Strawberry Jam Recipe (Without Pectin)

Spring is in the air, and there’s no better way to celebrate than by making my easy small batch Strawberry Jam recipe. Made with just three ingredients (and no added pectin!), this simple recipe is so much tastier than the stuff you would find at the grocery store and takes only the slightest bit of effort.

overhead shot of easy homemade strawberry jam in a clear glass jar with two strawberries and a pink crocheted doily on the table.

About This Recipe

Since strawberry season is in full swing, I wanted to share this easy homemade strawberry jam recipe. If you are anything like me, you probably have multiple pints of fresh strawberries lining your refrigerator and countertops. If any of them are starting to turn a little soft, this is the perfect way to rescue them!

This ridiculously easy strawberry jam comes in handy whenever we want to have a quick breakfast or brunch. All you need to do is chop the strawberries and then cook them in a pan with sugar, stirring intermittently. It is the perfect recipe for multitasking in the kitchen – it requires very little skill, but does need some babysitting.

I added some fresh-squeezed lemon juice (the 3rd ingredient) to give the jam a bit of brightness, but you can feel free to skip it if you wish. On the other hand, if you love the blend of sweet and sour flavors, you can also add lemon zest to give it more piquancy.

I have even made this jam earlier with powdered jaggery in place of sugar on occasions. You can feel free to use either cane sugar, brown sugar, raw sugar, or jaggery depending on your preferences.

At the end of the day, this is not a recipe that needs to be strictly followed, but is more of a method of cooking strawberry jam. The proportions can easily be doubled or tripled. The amount of jaggery, lemon juice, and sugar can be adjusted based on the sweetness of the strawberries and your own personal taste.

Step-by-Step Guide

How To Make Strawberry Jam

Prep

1. Rinse 600 grams organic strawberries in a colander or strainer a few times. Drain all the water and let them dry naturally or wipe them dry with a clean kitchen towel. For organic strawberries, you can simply rinse them in water a couple of times.

But for the strawberries that are not organically farmed or produced, soak them in water mixed with about 1 to 2 tablespoons of vinegar and a bit of baking soda for about 5 minutes.

Later drain the water and soak them again in fresh water for a few minutes. Rinse again thoroughly in running water. Drain all the water. Spread them on kitchen towels in a colander and let them dry naturally.

strawberries in a colander after rinsed with water and then dried naturally

2. Remove the stem tips of the strawberries and slice or chop them. After chopping, you should get approximately 5 cups of chopped strawberries.

sliced strawberries on a cutting board.

3. Add the strawberries and 2 cups (400 grams) of white sugar or raw sugar to a heavy-bottomed saucepan. Jaggery can be used in place of the sugar if you prefer.

strawberries and sugar added to a saucepan.

4. Add 2 tablespoons lemon juice.

lemon juice added to saucepan.

Cook

5. Mix thoroughly and keep the pan over low to medium-low heat.

strawberry mixture set over low heat.

6. As the strawberries simmer, you will see them begin to leave their juices.

berries have begun to release their juices.

7. Stir at intervals till the strawberries soften and are cooked. You will see the strawberries floating in their juices.

strawberry jam mixture is simmering, looking quite thin still.

8. Continue to simmer as the juice and strawberries bubble and reduce slowly.

simmering strawberry jam mixture - the juice is simmering and foaming

9. Keep on stirring often as the jam mixture is reducing. The juice will thicken slightly and the strawberries themselves will soften and become mushy.

silver spoon showing soft consistency of softened strawberries.

10. Reduce the flame to low and continue to simmer and reduce the jam mixture.

strawberry jam is continuing to simmer and become thick, with a thick coat of pink foam across the top.

11. The juice will thicken considerably as you go on simmering.

pink foam is centered in the pan, indicating that the strawberry jam is ready.

12. It will look translucent and gelatinous and should start leaving the sides of the pan. It took me about 1 hour and 25 minutes – start to finish – to cook the jam.

When the mixture starts to leave the sides of the pan, it means it’s done.

Note that the timing will vary with the heaviness, volume and size of the pan and the intensity of heat.

easy strawberry jam in the saucepan after cooking.

Test for Doneness

13. There are two other ways to check the consistency and doneness:

1. Plate Test: take a spoonful of the strawberry jam on a glass plate or steel plate and let it cool (you can pop it in the freezer to speed up the process). If it sets on cooling and there is no water separation, this means the jam is done.

testing the jam for doneness on a white plate - it is set and there is no separation of liquid.

14. 2. Sheet Test or Spoon Test: Another test is to take the jam in a spoon and allow it to fall. If the jam falls in the form of a sheet, it is done and ready to be bottled.

jam spoon test - strawberry jam is falling off the spoon in a sheet, indicating that it is done.

Bottle and Store

15. Cover the pan with a clean kitchen towel and let the jam cool.

saucepan is covered with a clean dish towel to cool.

16. Then add it in a medium-sized sterilized jar or bottle. This recipe yields about 1 medium jar of jam which is enough for a couple of weeks. Keep the jam bottle in the fridge and use it within 2 months, or freeze it and use it within 6 months.

strawberry jam has been spooned into a glass jar.

Serving Suggestions

This homemade strawberry jam is so bright and tasty that I’ll sometimes eat it by the spoonful. But, there are plenty more ways to use this delightful fruit spread! Here are a few ideas to get you started:

  • Spread over toast, english muffins, bagels, loaf cakes, graham crackers, Pancakes, or Waffles. Feel free to add peanut butter, too!
  • Dolloped on your morning Porridge.
  • Layered into Trifles or parfaits.
  • Swirled into plain yogurt or Curd (extra points if you top the bowl with some granola and/or fresh cut fruit).
  • Mixed with Butter or cream cheese for compound spreads.
  • Mixed into buttercream for strawberry flavored frosting.
  • As a filling for thumbprint cookies.
  • Spread between layers of Cake.
  • Warmed and poured over Vanilla Ice Cream.
  • Dolloped and swirled into Brownie or Cheesecake batter before baking.

No matter how you enjoy this tasty homemade strawberry jam, I’m pretty sure you’re going to love it. If you come up with a winning combination that the world should know about, please let us know in the comments below!

overhead shot of glass jar of strawberry jam on a white table with a silver spoon showing the consistency of it.

FAQs

What is the difference between jam and jelly?

Generally speaking, jam is made using chopped or crushed fruit, while jelly is made using only fruit juice and not the actual fruit itself. As such, jelly almost always must be thickened with pectin, whereas many jams can be made without it.

Can I use frozen berries to make jam?

Absolutely! And as an added bonus, you don’t need to defrost them before starting.

What is the best way to hull strawberries?

To be entirely honest, you don’t have to bother with hulling strawberries for this recipe. While hulling makes the berries more attractive for serving fresh, these berries are cooked down in this recipe; all you need to do is remove the green stem & leaves tip and slice the berries.

However, you can absolutely hull the strawberries if you prefer. I find the easiest way is to use a paring knife.

Can I water-bath can this jam?

Technically, you can (so long as you add the lemon juice), but since this is a small-batch recipe, there honestly isn’t much need. If you plan on using the jam within about 2 months, you can keep it in the fridge without worry. If you would like to preserve it even longer, feel free to freeze it for up to 6 months.

More Jams and Spreads!

overhead shot of easy homemade strawberry jam in a clear glass jar

Strawberry Jam Recipe (Without Pectin)

An easy recipe to make strawberry jam without pectin and preservatives. Made with just three ingredients – fresh ripe strawberries, sugar and lemon juice.

4.85 from 13 votes

Prep Time 10 mins

Cook Time 1 hr 25 mins

Total Time 1 hr 35 mins

Prepping Strawberries

  • Rinse organic strawberries in a colander or strainer a few times. Drain all the water and let them dry naturally or wipe them dry with a clean kitchen towel.

  • Remove the green stems and leaves from the strawberries. Chop them and set aside.

  • In a saucepan take the chopped strawberries. Add sugar and lemon juice.

  • Mix well and keep the pan on stovetop on low to medium-low heat.

  • The strawberries will leave their juices and begin to cook.

  • Stir at intervals and often till the strawberries soften and are cooked.

  • Reduce the heat to low and continue to simmer till the jam mixture starts reducing.

  • Keep on stirring often when the jam mixture is reducing.

  • It took me an overall 1 hour and 25 mins right from the start till finish to cook the jam minus the prep work.

  • When the mixture starts to leave the sides of the pan, it means the jam has reached its setting point. Other ways to check the consistency and doneness is by doing two tests.

  • 1: Plate TestTake a spoonful of the strawberry jam on a plate and let it cool. If it sets on cooling and there is no water separation, this means the jam is done.
  • 2: Spoon Test or Sheet TestAnother test is to take the jam in a spoon and allow it to fall. If the jam falls in a one sheet from the spoon, it is cooked and ready to be bottled.
  • Cover the pan with a clean kitchen towel and let the jam cool at room temperature.

  • Then transfer the jam in a medium-sized sterilized glass jar or bottle.

  • This proportion gives about 1 medium jar of jam which is enough for a month if you eat jam everyday for breakfast.

  • Keep the jam bottle in the fridge.

  • Serve the strawberry jam whenever required.

  • The recipe can be doubled or tripled.
  • The amount of sugar can be adjusted as per your taste or depending on the sweetness of the strawberries.
  • If you chop the strawberries in bite sized pieces or large pieces, then you can make a chunky strawberry jam instead of a smooth jam.
  • If the jam has become too thick and dense, then take all of the jam in a pan. Add about ¼ cup of hot boiling water or as needed to the jam. Mix well and keep the pan on a low heat and cook it for a few minutes till you get the right consistency.
  • You can scale this recipe easily to make a small batch or a larger batch. 
  • Note that the approximate nutrition info is for the entire batch of strawberry jam made with this recipe.

Nutrition Facts

Strawberry Jam Recipe (Without Pectin)

Amount Per Serving

Calories 1795 Calories from Fat 18

% Daily Value*

Fat 2g3%

Saturated Fat 1g6%

Polyunsaturated Fat 1g

Monounsaturated Fat 1g

Sodium 18mg1%

Potassium 1065mg30%

Carbohydrates 447g149%

Fiber 12g50%

Sugar 427g474%

Protein 4g8%

Vitamin A 74IU1%

Vitamin B1 (Thiamine) 1mg67%

Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin) 1mg59%

Vitamin B3 (Niacin) 2mg10%

Vitamin B6 1mg50%

Vitamin C 364mg441%

Vitamin E 2mg13%

Vitamin K 13µg12%

Calcium 146mg15%

Vitamin B9 (Folate) 150µg38%

Iron 4mg22%

Magnesium 88mg22%

Phosphorus 150mg15%

Zinc 1mg7%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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This strawberry jam recipe from the blog archives first published in March 2014 has been republished and updated on 15 January 2022.

Source: Dassana’s Veg Recipes

By AlJazeera