A foolproof and easy Strawberry Jam recipe, great to make when strawberries are in season. Tips on how to make strawberry jam and which sugar to use when making jam.
Strawberry Jam Recipe
A homemade strawberry jam is hard to beat. When strawberries are at their peak and, hence, cheap to buy, it’s hard not to buy a large tray of them to feast on as a sweet summer dessert.
I love to buy our strawberries from the weekly farmers’ markets where the produce is always fresher and better quality. In fact, I find that the strawberries are often just at their peak when I buy them, which means they need to be devoured almost right away (usually not a problem!).
Quite often, the vendor will give me an extra punnet or two, usually because I am a frequent customer, but most likely because they know they can’t sell overripe strawberries the next day.
On such occasions, if we are unable to eat all of the strawberries in time, I like to make a small batch of strawberry jam. Making jam in small batches is a quick and relatively easy process, and there is just something so reassuring about having a jar of homemade jam in the fridge.
How to Make Strawberry Jam
I was once looking for a no-fuss and easy strawberry jam recipe and came across one in Bake by Rachel Allen.
Rachel Allen’s strawberry jam recipe seemed a little unusual at first, in that it requires you to first warm the sugar in the oven before adding it to the cooked fruit. This is to help keep everything at a consistent temperature and to speed up the cooking process.
To make any jam, you first need to cook down the fruit until it has softened to your liking. If you want a relatively smooth jam, cook the fruit until you have a smooth purée. If you like small bits of fruit in your jam, cook the jam for slightly less time.
Once you add the warm sugar to the cooked fruit, this will start the process of turning the mixture into a jam, during which time the fruit mixture will start to thicken.
The jam is ready when a thermometer reads 105°C (220°F), but sometimes it can be ready before it reaches this temperature, so I recommend just keeping a close eye on the jam.
You need to stir the jam frequently so that it doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pan and burn, and you will notice that the jam will thicken substantially after boiling rapidly for about 10 minutes.
If you don’t have a thermometer, you can use the plate test. Place a small plate in the freezer for about 15 minutes, and place a spoonful of jam onto the cold plate. Use your finger to draw a line through the jam, and if the jam remains solid and does not move, the jam is ready. If the jam moves and fills in the line which you have drawn, it has not yet reached setting point.
Which Sugar to Use For Making Jam
However, you can also use sugar with pectin added (also called “jam sugar“), and I find this sugar is most useful when you are making jam with fruit which contain low amounts of natural pectin.
Whenever I use jam sugar, I find that the resulting jam is often thicker than when made with normal sugar. However, it does take the stress out of whether the jam will set or not.
How to Make Jam Set
Pectin is the substance in fruit which makes the jam set by thickening the mixture. Some fruits contain more pectin than others, and lemon juice is often added to most jams as a way of adding pectin.
High-pectin fruits include:
Low-pectin fruits include:
If you are using low-pectin fruits in your jam, you should also add some lemon juice or perhaps mix in some high-pectin fruit to help your jam to set. Alternatively, using jam sugar with low-pectin fruit works well.
Homemade Strawberry Jam
A foolproof and easy Strawberry Jam recipe, great to make when strawberries are in season. Tips on how to make strawberry jam and which sugar to use when making jam. Recipe adapted from Bake by Rachel Allen
- Prep Time: 10 mins
- Cook Time: 40 mins
- Total Time: 50 minutes
- Yield: Makes 3-4 cups
- Category: Jams
- Cuisine: Australian
- 1 kg (2 lb 4 oz) granulated sugar
- 1 kg (2 lb 4 oz) fresh and ripe strawberries, hulled
- juice of 2 lemons
- Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F).
- Place the sugar in an ovenproof bowl and warm it in the oven for about 15 minutes.
- In a large saucepan, cook the strawberries with the lemon juice over medium-high heat.
- As the strawberries start to soften, use a wooden spoon or potato masher to mash the strawberries to your desired consistency. I like my strawberry jam to be somewhat smooth so I mash everything to a pulp.
- Bring the mixture to a boil and cook for a few minutes before adding the warm sugar.
- Stir until the sugar has dissolved and continue boiling the mixture for about 10 minutes.
- Stir the mixture frequently to make sure that it doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pan.
- If any froth appears on the surface of the mixture, skim this off with a large spoon.
- If you are using a sugar thermometer, the jam is ready when it reaches 105°C. Otherwise, to test if the jam has reached setting stage, put a tablespoon of jam onto a small cold plate (which has been in the freezer), and chill it for a few minutes. Run your finger through the jam. If the line remains, the jam is ready.
- Fill your sterilised jars with the jam and seal them while they are still warm.
- Serving Size: Per teaspoon
- Calories: 42
- Sugar: 10.5g
- Sodium: 0.2mg
- Fat: 0g
- Carbohydrates: 10.9g
- Fiber: 0.2g
- Protein: 0.1g
- Cholesterol: 0mg