It's hard to believe this homemade strawberry jam contains only three ingredients: fresh strawberries, granulated sugar, and lemon juice. There's no need to add pectin to this jam; just cook it to the correct temperature and test it for consistency.
It's a small batch, perfect for spreading on biscuits, toast, or English muffins. Or warm it and drizzle it over pancakes, waffles, or ice cream. It is fabulous!
Wash jars or containers in hot, soapy water and rinse them before filling. Since you'll be refrigerating and using the jam right away, there's no need to process it in a boiling water bath canner. The National Center for Home Food Preservation recommends using refrigerator or freezer jams within about three weeks. To keep it as long as possible, don't let it stand at room temperature; use it and return it to the refrigerator right away. Check for signs of spoilage after a few weeks.
There are about 12 ounces in a pint of strawberries. A 1-pound container of strawberries, once hulled, will weigh about 12 to 14 ounces.
- 1 pint strawberries (about a 1 pound container)
- 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- Wash the strawberries and hull them. Discard the caps and stems.
- Slice or chop the strawberries and put them in a medium stainless steel or enamel-lined saucepan. Add the sugar and place the pan over medium-low heat. Bring the mixture to a boil and then add the lemon juice. Keep the mixture at a steady boil for about 10 to 15 minutes, or until the jam reaches 220 F on a candy thermometer (or 8 degrees F above the boiling point of water at your particular altitude). There are other ways to test for jelling. See below.
- Stir the jam frequently and drag the spoon over the bottom of the pan to make sure it isn't scorching.
- Ladle or funnel into a one-pint jar or container. Cover and refrigerate. Take the jam out to use and refrigerate as soon as possible after each use for the longest (about 3 weeks) storage time.
How to Test Jam or Jelly for Doneness
Temperature - Attach a candy thermometer to the pan and cook the jam to 220 F, or 8 degrees above the boiling point. For every 1000 feet of altitude above sea level, subtract 2 degrees F.
Freezer Test - Put a few small plates in the freezer. Near the end of the cooking time, begin to test. Drop a small dollop of jam on an ice-cold plate. Put it back in the freezer for about 2 minutes. If the jam forms a "skin" and wrinkles slightly when gently prodded with your finger, the jam is done. If it is still runny and your finger easily makes a trail through it, continue cooking and test again in after few more minutes.
Cold Spoon Test - Put a few metal spoons in the refrigerator. Dip a cold spoon into the boiling mixture and lift it over the pan. Let it run off the spoon. When a few drops come together and "sheet" off the spoon, the jam is done.