This quick and easy recipe for strawberry preserves is made without added pectin. It's a vintage recipe and it makes about four half-pint jars. If you only want a small batch to refrigerate right away, use this easy small batch strawberry jam.
I recommend a candy thermometer for the best results. There are other methods for testing the preserves. See the jelling tests below the recipe.
- 3 pints ripe strawberries*
- 5 cups granulated sugar
- 1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
- Wash the strawberries in cold water and drain thoroughly. Hull them and discard the caps.
- Combine the berries with sugar in a large stainless steel or enamel-lined pan; let stand for 3 to 4 hours.
- Bring the strawberries to a boil slowly, stirring occasionally. Add the lemon juice.
- Cook rapidly over medium heat until the strawberry mixture is clear and the syrup is thickened, or about 15 minutes. See below for ways to test the syrup.
- Ladle or funnel the strawberry preserves into hot, sterilized jars, leaving 1/4-inch headspace.
- Process for 10 minutes in a boiling water bath.
Makes about six 8-ounce jars.
*One pint of strawberries weighs approximately 12 ounces. A 1-pound container, once the strawberries are hulled, will weigh about 12 to 14 ounces.
Three Ways to Test for Jelling Point of Jams, Jellies, and Preserves
Temperature - If you use a candy thermometer, cook the preserves to 220 F or 8 degrees above the boiling point. For each 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 dab of jam on an ice cold plate. Put it back in the freezer for 2 minutes. If the preserves wrinkle a bit when gently pushed with your finger, it is done. If it is still runny and your finger, runs through it, continue cooking and test again in a few minutes.
Cold Spoon Test - Put a few metal spoons in the refrigerator. Dip a cold spoon into the boiling jelly and lift it. Let it run off the spoon. When two drops converge and "sheet" off the spoon, the preserves are done.