How to Make Strawberry Jam

If you’re looking for a modern day, healthy, sugar-free strawberry jam recipe – this is not the one for you. Welcome to a perfectly unhealthy, full of actual sugar, old-fashioned Certo strawberry jam recipe. 

Before we get to the strawberry jam I must first tell you a story.

15 years ago my sister (the painter) did a very mean thing.  The sort of thing only a sister would do.

So now,  I am going to do my own very mean thing.  I’m going to tell the whole world about her mean thing.

My sister, myself and my cousin were in my mother’s kitchen.   We were all sitting around a bowl of strawberries when I spotted it.  The perfect strawberry.  I don’t mean a pretty good one, or an O.K., one.  I mean THE perfect strawberry.  It’s the one strawberry marketers around the world have been searching for their whole lives.

I picked the strawberry up with the reverence it deserved.  I admired it from every angle and showed it to my relatives.  As I held it up to the light I proclaimed it had a higher purpose in life than to be shoved into one of our mouths that instant.  I had big plans for this berry.  Maybe a decorative accent on a pie, or a topper on the perfect strawberry shortcake.  The possibilities were endless as I stared at that jewel of a berry sparkling like a glistening ruby.

Then my stupid sister grabbed it out of my hand and shoved it in her mouth and laughed hysterically.  

Of course I killed her right there and then and my sister is now dead.  Metaphorically speaking anyway, she is dead to me.  Well, really only when I think of this story is she dead to me.  When I need her help or to borrow something she’s very much alive.  

But still … it was a pretty mean thing to do.  At least I thought it was.  As proven by the fact that I remember it 20 years later.  Could be 25 actually.

You think that’s a sad story?  Wait till I tell you about the time I had to call the Certo jam hotline.   What a fiasco that was.

Let’s make jam!  This is for those who have never made jam, so forgive me for oversimplifying if you are a  jam aficionado.

 

You’re going to need several of these.

Oh you need to know exactly how many?  Seems awfully demanding to me but O.K.  I’ll play that game. Here’s the actual strawberry jam ingredient list complete with accompanying photos and instructions.

How to Make Strawberry Jam

(enough to make 7 or 8, 500 ml. jam jars)

 

1.  Gather your ingredients.

The little green basket of strawberries is 1 quart. You’ll need 2 of those to make this recipe.

2.  Start of a pot of water boiling on the stove and put your seals in there to get them hot and soften the rubber.

3.  Sterilize and heat your jars.

It’s important that your jars are clean and sterile so even if you just bought them, wash them in the dishwasher first on hot.

Set your oven to 210 degrees Fahrenheit.  Once it’s heated up stick your mason jars in the oven.  You need hot jars for the jam to seal properly.

4.  Hull your berries.

5. Mash your berries.

6. Pour your berries into a heavy bottomed pot and add 1/4 cup of lemon juice, then 1 cup of sugar. Stir.

8. Let the sugar, berries and lemon juice sit for 15 minutes.

Once your 15 minutes are up …. prepare yourself for a sugar shock.

9.  Add the remaining 6 cups of sugar.  Which looks a little something like this …

Do not be alarmed. Even though the amount of sugar is alarming.

10. Stir the sugar to incorporate it then bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Once you get a vigorous boil, stir for one minute then remove from heat.

11. Add liquid pectin (check the expiry date!) and stir.

12. Stir and skim the jam for 5 minutes. My sister (the strawberry pig) tells me it is important NOT to skip this step. If you skip this step, your strawberry’s won’t evenly incorporate into the jam. How does she know this? Along with piggy, mean-girl tendencies she has what is commonly referred to as cooking impatience. She skipped this step one time when she made jam. Her berries did not incorporate. 

Your jam is now made. From here on in it’s just a matter of getting it into a jar.

13. Grab a hot jar from the oven. At this point you need to work quickly so your jars, jam and seals stay hot. I leave my jam on the stove on low to keep it hot, but not cooking

14. Fill the jars using a ladle and a funnel.

15. Wipe the jar rim then place seal on top.

16. Set your jam aside and wait to hear the rims “pop”.

The concave dimple on the rims will suck in and become convex when the jars have sealed. For reasons known only to the most mystical of jam makers, the odd jar won’t seal. It just won’t.

There could be a small chip or irregularity on the rim, or maybe the jam fairy is just angry at you. Perhaps it is the work of a mean sister.  Whatever the cause, you can just stick this unsealed jam jar in the fridge. It’ll be the the first jar you eat. So no need to worry or cry. Or call the Certo hotline.

Classic Strawberry Jam

This is a classic, sweet strawberry jam full of flavour and fresh berries.
4.5 from 2 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: condiment
Cuisine: English
Prep Time: 45 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Servings: 8 500 ml jars
Calories: 754kcal

Ingredients

  • 2 quarts strawberries once mashed they need to equal 4 cups
  • 7 cups sugar
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice juice of 1 mammoth lemon
  • 1 pouch Liquid Pectin cannot substitute with powdered pectin
  • 8 mason jars
  • Funnel
  • 8 seals
  • 8 rings

Instructions

  • Gather your ingredients.
  • Start a pot of water simmering on the stove and put your seals in there to get them hot and soften the rubber.
  • Sterilize and heat your jars. If they're brand new and/or clean stick them in the oven at 210 F to heat up.
  • Hull your berries by removing the stem and white pithy part.
  • Mash your berries.  If you like blobs of berries in your jam, make sure you don't overmash them.
  • Pour your mashed berries into a heavy bottomed pot.
  • Add 1/4 cup lemon juice, then 1 cup of sugar. Stir.
  • Let the sugar, berries and lemon juice sit for 15 minutes.
  • Add the remaining 6 cups of sugar.
  • Stir the sugar to incorporate it, then bring to a boil stirring constantly. Once you get to a vigorous boil, stir for one minute then remove from heat.
  • Add liquid pectin and stir.
  • Stir and skim the jam for 5 minutes.
  • Grab a hot jar from the oven. At this point you need to work quickly so your jars, jam and seals stay hot. I leave my jam on the stove on low which keeps it hot without further cooking it.
  • Fill the jars using a ladle and a funnel.
  • Wipe the jar rim clean with a damp paper towel or cloth then place a seal on top. Screw a ring on the jar, finger tightening only.  Screwing on your lid too tightly will prevent a proper seal from forming.
  • Set your jam aside and wait to hear the rims “pop”

Notes

  • 1 Tablespoon = 23 calories.
  • It's very important to wipe the rim of your jar after filling it. If you don't, and even the slightest residue is left on the glass your jar won't seal.
  • This recipe comes from Certo (the makers of liquid pectin). It does not call for the jam to be processed in a boiling water bath.  However, over the years I've found I get a much stronger seal if I process the filled jars in a boiling water bath for 10 minutes.
  • To perform a boiling water bath simply submerge your filled and sealed jars into a pot filled with boiling water. Do this immediately after you fill the jars. The water needs to cover the jars by a couple of inches.  Time your 10 minutes from the moment the water comes back to the boil.

Nutrition

Serving: 1jar | Calories: 754kcal | Carbohydrates: 193g | Protein: 1g | Sodium: 4mg | Potassium: 369mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 186g | Vitamin A: 30IU | Vitamin C: 142.1mg | Calcium: 40mg | Iron: 1.1mg

If you’re feeling a bit woozy at the moment, you may have hysterical sugar coma syndrome. Don’t fret. Once you make and eat the jam that’ll go away and you’ll slip easily into an actual sugar coma.

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How to Make Strawberry Jam

60 Comments

  1. sally says:

    Hey Darlin!

    Can I / May I (?) use the same process for Blueberry Jam?

    P.S. You are the very best :-)

  2. Annie Young says:

    Hello Karen
    Thanks for reposting this delicious recipe. I just made it exactly as you did but I did not get the yield you did, in fact I got almost 1/2 so I’m thinking it’s actually 8 x 250ml jars, not 500ml.
    Looking at your picture, I think those jars are indeed 1/2 pint.
    Regardless, it’s deeee lish :)

  3. Ann says:

    This looks delicious, but my version is a lot less complicated. I use 4 cups of berries to 3 cups of sugar. And the berries from our garden are so sweet I use 3 cups of berries to 2 cups of sugar or a bit less even. And that’s it. I only mush the berries a tiny bit, no pectin, no lemon. It cooks a big longer and comes out great. (I use the plate in the freezer method someone mentioned.) I might try your oven thing though. That will make it even simpler!

    • Karen says:

      Hi Ann. Just be careful if you’re preserving. The reason for the lemon in recipes like this is to keep the proper balance, so the food can be canned. :) ~ karen!

  4. Vikki says:

    I have an old phonograph record from the 1940s where a comedian does a routine on Cinderella. He calls the ugly sisters the–
    Sisty Uglers
    Feel free to order your sister a name tag with this on it.
    (and, why do the strawberries I get in the U.S. never look this good?!?)

  5. Peter says:

    My mom made Strawberry Jam and only Strawberry Jam for over 40 years. My dad had it on toast every morning, probably forty 1/2 pint jars a year. It was sealed by pouring 3/8ths of an inch of hot, liquid paraffin “canning” wax on top. I never saw a bad jar. If I was there I got the job of pushing on the top and breaking the seal.
    With tomatoes and tomato juice she might lose 1 or 2 year from the 50+ quarts she canned.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Peter! The reason you have to follow modern standards for canning and not do things like pour wax on top is because produce has changed since then. Methods that worked for vegetables years ago don’t work safely work now. Why? Because our vegetables are different so our canning methods have to be different. Hybridization of plum tomatoes for example. They aren’t as acidic as they used to be in the 50’s. So they can’t be preserved safely without water bath canning for instance. Just a note. :) ~ karen!

  6. Sabina says:

    This is one of those recipes where I add booze in the end, tequila and some lime zest to be exact, and I call it “Mama’s Tequila Sunrise Jam” :)

    But the oven! Why has nobody told me to use the oven for my jars? Me with just four little burners trying to maneuver four extra extra large pots??? Ingenious!!!

  7. Johnna says:

    I play bob marley jammin . I’ve used this for a long time now . The oven tip Is so nice . Marley and jammin this weekend.

  8. Sun says:

    How long can you store the jam?

  9. Katie Komo says:

    It’s been almost a decade since you shared your recipe & process, but this is my first time making strawberry jam. I cannot emphasize enough how much my husband appreciates the recipe! I had to go out and pick more berries two days after making three batches, because he wanted to make sure we had enough. Awesome recipe that had turned out excellent all 5 batches I’ve made.

    • Karen says:

      That’s great! Wow, lol, that’s a lot of jam!! I’m already looking at my strawberry patch this year wondering what I’m going to do with all of them. I love it, but I really don’t eat all that much jam!! I suspect I’ll be giving a LOT away. ~ karen!

  10. Maie C Paulino says:

    I lost my Mom’s recipe & came across yours a few years ago. I can’t thank you enough for it. Step by step it is the best strawberry jam I’ve ever made. My grandchildren will only eat mine now, even the 2 year old, great grandson. Thank-you again for posting, & love your sister story. Marie

  11. Susan Claire says:

    Yes, I know I’m posting a comment four years after everybody else, but stumbled upon your website while fishing around for different jam recipes. I have been making jam and jelly for about fifteen years now, and to be honest the thrill is mostly gone, it has turned into a big old chore, but now when I make strawberry I will think of your mean sister story. If you send me your address I will send you some mulberry jelly that will make you swoon!

  12. Karen says:

    Thanks Karen!

  13. Karen says:

    Karen,

    I just made these, but was wondering how long does it take for the “pop”?

  14. Leanne says:

    Your sister’s got berries. That jam looks delicious.

  15. Kate says:

    I just came across your blog today through Design Sponge too and have spent far too much of my work time this afternoon reading. It’s fantastic!

    I’ve been jamming for a few years now and have some tips.
    1. If you’re really lazy/cheap (as I am) you can actually eliminate the pectin altogether on berries or stone fruits. You might need to leave it boiling on the stove top a little longer, but you just wait and keep stirring every once and it’ll thicken right up. I think that with pectin it comes out a little more jelly, without it’s a little more preserves.

    2. To check consistency, put a glass plate in the freezer. When you think your jam is ready, put a little dollup on the plate and put it back in the freezer for a couple of minutes. Take it out. That’s the consistency it will be when it cools. If it’s not to your liking, keep on cooking.

    I’ve found the following rough guide always seems to work no matter what fruit I use:
    4 cups chopped fruit
    4 cups sugar
    1/4 cup fresh lemon juice

  16. Pam'a says:

    The jam looks so …jammy and beautiful with the sunlight shining through it like that, Karen! And thanks for leaving that blob of jam on the counter while you took pictures, because nobody cooks anything without making a mess.

    But even more important, I had scars for years from MY mean sister! She was four years younger– That automatically made me the bad guy when I pounded her.

    One day my mom left us in the car while she ran into the grocery store (I know, I know, but this was a small town in the ’60s). Devil Sister found one of those teensy pencils that used to come with ads for magazine subscriptions. So of course, she clenched it in her chubby fist, cackled madly, and jammed it into the top of my head. I swear, I was just sitting there…

    Chaos ensued. I screamed like a stuck pig because, well, I sort of was. I could barely wait for Mom to come out, see all the blood in my hair, and rain her patented black fury on her.

    Which she probably did. But what I remember more was that she immediately saught medical care. At the veterinarian. Who happened to be my father, and was incredibly, disappointingly unsympathic (sniffle).

    It’s a miracle I’m still here to read your blog, which is the only one worth checking in on regularly, IMHO.

    • Karen says:

      Well that was a damn good story Pam’a! Love it. Any store that ends with a trip to the vet is a good one. Unless it’s my cat. Then it isn’t good at all, It’s sad and usually costly. Thanks for the blog compliments! Appreciate it! – karen

  17. Stephanie Klopp says:

    You’re blog is friggin’ great! So great, in fact, that I’ve started reading it at work… all the time. Crap, boss is coming! Minimizing…

    • Karen says:

      Thanks Stephanie! I appreciate it. Even I think it’s pretty friggin’ great! Oooo. That sounds obnoxious doesn’t it? I DO like it though … so I’m so happy there are other people who like it too. Thanks again! – karen

  18. Laura says:

    Hi!!!
    I’ve just found your blog, (on Design*Sponge) and I like it a lot!!
    You’re a very creative woman!
    Greetings from Italy!

  19. jimmy says:

    Funny to the bone ..how do i make just ONE bottle of JAM – ok ok maybe 2….what changes do i make..

    • Karen says:

      Jimmy. Please prepare yourself for the bad news. Maybe get a cookie or something. O.K. Ready? You can’t make one jar of jam. Jam recipes can’t be cut in half or doubled. You have to make them as is. I’m not sure why but it’s the way the jam God’s have made it. Having said that, making 7 jars isn’t much more time consuming than making 1 or 2 jars. You’d be silly to make 1 or 2 in fact. Plus if you seal the jars properly like I’ve shown you the jam will last for ages. Professionals tell you a year but I’m sure they’d last a couple of years. You know your seal is good if when you open the jar you need a knife to slip under the seal to pop it off because the pressure is so great you can’t do it with your fingers. I think you should make 7 jars of jam Jimmy.

  20. flattireTuesday says:

    I didn’t know until today how desperately I need to make strawberry jam. It has nothing to do with prego hormones, I’m sure. I find myself *actually* missing making jam at home with my Mom… which is funny, because at the time I hated it and whined and wished I could be doing anything else…

    • Karen says:

      Ain’t it always the way? – karen

      • flattireTuesday says:

        I just finished my batch of jam. :D During the “stir constantly until boiling vigorously” I remembered why I hated and whined… now that my attention span is longer than the end of my pinky nail, I can cope. ;)

        -and ’cause I’m too lazy to dig it up and right on the actual antojito post, I made a bunch of antojito’s for a crowd. I had to tune the heat down (a real crime) because my heat tolerance seems to be higher than most Alberta born and raised around me, but they were still a huge hit. So your suffering was definitely worth it. In fact, if I may say so, I may have secured my sister a wedding ring. Her boyfriend said they had to be friends with me forever, because then I could make him antojito’s. (Okay, I may not have *quite* sealed the deal, due to her charm and good looks, but I’ll take what credit I’m due…) haha…

  21. Jessica says:

    Karen,
    I just found your website and have devoted hours to slavishly reading through past posts. You are a time sucker.

    Anyhoo, I just made jam last week with a friend, we used the recipe listed at this website for strawberry-pineapple jam (my favorite)and it was amazing: http://www.canadianliving.com/food/strawberry_pineapple_jam.php

    They actually make a pectin you can use that requires little to no sugar to be added to your jam (hence only 4 cups of sugar added in this recipe). They also have you boil your jam in a water bath for 5 minutes after it’s cooked – maybe this ensure that your jars will pop in the future?

    • Karen says:

      Hi Jessica! Sorry for the time suck. :) Yes, giving your jam a water bath is very popular, but since I made 15 jars of jam, 1 or 2 not sealing isn’t uncommon. I’m dedicated and devoted to finding the easiest, fastest, cheapest etc. etc. way to do things. I find keeping the bottles in the oven and boiling the rims is the best use of my time. So I can visit the time sucking blogs I enjoy. :) By the way I am totally open to gifts in the form of jams or jellies or any food item really.

      • cat says:

        A water bath is actually recommended because it’s safer than the oven method that you describe. The jars seal better because air is expelled during processing and the heat kills some of the bacteria that might still be wandering around in your jars.

        Also when a jar breaks it tends to be in a vat of water rather than in your oven or on your feet…

        • Karen says:

          Hi Cat! Thanks. Yes, I know that technically the water bath is the preferred method, but my mother used the oven method so that’s what I use! It’s 10 times easier and other than the occasional unsealed jar, it’s smooth sailing.

  22. I once did a very mean thing to my little brother about 15 years ago, too (your sister and I must have been on the same brain wave): My mother had baked THE perfect cowboy cookies, all salty and chocolaty and oatmealy. Cowboy cookies were my brother’s favorite, but that didn’t stop me from methodically picking up each one and slowly licking the top and bottom and all around the sides and then putting them back in the pan. He has a weird thing about spit, so it really killed his soul that I did that to him and he never ate another cowboy cookie again.

    Years later, he paid me back by staying skinny while I proceeded to, um, not.

    On a related note, that jam looks AWESOME. I don’t care how it tastes. It’s how it looks that really matters.

  23. Anj says:

    So is that what you do when you leave half your favourite body glove bathing suit on a cruise ship? At least you get to fondly look at your potholder and remember the neon 80’s.

    • Karen says:

      Liar! I did not leave it on the cruise ship .. it was scoffed by some weirdo at the ramshakle airport. Weirdo.

      • Heidi says:

        Speaking of which…when are you going to post on the Art of Winning the Cruise Ship Bikini Contest by Looking Angry and Flexing Your Muscles?…c’mon….we’re waiting!

        • Karen says:

          Hi Heidi!!!! Everyone … Heidi is the sister of one of my best friends Andrea. Please make her feel welcome. Years ago I went on a cruise with their family. I completely forgot about that bikini contest. Yes. It is true. I was in a bikini contest. You have never seen anyone so unimpressed to be in a bikini contest. Um … bikini contests aren’t “me”. I went on stage and flexed my muscles, looked disgusted to be there and skulked off. I won. Go figure. Welcome Heidi!

  24. Diana @ frontyardfoodie says:

    haha, that sounds so much like my sister and me. Good times……I mean, THEN it sucked but good now.

  25. Lynne says:

    Karen,
    My sister ruined my barbies!
    I had one special doll who’s hair would grow when you gently pulled the pony tail & it seems she couldn’t make it go back. ‘Gee, maybe she won’t notice I was in her stuff if I cut it off??’

    She also poured an entire bottle of Neet hair remover on my head but that’s another story…it was more evidence to back up my theory that she was evil and should be destroyed!

  26. Sherry (BTLover2) says:

    Karen, can I just tell you how much I look forward to reading your new posts??? They are my daily addiction (or whenever you post them) and start my day off as it should — with lots of laughs and big smiles. I love ya, kid.

    • Karen says:

      Sherry! Thanks so much. It makes me very happy to hear you say that. I can’t cure cancer or fix the oil spill. But I can make people laugh … and that’s somethin’. :)

  27. Langela says:

    If a jar seems like it might not be sealing, you can turn it upside down or put a thick towel on top to keep the heat in a little longer in hopes it will come around.

    I will admit that I was the mean sister. When I think back to my childhood, I don’t know why my sisters didn’t gang up on me and kill me. They’re still wondering, too.

    I’ve never tried this, but I read a strawberry jam recipe yesterday that used butter in the final step to keep it from foaming. I have never tried this, but I think I might go get some strawberries so I can try it.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Langela! Thanks for the tip. I wish I’d had it 2 days ago when 2 of my jars didn’t seal! Actually 4 didn”t want to seal so I shoved them in the oven at 210 until they warmed up quite a bit. I took them out and 2 sealed almost immediately while 2 just decided they were not under any circumstances going to seal. Could have tried the towel trick. Instead I will try the eating trick.

      • Langela says:

        Just a question since you can see them all now. Are the ones that didn’t seal maybe a little less filled than the others? I always wonder, but not until I have put them all away and don’t know which ones struggled.

        • Karen says:

          No, they seem to be the same. I always have 1 or 2 that don’t seal. Plus I did a double batch (you can’t double the recipe, you have to do 2 separate batches) so 1 for each batch is about right for me with jam! :) My tomatoes in the fall seem to have a better sealing ratio.

  28. Tricia Rose says:

    The skimmed foam is Cook’s Perk and contains no calories if eaten immediately.

    I once made a compote (less sugar) from a tray of white peaches and leftover redcurrants (we were camping and didn’t have a fridge), and it was AWESOME! got eaten within the holiday and I was crowned Queen of the Campsite.

    I. was. the. mean. sister. too… I love her now, and she has forgiven me.

    • Karen says:

      O.K. I should probably clarify before she kills me, that this is the only mean thing I can remember my sister (the painter) doing. Other than that time she she painted my whole dining room, front hall and living room and made me curtains as a surprise birthday present. I mean honestly. What’s wrong with a good old fashioned card and a phone call?

  29. Liz says:

    My sister once spat chewing gum in my hair giving rise to my childhood nickname of “tufty”. Traumatic.

    That jam looks yummity. Ugh, hungry.

  30. Helen says:

    Karen, you’re hilarious in your outlook and unique perspective – thanks for sharing with us!

    Does this recipe work with blueberries (ie: 4 cups of mashed berries?) and do you know if your jam is kind of the thickish kind (I find the store bought kind is firm) or is its alittle runnier?

    ps: you have a very mean sister! :)

    • Karen says:

      Thanks Helen. No m’am! NO blueberries. All fruits have different sweetnesses, acidity etc. so you can’t interchange. Blueberries would be 4 1/2 cups mashed blueberries, 2 Tbsps lemon juice, 7 cups of sugar (the same) and 2 packages of liquid pectin (3 oz each). The method would be the same. – karen

  31. shannon@bakeandbloom.com says:

    Gawd sisters are meanies aren’t they? My sister stole my fancy smancy artists pencils that I saved all my pocket money for & took them to school. So I hit her in the face with the serrated edge a box of Aluminium foil. :D

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