This fool proof, 4-ingredient Strawberry Jam comes out perfect every single time! Enjoy it any time of the year since you can use fresh or frozen berries!
EASY HOMEMADE JAM FROM 4 INGREDIENTS
Creating homemade Strawberry Jam can be incredibly simple and rewarding. The process yields a delightful combination of sweet and tart flavors for a classic preserve that can be spread atop toast, biscuits, or anything else you like jam on. The recipe is insanely easy, only requires 4 ingredients, requires no special tools, and can even be made with fresh or frozen berries – making it an ideal breakfast option year-round! To further enhance the jam’s taste, I have a secret ingredient not found in most recipes that truly makes it stand out above allll other homemade jam recipes.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS:
Strawberry jelly made with pectin results in a jelly that is more firm and thicker than one without it. However, it is important to note that strawberries have natural pectin in them, so just like raspberry and blueberry jam, if using fresh berries, you don’t have to use pectin. Plus when you combine the strawberries with the jello, it firms up nicely as well. No pectin needed for this jam recipe!
It does a few things. It lowers the pH of the jam and works to ‘set’ the jam (a bunch of science happening there) Also, strawberry jam tastes sweet, but adding a little bit of lemon juice can create a balance of flavors that really makes it shine. The acidity in the lemon juice helps to cut through some of the sweetness and adds brightness and zing to the jam. The lemon also helps preserve the color and flavor of the strawberries as well, preventing them from losing their vibrant hue.
Fresh berries that are nice and ripe or, frozen strawberries are best for making jam. Either will work.
Typically this doesn’t happen often with this recipe since we are using the jello, but if somehow you ended up with runny jam, there is something you can do.
You can try to thicken the jam by boiling it in a saucepan. Bring the jam to a vigorous boil and stir constantly until it thickens, usually about 5-10 minutes. You can also add a tablespoon of cornstarch dissolved in 1 tablespoon of water for each cup of jam and then bring it to a boil. This will help the jam thicken up more quickly. If the jam is still too thin even after boiling, you can place it in shallow dishes and refrigerate it until it reaches the desired consistency. But again, this is typically not a problem with this specific recipe.
Jam is traditionally made with pectin, which triggers the thickening process when heated. As the jam cools, it will continue to thicken as the pectin molecules bond together and form a gel-like structure that gives jam its signature texture. Additionally, some jams contain other thickeners like guar gum or xanthan gum to help create an even thicker consistency. So, yes, jam does indeed thicken as it cools.
Absolutely! If using fresh berries, just use 4 cups of fresh ones instead of the frozen ones. I have a recipe for Strawberry Freezer Jam and that one uses fresh berries and doesn’t require any stovetop boiling (and it uses pectin not Jell-O).
No, although you will need other ingredients instead. If not using strawberry Jell-O for this recipe, be sure to add a 3-ounch pouch fo Certo liquid fruit pectin instead of the Jell-O and increase sugar to 4 cups of sugar.
Certainly! This is a great recipe to make and store some extra away for later. To preserve this, use a water bath canning procedure. Follow the directions here.
Yep! Just as I do in my Raspberry Jam recipe, you can use pretty much any berry. I’ve only ever tested this particular style of recipe with strawberries, raspberries and blueberries so it’s possible you may have to adjust amounts depending on how tart your fruit might be. Unfortunately, that is just one of those things you have to taste and test to figure out.
I remove the foam during homemade jam-making for a better-looking jar presentation, but it’s not necessary to remove it all. The foam doesn’t affect the taste, but rather it’s about creating a clear top when the jar is opened.
This recipe makes just over three 11 ounce jars of jam, or a little over four 8 ounce jars of strawberry jam. You fill find that you will have some leftover, which is nice to put in a smaller jar to give to friends or keep for yourself if you are giving the larger jars to friends and family.
To me, strawberry seeds are so tiny that you don’t really feel them in there but some folks swear they do or for whatever reason, just don’t want or like them in there. You will have to do an extra step of straining the seeds out through a mesh strainer. You’ll probably need to help push it through as well because it will be thick. I never do this as we all enjoy the whole fruit in there are a lot of health benefits to leaving the seeds in.
Homemade jam should be stored in the fridge for up to a month or in the freezer for up to a year.
INGREDIENTS NEEDED: (SEE RECIPE CARD BELOW FOR THE FULL RECIPE)
- frozen sliced strawberries – I like the consistency of frozen strawberries because they are picked at the peak of freshness and are consistent in flavor but you can use fresh berries (about 4 cups)
- sugar – real sugar here – I have not tried it with a sugar substitute so can’t say how that would turn out
- strawberry Jell-O – it seems like a strange ingredient but it really helps to pop that strawberry flavor, you can use Certo pectin if you prefer (see my FAQ above on how to do that)
- lemon juice – fresh works but also the bottled stuff works fine here too
HOW TO MAKE STRAWBERRY JAM
Wash and dry jars with lids. In a 3.5 quart pot, over medium-high heat, add frozen strawberries, sugar, strawberry Jell-O and lemon juice. Stirring regularly.
Once sugar has dissolved (this takes anywhere from 8-10 minutes), take a potato masher and begin mashing all the berries until mostly smooth. Allow the mixture to come to a gentle boil then turn down to a simmer for about 5-6 minutes.
As it simmers, you’ll notice a light pink foam gathering at the top. Skim off any “foam” from the top of the simmering jam using a spoon. This will produce a lot of foam so it’ll take a little time to skim it off.
Remove from heat and pour into clean jars. I find it easiest to do with a wide mouth funnel (non affiliated link)
Wipe the edges of the jar with a clean, slightly damp cloth. Then screw on the lids.
Allow the jars to cool completely on the counter then put into the refrigerator. Mixture fully thickens into a jam consistency after it has chilled in the refrigerator for at least 24 hours. Store in the refrigerator for up to a month.
CRAVING MORE RECIPES?
Strawberry Jam (with fresh or frozen berries)
- 2 (14 ounce) bags frozen sliced strawberries
- 3 ½ cups sugar (or more, to taste)
- 6 ounce box strawberry Jell-O
- 1-2 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice (about the juice from one lemon)
- Wash and dry jars with lids.
- In a 3.5 quart pot, over medium-high heat, add frozen strawberries, sugar, strawberry Jell-O and lemon juice. Stirring regularly.
- Once sugar has dissolved (this takes anywhere from 8-10 minutes), take a potato masher and begin mashing all the berries until mostly smooth. Allow the mixture to come to a gentle boil then turn down to a simmer for about 5-6 minutes.
- As it simmers, you’ll notice a light pink foam gathering at the top. Skim off any “foam” from the top of the simmering jam using a spoon. This will produce a lot of foam so it’ll take a little time to skim it off.
- Remove from heat and pour into clean jars. I find it easiest to do with a wide mouth funnel (non affiliated link)
- Wipe the edges of the jar with a clean, slightly damp cloth. Then screw on the lids. Allow the jars to cool completely on the counter then put into the refrigerator. Mixture fully thickens into a jam consistency after it has chilled in the refrigerator for at least 24 hours. Store in the refrigerator for up to a month.
- Please refer to my FAQ’s and ingredient list above for other substitutions or for the answers to the most common questions.
- This makes just over (3) 11 ounce jars worth of jam.
- Fresh berries can be used. Substitute with 4 cups of fresh.
- If not using strawberry Jell-O, use 1 (3 ounce) pouch Certo liquid fruit pectin instead and increase sugar to 4 cups.
- It seems like a lot of sugar but it is perfectly balanced. Use less sugar if you prefer. Or if your strawberries are more tart, then add more sugar.
- Jam can be stored in the freezer for up to a year.
- I prefer to skim the foam off the top of the jam because it looks better while in the jars. However, this step is totally optional. It’s impossible to skim all the foam off the top but as long as you get a majority of it, it will look much nicer in the jars.
- You can also can the jam using a water bath canning procedure. Follow directions here.
- This makes (3) 11-ounce jars of (4) 8-ounce jars with some extra.
“The Country Cook” is not a dietician or nutritionist, and any nutritional information shared is an estimate. If calorie count and other nutritional values are important to you, we recommend running the ingredients through whichever online nutritional calculator you prefer. Calories can vary quite a bit depending on which brands were used.