This low sugar no pectin strawberry jam recipe is our favorite. Step-by-step tutorial for a homemade strawberry jam without pectin and tons of flavor. Every home needs an easy strawberry jam recipe without pectin (specifically store-bought pectin) and low sugar. Because I'm a firm believer 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. Whether its fresh-picked cherries for homemade cherry jam, juicy and plump blackberries for blackberry jam or even juicy peaches for this amazing spicy peach jam. Fingers are sure to be stained with the berry of the moment and snack breaks are taken at the bush with the ripest 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.
If you're nervous about canning, don't be! Read here about safely canning jams and jellies, and this is a fantastic canning 101 post that every new home canner should read.
One of the reasons we preserve our own food is so we have a fully 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 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.
Resources for Easy Homemade Strawberry Jam
If you already have jars (canning jars will last for decades as long as they're not chipped), then your only cost is for lids, sugar, and lemons (we're assuming you're growing your strawberries, but if not, then there will be the cost for those as well). The good news for this recipe is there's no need for store-bought commercial pectin which cuts your cost even more with this low sugar no pectin strawberry jam recipe.
Have you ever wondered if home canning is really worth it? And does it save money to can food at home?
To can strawberry jam you'll need:
- Canning Jars
- Canning Lids & Bands
- Large Canning Pot
- Funnel & Canning Tools
How To Freeze Strawberry Jam
You absolutely can freeze this strawberry jam instead of canning it. However, we prefer to can it over making a freezer jam because we like to be prepared for power outages, and no one wants to eat gobs and gobs of jam if the power goes out (OK, maybe we do…but it's not ideal!).
This recipe can be canned, as described, stored directly in the refrigerator (best within 4-6 weeks) or stored in the freezer (best within 2-3 months). Just be sure to cool jam completely before placing in the freezer to prevent jars from cracking.
Healthier Strawberry Jam Recipe
What makes this strawberry jam recipe healthy? Well, I don't know about you, but a 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, but it's also much more frugal without pectin from the store and loads of sugar. (And I have a no sugar strawberry jam option too.)
Plus, I'm all about recipes that don't rely on store-bought items. Does anyone else feel they were born a century too 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.
Sources of Natural Pectin
Lemon and apples are both very high in natural pectin. My grandmother never used pectin and you don't have to either. We're using lemon juice in our recipe to naturally set our jam. It may not seem like it's going to work but trust me, you just have to cook it a bit longer than the store-bought pectin recipes… but it will get there, I promise!
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.
Resources for Easy Homemade Strawberry Jam
- 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! When you sign up for our FREE Guide you'll get the option for a super special price to join our Home Fruit Preservation e-Course!
- Classic Zester – this little beauty makes getting that pectin-packed 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 sidekick in the kitchen for years to come.
- 6 Piece Canning Set – The jar lifter is worth five times the price of this. The best part, this 6 piece set is 79% off at the 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.
Strawberry Jam Ingredients
- Strawberries (rinsed and hulled, before mashing)
- Lemon Juice (and zest)
Can I Make Jam Using Frozen Strawberries?
Although it's not ideal to use frozen strawberries for this recipe, they will certainly work. Just understand your cooking time will be much longer due to the extra water content of the frozen berries. No need to defrost berries first, just toss them into the pot and let them defrost as you crush them up.
How To Fix A Jam That Didn't Set Up
If your jam is not fully set after canning, you can fix it! Don't despair! All your hard work has not gone to waste. Before you open each jar, be sure your jam is completely cool. Jam continues to set up as it cools, so it may just be that your jam is still too hot.
If your jam is still runny once cooled to room temperature, simply open up all your jars and dump the jam back into your pot. Continue cooking until your jam passes the sheeting test.
The sheeting test means your jam will be thick enough to stick to the back of a frozen spoon without dripping off (or it may come off in one sheet!). But if you get little drops or even larger drops of jam, you'll want to continue cooking it to allow it to thicken further.
How To Make Homemade Strawberry Jam
Instructions for canning homemade strawberry jam:
- Wash jars and bands in hot soapy water and keep warm. Fill water bath canner with water and put on medium heat.
- Add fresh strawberries to the pot. Crush strawberries with a potato masher or immersion blender to desired consistency (could also puree in the blender first). I prefer mine chunky, but my husband likes it more pureed.
- Place strawberries, sugar, lemon juice, and lemon zest into a large pot. Stir until well combined and sugar is dissolved. Bring berries to a boil (if you have a candy thermometer jam sets at 220 degrees Fahrenheit, taking out the guesswork). Stir frequently to keep sugar from scorching.
- Simmer on a low boil for 20 minutes stirring constantly. 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. Cooking time will vary depending on the water content of the berries.
- After the 20 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, the 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 the jam is set, yank that baby off the heat.
- Place jars on a dishtowel. Fill jars leaving a ¼ inch headspace (1/4 gap from the top of the jam to the top of the jar). A canning funnel will be your best friend during this part.
- With a clean damp towel, wipe down the rim of the jar. Place lids on, then bands, and screw down to finger tight.
- Immerse jars in boiling 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.
- When time is up, turn off the 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 refrigerator and eat soon.
- 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 half-pint jars
Note: Always inspect your jars of jam and jelly before using it. If the seal is broken, if the jar is leaking, if you detect an 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 a jar, even if it sealed when you put it in the pantry. Seals can sometimes come undone over time.
Strawberry Jam Recipe without Pectin and Low Sugar
- 8 cups strawberries rinsed and hulled, before mashing (will equal approximately 4 cups smashed depending on how fine you smash them)
- 3 cups sugar
- Zest from 2 lemons
- ¼ cup lemon juice
- 1 medium apple in place of lemon juice and zest
- Wash jars and bands in hot soapy water and keep warm. Fill water bath canner with water and put on medium heat.
- Mash berries with a potato masher, blender, or immersion blender to desired consistency. I prefer mine chunky, but my husband likes it more pureed. (Note, liquid or pureed berries take longer to reach the gelling point)
- Place berries, sugar, lemon juice, and lemon zest (or grated apple if using in place of lemon) into large pot. Stir until well combined. Bring berries to a boil. Stir frequently to keep sugar from scorching.
- Simmer on a low boil for 20 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.
- After the 20 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- When time is up, turn off heat. Wait 5 minutes and then 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.
- If jars are sealed, wipe down with a damp cloth and store in the pantry out of the light for up to a year
- Because we're not using store bought pectin the cook time to reach a gel point can vary based on the ripeness and water content of your berries at harvest.
- Liquid or pureed berries take longer to reach the gelling point
- 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.
- Please download the free Never Buy Jam or Jelly E-book with our troubleshooting guide if your jam is not gelling for help.
- Always inspect your jars of jam and jelly before using. If the seal is broken, the 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 a jar, even if it sealed when you put it in the pantry. Seals can sometimes come undone over time.
There you have it, all the tips and instructions to make delicious homemade low sugar strawberry jam without store-bought pectin!
Other Jam Recipes & Canning Posts You May Find Helpful:
- Old-fashioned Jams & Jellies Without Store-bought Pectin Recipes
- How to Store Home Canned Food Safely – Jar Stacking & Canning Rings
- Spicy Peach Jam Recipe (Low-Sugar & No-Pectin Jam)
- Easy Blackberry Jam (Low-Sugar & No-Pectin Jam)
- Cherry Jam Recipe (Low-Sugar & No-Pectin Jam)
- How to Stay Safe Canning Homemade Jam & Jelly
Did you grab your FREE jam & jelly troubleshooting guide with the bonus charts? Grab it now and never worry about failed jam or jelly again!
Thank you for the low sugar, no additive recipe. I’ve never made jam before, so if the jam is not set, do I continue to cook until it does?
Deb, click on the picture with the Troubleshooting guide, it walks you through the whole process of what to do if it doesn’t set. 🙂 You can click here to grab it too.
One clarification please. 8 cups of whole strawberries, then mashed? Or 8 cups of mashed strawberries?
Excellent question, I’ll edit the directions above as well, but I measure the 8 cups of strawberries after I’ve rinsed and hulled them, before mashing.
I wish it were a volume measurement after mashing or a weight after trimming off the tops. Why? Because although my homegrown strawberries are the sweetest, juiciest, most flavorful strawberries I can get locally, they are also small. If I were to weigh 8 cups of my whole berries and compare it to the weight of 8 cups of beautiful whole berries from the farmer’s market, there would be a difference. Small berries fill in the gaps more than big berries do.
Amy, the recipe is pretty forgiving, I’d go with what you have and using the gel tests in the free troubleshooting guide, make adjustments as needed.
After mashing, it’s 5 cups exactly. This is the same amount of strawberries as Ball’s Blue Book and many other recipes. It comes out perfectly. Hope this helps!
I made this last night and my 8 ish cups of hulled berries were 1071 g. I only used 350g of sugar and did the grated apple. It turned out great!
the directions call for rinsed and hulled – followed the recipe and it didn’t turn out – and now I see in your comments you were going to edit it – it has not been edited – in either the top or the bottom instructions – . I do hope that you please fix it , so others have better luck, than I did.
Oh my goodness! I had no idea that 3 cups of sugar would be considered low sugar in this recipe. Wow, regular recipes must take a whole lot more?
Salina, most recipes using regular store bought pectin will use the same amount of sugar as berries or higher. Crazy!
Oh my, I didn’t realize!
That does seem like a lot of sugar. Would it be possible to get away with even one cup? If the strawberries are sweet? Or is that part of the preservative factor? Thank you. Just recently found your page and am loving all of the inside of wisdom you are sharing so freely. Thank you and blessings to you and your family.
The jam recipe I use for blueberries is 7 cups of sugar!
I there anything else I can use other than lemon zest and lemon juice? I’m
not a big fan of lemon. Thanks.
Yes, you can use lime juice and lime zest or a green apple grated up with the peel. You can also mix it with some other high pectin fruits, there’s a chart in this free guide https://melissaknorris.lpages.co/free-jam-jelly-troubleshooting-guide/
Thank you Melissa for posting this recipe. This is how I was taught by my precious Grandmother. It brings back so many memories for me to read this.
Will this recipe work for other fruits or just strawberries?
Looks great! I don’t have any canning equipment, so wondering if I could just freeze the jam?
Yes, you can absolutely just freeze it.
Debi,it will work with most berries, you do have to be careful with the acidity level, so if you grabbed the free Jam & Jelly Troubleshooting Guide, you’ll find the fruit acidity chart in there, including some fruits that can’t be safely made into jam or jelly when canning.
Linda, that makes me happy to hear. I treasure the memories of my Grandmother, too.
Can you use a stevia for the sugar?
I’ve just discovered your wonderful podcast and website on my quest for my family to become more self sufficient and I’m loving it! I’m wondering if the sugar is absolutely necessary for setting or preserving it in some way? I’d like to use stevia to sweeten but I’m unsure if its possible. Thank you in advance.
Hi Heather, welcome to the Pioneering Today family. 🙂 Sugar does help with bacteria growth once the jar is opened and the shelf life in the fridge. I don’t know that you would get the set without the sugar but you could try this brand of pectin http://amzn.to/2poJGNl *affiliate link (it’s the only brand I use if I need a pectin source) that does have instructions for using Stevia.
Mickey, Sugar does help with bacteria growth once the jar is opened and the shelf life in the fridge. I don’t know that you would get the set without the sugar but you could try this brand of pectin http://amzn.to/2poJGNl *affiliate link (it’s the only brand I use if I need a pectin source) that does have instructions for using Stevia.
would other fruit work with this recipe, like blueberries, gooseberries, or even peaches?
It will work with most berries and fruits, you do have to be careful with the acidity level, so if you grabbed the free Jam & Jelly Troubleshooting Guide, you’ll find the fruit acidity chart in there, including some fruits that can’t be safely made into jam or jelly when canning. You can grab that free guide here https://melissaknorris.lpages.co/free-jam-jelly-troubleshooting-guide/
Can your recipe be made with honey? CANNOT have sugar or non-nutritive sweeteners.
Pioneer Kitchen- 100-Year-Old Basic Kitchen Tools to Still Use Today | Melissa K. Norris
[…] I use mine to make homemade lemonade, lemon water, and most importantly, when making my Strawberry Jam Recipe- without pectin and low sugar. […]
Thank you for making such a easy recipe to make it so easy to make. I’ve been looking for a easy recipe.
You’re welcome Danie, hope you enjoy it as much as we do.
Is there a way to can if I don’t have a canner? Can I store in fridge in sterilized jars?
Ruth, it will store in the fridge for about 3 weeks. You can freeze it for longer storage if you’re not wanting to go the canning route. I’d recommend keeping one jar for eating in the fridge and freezing the rest.
I have been using a very similar recipe to make raspberry jam. I have a question about jam only lasting 3 weeks in the fridge. I make 1 pint of jam every 6 weeks or so, I wanted to try strawberry and found your site. I am curious, does strawberry jam “go bad” after 3 weeks, if I put it in a sterilized jar and right into the fridge to eat, never canning it? I’m a bit nervous about making it now – we can’t get through a pint in 3 weeks. (only 2 of us, we put it on toast 3 or so times per week). My mom made quarts of jam with pectin in it, and it stayed in the fridge for a month or so (plenty of kids in the house), it never went bad before we went through it. Is pectin the difference or are you just being careful? Thanks so much!
It’s only “bad” if you see mold growth.
You don’t need a canner-jam is done in water bath. Use a spaghetti pot
I ve been doing preserves for 47 years. Never do boiling water bath. Make black currant, grape, strawberry, rhubarb and cherry jams as well as salsas, chili sauce and relish. I put hot preserves into clean hot jars , jars in Oven at 220 for 20 minutes. I usually just let the jars stay in the oven while preserves are simmering.2 piece lids simmered in water. Everything hot when goes together. You will here the lids ‘pop’ and will curve down indicating a good seal. I can honestly say I have ever had anything spoil. Currently in a jar of black currant jam from 2017. It’s perfect and delicious. I never store in fridge either, just in our cold cellar, not really cold in the summer, more just cool. In Ontario
Thanks so much for the recipe! Our berry patch is just bursting for the first time ever and I’m so excited to try making jam. Mom always made it and her Mom too so I’m continuing the tradition. So glad I ran across your recipe. I was hating the thought of those packets and this just feels like so much better way! A question- our woods is full of wild raspberries. Would these measurements be any different if I try to do raspberry jam?
It should be close to the same with the raspberry jam. Make sure and grab the free Trouble Shooting Guide to help you adjust the recipe for raspberries.
Can I substitute Stevia for the sugar in this recipe?
Desiree, I haven’t used Stevia myself but other readers have reported success with it.
If you substitute honey for sugar, do you use less and does it change the other ingredients?
It won’t change the other ingredients but if you sub all the sugar for honey, it might not gel. I don’t use honey because I use raw honey and the heat from cooking the jam and canning destroys the raw honey benefits. For subbing honey for sugar, 3/4 cup of honey to 1 cup sugar in a recipe. Good luck!
i just picked 27 pounds of strawberries in my parents garden. we had to pick and process quickly. I froze some on cookie sheets and in baggies, and smashed and measured some out for jelly. Last night I made strawberry jelly yesterday with my moms sure-gel recipe using one of the pre-smashed bags of berries… 5 cups of fruit and 7 cups of sugar…yikes. As i was canning this i heard of your low sugar no store-bought pectin recipe on your podcast.
The problem i have now is the berries I have ready are already squashed. Your recipe calls for 8 cups whole fruit. I found a conversion chart that seems to indicate volume cuts to half.Do you agree?. 4 cups of mashed berries?
Ill give it a try. It’ll be a good taste test difference of the natural vs store bought. Wish I had seen this the first night… I spent over an hour searching for quantity of berries to freeze. I couldnt make jam the first day because i had no suregel and had to make a separate trip to store… and i had a whole drawer full of beautiful lemons!
Not sure if it’s quite half, but it may be close, I’d try it with the 5 cups of smashed berries and you can always add more sugar if you need to get the gel. Let me know how it goes!
Could this be done as freezer jam instead of canning?
Yes, absolutely works great as a freezer jam.
Love the strawberry jam rec. thanks!
Could I freeze this jam?
Yes, it freezes great too.
Thank you Melissa for this recipe. I have been looking for one with low sugar and no pectin, and this one looks like it fits the bill. Can’t wait to try it and that will be soon because I have an abundant crop of strawberries this year.
My preserves are not setting. I am wondering if there is anything I can do to make it set? I have always had this problem no matter if I am using pectin or not. The only time I was able to get a jelly to set was in a jalapeño pepper jelly. What am I doing wrong???
Can you use this recipe with other fruits? Stone fruits mostly?
Yes, I’ve used it with cherries, blueberries, and blackberries.
Would you use the same amount of Blackberries as strawberries?
Thanks for this amazing recipe!!!
Hi Melissa and thanks for the great recipe. I wanted to make something that was like “simply fruit” and I’m happy this recipe has so much less sugar. Do you know of a way to make a preserve with low or no sugar? Have a blessed day! Marlene
What is the shelve life of the Jam?
At least a year, the color starts to darken (naturally happens with canned fruits over time) after a year. I try to rotate our home canned goods and make enough to last us until the next harvest season, so I’ve kept it a year + a few months.
Fruit fresh helps preserve the color longer
Awesome. Been trying get away from pectin for years. Couldn’t find a recipe.
Have been working on this recipe, and the strawberries are still doing a low boil to get to the sheet stage. It has been 30 minutes. I’ve followed exactly what the recipe said, so unsure what I’ve done wrong. I am not a stranger to jelly and jam making, just to this recipe.
Jan, I’d try adding a 1/4 cup more sugar.
Perhaps I boiled the jam too long (the sheet test just wasn’t coming out, though the bits left in the pot gelled nicely) or didn’t mash the berries fine enough, or maybe our berries had a higher moisture content, but the total volume came out to 5 half pints plus about 1/4 cup. I had hoped for more – this is our first good strawberry year. Tastes delicious though!
P.S. The only rating option is five stars. You might want to look into that. 🙂
Hey there, try adding a bit more sugar, like a 1/4 cup if you don’t hit the sheet test, as sugar content in the berries vary upon how ripe they are. Good news, it’ll still be delicious on pancakes, yogurt, and ice cream!
That is weird on the rating thing, I actually only use that plug in because it automatically creates a printable version of the recipe…. thanks for the heads up!
Can use freeze this jelly?
Yes, it works great as a freezer jam
We just made this recipe. While very good, it is very lemony. We had to boil for at least 35-40 mins and ended up with 2 pints. We made a total of 3 recipes and got almost 6 pints–about 1/4 cup short. We tried hard boiling and still took just as long. Unsure what happened. Also, we used zest from one large lemon instead of two. Having a hard time rating this recipe 3 stars– the site is only allowing me to rate it 5…
Renee, thanks for sharing, I don’t know what’s wrong with the rating system, I promise, it’s not my doing. You can try adding a 1/4 cup more sugar to reach the gel point sooner.
Melissa, why don’t you use honey to sweeten? Or any other natural sweetener?
Chris, I don’t use honey in cooked jam recipes because it destroys the benefits of raw honey, which is what I use. When it’s cooked for a jam recipe it’s still sugar, regardless if you’re using honey or not, so I use an organic evaporated cane juice instead, and all my recipes are much lower sugar than regular. You can use Stevia with store bought pectin, such as Pomona’s, but I because I use our jam sparingly and it’s already low sugar, I prefer to use a lemon, lime, or apple and not have to purchase another item for the pectin source.
Hi! Just wondering if it could be made with just lemon juice that was store bought if you didnt have lemons an hand to zest. Thanks?
Yes, you can use the lemon juice from the store, but the zest has the higher pectin, the juice doesn’t contain very much so it might not set as thick.
do you have directions for black raspberry jam
I just stumbled across your jam receipe! It sounds amazing! I love how you lower the sugar. I never have liked using Soooooo much sugar. I have a question though. Have you ever used Honey in place of the sugar? And do you think it would change the gelling ability?
Thanks for the recipe! Can I do the same recipe with using blueberries instead of strawberries? Thank you!🤗
Just found your website when searching for a low sugar strawberry jam recipe. Perfect timing since we got some lovely berries in our CSA this week, and then I went to the farm and picked a bunch more. I followed directions, and did end up adding more sugar and more lemon zest but still think I may end up with strawberry sauce. I simmered for quite a while (lost track of the time), and was using a thermometer, but it didn’t seem to want to get over around 214, so I did a sheet test and decided to risk it. Frankly though, even if it’s sauce, I don’t mind! It’s delicious!! Looking forward to digging into your site more and checking out your other ideas 🙂
Vanessa, if it didn’t get over 214 degrees, it didn’t get hot enough to reach the full gelling point. But like you said, it’s delicious as a sauce, over ice cream, in yogurt, drizzled on pancakes…. eaten by the spoon. lol Enjoy!
You’ll like the cherry jam and blueberry jam recipe too. 🙂
Is it critical to boil this jam recipe in a water bath? I don’t have a large kettle and typically tip my jars upside down to seal them (works every time with salsa). thanks.
Yes, it’s not considered safe with up to date canning testing to use jar flipping for your seal.
Can I do a double batch in a large pot….thank you mj
You should be fine with a double batch, let me know how it goes. It may take a bit longer with the larger quantity to reach gel point.
I was wondering if you thought this would have less carbs than traditional jam. My father has to watch his sugar (but isn’t diabetic) and I’d like to make him a batch
Compared to jam made with regular pectin, yes. I don’t have the exact carb count and with the strawberries and sugar it definitely has carbs and sugars, but less so than a regular recipe. Hope that helps.
Maybe I made a mistake somewhere but this recipe only made a little more than 2 pints.
Could I have done something wrong?
I’m so bummed. I doubled the recipe precisely and
And followed every direction to the T. However the spoon test never worked, I kept getting drops so I boiled longer to nearly an hour. Then I noticed it was
condensing down too much and started to taste less
like strawberries. I only ended up with 8 1/2 pints from 16 cups of strawberries when I should have had 16 and I don’t know if it’s going to set. We picked fresh strawberries today for this :(. I think there needs to be a video of the spoon test bc that did not work at all.
Sarah, sorry it didn’t turn out for you. I’ve been using it for years. One, did you use a thermometer? Did you add more sugar or just keep boiling? The sheet test won’t work if it doesn’t reach the gelling point.
Making this right now… did not sheet after 10 minutes. I ended up going 40 minutes and it still didn’t sheet. Was getting there but finally pulled it off. Will see how it is tomorrow…
Made a second batch. Added 1/4 cup more sugar and still had to boil it for 45 minutes. Still did not sheet but was dripping slow. I had a 1/2 cup leftover and placed it in the fridge to cool down. The consistency is what we like for toast. Don’t care to try to spread a big lump. It also is the perfect consistency for ice cream and yogurt. Not sure why it takes so long, although the Other recipes for strawberry jam says to boil for 45 minutes before you try testing it. When your set up, what was it like when you spoon it on toast? Was it easy to spread or thicker? Could the altitude be a difference in the time? We are at 3000 feet.
Joni, so glad it set for you. It doesn’t set as hard as store bought pectin jams, but is perfect like you said for toast, pancakes, yogurt, ice cream, etc. It’s fairly easy to spread but definitely not runny. The altitude definitely can play with the way recipes react. I’m at 500 feet.
If I am not going to can, how long does this keep in the refrigerator? Once I know this, I can adjust the amount of jam to make.
About 2 to 3 weeks in the fridge. You can freeze it too.
Hi! is it OK to do a double batch of this? I tried it, used all the ingredients to scale and boiled for around 20 minutes. Never got the “sheet” on the spoon but it seemed a little thicker. I have canned it and am waiting on final results but wanted your opinion! Thanks!
Kate, yes, but you might need to boil it for a bit longer with a larger batch. The boiling time can vary for the sheet test due to the natural levels of the fruit varying upon ripeness. If you’ve got a 1/4 amount of under ripe fruit, it contains more pectin and can help the set. 🙂 Let us know how it goes.
I’ve been looking for no pectin low sugar recipes & was so excited to find this today! I wonder if you’ve ever made jam with rose hips or rose petals? I’m looking for a recipients similar to the strawberry one you have.
Sarah, no, I haven’t tried a rose hip or rose petal jam with this recipe, Sorry. But, if you do, let me know how it goes!
Nice, but I powder the sugar and make a thick syrup which I then strain through a muslin cloth and then dump the strawberries – either whole or crushed – and then process as you do letting it first give a rolling boil and then simmerand stir until most of the water evaporates. My test is a drop in water in a saucer; if it solidifies, it’ s done. I let it cool and then fill jars.
Thank you. Just made jam for the first time with Mom and was horrified by the amount of sugar. Looking forward to trying this.
Would this recipe work as a freezer jam you don’t cook. It tastes much better if you don’t have to cook it.
Without store bought pectin you have to cook it in order to get it to set.
Can you provide any guidance for strawberry freezer jam? I like your recipe a lot and would appreciate your thoughts.
Thanks! Happy 4th of July.
Does the jam turn dark when using this receive?
It does turn a darker color.
Beth, you can follow the recipe as is and instead of processing in the canner, freeze it.
Thanks for the recipe how to make strawberry jam.Can’t wait to make this,Thanks again.
Can this jam be frozen instead of canned?
This is my first time making jam without pectin. I’d like to make one suggestion for your recipe. Step five implies that you just need to cook a little more if your jam is not setting. In fact, the guide suggests if you cook it five minutes longer and it’s still not set, you need to add either sugar or lemon or lemon zest. Noting that you need to consult the guide if it hasn’t set after five more minutes would have been really helpful.
In my case, it was a good five minutes after the original 10 before I realized it really wasn’t working and I needed to download the guide to see if there any more helpful hints. By the time I downloaded it and added more rind and sugar, my mixture was down to half. I only got 2 pints of jam out of my 8 cups of berries. Am sure it’s intense, but not the fresh tasting jam I’d been hoping for!
Ps: your rating system seems rigged to give this recipe five stars 🙂 Though i can’t give it that many stars the way it is written, I will say the guide has really excellent information.
In lieu of using canning jars, can this recipe also be used as a freezer jam recipe?
Amy, absolutely, feel free to use it as a freezer jam.
I’m so sorry I made this recipe. There is too much lemon flavour. What a waste of time and money.
Tried making this yesterday, did not set. Even added more lemon zest and sugar. Still very loose
Kathy in Idaho
Could I use Blackberries in place of the strawberries?
OH MY! This turned out so well!!! It gelled better than high sugar & pectin jam and the taste…………Like sunshine! The zest I think? I’m going to make my jam like this from now on.
Woo, hoo Heidi! So glad you enjoyed the recipe and it worked for you. It’s never failed for me either. 🙂
Mine came out tasting like strawberry lemonade jam, it is delicious, but not as strawberry as I was hoping for.
I tried your recipe today (my first time making jam) and had trouble with the “sheet test”. It never looked the way you described – didn’t get beyond the “big goops” stage – but after about 35 minutes the jam was so thick I figured it had to be done. I only got just over two pints out of it and the consistency is actually chewy. It would be helpful if you posted a video of the sheet test and/or gave other methods of determining when the jam is set. I think it would be great jam if I could just get the consistency right.
Britt, in the free trouble shooting guide I’ve got detailed pictures, did you grab that? I also have a fruit canning ecourse you might want to check out here. https://melissaknorris.com/fruitsyrupcanningchartthankyou/ It has detailed videos. 🙂
Yes, I have the troubleshooting guide (JamJellyTroubleshootingGuideCharts.pdf), but there are no pictures in it. Did I download the wrong file? You do have a picture in this article, but it’s hard to determine how something is flowing in a still picture. A short video would be more helpful.
I just sent you an email. 🙂
That fruit canning ecourse is exactly what I needed as a new canner! Well worth the $7. You should mention it in this article. Now I feel ready to try again.
Thank you and I’ll go in and make that edit. Can’t wait to “see you” in class!
I made the jam according to the recipe, except for not processing it for canning. I’m going to freeze it. I cooked it using the temperature method, i.e., I let it come up to 120 F before taking it off the heat. It is completely cool (refrigerated overnight), but it didn’t thicken. I was planning to just put it back in a pot and cook it some more, maybe there’s still too much liquid. Do you have a suggestion?
Rebecca, if it’s not thick, I’d reheat it again and try adding another 1/4 cup sugar and if you have anymore zest, some of the zest.
Would you have a recipe for raspberry jam? I would so love to reduce the amount of sugar. Thanks Louise
You can use this base recipe and just swap out the strawberries for raspberries. 🙂
Can this recipe be cut in half? After years of making jam this is the first year trying to use less sugar. I just made 15 jars of low sugar strawberry jam with a consistency and color I do not like but do not intend to throw out. I typically give jam as gifts during the holidays and would like to see if your recipe works better for my situation.
Absolutely you can cut this one in half! I love to give jars of goodies out for Christmas gifts too.
Have you ever put peppers in your jam? For some reason I am into Pepper Jam/Jellies this summer
Thanks for the recipe! Can I do the same recipe with using blueberries instead of strawberries? Thank you!🤗
Do you have to process the jars? I know my typical certi recipe I don’t have to and the jam stays good on the shelf for a year
Updated canning safety and testing says to process the jam. 🙂
my mistake ! I think why mine didn’t turn out as well as I would like it to – I didn’t use the zest of a lemon. No matter – it is delicious, and if a bit runny – still great on ice-cream, in yogurt, and on pancakes. Can’t wait to try this out again – with the zest and see what happens. I misread your comments before (about mashing and measuring) . Am I correct in assuming that the lack of the zest is the reason for not fully setting ?
I am rating this recipe a 5 anyway. Your steps are easy to follow .
Hi Renata, yes, the zest holds most of the pectin so that’s definitely the reason! Let us know how the second round goes.
My family loved this jam!!
Would it work with peaches also?
I haven’t tried it with peaches, but I think it would work well. I do peach butter (puree up everything but the pit) and it thickens up nicely with some sugar and a bit of lemon juice/zest.
So I tried this and I’m a bit disappointed. We had to simmer it for well over 20 minutes, and add extra sugar, and add extra lemon, and when it finally got to what I would consider set I only got 4 half pint jars rather than 4 pints. I was counting on this making 8 because I am planning on gifting them at Christmas.
Any thoughts on how to get a better yield out of the next batch?
Jessica, next time try adding the extra sugar amount in the beginning. If you can pick the strawberries yourself, keep some that aren’t fully ripe, they have a higher pectin level and help you reach the set sooner. It can vary depending upon how ripe the strawberries in both natural sugar content and pectin levels. You can also finely grate up a green apple in the mix as green apples have a large amount of pectin (grate with the peel on) and don’t alter the flavor much. We do this with blackberry jelly.
I recently made strawberry apple jelly , using the juice of fresh strawberries and apple juice . I use low sugar and low sugar pectin in it and it turned out great. This weekend I tried to make plain strawberry jam and it turn out poorly . I am gonna try your recipe in hope to a better out come . Thanks for recipe
Thank you for a low sugar no pectin recipe! Dietary restrictions keep me from enjoying most foods but when you live close by the “Strawberry Capitol” of the United States , then enjoying the bounty calls for jam. I plan to try this recipe today!
I followed the recipe-with high hopes with the lemon zest doing the whole pectin stand-in. Not only not a fan of having to use, but many brands have been failing canners for year. I was stunned to read we may be jelling after ten minutes of boiling-with low sugar, this I gotta see. Nope. Keeping in mind it thickens as it cools I went 20 minutes-nope-chilled spoon & all. 30 min of boiling and stirring I was pleased enough to jar, thinking it’d be a loose jam. Anyone get jel in 10 min with this recipe? ALSO I went to rate the recipe and oddly it automatically gives 5 stars when tapped regardless of which star I chose. Odd
Hello there, I just had this question that are the strawberries measured before mashing or after?
Naila, you can measure after mashing for easier consistency.
I made this for the first time and it turned out to be awesome… Thank you…
Yay, so excited to hear it worked well for you!
Would this recipe work for blueberries? I’d love to do a blueberry jam without pectin from the store!
IT will but I have this recipe I use with blueberries https://melissaknorris.com/low-sugar-no-pectin-blueberry-jam/
A word of caution! I’m an experienced cook and have a degree in Food Science. I make strawberry preserves every year from berries I pick or pick up at a farm less than 2 miles from my house. The first time I made this recipe, I boiled it for more than an hour and it never passed the spoon test. I finally ran out of time and had to add some pectin. Perhaps my berries were super ripe since they were picked within hours of when I made the preserves. I tried again, but this time I drained the mashed berries. Same problem. The flavor is good, but this jam won’t set up without pectin.
Looking for the good Jam
Can I use lemon juice from a bottle and not use lemon zest at all? If so how much lemon juice?
You can try it, the zest has a little bit more pectin so you might need to add a 1/4 cup more sugar to begin with. I’d keep the lemon juice at a 1/4 cup to start though.
Is it like a roaring boil or simmer with a few bubbles here and there?
A high simmer, so a few constant bubbles but not a full roiling boil or you’ll scorch it.
I have whole strawberry in my freezer from last year. CanI thaw and use them to make this jam?
Yes, thawed berries work great!
Hi! Love this recipe, but even 3 cups of sugar is more than I can do right now. Have you ever tried this with monk fruit sweetener or other sugar substitute?
Without some type of pectin you won’t get a gel with out the sugar. But check out Pomona’s pectin, it’s the only store bought pectin I’ll use and you can use sugar substitutes with it https://amzn.to/2ymBa83
I’m making this jam for the second year in a row and just like last year it is not setting. I thought maybe I screwed up something last year but the same thing is happening again. I am following your directions exactly but after 10 minutes of boiling the strawberries over a “low boil” they are just as liquid/runny as in the beginning. I’ve now boiled them for 20 minutes over a rolling boil and still no change in texture. Any ideas??? Thank you!
Unfortunately this jam is super disappointing. Rather than the warm strawberry sweetness shining through, the lemon flavour dominates and while lemon does compliment strawberry, I was looking for a more traditional jam taste. The jam was difficult to get set and the addition of lemon to remedy it just further took away from the flavour I was hoping for and still left me with a rather saucy jam. This is not a recipe I would use again as I was disappointed with the results and frustrated with the process.
Followed recipe precisely…jam did not set (according to the cold spoon test). Where did I go wrong?
Thank you for posting this. I hope to can tomorrow. This is the same recipe as my grandmothers. I’m curious about something….she always used to top her jars with wax before sealing them. Do you know why she would have done this and if there is any benefit to this? Does it extend the shelf life? Thank you. Marisa.
People used to use wax instead of water bathing them to seal, but it’s no longer a safe method of sealing and the was is paraffin, not something most folks want in contact with their food. Using the wax can actually increase mold and bacteria growth.
I followed the directions exactly and the jam turned out perfectly! I let it boil for about 18 min and the consistency is nice and thick. The jam is delicious!
Woo, hoo so happy to hear that Christine.
First time making jam ever… I made this today and by the time i got the jam to pass any of the 3 gelling tests I think I may have overcooked it… I had a half jar extra so i just put it in the fridge and its a bit firmer than I’d hoped… should I just cook a bit less the next batch? Flavor is great though!
If it’s firmer then you wanted, then yes, just don’t cook quite as long and try the gel tests a little bit earlier in the cooking process (each batch of berries can have slightly different levels of pectin and take a little bit less or more cook time, so I err on the side of testing early for the gel).
Thank you so much for this. I’ve always been afraid to try canning. I’d never paid attention when my mom did it. Shame on me!!
Your description is detailed enough and covers all of the unknowns that I really think I can do this. Not to mention I got a little carried away at the strawberry patch ($40 worth of berries…oops) and I put too many in my containers on a very hot day and ended up with strawberry mush. Sooooo, preferring not to waste a single great tasting strawberry, I will be making some jam!
Thanks again…wish me luck
I have follow this recipe completely. My jam is super runny. It is not thickening.
Thank you very much for sharing healthier recipes and less costly ways to can . Look forward to reading more of your blogs
how much lemon zest’s in 2 lemons cause i dont wanna put too much of it. thank you
Tried your recipe…Awesome!! Can I use the same recipe for raspberry jam.
Yes, it will work with raspberries as well 🙂
Hi Melissa in step 7 when you say to put the filled jars into the waterbath pot of water,is that cold/room temp water or water that’s already come to a boil?
And should the waterbath pot be filled with water before i get started so the jam doesn’t sit in the jars on the counter while i fill it? With the jam be fine or will it ruin it to sit there while I fill the pot? thanks!
The waterbath pot should be filled with water before you start the jam and should be at a simmer, just below a boil. Then put your jars of jam in the waterbath pot, bring it to a full boil, and then start your processing time.
Can you freeze it rather than can it?
Yes, it freezes great
Do you use fresh lemon juice!
For this recipe you can use fresh lemon juice because strawberries are acidic enough to can without them and it’s to help reach the gelling point.
Hi. I just discovered your recipe and was eager to try it out. I followed your recipe exactly and it yielded FAR less than the four pints expected. It reduced to more like 2 pints which makes me very sad. Any ideas on why it would reduce so much?
You’ll find with almost any canning recipe, the yields are approximate because there’s a large variance in the natural amount of water, sugar, and pectin in fruit depending upon the harvest, which will affect the yield and when it reaches the gelling point. You could try adding more sugar next time to help it reach the gelling point faster and that will also increase the yield.
Can I use organic cane sugar in this jam recipe?
Yes, I’ve used organic cane sugar and evaporated cane juice (a little bit darker), it works great
Am I missing something? I see 3 cups of sugar for both recipes. 🙂
No, you’re not missing anything. Most jam recipes call for the same amount of sugar to fruit (8 cups sugar would be a normal recipe with 8 cups of fruit) so this is much lower in sugar than traditional recipes. You do have to use some sugar in order to get a gel (for it to thicken up).
I am experienced making jam and could not get this to set. I added 1 1/2 cups of sugar in stages after reading your troubleshooting guide. I cooked it for an extra 20 minutes testing it every 5 using your test method. I checked the temperature and was at 120 for a long time. I am sad to have wasted the money and time. I really wanted this to work.
Sorry to hear that Lorrie, I’ve had hundreds of people make it with success. I wonder if your thermometer needs to be calibrated? But all is not a loss, you have strawberry syrup at the least which is wonderful on cheesecake, ice cream, pancakes, waffles, and in yogurt.
I am definitely going to try this! I have been wondering for a while if I could make a lower sugar strawberry jam or spread without needing to use special pectin. I’ve tried them in the past, and did not like the resulting texture or appearance.
Thank You for posting this recipe!
I have requested “Strawberry Jam Recipe without Pectin and Low Sugar” twice today and still have not received it in my email. Suggestions???
Did you check your spam/promotions folder? Make sure to add [email protected] to your address book too. I’ll manually email you it right now.
This is the best recipe. Just finished 12 qts. Yummo
Working on your recipe as we speak. I am using a double boiler instead of pouring it into a pot by itself. If my thinking is correct then you won’t have to worry about the sugar getting burned at all.
Have a great day!
You likely have a longer cook time to get to the gelling point, I’ve never tried it that way so not sure.
Is it possible to use Honey or coconut sugar instead of the conventional super processed white sugar?
Yes, honey will add more liquid and possibly take longer to reach the gel point though. But I use evaporated cane juice and coconut sugar will work as well.
The whole batch turned to syrup. No jam. Did I boil it to long??
Either to long or not long enough. To gel it needs to reach a temperature of 220 degrees F. Do you have a candy thermometer? You can bring it back to a simmer and check the temperature until it reaches the 220 d F.
Can I use less sugar like just 2 cups?? Because we dont like too much sugar
Can I use less sugar like 2 cups? Because we dont like too much sugar
You can, it will likely take longer to reach the gelling point with less sugar though.
Would it be possible to substitute a healthier sugar such as coconut sugar for the white sugar?
Yes, I use organic evaporated cane juice and it works great. The coconut sugar may give a stronger flavor but you can use it.
Can I reduce the amount of lemon zest to half?
You can but that’s the main pectin source so it might take it longer to simmer before it gels.
I can’t always get fresh strawberries this time of season. Can I use whole frozen, and would the recipe stay the same? Thanks.
Yes, frozen works great and just thaw them out and use the recipe as is 🙂
Easy to do and it looks delicious. Can I substitute agave nectar for sugar?
Best jam i ever had
Just wondering if you can use Erythritol in place of sugar, or any other natural low sugar replacement. Cancer loves sugar and I don’t want to give it anything it likes!!
I know back in the day people didn’t have our cancer problem that we have now, another reason for loving simpler times.
No, it won’t set if you use stevia, monkfruit or erythritol, this one requires sugar to gel.
I have made hundreds of jars of jam and this is the BEST recipe. It is a family favorite for sure. Thank you!! I follow your instructions exactly. I call it Strawberry Jam with Lemon Zest. It is better than plain strawberry. It’s great that you use “less sugar”.
I have a recipe for a strawberry habanero spread that I love. Do you think I could add a couple small habaneros for that “bite” with affecting it setting up?
If you add habanero you’d need to follow a recipe that calls for it already to account for it being a non-acidic ingredient. To safely water bath can it has to be 4.6 pH or lower and with the berries and lemon in this recipe it falls beneath that, the habaneros would alter the acidity and you’d need more acid.
Loving your site! I’m wondering if I can double/triple this recipe?
Thanks for so much wonderful information!!
Yes, this one you can double or triple!
Is it possible to strain prior to boiling to make a jelly instead of jam? Hubby can’t eat jam due to the seeds getting under dentures. :}
Yes, you can strain the juice, then add the sugar and lemon and cook until set (gel temp or passes sheeting test)
Can you use another sweetener besides sugar?
I usually use Stevia, Baobab powder, or Pomegranate powder. I’ve never made jam before, so
I don’t know if I can use one of these natural sweeteners. I don’t eat white sugar!
I made strawberry jam yesterday, followed the recipe to a T, so I thought. It did not turn out well. I had to cook it a lot longer (possibly and hour) because I pureed most of the strawberries. The spoon test looked the same after a while. It was hard to tell if it was ready. But after about an hour of cooking I thought it’s gotta be done. I followed through with the rest of the recipe but the jam never set up and it also has a bitter taste. Should I dump out the jars and cook the strawberries longer? Also, I measured my strawberries after they were washed, hulled and cut in half.
You could try cooking them longer but I would add in another 1/4 to 1/2 cup of sugar to help it reach the gel point. If you have a thermometer it’s easier to know if it’s reached the gelling temp of 220 degrees F required to set.
It will take it longer to set because the sugar along with the pectin helps it to reach the gelling temperature of 220 degrees F, I use organic sugar in the raw just fine but haven’t tested Stevia withit.
What if you don’t have a water bath canner?
I have tried several times download the Jams and Jellies e-book, it does not download it always stops at 50%. What Is wrong?
It sounds like your internet, I haven’t had anyone else report any issues with it.
This is the second time trying this recipe. This year, I cooked the berries for about 70 minutes at a slow boil, stirring occasionally. It never sets up for me. I wonder if the weather plays a role? It’s very humid in N.C. I just don’t understand how this works for everybody else at 20 minutes…I triple that time and it’s still a strawberry sauce, albeit a wonderful sauce, but when you’re going for jam, a sauce is just disappointing. If I get another good batch of berries, I’ll try it again cooking for two hours, I guess? My great-grandmother used to put a lemon slice at the top of each jar, just sitting it on top of the jam (of course it would absorb the sweetness of the jam and give off it’s juice…so that lemon slice was an additional treat!) But I wonder if there was another reason she did that, like maybe we need that extra acidity to “set up” down here?
Have you tried increasing the sugar a little bit and are you using a candy thermometer? I haven’t seen the lemon slice on top and I don’t know if using a slice of lemon would require longer processing times, etc. but interesting to hear about
OMG this is phenomenal jam!!! The lemon zest and juice add a tanginess but you won’t really taste it. I gave some to my neighbor who later told me it was the best jam she has EVER had! The cook time for me was longer. I did not can it but gave instructions to those I gave it to that it needed refrigerated.
Yay so happy to hear this!! How sweet of you to gift some.
Just make this jam with freshly picked strawberries! Loved it. Decreased the sugar to 2 cups (all I had) and 10 cups of strawberries and it was plenty sweet. Thank you!
I was wondering what the shelf life is once you’ve opened the jam? I noticed on Pomona’s Pectin that they only give about a 3 week shelf life in the refrigerator- is it the same for your low sugar jams?
Most the time mine go longer in the fridge closer to 4 to 5 weeks.
Even if the jam doesn’t set, will it still have a long shelf life? Thanks!
Maybe it’s because I’m not an experienced jammer/canner, but this recipe just didn’t work out for me I don’t know what happened or where I went wrong, but I ended up working on on it for two hours (not including the actual canning part) and it wasn’t setting and the lemon flavor was so strong. I wanted to cry. I grew up with the store-bought pectin recipes, so maybe I will just stick to those, despite the fact that I hate the fruit-sugar ratio.
What does the lemon zest and juice do but add flavor and acidity to the jam?
Exactly what you said, flavor and acidity to help it set, you need pectin, sugar and acid to get jam to set.
I am not ready to can, Baby steps… Can I make jam o now without all o that boiling and have some jame o a week o two?
By the way, I think you ae doing what ou at the wants you to do and iy makes me happy to know you.
We just tried this recipe today for the first time. (Waiting to check the seals on the jars in the morning)
We did get a taste of the jam and it was wonderful, but it did taste like strawberry-lemon, which was a little disappointing only because I wasn’t expecting that.
My question is, do you mean that the recipe makes 4 half pint jars? I prepared eight 8 oz jars thinking that I would have four pints of jam but it only made four 8 oz jars.
Depending on the water/sugar content of your berries it can vary on how much it makes but I did adjust it to reflect a lower amount. Some people feel like the lemon flavor is noticeable and others don’t, hope you enjoy it!
THANK YOU so much for sharing your jam recipes. I am a diabetic and LOVE jam. Been looking for recipes for making jam n jelly without using pectin n all that sugar.
May GOD bless n protect Your family n You. Do You have a hard copy of all Your recipes?
Once again, THANK YOU.
Perfect…..it turned out perfect!!! thank you…love the tip on using the cold spoon!!
Couldnt be simpler…Cindy
Doesn’t work. Sorry but you need pectin. I folllwed instructions and got strawberry sauce.
Thank you so much. This is delicious!!
I made this jam the other day and while it took significantly longer than 20 minutes for it to set, it was WELL worth the additional time constantly stirring (and I’m saying this having done it in 85+ degree heat over the hot stove with no A/C). The flavor is amazing; offers so much more depth thanks to the caramelizing that takes place, doesn’t have that super sweet/candied flavor that other jam recipes have because of the high sugar content and has a beautiful deep red color. This is a recipe that I have already put in my “Forever” recipes!! Thank you so much for sharing it!
So happy to hear this!!
Made the Strawberry Jam With the Apple , Too thick Only 3 Jars 6 Ounces and 1/2 a jar ,What did i di wrong?
Nothing wrong, you just let it cook longer so it got thicker and more condensed. The yields are approximate due to liquid and sugar content in fruit differing.
I’m so disappointed in this recipe. The jam would NOT thicken at all! The temperature never made it to the 220 degree farenheight jelly stage. It had to cook it for over 2 hours just to evaporate the juice. I used fresh picked strawberries that were delicious, and the lemon changed the smell and flavor so much, it did not taste like strawberries. A complete waste of my time and my berries!
Did you follow the notes to say add more sugar if it doesn’t reach the 220-degree mark? I’ve made this for years and have hundreds of others who make it, sorry you had a bad experience but the troubleshooting guide and video should offer help.
I am so disappointed. I followed your sheet test, getting drips every time, and when I had cooked the jam for a crazy amount of time I suddenly remembered the streak test which showed the mixture had set. Of course by that time the jam was ridiculously overcooked, more like loose candy than jam. My family will eat it anyway, so that part is nice.
Thank you for such great advice on canning jam! We love your low sugar recipes! I’ve heard that if you add just 1/2 tsp butter to your jam (while cooking) that it will eliminate foam. Have you ever tested this particularly in regards to keeping a constant acidity?
A 1/2 teaspoon is fine (per Ball book) but honestly mine never foams very much
Love this jam! So easy and has a perfect flavor. Not too lemony or sweet.
I have an issue with jars of jam that I canned that sealed once out of the canner but during storage each day I check for seals because there is always one jar on the shelf that becomes unsealed during storage. I was wondering if you ever have this problem and if so if you know the cause.
I use tattler lids and rubber reusable rings and follow their instructions of only filling jars to 1″ – 1 14″ headspace. I leave 1″ headspace. Some jars do fine but others do not.
I check to compare each jar that becomes unsealed to see any similarities but some are filled to 1″ headspace and others a bit less.
I contacted tattler but they don’t know what it could be, especially since I’m following their headspace recommendation
Jams shouldn’t be canned to 1 inch headspace, regardless if using the Tattler lids, the headspace is important for the seals and may be the reason you’re experiencing a loss.
I tried this recipe and a pectin recipe. The pectin recipe turned out hard and with a nasty aftertaste. I was able to get a nice chunky consistency though, and that’s what I want. I had a heck of a time converting your recipe to US measurements, but I calculated 1-3/4 cup sugar to 4-1/2 cups berries. I cut it down to 1-1/2 cups sugar but it was still way too sweet. I like the apple and lemon though. Boiling so long though left me with a purée, and I want more chunks of fruit, is the boiling that long crucial? The pectin recipe just required bringing to a book and boiling one minute. I’d like to try it with 3/4 cup sugar or 1 cup, and see if it works. Do you have suggestions for the texture? I’m definitely heading in the right direction.
Don’t crush the berries so much if you want more chunks and the length of the boil depends on how long it takes it to get to 220 degrees F (the jelling point) so you will have to boil it until it reaches that point. The more sugar the faster it reaches that temp.
Im sorry i can not read pdf i have site issues
Melissa – I just found you tonight and love everything I have seen, heard and read! And your dad is just great! What a lot of wonderful information. Can’t wait to learn more! Thanks so much for all you do. Big hugs to you and your dad!
Great post. I’m facing a few of these issues as well..
Absolutely love this jam recipe, we’ve made it several times using raspberries or strawberries (fresh and frozen) and every time it has come out really well. I use a thermometer to make sure it gets to temperature and it has set perfectly every batch. I don’t know much about canning but this method made it really easy to follow and works well.
I was making homemade English muffins this morning and realized I didn’t have any great homemade preserves – but two quartsish of strawberries and a few raspberries. I put this together and cooked the jam while the muffins were rising and baking – now I have to wait for them to toast so I can smother them in this delightful jam! Thank you so much. (I used the grated apple as I always use apple in place of pectin – love not having to fish out apple pieces at the end!)
I’m looking to can strawberry sauce. Can I use this recipe and intentionally not let it gel? About how long would I need to cook it? I’m brand new to canning and don’t want to break any rules or do anything unsafe.
Yes, you could just not get it to the gelling point and can it runnnier. You’ll have to keep an eye on it as pectin levels in berries vary and use a thermometer to make sure it doesn’t reach 220 degrees F (that’s the gelling point).
OKAY, I wanted to give an update with 5 stars since I cannot edit/delete my first review…
Apparently giving the jam 24 hours to gel got rid of the strong lemon zest flavor overpowering the strawberries. I tried the jam again and it was delicious (and I did not get that numb tongue mentioned above that I normally get with citrus zest). Adding the zest really does make it the perfect spreadable consistency that I was struggling to achieve every time. By the way, I alway use frozen strawberries, by the way and they taste the same as fresh, IMO. My mom would by berries in the spring, hull and freeze them to make jam in the fall/winter.
Also, the key to getting the boil to 220 is using a burner on your stove with high BTUs that has the ability to get the boil that high. I have to use our ‘super burner’ on the highest setting and use a long thermometer made for fryers…the highest it ever gets is 220. I did add 5 minutes to the boil (25 minutes total at 220). Before we got a new stove in 2020, I couldn’t get my jam to boil at that temperature. I am not sure what the BTU is for that burner, but I suspect that’s why some people have trouble getting the jam to gel properly. Their burners just don’t have enough power to get the temp up to 220.
Robert E. Nelson, Jr.
I tried the recipe with some fresh raspberry’s, WOW! it’s delicious.
It turned out great, thank you for sharing this I,am enjoying every spoonful I eat, yum yum. lol
You are so kind to share your wonderful recipes and you are a wonderful cook.
Please keep up the good work.
I followed this recipe. My jam is is in the water bath. I just realized that this recipe did have me take a knife or chop stick around the edge of jam and jar to get rid of air bubbles. Is my jam ruined?
Can I use frozen strawberries instead of fresh and if so, does that change the cooking time at all?
Yes and the cook time will always vary (which is why I share how to check for the gel) based on sugar/pectins vary by how ripe the fruit was at harvest time.
I tried the recipe and fell in love now can I use this recipe for other fruits like a mixed berry jam such as strawberries black berries blue raspberries or even another single berry recipe instead of multiples
Best strawberry jam I’ve ever had. Not quite as solid as other jams but the taste is so fresh. I love it. I used one granny smith apple and it worked great!
The jam was so very good. The fam and neighbors loved it. We just picked blueberries today so we’re looking forward to another yummy treat.
Just followed this recipe with my husbands grandma! We tried both the lemon and the apple (used Granny Smith apple). We loved them both! I actually really enjoy the slight lemony taste (almost like strawberry lemonade)!!
Thank you for the low sugar alternative, Melissa!
Hi! Is it at all possible to safely can without using sugar at all? We love just smashing berries for jam,but don’t add sugar.
So I have some lemons that I dehydrated, would I be able to add this in place of fresh zest? I never seem to have fresh lemons on hand when I need them!
I MADE THIS JAM THIS MORNING!!! it took about 1 hour and a half for it to thicken and set. Patience is key! it is in jars and sitting. so excited! first time. thank you for the super easy directions!!!
Can I use 16oz jars or do they have to be 8oz jars?
I accidentally posted my question about dehydrated lemons to someone else’s post. Oops! Anyways I went ahead and added about 8 slices of dehydrated lemon (skin, pith, and flesh) included, and doubled the lemon juice called for in the recipe. I was looking for a strawberry lemonade-like flavor, and it turned out amazing!
I know this is an old post, but I was looking for a no pectin strawberry jam recipe and yours came up. I made it exactly as you posted, but it did take almost half an hour to come to the gel stage. I was being extra careful and used both the thermometer and spoon test and it turned out perfectly. The second batch is on the stove now. I got exactly 4 eight oz. jars from the batch. It tastes wonderful and the hint of lemon cuts the sweetness. Thank you for the recipe. It will be my go to from now on.
I don’t know if I’m freakishly good at zesting lemons or something but I can’t even taste the strawberry. I might have to throw this out. Maybe use a better metric than just “2 lemons” cause I feel like a half of one of the lemons I used would be more than enough. Think I’ll try the apple one next time. 🙁
it was easy and delish! Thank you for all your info you give. It really helps us newbies to become confident we can do it!