Low Sugar Apricot Strawberry Jam

June 16, 2016(updated on August 30, 2021)

This sweet, tangy, and bright apricot strawberry jam is the perfect marriage of early season stonefruit and juicy berries. Try it stirred into yogurt or as a glaze for roast chicken.

A stainless steel pan, filled with chopped apricots and strawberries.

Several weeks ago, before the local season for either apricots or strawberries started, I found myself wandering through Reading Terminal Market. I was there to pick up a few things for a recipe development gig, and had no intention of buying out-of-season fruit that had traveled great distances.

A stainless steel pan filled with sugared apricots and strawberries.

I was walking with purpose towards the herbs, when the sight of a pile of tiny, brightly hued apricots stopped me mid-step and I was suddenly powerless to resist them. Before I knew what I was doing, I had a plastic bag in my hand and I was filling it with perfect fruit. With the bag nestled into my basket, I went a few more steps before I was again stopped by a display of incredibly fragrant strawberries. They joined the apricots. This is the not the first time I’ve fallen sway to fruit.

The chopped and sugared apricots and strawberries, after they've sat and gotten juicy.

Once home, I snacked on the fruit a bit (both to get a sense of their state of sweet and tart, and because it all smelled so good) and then weighed out what remained. I worked up a recipe ratio in my head and got to the work of pitted, hulling, and chopping.

The fully cooked apricot strawberry jam.

In the end, I used 2 1/2 pounds of apricots and 1 1/2 pounds of strawberries. Using a ratio of four parts fruit to one part sugar, I measured out 2 cups of sugar, which is approximately 1 pound. I settled the fruit into my Kilner jam pan, added most of the sugar, gave it a good stir, and then let it sit for several hours, so that the sugar could dissolve and help draw the juice from the fruit. Later, I added some lemon juice to help balance the flavors, and used Pomona’s Pectin to get it to set up.

Five half pint jars filled with apricot strawberry jam.

Once cooked, I had exactly five half pints of really delicious jam, that starts with the flavor of apricots and finishes with the strawberry. I typically keep a box of recently made jams and preserves next to my front door, so that I can easily grab things to share with friends and neighbors. However, this is one that I’ve actively kept out of the box, because I want to keep it all for myself. It’s just that good.

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Low Sugar Apricot Strawberry Jam


  • 2 1/2 pounds apricots pitted and chopped
  • 1 1/2 pounds strawberries hulled and chopped
  • 2 cups sugar divided
  • 1 lemon juiced
  • 1 tablespoon calcium water
  • 1 tablespoon Pomona's Pectin powder


  • Combine the chopped apricots and strawberries in a large, wide non-reactive pan. Add 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar and stir to combine. Let the fruit sit and get juicy for at least an hour.
  • When you're ready to cook, prepare a canning pot and 5 half pints.
  • Add the lemon juice and calcium water to the pot. Stir vigorously to combine.
  • Set the pot over high heat and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium high and cook until the apricot slices come apart, the berries break down, and the liquid thickens.
  • Whisk the pectin powder into the reserved sugar. Add the pectin-spiked sugar to the cooking fruit in two or three batches, stirring to integrate between each addition.
  • Cook for an additional minute or two, until you see visible signs of thickening.
  • Remove the jam from the heat and funnel it into prepared jars. Wipe the rims, apply the lids and rings, and process in a boiling water bath canner for 10 minutes.

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17 thoughts on "Low Sugar Apricot Strawberry Jam"

  • This looks yummy. Can I use different brands of pectin equally? I have the Sur-jel low and no sugar pectin. I’ve never seen Pamona’s in a store.

  • Hi, I’m currently living in Israel. I can’t always find the ingredients I need. Can I use frozen strawberries? Can I use demerara (raw) sugar in place of white sugar? I don’t think I can find calcium powder, and all I have is “regular” pectin.

    One more question, I’m new to canning. I brought a huge pressure canner with me. Can I also use that for a “water bath” canner if I put a trivet or something on the bottom?

    Thank you very much

    1. You can try it with frozen strawberries and raw sugar. As far as the pectin goes, feel free to try it. I just don’t know if there’s enough sugar in this recipe to activate it. And you can always drop a rack into the bottom of your pressure canner and use it as a water bath.

  • A little confused by the pectin — 1 TB calcium powder or 1 TB calcium water?
    Sounds like something I need to try…

  • This sounds so yummy! This is definitely going on the summer canning to do list for me! Pinned and sharing!

  • This looks amazing! I’ve never used Pomona’s pectin before and this looks like a dandy recipe to try it out on!

  • So just curious. Ive seen you say before that you use about half the amount of Ponoma’s to get a softer set. Does this need more than you would normally use?

    1. I use half as much as the package instructions call for. The amount written in this recipe is how I make it.

    1. You could swap in peaches for the apricots, but this preserve will not set up without the pectin. It will be sauce.

  • I totally understand the power fruit, beautiful vegetables and herbs have over one. It’s like they’re calling out to me! LOL!

  • Yum! This looks like the perfect way to use up the extra apricots on our tree! Would it be safe to can this in pint size jars? And any chance I could swap honey for the sugar? Thanks 🙂

    1. It’s perfectly fine to can this in pint jars. It’s always fine to move between pints and half pints. No need to make any other changes. As far as swapping in honey for the sugar, you can do that. As this is already a relatively low sugar recipe, I’d use the same amount of honey as sugar.

  • I just made this recipe – it is fantastically tasty! However, I came out with WAY more jam than the recipe suggests – closer to 8-9 half pints than 5 half pints. I’m quite confident I measured my quantities correctly (measured before pitting the apricots), and when I look at other recipes with 4lbs of fruit, they also appear to produce approximately 8 half-pints. The pectin meant the jam jelled quite quickly, so perhaps I did not cook it down long enough? Would love any insights into the reason for the quantity difference, and if I should be concerned about the safety of my jam! Thank you for all of the great recipes and tips you share on this site.

    1. Yields can vary pretty wildly, though it is unusual to have such a vast gulf. My guess is that perhaps you weighed your fruit before you prepped it rather than after? Or that you didn’t cook it as long as I did. You have no need to be concerned about the safety of your finished jam, though. It’s plenty high in acid to be safely shelf stable.