Strawberry Jam Recipe without Pectin and Low Sugar

By Melissa Norris | How to articles

Apr 27

Every home needs an easy strawberry jam recipe without pectin (specifically store bought pectin) and low sugar. Because I’m a firm believe your jam shouldn’t have more sugar than it does fruit.

Like any pioneer woman, the beginning of summer marks jam and jelly season on our homestead. Fingers are sure to be stained with the berry of the moment and snack breaks are taken at the bush wiStrawberry Jam Recipe without Pectin and Low Sugarth the most ripe fruit.

Homemade strawberry preserves are the first berry recipes to hit my canning jars come spring. My husband loves strawberry jam, it is his absolute favorite. I’ve yet to meet a jam I didn’t like, but he’s partial to this one.

One of the reasons we preserve our own food is so we have a full stocked pantry that isn’t dependent upon the grocery store, is healthier without chemicals and GMO ingredients, and to save money. Using a strawberry jam recipe without store bought pectin and low sugar stays keeps us within these guidelines, and is how the pioneers and our great-grandmother’s made jam.

Because I want my homemade strawberry jam to taste like strawberries, not a bucketful of sugar.

If you already have jars (canning jars will last for decades as long as they’re not chipped), then your only cost is lids, sugar, and  pectin. Now you can eliminate the store bought  commercial pectin, cutting your cost even more with this low sugar no pectin strawberry jam recipe.

Disclosure: Some of the below links are affiliate links

I don’t know about you, but homemade jam that contains more sugar or as much sugar as it does fruit, just doesn’t sit right with me. Not only is this low sugar strawberry jam recipe healthier, it’s also much more frugal without pectin from the store and loads of sugar.

Plus, I’m all about recipes that don’t rely on store bought items. Anyone else feel they were born a century to late and should have been besties with Laura Ingall’s Wilder in Little House on the Prairie? You, too! Good, grab your apron, your Mason jars, and let’s get to jamming.

 

Lemon and apples are both very high in natural pectin. My grandmother never used pectin and now you don’t have to either. Surprisingly, you just get a hint of the lemon, so if you want it to be stronger, add the juice of one more lemon. Think strawberry lemonade in a jam. Oh, yes, don’t mind if I do.

If making things from scratch the old-fashioned way without chemicals and a ton of store bought ingredients, you’re going to love The Made-From-Scratch Life.

Included are my great-grandmothers and grandmother’s recipes for jams and jelly without store bought pectin. Learn how to preserve food the old-fashioned way complete with charts, lists, and time tested recipes! P.S. check out the bonuses –> The Made-From-Scratch Life

 

Resources for Low Sugar Strawberry Jam without Pectin

Our FREE Jam & Jelly Troubleshooting Guide– how to test if your jam has reached the setting or gelled point before putting in jars and processing, what 3 easy steps to take if it’s not reaching the gel point, and how to salvage it if it didn’t gel. Bonus, the fruit acidity and pectin level chart!

Classic Zester- this little beauty makes getting that pectin luscious lemon zest into your strawberry jam without the bitter pith so easy.

Stainless Steel Canner– (Safe for glass top stoves) this water bath canner won’t rust like the granite wear runs and will be your trusty side kick in the kitchen for years to come.

6 Piece Canning Set- The jar lifter is worth five times the price of this. Best part, this 6 piece set is 79% off at time of posting. I use mine with every canning project and can’t believe I ever canned without it. No more burnt fingers!

8 ounce jelly jars- These are the perfect size for jam and jelly making. I use these for pickled garlic as well. Can you ever have too many canning jars? In case you were wondering, the answer is no my friend.

How to Make Low Sugar Strawberry Jam without Pectin

Strawberry Jam Ingredients

8 cups strawberries (rinsed and hulled, before mashing)

3 cups sugar

Zest from 2 lemons

¼ cup lemon juice

Instructions to make and can strawberry jam without pectin and low sugar

  1. Wash jars and bands in hot soapy water. Place canning lids in a sauce pan, cover with water, and heat on medium low heat. Fill water bath canner with water and put on medium heat.
  2. Mash berries with a potato masher, blender, or immersion blender to desired consistency. I prefer mine chunky, but my husband likes it more pureed.
  3. Place berries, sugar, lemon juice, and lemon zest into large pot. Stir until well combined. Bring berries to a boil.  Stir frequently to keep sugar from scorching.
  4. Simmer on a low boil for 10 minutes.You can test the set of the jam by the sheeting test. Place a metal spoon in the freezer when you begin making your jam.
  5. After the 10 minutes of boiling, use the chilled metal spoon to ladle out a spoonful of jam. Hold the spoon and watch the way the jam drips off of the spoon. If its little individual drops, jam is not set, if it’s big goops, it’s almost there. If it comes off the spoon in a sheet or doesn’t really drop off at all, then jam is set, yank that baby off the heat.
    Jam will continue thicken up, or set in canning lingo, as it cools.
  6. Place jars on a dish towel. Fill jars with a ¼ inch from the top with jam. A canning funnel will be your best friend during this part. With a clean damp towel, wipe down rim of jar. Place lids on, then bands, and screw down to finger tight.
  7. Immerse jars in water bath canner inside the canning rack, making sure water covers the tops of the jars by 1 to 2 inches. Once water is boiling, set timer for 10 minutes and allow jars to process.
  8. When time is up, turn off heat. After 5 minutes remove jars from canner. Place on a towel folded in thirds in a draft free area. Allow to cool and set overnight or for at least 12 hours. Check seals. If the center of the lid gives, then store in the fridge and eat soon.
  9. If jars are sealed, wipe down with a damp cloth and store in the pantry out of the light for up to a year.

Makes approximately 4 pints.

Note: Always inspect your jars of jam and jelly before using. If the seal is broken, jar is leaking, off odor, off appearance, or any signs of mold, do not eat or taste it. Throw it out. Check the seal when you go to use jar, even if it sealed when you put it in the pantry. Seals can sometimes come undone over time.

One reader wrote in saying the lemon flavor in a batch she did that didn’t set was strong, but after re-cooking the jam until it reached its gelling point, the lemon flavor is barely detectable.

There you have it, all the tips and instructions to make delicious homemade low sugar strawberry jam without store bought pectin!

 

5.0 from 4 reviews
Low Sugar Strawberry Jam Recipe without Pectin
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Serves: approximately 4 pints
Ingredients
  • 8 cups strawberries (rinsed and hulled, before mashing)
  • 3 cups sugar
  • Zest from 2 lemons
  • ¼ cup lemon juice
Instructions
  1. Wash jars and bands in hot soapy water. Place canning lids in a sauce pan, cover with water, and heat on medium low heat. Fill water bath canner with water and put on medium heat.
  2. Mash berries with a potato masher, blender, or immersion blender to desired consistency. I prefer mine chunky, but my husband likes it more pureed.
  3. Place berries, sugar, lemon juice, and lemon zest into large pot. Stir until well combined. Bring berries to a boil. Stir frequently to keep sugar from scorching.
  4. Simmer on a low boil for 10 minutes.You can test the set of the jam by the sheeting test. Place a metal spoon in the freezer when you begin making your jam.
  5. After the 10 minutes of boiling, use the chilled metal spoon to ladle out a spoonful of jam. Hold the spoon and watch the way the jam drips off of the spoon. If its little individual drops, jam is not set, if it’s big goops, it’s almost there. If it comes off the spoon in a sheet or doesn’t really drop off at all, then jam is set, yank that baby off the heat. Jam will continue thicken up, or set in canning lingo, as it cools.
  6. Place jars on a dish towel. Fill jars with a ¼ inch from the top with jam. A canning funnel will be your best friend during this part. With a clean damp towel, wipe down rim of jar. Place lids on, then bands, and screw down to finger tight.
  7. Immerse jars in water bath canner inside the canning rack, making sure water covers the tops of the jars by 1 to 2 inches. Once water is boiling, set timer for 10 minutes and allow jars to process.
  8. When time is up, turn off heat. After 5 minutes remove jars from canner. Place on a towel folded in thirds in a draft free area. Allow to cool and set overnight or for at least 12 hours. Check seals. If the center of the lid gives, then store in the fridge and eat soon.
  9. If jars are sealed, wipe down with a damp cloth and store in the pantry out of the light for up to a year.
 

homemade jam without pectin

Did you grab your FREE jam & jelly troubleshooting guide with the bonus charts? Snag it here and never worry about failed jam or jelly again!

About the Author

Melissa K. Norris inspires people's faith and pioneer roots with her books, podcast, and blog. Melissa lives with her husband and two children in their own little house in the big woods in the foothills of the North Cascade Mountains. When she's not wrangling chickens and cattle, you can find her stuffing Mason jars with homegrown food and playing with flour and sugar in the kitchen.

(38) comments

Add Your Reply