{Recipe: Fresh Strawberry Jam}

When I looked in our fridge and saw four containers of strawberries, I knew that something had to be done.  Perusing through the usual suspects of food websites, I came across plenty of possibilities.  Strawberry cheesecake!  Oh, but if I made that I knew I would just eat it all myself (I don’t share cheesecake with anyone… not even with Eric).  Strawberry ice cream!  Nah, it’s too cold for that.  Strawberry salad!  Well, maybe… but I couldn’t imagine eating that many berries in one sitting.

I had almost given up the search and decided to forget about the darn things.  But then I came across a quick little recipe for biscuits and strawberry butter from Lindsay at Gingerbread Bagels and the light bulb flickered to life.

As you all know, I’m a big fan of scones and biscuits and anything that’s a vehicle for butter and jam.  It’s my Sunday routine to whip up a batch while Eric takes the pup out for her morning walk.  By the time he’s returned, the smell of fresh baked goods and brewing coffee has permeated throughout the apartment.

We’ve acquired a great deal of jams over the past few months, from friends and family… and from food bloggers.  There’s been peach, pomegranate, kiwi , wild blueberry and many more.  But the one missing from the mix has been strawberry.

Not anymore.

This recipe from Ina Garten is as simple as it gets.  There is minimal prep work, a limited amount of stirring, and it yields the ideal quantity (who wants to come out of the kitchen with a huge vat of jam… ok, maybe some of you do).

As you can see, there are very few ingredients needed to make this jam and the process is quite basic.  The one minor alteration that I made was  to the amount of sugar that’s called for.  Two cups seemed a bit steep, so I notched it back a bit.  And, to be perfectly honest, I don’t think it needed the extra half a cup.

Fresh Strawberry Jam

adapted from the recipe by Ina Garten via the Food Network

yields 2 pints

Ingredients

1 1/2 cups sugar

1 large lemon, zested and juiced

1 1/2 pints fresh strawberries, hulled and halved

Directions

Combine the sugar, lemon zest, and lemon juice in a small saucepan and cook over very low heat for 10 minutes, until the sugar is dissolved. Add the strawberries and continue to cook over very low heat for 20 minutes, until the strawberries release some of their juices and the mixture boils slowly. Cook until a small amount of the juice gels on a very cold plate. (I keep one in the freezer.) Pour carefully into 2 pint canning jars and either seal or keep refrigerated. Use immediately, or follow proper canning guidelines below.

Tips on Sterilizing Jars:

Properly-handled sterilized equipment will keep canned foods in good condition for years. Sterilizing jars is the first step of preserving foods.

Sterilizing Tips:

Jars should be made from glass and free of any chips or cracks. Preserving or canning jars are topped with a glass, plastic, or metal lid, which has a rubber seal. Two piece lids are best for canning, as they vacuum seal when processed.

To sterilize jars, before filling with jams, pickles, or preserves, wash jars and lids with hot, soapy water. Rinse well and arrange jars and lids open sides up, without touching, on a tray. Leave in a preheated 175 degree F oven for 25 minutes. Or, boil the jars and lids in a large saucepan, covered with water, for 15 minutes.

Use tongs when handling the hot sterilized jars, to move them from either boiling water or the oven. Be sure the tongs are sterilized too, by dipping the ends in boiling water for a few minutes.

As a rule, hot preserves go into hot jars and cold preserves go into cold jars. All items used in the process of making jams, jellies, and preserves must be clean. This includes any towels used, and especially your hands.

After the jars are sterilized, you can preserve the food. It is important to follow any canning and processing instructions included in the recipe and refer to USDA guidelines about the sterilization of canned products.

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  • kamran siddiqiMarch 16, 2011 - 12:05 am

    Absolutely lovely! I have made so many strawberry jams since I began blogging- all very different and all lovely in their own ways. The best thing is- strawberry jam is so simple to make, plus the homemade stuff always tastes better than the store-bought variety.

    P.S. I have to admit- I am the same way with cheesecake. I don’t share. At. All. I just can’t find it in me.ReplyCancel

  • Andrew FrishmanMarch 16, 2011 - 12:07 am

    MMnnn. . . I LOVES me some jammin’ strawberries.

    “Estamos jammin” – Bob MarleyReplyCancel

  • Kate @ Diethood.comMarch 16, 2011 - 12:12 am

    You know, I have 3 containers in the fridge filled with strawberries and I didn’t want to make another cheesecake or another ice cream… I am so GLAD that I opened up Twitter and saw your tweet about this recipe… thank you for the inspiration! I wish it wasn’t almost midnight or I would start on this jam right about now. But tomorrow looks good, too. :)
    Gorgeous photos!ReplyCancel

  • No pectin, I’ll be damned.ReplyCancel

  • Nelly RodriguezMarch 16, 2011 - 12:19 am

    Perfect :) Love how simple it is! On a side note… I’m addicted to pint/mason jars.ReplyCancel

  • RJ FlamingoMarch 16, 2011 - 12:23 am

    Going into competition, Bri? LOL!ReplyCancel

  • Prerna@IndianSimmerMarch 16, 2011 - 12:31 am

    This post and the photo of you (?) pouring the jam in jars reminded me of my mom! We never ate store bought jams or ketchup or tomato sauce growing up. Back then it was a luxury in India and being a little tight on money still she would never want her kids to compromise and would make everything at home from scratch. Now I’m glad she did ‘cos now I know what a good jam tastes like! Your post just brought back all the memories! Thanks so much for sharing the recipe dear :-)ReplyCancel

    • adminMarch 16, 2011 - 7:43 am

      Thanks for sharing that about your childhood. Sounds like your mom was a wonderful woman.

      And that’s Eric’s hands pouring the jam into the jar… don’t have a tripod (yet) and it would take some skill to be able to hold the jar and take a picture.ReplyCancel

  • Kimberly (Unrivaledkitch)March 16, 2011 - 12:48 am

    I always make jam with left over fruit its the best way not to waste. These photos are beautiful. well done!

    thanks for the sterilizing tips, I need to start jarring! I’ve been saying I’m going to do it forever but haven’t now I must.

    cheersReplyCancel

  • MonetMarch 16, 2011 - 1:10 am

    Oh this would be great with my weekly loaf of bread. I wish I could trade my bread for a jar of your jam! Thankfully, this recipe looks easy enough to follow :-) Thanks for sharing with me tonight. Visiting your blog brings a smile to my face, week after week. I hope you have a fabulous Wednesday!ReplyCancel

  • Julia @ DimpleArts PhotographyMarch 16, 2011 - 1:39 am

    There is nothing better than some strawberry jam. Oh and I LOVE your triptych of the two strawberries!ReplyCancel

  • MichelleMarch 16, 2011 - 6:19 am

    I’ve never made a jam or jelly before because I’m always hesitant about having TONS of jam around but I love that this recipe makes the perfect amount!ReplyCancel

  • LizMarch 16, 2011 - 6:37 am

    Oh, boy, does your jam look fabulous! This would make my hubby very happy~ReplyCancel

  • Paul JennetteMarch 16, 2011 - 7:03 am

    I have NEVER tried to do this at home. The process does seem to be simple, and I can’t imagine how tasty fresh jam would be. I used to watch my Grandma preserve everything, her and my Grandfather had a huge garden and in their life this was the only way to go. Thanks for the memory refresher!!! ~ PaulReplyCancel

  • Sylvie @ Gourmande in the KitchenMarch 16, 2011 - 7:11 am

    Okay, now how did you get that strawberry to look like it’s levitating above the others?!ReplyCancel

    • adminMarch 16, 2011 - 7:15 am

      Sylvie-

      No secrets here! I used a kabob skewer, stuck one end in the strawberry and one into the container. And… voilà!

      -BrianReplyCancel

  • DeebaMarch 16, 2011 - 7:44 am

    As good as it gets. I’m glad you made this. Will wait for the second crop of the year. Love that you notched the sugar down. Those jars are like jewels!ReplyCancel

  • JessMarch 16, 2011 - 8:09 am

    Beautiful photos. How did you get the singular strawberries to look like they are floating above the container below?ReplyCancel

  • JessMarch 16, 2011 - 8:10 am

    Just read your response to another commenter…. skewers…. how clever!ReplyCancel

  • Sanjeeta kkMarch 16, 2011 - 8:11 am

    Those preserves look gorgeous Brian! I doubt that I will ever be able to make Strawberry Jam..the moment a box is open it becomes history. Though made a mixed fruit Preserve using Palm Sugar and posted on my blog recently, it had traces of Strawberries. Wish you could send me one of those pretty jars :)ReplyCancel

  • Jason PhelpsMarch 16, 2011 - 8:38 am

    We just did this on Sunday. Unfortunately I didn’t cook it long enough and it didn’t set. It still works as you would want it to and it sure tastes good!

    JasonReplyCancel

  • Elizabeth AnnMarch 16, 2011 - 8:45 am

    This looks pretty easy! :-) Going to try it out this weekend! Thanks for sharing . . .ReplyCancel

  • ElizabethMarch 16, 2011 - 9:05 am

    This plus some clotted cream on scones would be HEAVENLY. As big of a sweet tooth as I have, when it comes to fruit, I like to be conservative with the added sugar. I often find jam recipes call for more sugar than it needs.ReplyCancel

  • JamieMarch 16, 2011 - 9:05 am

    Aren’t you fabulous! The jam looks so perfect! Yes, pass the scones and jam, please!ReplyCancel

  • CeliaMarch 16, 2011 - 9:08 am

    Man, this is making me eager for summer…ReplyCancel

  • Daydreamer DessertsMarch 16, 2011 - 9:16 am

    Love the simplicity of it… nothing like homemade strawberry jam. :)ReplyCancel

  • foodwanderingsMarch 16, 2011 - 9:48 am

    Really nice Brian, can go so well in the belly of my Sufganiyot. Just inject some of this goodness and they will be authentic. Now you inspired me to jam! :)ReplyCancel

  • JoyMarch 16, 2011 - 11:02 am

    I love strawberries. Yours looks great.ReplyCancel

  • Justin IdeMarch 16, 2011 - 11:19 am

    Nice stuff as always Brian .. I’ve never canned anything and this has me thinking I could actually do it! Great photos!

    Remember, Food is Love!
    Cheers,
    JustinReplyCancel

  • Lora @cakeduchessMarch 16, 2011 - 11:52 am

    Gorgeous strawberry jam, Bri:)My mother-in-law taught me her method 2 yrs ago when she was here. I love making it because the flavor is so much better than store-bought.:)ReplyCancel

  • Jen @ keepitsimplefoodsMarch 16, 2011 - 12:18 pm

    Very cool levitating strawberry pics! Impressive!ReplyCancel

  • FlaviaMarch 16, 2011 - 12:58 pm

    This looks wonderful, Brian! I’ve been wanting to try canning since last summer, so maybe I’ll make this jam for my first try. Beautiful photos as always. :)ReplyCancel

  • Jean @ Lemons and AnchoviesMarch 16, 2011 - 1:37 pm

    I’m envious that you made your own jam–it’s a big goal of mine. The canning part scares me but maybe I should just eat the entire batch in one sitting (giving it away might make more sense) to eliminate this problem. I like that you cut back the sugar; I think this might be the recipe for my maiden voyage in jam making. Thanks for sharing!ReplyCancel

  • Jen @ My Kitchen AddictionMarch 16, 2011 - 1:53 pm

    That strawberry jam looks absolutely divine! That’s the one flavor of jam that I didn’t get around to making last year… I need to remedy that very soon.ReplyCancel

  • SomaMarch 16, 2011 - 2:14 pm

    The best. this looks fabulous! I still have jar left from last year. Will make it again this year. Nothing compares to the homemade jams. The floating strawberry looks awesome :-)ReplyCancel

  • Chris @ The PecheMarch 16, 2011 - 2:21 pm

    I will forever remember this as the magical floating strawberry post. Well done, sir.ReplyCancel

  • That looks delicious! I love the short list of simple ingredients.ReplyCancel

  • EthanMarch 16, 2011 - 3:22 pm

    One day, you will have to learn how to share:P but in the meantime, that jam looks great!ReplyCancel

  • fooddreamerMarch 16, 2011 - 3:24 pm

    For some reason, strawberry jam is just not my favourite. But if it was, I know yours would be fantastic!ReplyCancel

  • wizzythestickMarch 16, 2011 - 4:56 pm

    Home-made jam is always amazing and the best part is that it makes your kitchen smell fabulousReplyCancel

  • Lindsey @ Gingerbread BagelsMarch 16, 2011 - 5:14 pm

    I’m so glad my strawberry butter made you think of strawberry jam because your jam is just gorgeous! I swear I could just look at your photos all day, they’re so beautiful. I wish I had some of your strawberry jam right now. :)ReplyCancel

  • Angela@RecipesFromMyMomMarch 16, 2011 - 7:21 pm

    I have canned tomatoes before but never made jam or jelly. You do have a knack for making it sound easy. Love the levitating berry. How magical! We had four quarts of strawberries in our fridge last week but I used up two as filling and decoration for a birthday cake.ReplyCancel

  • JoanneMarch 16, 2011 - 7:48 pm

    Oh brian. Someday I hope to have the confidence that I will be able to can something without giving myself botulism (this is what med school does to you. It’s a wonder I ever leave my apartment.) This jam sounds absolutely perfect and I love how few ingredients there are in it!ReplyCancel

  • Parsley SageMarch 16, 2011 - 8:43 pm

    Om nom nom! You need some mango jam now too :)ReplyCancel

  • Barbara | VinoLuciStyleMarch 16, 2011 - 9:09 pm

    Did you say you wanted my address so you could mail some to me? Hmm?

    Looks wonderful and has me in the mood. I got some from Megan @stetted last year…you have to get her recipe too…vanilla strawberry jam? Was absolutely amazing.ReplyCancel

  • briarroseMarch 16, 2011 - 10:04 pm

    Beautiful. I adore strawberry jam…sometimes it’s just the classic that does it for you. ;)ReplyCancel

  • TerraMarch 16, 2011 - 10:17 pm

    I have always said I would make jam, or jelly, but still have not. I really need to get on that, because this looked way too good. The pictures are beautiful!
    Take care,
    TerraReplyCancel

  • The Farmers WifeMarch 16, 2011 - 10:42 pm

    Absolutely gorgeous! I have been terrified of canning in the past, and have shied away from it, but you make it sound and look so easy, I may have to reconsider!ReplyCancel

  • sarahMarch 17, 2011 - 1:59 am

    Lovely! I have a cake recipe that is just looking for a layer of strawberry jam. Can’t wait to try this!!ReplyCancel

  • SajiMarch 17, 2011 - 2:23 am

    Gorgeous!!! I love strawberry jam…All tym fav
    First time here…Happy to follow u

    thesaji.blogspot.comReplyCancel

  • michelleMarch 17, 2011 - 7:48 am

    My goodness! Those pics are fantastic! You’ve inspired me to go strawberry picking and make up some batches of my own! :) Thank you!ReplyCancel

  • amyMarch 17, 2011 - 8:57 am

    Oh my…you’ve got me wanting to grow some strawberries pronto…ReplyCancel

  • MeganMarch 17, 2011 - 9:58 am

    Canning scares me.. but I like that you can make this and just use it right away rather than going through all the canning steps. That jam is the most gorgeous color!ReplyCancel

  • DanaMarch 17, 2011 - 10:20 am

    This looks so simple and delicious! I love the deep red color of the jam.ReplyCancel

  • Mikaela CowlesMarch 17, 2011 - 11:05 am

    It looks like you cooked up summer. Perhaps in a few months you can make Strawberry Blackberry Jam!ReplyCancel

  • Vicki @ Wilde in the KitchenMarch 17, 2011 - 11:09 am

    I’m so glad that strawberries are starting to have some flavor again! I want to make a big batch of this jam, it looks so bright and delicious!ReplyCancel

  • katMarch 17, 2011 - 1:46 pm

    We put up about 36 jars of strawberry jam every year. Its fun to play with the flavors & add things like vanilla, balsamic or black pepper.ReplyCancel

  • Andrea McLarenMarch 17, 2011 - 2:10 pm

    It’s not difficult to make jam, just time consuming, Spring Strawberrys are in from Oxnard CA among the best! Good luck everyone!
    xxooAReplyCancel

  • PeggyMarch 17, 2011 - 5:17 pm

    I almost want to go to the grocery right now and get some strawberries for this! We were out of jam so I’ve been having to eat just plain PB sandwiches lately… I think this is going to have to be made soon!ReplyCancel

  • Mardi@eatlivetravelwriteMarch 18, 2011 - 8:55 am

    I have yet to make jam but your recipe inspires me – looks so easy and just plain gorgeous! Printing this out :-)ReplyCancel

  • foodies at homeMarch 19, 2011 - 1:49 am

    Strawberry jam is my all time favorite! I am definitely going to have to try this when the berries come into season!ReplyCancel

  • tinytearoomMarch 19, 2011 - 9:37 am

    gorgeous. gorgeous. gorgeous. thank you for the guide on sterilizing the jars. I never knew making jam was this easy!ReplyCancel

  • Lisa { AuthenticSuburbanGourmet }March 19, 2011 - 2:39 pm

    This is just the classic perfect jam! I am obsessed with jam making and now this is a must make for me. Beautiful photos!!!ReplyCancel

  • Chef DennisMarch 19, 2011 - 3:54 pm

    hi Brian,
    where were you, when I tried to make strawberry jam last year? Your jam looks perfect, I am going to have to save your post for strawberry season, and I will give it another try….. Sigh….
    Hope you’re enjoying this wonderful weather!
    DennisReplyCancel

  • JulieDMarch 19, 2011 - 4:02 pm

    Absolutely beautiful, Brian. I haven’t tried to make jam before & you make it look so simple!ReplyCancel

  • Maria @ ScandifoodieMarch 19, 2011 - 7:38 pm

    Gorgeous! I can’t think of anything more welcoming and cosy than home-made strawberry jam, this is just perfect :-)ReplyCancel

  • Baking SerendipityMarch 20, 2011 - 12:29 am

    Homemade strawberry jam reminds me of my childhood…there is no better taste than that! This is the perfect use for all of your strawberries.ReplyCancel

  • sippitysupMarch 20, 2011 - 6:34 pm

    Strawberries are busting out all over here. Bring on the jam. I could do this I bet. GREGReplyCancel

  • JackieMarch 20, 2011 - 7:52 pm

    JAM! :D Mhmmmm! I made something very similar to this a while back, it was part of a panna cotta recipe I was doing and I wanted to top it with something a little sweet, so I made some quick strawberry jam. I may have even used Ina as my basis for comparison, but I forget.

    Doesn’t this just remind you of summer? Cream teas!

    Jax xReplyCancel

  • Evan @swEEtsMarch 21, 2011 - 5:03 pm

    I just made strawberry scones this past weekend with the delicious strawberries I found at the grocery last week.. now I think I’m going to go back and get some more to make strawberry jam!ReplyCancel

  • My Man's BellyMarch 22, 2011 - 3:32 pm

    Between the scones and the jam…I’m coming to your house for breakfast. Expect to hear a knock on your door next Sunday.ReplyCancel

  • Fuji MamaMarch 30, 2011 - 11:17 am

    Great, now after reading this I’m going to be experiencing severe cravings for strawberry jam. I’m blaming today’s mental and emotional problems on YOU!!ReplyCancel

  • Fresh Strawberry JamSeptember 18, 2013 - 6:33 am

    […] Recipe […]ReplyCancel

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