recipe. 
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Category: Condiments + Sauces + Dips
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: American

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 2 tablespoons
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4 Comments

  1. Very good and easy recipe.






    • Linda, I’m so happy you tried it out and liked it!😊 And I really (truly) appreciate you taking the time to rate this recipe and leave a comment.
      I think people find it useful especially if they’re on the fence about making a new recipe. Thanks again!🤗

  2. Made this. It was delicious and so easy! 🙂






    • Karen! Thanks so much for trying out the recipe😊. I’m really glad you enjoyed it (and thanks for the IG message that said your son really liked it and he doesn’t even like strawberries! Amazing)
      I really appreciate your sharing how it turned out! Kelly

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