How to Make Strawberry Jam

Two of my friends went strawberry picking last weekend. Apparently that was the place to be.  They both brought me an incredible amount of juicy, ripe strawberries. I froze some for smoothies, we ate a bunch, I made strawberry pancakes and muffins. But I still had more leftover. Anel suggested that we make jam but I thought it was going to be complicated and require ingredients we didn’t have.

One quick Google search later and I realized that we had sugar, lemons, and strawberries, and I could make it without fruit pectin.

Amalia put on her little apron and helped me by putting the sliced strawberries into a bowl, squeezing the lemon juice, and measuring the sugar. When it was made and she tried it, she looked so proud of the work she did! I love cooking with her for this reason. It’s so sweet to watch.

The first batch we made was delicious but looked brown and drab because I couldn’t find enough table sugar and had to use coconut palm sugar which is what I usually bake with. Coconut palm sugar looks almost like brown sugar which is why the color was so off. Because I knew I’d be giving some of the jam as a gift to some friends, I wanted to make it look more vibrant so when I found a rogue bag of sugar, I made another batch… And this time, I added peaches too.

I’m not exaggerating when I tell you that the mason jar full of strawberry peach jam just two days ago is already more than half gone. Amalia has requested it at every meal as has Anel. You guys. It’s delicious. It’s sweet with just a little bit of tartness and has an almost luxurious quality to the texture.

I followed this recipe (also pasted below) to make our jam because I didn’t have any fruit pectin lying around… shocking, I know. Everything I’ve read says that fruit pectin shortens the cooking time of your jam so the taste of the fruit is even fresher. So I bought some pectin and will be trying this again over the weekend. I’ll report back on if there is any difference but I can’t imagine anything that is better than this so I’m skeptical.

If you have a recipe with fruit pectin that you recommend, I’m all ears

How to Make Strawberry jam without fruit pectin

Yields one jar. Recipe originally found here.

– 1 lb fresh strawberries (I Googled this because I don’t have a kitchen scale and learned that it equates to 15-20 medium-sized strawberries. For the strawberry peach batch, I did 12 strawberries and a whole peach, sliced)
– 1 1/2 cups sugar
– 2 Tbs lemon juice
– ½ tsp lemon zest optional

1. Wash and slice the strawberries, removing the hulls and green tops.
2. Add them to a saucepan, and mix the sugar in well.
3. Stir continually over medium heat, and bring the strawberries to boil.
4. Once boiling, add the lemon juice and zest (if using).
5. Boil for about 15 minutes, or until the jam reaches 220F.
6. Stir often, to make sure the jam doesn’t burn.
7. Pour into a jar and allow to cool.
8. Cover and refrigerate.
9. Use within about 2 weeks (if it lasts that long)

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