Easy Homemade Strawberry Jam With No Added Pectin
If you happen to get hold of a couple of punnets of cheap strawberries, I urge you to have a go at making this easy homemade strawberry jam. No need to use jam sugar, preserving sugar or added pectin. It’s super scrumptious with a nice balance of sweet and tart notes and a bright jewel-like colour.
In those halcyon days of youth when summer was always warm and dry and winter replete with snow, I’d go strawberry picking at the local organic farm with my mother. Whenever I think of strawberries now, the memory that comes to mind is of warm strawberry scented air mixed with the salty sea and ripe juicy Cornish strawberries which somehow made their way into my mouth. When we got home, we invariably made strawberry jam. I’d love to know what memories strawberries hold for you.
Supermarket strawberries are ideal for making this easy homemade strawberry jam. I reckon they must be picked when underripe as, in my opinion, they rarely taste particularly good when eaten just as they are. One day I’ll get back to growing our own flavoursome strawberries. There’s nothing quite like a freshly picked ripe strawberry warmed by the sun. Anyway, I digress. It’s easier to make jam with slightly underripe strawberries than it is with ripe ones and I’ve found supermarket offerings work particularly well.
Slightly underripe these strawberries may be, but the jamming process will bring out that quintessential strawberry flavour and produce a delicious easy homemade strawberry jam.
Easy Homemade Strawberry Jam
Strawberry jam is one of the harder jams to make as the fruit’s pectin level is low. Pectin is needed to help set the jam. I’ve made strawberry and gooseberry jam, which is a breeze as the gooseberries contain plenty of pectin and reaching jam consistency is fairly quick. Nice as that is, it’s not the same as pure strawberry jam.
I’m not a fan of jams made with added pectin or jam sugar, they tend to have an odd gloopy or even rubbery consistency. The secret to making this easy homemade strawberry jam with no added pectin is not to add extra sugar, which some do, but to use a lemon. Lemons have lots of pectin and they cut through the sweetness of strawberry jam beautifully.
Getting to the setting point can be tricky. Boil it for too long and you get strawberry toffee, not enough and you get strawberry sauce. I’ve gone for a soft set jam as that is my favourite and doesn’t need to cook for too long. Boil the jam for fifteen minutes, then start testing. This batch took 25 minutes to reach setting point and it made four small jars.
How do you know when the jam has set?
The best way to know when your jam has set is to keep two saucers in the freezer. To test for the setting point, drop half a teaspoon of the jam onto a cold saucer and leave for a few seconds to cool. Push your finger up against the jam and if a skin has formed and it wrinkles up, it’s ready. Keep alternating the saucers and test every couple of minutes until it’s set.
How do you like to eat your jam?
My favourite way to eat this easy homemade strawberry jam is on homemade scones with a large dollop of Cornish clotted cream on top. Let’s not get into the jam first debate, but if you want a cracking cream tea, this really is the best way to eat them. I have several scone recipes on Tin and Thyme, here are a three of them: emmer scones, rich chocolate scones and white chocolate scones.
It’s actually been too hot recently to enjoy baking. The kitchen is quite warm enough without switching the oven on. I’m not complaining – honest. So the next best thing to scones is fresh bread or toast with butter – yum!
Easy Homemade Strawberry Jam – The Recipe
- 800 g strawberries slightly underripe ones work best - washed, hulled & quartered
- 650 g golden granulated suger not jam sugar
- 1 large lemon
- Place the strawberries and sugar in a large pan over a low heat.
- Cut the lemon in half, squeeze out the juice and add to the pan along with the two lemon halves.
- As soon as the sugar has dissolved, crank up the heat and bring to an energetic boil, making sure it's not so furious that it boils over the pan.
- Boil for 15 minutes, then start testing for the setting point. There are various ways of doing this, but the easiest is to have two saucers at the ready in the freezer. Drop half a teaspoonful onto the cold plate. Leave for a few seconds, then push your finger up against the jam. If a skin has formed and it wrinkles up, it's ready. Repeat every couple of minutes until the jam is set.
Fish out the lemon halves then pour into warm sterilised jars whilst the jam is still hot. Fill to the brim and immediately seal with clean lids.
To sterilise jars, wash in warm soapy water then place in the oven to dry. 120℃ / 250F for 15 minutes.
You can half or double the quantities of this jam, but your setting point will be shorter for smaller quantities and longer for larger quantities.
I’m sharing my easy homemade strawberry jam with #CookBlogShare, which is hosted this week by Apply To Face Blog.
Other Homemade Jam Recipes You Might Like
- Apricot & vanilla jam via Tin and Thyme
- Cherry jam via Fab Food 4 All
- Chocolate blackberry jam via Tin and Thyme
- Fig, apple & pomegranate jam via Tin and Thyme
- Golden grape jam via Family Friends Food
- Gooseberry jam via Baking Queen 74
- Easy plum jam via Farmersgirl Kitchen
- Mango & lime jam via Kavey Eats
- Marrow & ginger jam with a hint of lemon via Elizabeth’s Kitchen Diary