I love strawberry jam. To me, it’s like the vanilla ice cream of all jams: it’s classic, it’s simple, and it pairs well with just about anything.
I like jams that aren’t too sweet, and since store-bought jams are often chock full of sweeteners and unpronounceable preservatives, for me, homemade jam is the way to go. It’s also a great thing to make when strawberries are just beginning to come into season and haven’t hit their peak flavor yet. This recipe makes just a small amount- about one cup, which my family usually finishes within a week, but for those who like to make things in bigger batches, it doubles wonderfully.
This jam isn’t just incredibly simple- it has all of four ingredients and doesn’t need to be canned- but it’s also really flavorful, and preserves the bright flavor of the strawberries by using minimal sugar and a squeeze of fresh lemon juice.
It’s delicious on buttermilk biscuits for brunch, swirls wonderfully into a pavlova, and would be the perfect accompaniment to a baguette and some cheese. Are you thinking what I’m thinking? That it’s pretty much a picnic waiting to happen (scenic park location unfortunately not included)? You’re right! It is.
Spring dreams are ahead. Go ahead and indulge them.
Yields: around 1 cup of jam (the recipe doubles easily)
Lightly adapted from The Homemade Kitchen
Why I love this recipe: this recipe requires no special canning equipment or pectin, and relies on just the natural thickening powers of strawberries, sugar and lemon juice. It’s super simple to make and is also a great way to use out of season or not so flavorful strawberries.
Variations: use 1 pound of any other berry in place of the strawberries. Add 1 vanilla bean, split open, to the jam while it cooks. Or, instead of using sugar, use honey.
Notes: this jam lasts for two to three weeks in the fridge, but no longer. If you like an especially sweet jam, you can add up to 1/4 cup of sugar, or if your strawberries are very sweet, you can decrease the sugar by 1 tablespoon.
- 1 lb. strawberries, weighed after removing the tops, sliced
- 1/4 cup sugar (see note above)
- juice of 1/2 a lemon
- Place the fruit in a heavy bottomed pot and set over medium heat.
- Bring to a low boil, cover the pot, and reduce the heat to medium low.
- Cook, stirring every few minutes, until the fruit breaks up into a saucy mash, around 10-15 minutes.
- Uncover the pot and stir in the sugar.
- Raise the heat to medium and continue to cook, uncovered, (stirring often to prevent the jam from burning on the bottom) until the sauce thickens into a jam, around 15-20 minutes.
- Stir in the lemon juice. Adjust sweetness if desired, and let cool before storing in a jar.