This simple recipe for small batch strawberry jam is made with lower sugar and without pectin. It is my favorite way to preserve fresh summer strawberries and is so easy to make at home!
Cuisine: American, French
Keyword: homemade strawberry jam, low sugar strawberry jam, small batch strawberry jam, strawberry jam without pectin
Author: Whitney Reist | Sweet Cayenne
3 half-pint canning jars with rings and new/unused lids
Canning jar tongs
Large canning pot with rack insert
Large, heavy-bottomed, wide mouth pot or Dutch oven
2poundsstrawberries, hulled and quartered into similar-size pieces
1 ½cupsgranulated sugar
2tablespoonsbottled lemon juice
1mediumgranny smith apple, peeled and grated (about 1 cup)
The night before:
Combine strawberries and sugar in a large bowl. Cover and refrigerate overnight and up to 12 hours.
Preparing for Canning
Sterilize canning jars by placing them in a boiling water bath (I do this in my canning pot) for ten minutes. Keep them warm in the water until ready to use. Place the lids in a heatproof bowl and ladle a few spoonfuls of boiling water on top. Keep them warm in the bowl until ready to use. For more information on hot water bath canning, see this article.
Place a small plate in the freezer and chill for later.
Making the jam:
Remove the strawberries from the fridge. Stir in the lemon juice and grated apple. Transfer the mixture to a 5-quart Dutch oven or braiser, or a heavy-bottomed, wide-mouth pot.
Bring the mixture to a simmer and cook, stirring frequently, until berries are very tender and the mixture is thick and jammy. To test for doneness, place a small dab of the mixture on the plate from the freezer. Freeze for a minute, and then test with your finger. The mixture should be somewhat firm and will not slide across the plate when tilted (however, it will not gel). Continue cooking the jam and doing the plate test until the jam reaches the desired consistency. Another indicator of doneness is the simmering mixture reaching 220°F.
Preserving the Jam
Using a jar lifter, carefully remove the jars from the hot water canning bath and place them upright on a towel. Remove the lids from the bowl of water and pat them dry.
Ladle the hot jam into the sterilized jars, leaving ¼ inch of headspace at the top. Remove air bubbles with an offset spatula as needed. Use a damp paper towel or cloth to wipe the rims of the jars clean. Place the lid on top, followed by the jar ring, and adjust the ring until it is finger-tight (do not force it).
Return the jars to the water bath, being sure that each is covered by at least 1 inch of water. Bring the water to a boil and boil for 5 minutes. Use the jar lifter to carefully remove the jars from the water and transfer them to a towel. Do not disturb the jars for 12 hours.
After one hour of resting, make sure the jar lids have sealed by pressing down on the center of the lid. If the center can be pressed down, the lid has not sealed and the contents of the jar should be refrigerated immediately for use within 1-2 weeks.
Label the sealed jars and store in a dark, cool, dry place for up to 1 year.