How to Make Strawberry Jam

Sweet, fragrant strawberry jam is one of life's great simple pleasures. 

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Homemade Strawberry Jam

Sweet, fragrant strawberry jam is one of life's great simple pleasures. 

Get the Recipe: Strawberry Jam

Start with Ripe Strawberries

To make your own, start with fresh, ripe strawberries. It's OK if some of the berries are a little underripe, but discard any berries that are overripe, and trim away any bruises or blemishes, as they can damage the quality of the final product. Rinse your berries well, and drain to dry.

Weigh the Berries

Trim away the cores of the berries, and cut them into small pieces. Weigh your cut berries, making sure to subtract the weight of the container. The ideal weight will depend on the size of the pan you’re using, but you probably don’t want to use more than 3 pounds of berries per batch of jam.

Coat with Sugar

For every pound of cut berries, add 2 cups granulated white sugar and 1 1/2 teaspoons store-bought lemon juice. Toss to coat the berries completely. Cover, and refrigerate for at least a few hours, preferably overnight, and up to 2 days.

Cook the Berries

When the berries have macerated, they will have given up much of their juice. Stir the mixture to loosen any sugar that has settled to the bottom, and put the pan on medium-low heat, stirring frequently, until all the sugar is dissolved.

Bring to a Boil

Raise the heat to medium-high and bring to a brisk boil. Stir frequently to avoid burning or sticking, and to prevent the jam from boiling over. Boil until the jam hits the set point, about 20 minutes.

Test It

The jam hits the set point when it reaches 220 degrees F on an instant-read or candy thermometer. It will also either sheet off a spatula or drip in viscous dollops, not run fluidly. Alternatively, place a dish in the freezer ahead of time; add a drop of the jam on the cold dish. If it wrinkles when you nudge it, it’s done. Remove from the heat, and skim away any scum that may have accumulated.

Can It or Refrigerate It

Ladle the jam into sterilized hot jars. If you wish, you can can it by following the standard water-bath canning instructions. Otherwise, allow it to cool, then cover, refrigerate, and consume within a month.

Dig In! 

Enjoy your homemade strawberry jam on toast, in sandwiches, with yogurt and granola, or however you like to consume jam.