This honey sweetened strawberry jam is the perfect preserve if you’re trying to use up a glut of honey or you’re just avoiding refined sugar. Flecked throughout with vanilla bean, it is the best of springtime all year round.
If this post is accurate (which, to my best count, it is), there are at least 14 ways to preserve strawberries in the archives of this site. There are yet more versions in my books. And yet, despite all these approaches, I can’t resist adding this honey sweetened strawberry vanilla jam variant to the conversation.
A couple of pieces of advice before you take on this recipe. Number one, use really delicious honey. The flavor of the honey really comes through in this recipe, so you want to use one that tastes amazing (I used some of the honey that Camille from Old Blue Raw Honey gave me when I saw her back in March).
My second piece of advice is to get yourself a small stash of grade B vanilla beans from a purveyor like Beanilla. They have all the flavor of the grade A versions, and are markedly cheaper. And if vanilla beans aren’t in the cards for you, a jar of vanilla bean paste is better than vanilla extract, because you’ll still get the speckle and flavor from the seeds.
Commonly Asked Questions
How long will this jam keep on the shelf? Honey sweetened jams don’t keep as well as sugar sweetened ones. I recommend storing this jam in a cool, dark place and eating it within 6 months. Once opened, try to use it promptly. Honey sweetened jams often get moldy in the fridge more quickly than sugar sweetened ones do.
Can I freeze this jam rather than process it in a water bath? Yes. Instead of funneling the finished jam into hot jars, let it cool until lukewarm. Place it in clean straight sided jars or plastic containers, leaving 1 inch headspace to account for expansion. Cap and freeze for up to 6 months.
Can I reduce the amount of honey? You can reduce the amount of honey, but know that the yield will reduce and the shelf life will shorten.
Can I use vanilla extract instead of vanilla beans or paste? I don’t recommend using vanilla extract in cooked preserves. The flavor won’t be nearly as intense.
Honey Sweetened Strawberry Vanilla Jam
- 4 pounds strawberries
- 2 cups honey, divided
- 2 vanilla beans, split and scraped
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon calcium water, part of the Pomona’s Pectin system
- 1 tablespoon Pomona’s Pectin
- Prepare a boiling water bath canner and 6 half-pint jars.
- Combine the strawberries, 1 1/2 cups honey, vanilla bean seeds, lemon juice, and calcium water in a large, nonreactive pot. Give it several good stirs to help combine the ingredients and dissolve the honey.
- Place the pot over high heat and bring to a boil. Once the fruit boils, reduce the heat to medium-high and continue to cook at a low boil, until the strawberries break down and the volume in the pot has reduced by one-quarter. Depending on the water content in the berries, this will take 15 to 25 minutes.
- While the fruit cooks, stir the pectin powder into the remaining honey. Once the necessary amount of reduction has occurred, stir in the honey and pectin slurry. Return the jam to a boil and cook for an addition 3-4 minutes.
- When the jam is finished cooking, remove it from the heat. Funnel it into the prepared jars, leaving 1/2 inch. Wipe the rims, apply the lids and rings, and process in a boiling water bath for 10 minutes.
- When the time is up, remove the lid from the pot and turn off the heat. Let the jars rest in the cooling water for five minutes. When that time is up, remove jars and set them on a folded kitchen towel to cool.
- When the jars have cooled enough that you can comfortably handle them, check the seals. Sealed jars can be stored at room temperature for up to a year. Any unsealed jars should be refrigerated and used promptly.