This strawberry jam recipe is everything you love about spring and the abundance of juicy, ripe strawberries. This no-pectin, low sugar recipe will yield strawberry preserves you’ll want to slather onto everything!
Strawberry Jam Recipe
One of the things I love making from scratch at home is jam. While it may be easier or quicker to buy a jar from the store, there is a huge difference between homemade jam and store-bought jam.
The biggest, or should I say the most noticeable, difference is that homemade jam isn’t as sweet. This strawberry jam, for instance, has that bit of tartness that I love oh-so-much. Store-bought strawberry jam just feels like you’re eating pure sugar.
The other major difference between homemade jam and store-bought jam is the quality of fruit. I buy my strawberries fresh, hand-picked from my local strawberry farm. Even if you choose not to visit a farm for your strawberries, you’ll most likely be able to find an organic bunch from your local market vs. eating the mediocre strawberries that are found in most store-bought brands of jam.
To create this strawberry jam, I use just a few ingredients, including strawberries, lemon, and sugar. I use plenty of ripe, sweet strawberries, which negates the need for a lot of sugar in this recipe. I find that most jam recipes call for far too much sugar. Most of the time, this is because the sugar helps mask the sour taste of the pectin that’s added to the jam to help thicken it up.
The sugar in jam recipes also preserves the jam so that the jam lasts longer. With all this said, I still prefer jam that’s not overly sweet and like using less sugar in my recipe.
You can always add more sugar if you think your strawberries aren’t sweet enough or you just want to adjust it to your personal taste. When the strawberries have gotten to the point where they’ve softened — about 10 minutes — give the jam a taste test and decide if you want to add more sugar or not.
Once the strawberries have softened, you can mash them with a potato masher to make the strawberries smaller, or you can leave them as is to keep them more preserve-like. Knowing when your jam is ready becomes easier the more you make jam. If you add pectin, your jam won’t need much time as it’ll firm up pretty quickly.
Strawberry Jam without Pectin
If you’re creating a pectin-free, low-sugar version like this strawberry jam recipe, you’ll want to let the liquid in the pot reduce quite a bit. In fact, you should end up with a syrupy mixture of strawberry chunks with very minimal liquid in the pot, just enough to coat the strawberries.
Any liquid in the strawberry jam will remain somewhat runny even once its refrigerated and cooled, so if you want to avoid that, you’ll want to reduce the liquid as much as you can. I personally like leaving a little bit of liquid in my strawberry jam because I like having a syrup to drizzle over cheese and yogurt, but the option is yours.
This strawberry jam recipe will yield about 1 (10 oz.) jar (a little more if you keep some liquid) and should be stored in the fridge; it should last up to a couple of weeks.
Strawberry Jam Recipe
A homemade, low-sugar strawberry jam made without pectin.
- 4 cups fresh strawberry slices see notes
- 1/3 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 lemon, zest and juice
Add all of the jam ingredients to a medium pot. Place the pot over medium heat and give all the jam ingredients a stir. Allow the jam to come to a boil.
Once the jam is boiling, lower the heat to medium-low so that the jam is simply simmering. After a few minutes, you should see a layer of foam form on the top of the jam. You can leave the foam or scoop it off.
After 10 minutes of the jam simmering, give it a taste test. If you want it sweeter, you can more sugar. Otherwise, continue letting the jam simmer away until the liquid has reduced and the strawberries are merely coated in liquid rather than swimming in liquid. The mixture should look thick.
Carefully scoop the preserves into a clean jar and let the jam cool down a bit. Cover with a lid and store in the refrigerator. The jam should last a couple of weeks.
Make sure you are measuring out strawberry slices, not whole strawberries. To prepare the strawberries, rinse them then remove their stems and cut them into 2-3 thick slices (3 for bigger strawberries). Then measure out 4 heaping cups of strawberry slices for the jam.
If you want to make a thicker jam but still don't want to use pectin or a lot of sugar, you can always try adding a tablespoon of chia seeds as well.