Strawberry Jam

rows of jars

Several weeks ago, I got up early on Saturday morning, collected my friend Shay(she’s my regular fruit-picking buddy) and drove half an hour out into the New Jersey countryside. We spent the rest of the morning in the field of Gaventa’s strawberry farm, crouching over the rows of plants, plucking handfuls of berries into our containers.

I stopped picked only when the back of my neck had turned a bright pink (I somehow only got sunscreen on my front, it made for an entertaining burn) and the knees of my jeans were stained red from kneeling on errant berries between the rows.

foam-filled measuring cup

I brought home nearly 15 pounds of hard-earned berries (they were $1.35 a pound, I love how inexpensive things can be when you just invest a bit of your own labor). I washed and chopped nearly all of them (I kept about two quarts unchopped for plain old eating) within a couple of hours of getting them home.

I tossed approximately 10 overflowing cups of the processed berries with two cups of sugar and a broken-up vanilla bean and then tucked them into the fridge for a rest, so that they could get nice and vanilla-y. The rest I frozen in quart-sized yogurt containers, using the sugar syrup method recommended by Doris and Jilly (if you haven’t checked out that site yet, do it. There’s lots of good preserving info there).

filled jars

I actually left the strawberries in the fridge for nearly two days before I got around to making jam. When it came time to cook the berries down, I fished the vanilla pieces out (squeezing out the vanilla seeds so that the jam was beautifully flecked) and then poured the berries and all the juice they had produced into my 10 quart stainless steel pot (this stuff foams, so give yourself plenty of room).

I added the rest of the sugar and then proceeded to cook the crap out of those berries (that’s the official term) in order to assure a good, jammy set.

saucer test

Of all the jams I’ve made so far this year, this one is my very favorite. There’s something special about strawberry jam and when it’s scented with vanilla and so rich in color, it’s just that much more amazing. Get yourself some strawberries and make this jam. Or, if you don’t feel like making your own batch, I do have one half pint jar to give away. Leave a comment by Friday afternoon for a chance to win.

Strawberry Jam

Yield: Approximately Five Pints

Ingredients

  • 10 cups of chopped strawberries (preferably macerated with a split vanilla bean and two cups of sugar over night)
  • 7 cups of sugar (2 cups during maceration + 5 cups at the time of cooking)
  • 2 lemons, zested and juiced
  • 2 packets of liquid pectin (that’s one box total)

Instructions

  1. Fill your canning pot 2/3 with water and put on the stove to bring to a boil (I used a large stock pot for this much jam).
  2. Put berries, sugar and lemon zest/juice in a large pot and cook over medium high heat for about fifteen minutes. You want to really boil the fruit down so that they begin to look syrup-y. If you have an immersion blender, use it at this point to puree some of the fruit. If you don’t, use a blender to puree about half the jam (working in batches, you don’t want hot jam to splash you).
  3. Add the blended jam back to the whole fruit jam. Bring to a boil and squeeze in the pectin. At this point, there will be a bunch of foam on top of the jam. Skim the foam with a large spoon. Let boil for approximately ten minutes more, until the jam looks very syrup-y (when boiling, it should resemble boiling candy).
  4. Lay out your clean jars, you’ll need approximately five pints or 10 half pint jars. Put your lids in a saucepan of hot water in order to soften the sealing compound. Bring a kettle to a boil now as well, in case you need a bit more boiling water for your canning pot.
  5. Fill the jars. Wipe the rims with the edge of a towel dipped in boiling water. Top with lids and screw on rings. Put a rack or folded towel into the bottom of your canning pot (you don’t want the jars to be in direct contact with the bottom of your pot). Carefully lower the jars into the boiling water. You can stack them one on top of the other if need be.
  6. Process for ten minutes in the boiling water. When time is up, remove the jars from the water and put them on a towel on the counter. They should begin to ping fairly quickly, indicated that they’re sealed. If any of your jars don’t seal, make sure to refrigerate them.
https://foodinjars.com/recipe/strawberry-jam/

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190 responses to “Strawberry Jam”

  1. I keep debating whether or not to immediately open up and enjoy the jam we made in your class, or wait until the dead of Winter when it will taste especially sweet.

    Winning this jar would make my decision a little bit easier. 🙂

    Mary, don’t delay the gratification, open the jam! The whole point is to give you a little taste in order to encourage you to make your own! -Marisa

  2. YUM! This looks delicious, and I’m defffffinitely going to try it as my first jam. Even if I win the little jar. 😀

    Wendy, please report back and let me know how it turns out! -Marisa

  3. Strawberry jam was the first one my mom and grandmother showed me out to make. I still do any chance I can when it is strawberry season here (just ended) but did not get the chance to get around to making a full batch. There is something so intoxicating about that aroma. Gorgeous!

    Tartelette, thank you! You’ve got one of the most beautiful blogs around, so that means a lot! -Marisa

  4. Mmmm. Strawberry jam sounds lovely. All I have left is cases and cases of marmalade, which is, I suppose, what you get when you rent a place with multiple orange trees.

    It sounds like you need to find someone with some strawberry jam and trade them for some of your marmalade. -Marisa

  5. I am really inspired by your site. I hope to take up canning very soon.

    Douglas, I’m happy to have inspired you! Don’t be scared, just dive on in to canning! -Marisa

  6. I have not made Jam in years. But when I did, Strawberry was my Son’s fav….I love it too!

    Pat, it sounds like it’s time for you to start making jam again! -Marisa

  7. Strawberry jam is my favorite! I like to make the freezer jam, just because it is so dang easy.

    Pam, freezer jam is quite lovely for its ease. It also has a fresher taste than the cooked stuff. -Marisa

  8. Orange marmalade, and apricot or cherry preserves are also good in cranberry sauce.

    Joelle, that’s a terrific idea! -Marisa

  9. Thank you again for helping me the other night! I failed at my jam experiment but I’m determined to try it again. I think I needed to cook mine more. In the meantime I have lots of tasty strawberry sauce for ice cream 😉

    Erin, I’m so sorry to hear your jam didn’t set! However, there’s nothing wrong with syrup-y jam. It’s wonderful in yogurt! -Marisa

  10. I’ve always wanted to make my own jam… strawberry is by far my favorite… maybe I’ll start with this 🙂

    Beth, making jam isn’t hard. Give it a shot! -Marisa

  11. I found your blog about a week ago and have since decided that my life will simply not be complete until I can make delicious treats like these. You are fantastic. Thanks for sharing! 🙂

    Aww, thanks Michelle! -Marisa

  12. Ooooh, this sounds great. The vanilla must take away just a bit of that candy-sweetness that you usually find in jam. Mmmm. I will definitely try this.

    Kate, the vanilla does cut the sweetness and also gives it is a sophisticated scent. -Marisa

  13. swoon. my jam loving heart is jumping for joy at the sight of this strawberry/vanilla beauty!

    thanks for the Goventa recommendation. I truly enjoyed my first strawberry picking experience, although I ended up making an (average) strawberry pie and noshing on the rest. so, no jam…how sad.

    Alexis, no matter what you did with your berries, I’m glad you got out there and picked! -Marisa

  14. I love strawberry jam. Last year I made several jams: apricot, blackberry, green gage plum and vanilla, jalapeno jelly, etc, but I never used any pectin. For the jalapeno jelly I used whole apples for pectin. Is the store bought pectin absolutely necessary, or not? Whaddaya think?

    (For reference I started with Molly Wizenberg’s jam recipe in Bon Appetit. You can find it here: http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Mixed-Berry-Jam-242544).

    Sarah, very soon, I’m planning on weighing in on the pectin debate. Short answer is that if you use a good pectin, I don’t think there’s anything wrong with it. I like knowing that I’m going to get a consistent product and using pectin gives me that. I also don’t want to spend hours and hours on my jams, and when you don’t use pectin, your cooking time gets significantly longer. But, I applaud those who make successful jam without pectin (I might also envy them just a bit). -Marisa

  15. I never thought to add vanilla to strawberry jam but I think it is a fabulous idea!

    Angie, it’s really amazing. -Marisa

  16. mmmmmm….this looks yummy. My boys still peek whenever I look at this site so they can plan what they want to cook/eat!!!! You are wonderful!

    Aww, thanks Michelle. I’m blushing! -Marisa

  17. Lovely jam! I would love some.

    I really want to start canning but I am a little intimidated to start. Thanks for your resource!

    Whitney, if you’re nervous about canning, I recommend starting with pickles. They are so easy to make and will help build your confidence. -Marisa

  18. Yummy! Strawberries are my favorite. I also just moved, and I brought no jam. And there’s no jam in the fridge, either! I need some. 😀

    Robin, we need to get some jam in your fridge! -Marisa

  19. marisa, your jams keep getting better and better! wish i was closer to philly so i could take your classes and eat it all up!

    Lauren, where are you? Could you make a Philly weekend out of a class sometime? -Marisa

  20. Gosh darn it Marisa, now all I can think about is strawberry jam… nothing… else… at… all…

    Serena, that’s my evil plan. I want everyone to be thinking about jam, all the time! -Marisa

  21. That jam is beautiful!! But I wondered … would you share your recipe for strawberry-rhubar jam?

    Jenn, I just posted it! -Marisa

  22. I made strawberry jam yesterday, but did it without the pectin. I followed a Nigella Lawson recipe and used some white balsamic. I think that I would enjoy the flavor so much more if the jam wasn’t so sweet! It’s seriously toothache-inducing.

    On the bright side, I’m going to my husband’s family reunion next week in Georgia. He insists that their Southern sweet tooths will LOVE it!

    Meghan, I’m sorry to hear that your jam was too sweet. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that your in-laws like it! -Marisa

  23. I have so many memories of strawberry picking with my mom and my siste. My mom had my sis and I wear straw hats with big brims, and she had decorated them with ribbons decorated with strawberries.

    We have a small strawberry plant, but with a harvest of one or two berries at a time, I’ll have to buy some berries to make jam!

    Samantha, what a lovely memory! -Marisa

  24. i am so going to try adding vanilla to my jam this time! cant wait!

    Ann, I can’t wait to hear how it turns out! -Marisa

  25. This post inspires me to want to try jam, which I’m a little bit afraid of since an ill-fated gooseberry incident. I’d love to win a jar of yours to have something to aspire to!

    Amber, don’t let one bad experience sour you to jam! Try again! -Marisa

  26. I actually made strawberry rhubarb jam just last night! My canning book has a recipe for strawberry vanilla, but i was a bit suspicious of how I’d like those flavors together… i’d sure like to try yours!

    Shannon, I know it sounds a little strange, but trust me. Strawberry and vanilla play really nicely together. -Marisa

  27. Oh, man…a little of this on top of some greek yogurt and almonds? Yes please.

    Jessie, that’s one of my favorite ways to use jam. So good! -Marisa

  28. strawberry vanilla? I hadn’t thought of that but it sounds amazing. I should do that while strawberries are still really cheap and in season.

    Melissa, exactly! -Marisa

  29. The main reason I need to win is because my jam ended up dull. 🙁 I think the vanilla bean idea is brilliant, but Husband says not another flat this year. He thinks 21 jars is enough. Do you?

    Oh no! I’m so sorry that your jam is dull. If you’re really unhappy with it, you could uncan it all, heat it all back up, add something to punch up the flavor and recan. It’s a lot of work, but if you aren’t going to want to eat it throughout the year, the energy investment might be worth it. -Marisa

  30. I found your website because I will be canning for the first time this year and have been scouring the internet for easy yet interesting canning recipes. The strawberry/vanilla combination sounds great. I too would love to get a 1/2 pint jar of yours as a measure of what the jam is supposed to taste like.

    We have huge blackberry bushes (though I think they could legally be called trees now) growing in our back yard that are just becoming ripe this week. I would love any creative jam recipes you have.

    It’s going to be a little while until the blackberries are ripe here, but I will have at least one recipe up a bit later in the summer. My trick with blackberry jam is to work it through a strainer prior to canning, to deseed it. It makes for amazingly wonderful, smooth jam. -Marisa

  31. I picked up jars on my lunch break because of this post. Seriously. Besides the vanilla-y smell, did you get much flavor infused from the bean?

    Holly, I did get good vanilla flavor, but I let it soak in for a full 48 hours. My mom did for just a day and ended up adding about a teaspoon of vanilla extract to the jam, because she didn’t feel like she got the flavor level she wanted from the day with a vanilla bean. -Marisa

  32. I stumbled on this post and it made me remember the strawberry jam my great grandmother used to make. She made the best, and it wasn’t until just before her death that we found out she added a little vanilla to her jam too, a trick that my grandmother adopts from time to time in her honor. There’s just something about that little extra note that makes the whole batch bloom 🙂 Thanks for reminding me 🙂

    I’m happy to have helped remind you! -Marisa

  33. So beautiful. I do intend to make my own, but to be honest, I also want yours. Gluttony in jars!

    Carolyn, I’m so glad you’ll be making a batch of your own! -Marisa

  34. ever heard Michelle Shocked’s song Strawberry Jam? If not, you absolutely must. I’d send it to you if I was tech savvy enough.

    You’re not the first person to say I should check out that song. I don’t know it, but am heading to iTunes now. -Marisa

  35. hmmm, I don’t recall my mom ever adding vanilla to strawberry jam. Well, she’s been reading your blog, so maybe she will try it this year?

    Fran, I hope she does!

  36. Oh, vanilla beans in strawberry jam. How divine. I haven’t made strawberry jam in years. As soon as the fresh strawberries are ready to pick here in northern MN, I will be out gathering and will come home to make this beautiful jam. Thank you for sharing.

    My pleasure!

  37. Of all the jams you’ve listed on here, this one sounds the most amazing! I’d love to get my hands on a jar!

    Thanks Tim!

  38. This made me ask my mom for all her old canning jars, but sadly he gave them away last year! I am so sad! It looks so yummy I need to try some! I’m sad I can’t make your next jam class, might you be offering private lessons?

    Oh, what a bummer, Wendy! I am actually thinking about having a jam party at my place. I’ll let you know!

  39. I can’t get the sound out of my head now of Michelle Shocked singing “we were making jam….Strawberry jam! Well, if you want the best jam, you’ve got to make your own.” I’m going to try going picking this weekend.

    Yay for strawberry picking!

  40. I am pretty sure I’m not going to get to making my own jam before the end of strawberry season, but it looks terrific and I’d love to win a jar!

    Karen, get yourself out to pick up some strawberries and just make a small batch!

  41. So beautiful! I have actually taken your idea and have been eating some strawberry rhubarb jam from last year in plain yogurt. Very tasty. And great idea about letting the berries macerate with the vanilla bean.

    Tara, I’m so glad to hear you’ve been enjoying jam in yogurt. It’s one of my favorite things!

  42. Mmmm, those jars look beautiful. I love berry picking – must make it a point to do that this summer.

    Tina, we’re coming to the end of strawberry season, but there are still blueberries and blackberries to be had!

  43. Ooh, I would love to taste that jam. I made apple butter last year, my first adventure in canning, and I’m determined to make berry jams this year. The vanilla bean and strawberry combo sounds fantastic.

    Carly, isn’t apple butter wonderful! I make a couple of batches each fall.

  44. I made it! I couldn’t find a pick your own, but I found an Amish produce stand that had home grown berries. They were amazing and in no way compare to the store bought berries. I halved the recipe and used a lime instead of a lemon. The lime did change the taste but not drastically or in a bad way. 🙂 It was fabulous-and the color was amazing. Deep ruby red. The whole process reminded me of when I was a little girl and I would go pick strawberries with my grandmother and then freeze or jam them. Thanks for the reminder! 🙂

  45. Nicki, I don’t have a box of pectin in front of me, so I’m not sure. It is the contents of one box of liquid pectin, each box contains two packets of pectin.

  46. Thank you for a fantastic recipe! This was my first time making strawberry jam and it has turned great. I’m so glad I didn’t use the box recipe. Your recipe is definitely going to be one of our standards. I did add a half teaspoon of butter which significantly reduced the foaming. I was a little uncertain about adding two packets of pectin, but it my jam set was perfect (I used Certo brand). The only thing was that my yield was lower-9 and 1/2 jars (8oz.) per batch instead of 14 jars. Tomorrow morning we are making our third and last batch of the season! My husband and I are now planning for more canning sessions – apricot, peaches, maybe nectarines, and pickles (sweet and dill), and whatever else inspires us. I’m glad I found your site!

    • Wow, I’m sorry to hear that you felt that the lemon killed the flavor. The thing I find with jam making is that every batch is a little bit different, so even with the best recipe (and I’m not saying that mine is the best), there’s always a little flavor variation. The strawberries I used in my jam were really, really flavorful and sweet, so the lemon worked nicely to tame the sweetness without dampening the natural flavor. However, the mileage does vary, which you’ve discovered.

  47. Hi. I am new to making jam and made my first batch following this recipe today! I am worried I did something wrong though. The cans pinged, but it still looks a little runny in the jars. Does that mean it didn’t “set”? Also, the strawberries seem to be migrating to the top and leaving more liquid at the bottom. Any thoughts on what I may have done wrong? I am going to try again.

  48. help!! i made this yesterday (my first time to make jam). i thought i did everything right, but it’s been almost 24 hrs and the jam isn’t set! what did i do wrong??? thanks for your help!!

  49. Just wanted to say thank you for the recipe.. We made the jam this morning. We did not wait very long to taste it, didn’t have to it set right away and lids popped in seconds. The Strawberry vanilla smell in my house is to die for.. I like that it used half the sugar that the commercial pectin recipes were calling for. I cannot imagine any more sugar. Thanks again. I will be passing this recipe around a lot and credit will be all yours! Have you ever made jam with honey? We are beekeepers and like to use honey when we can. I would love your input. Thanks in advance.

  50. Just made this jam this afternoon and it was my first time canning. Your recipe did a great job of taking the intimidation out of the canning process. I did struggle with the jam’s consistency and don’t have the nerve to see if I have jam or strawberry sauce in my jars. What is more important – staying true to the recipe or boiling the sauce until it is the right consistency? I ended up boiling for about 20 minutes and then stopped, as I was worried that I was negating all that the pectin was put in there to do. I only ended up with 9 jars but it could be because of my longer boiling. They did not ping right away but I think that all of them did eventually. Thanks for helping me get up the nerve to try this recipe!

  51. Hi Marisa, I found your canning blog several days ago and I’ve been making my way through all your entries and bookmarking several recipes to try out! I actually just got a water bath canning pot yesterday and made my first batch of strawberry jam this afternoon. It turned out really delicious, but when I processed the jars in the water bath, all the berries rose to the top of the jam. I seem to recall reading the reason for that somewhere on this blog, but of course I went searching and couldn’t find it! Could you tell me what causes this? It seems to have set just fine, it isn’t runny or syrupy, but it would be more aesthetically pleasing if the berries were evenly dispersed throughout 🙂 Any tips?

  52. Hello! I have never followed a blog in my life ~ I fell in love with yours instantly. I intend to begin canning again after parting from it for nearly 15 years. The strawberry jam is beautiful! Best regards, Kimberly

  53. I have never followed a blog before either but I came across yours when I was looking for some good pickling recipes and now jam. I’m loving your blog even more now!

  54. I know this is an older post, but I just got around to really reading it. i plan on making some of this jam as soon as berries come in. I just received my vanilla beans in the mail.
    Anyway, you mentioned putting a towel in the bottom of the boiling water bath. I’ve never heard of this before. Have you done it? I have a bit of a safety concern. I just want to make sure this is safe. I don’t have a rack for my pot.

    • Brandee, if you don’t have a rack to put at the bottom of your canning pot, a towel is an acceptable substitute. I’ve done it before to no ill effects. The one thing to know is that when there are no jars in the pot, the towel will float. However, as you start to put the jars it, they anchor it down and keep it in place.

  55. I’m planning on making several variations on this jam in the very near future–strawberries are coming in here in East TN. However, I have a question: how much Pomona’s pectin would I use to substitute for the liquid pectin?

    • Kat, I don’t really use Pomona’s pectin, so I can’t advise you on its use. I’d recommend checking out either Put ‘Em Up or Canning for a New Generation.

  56. I halved the recipe, and I have a little more than two pints in the water bath right now. So excited to try this when it’s finished!

  57. This will be the first jam I try and make! (Yah, I’m excited!) But I’m wondering, is there a way to see if the jam has been cooked long enough to set? Is there a certain temperature or I read something about a freezer plate test in another recipe?

    Any tips to avoid failure would be great! 🙂

    • Kristen, if you have a candy thermometer, you can use it to cook the jam up to 220 degrees (that’s the point at which sugar sets). The plate test involves putting a few small plates or saucers into the freezer before you start to cook the jam. Then, when it feels like it’s getting close to done, pull one of the cold plates out and drop a small dollop of jam on it. Put it back in the freezer for a minute or two. When you pull it out again, gently bump your finger against the jam. If it’s done, it will have formed a thin skin which will wrinkle when nudged. If it wrinkles, it’s done. If it’s not done, it will just be runny strawberry syrup. Cook it longer in that case.

  58. Hi Marisa,

    I made this jam last night. It looks delectable! But unfortunately, I woke up this morning and it wasn’t set to the right “jammy” consistency. I normally don’t use pectin in my recipes; I’m more accustomed to the slow-cook method, but this recipe looked so good that I had to give it a try. I followed the directions perfectly and it didn’t turn out…Do you still have to do the gel test when using pectin? Is there any way I can save my already jarred jam? Can I just take it out of the jars and re-cook it?

    Thanks!
    Kristin

    • Kristin, this is a fairly loosely set jam. However, if you are unhappy with the consistency, you can take it out of the jars and recook it. Even when you work with pectin, you’ve got to check the set. Remember, set depends on the amount of moisture in the fruit, the weather an even the variety of pectin you use.

  59. Any reason why I couldn’t use Vanilla Paste instead of beans? Just bought a gallon bucket of Strawberries and am anxious to try this recipe.

  60. Is there anyway to tell if the jar is sealed other than the pinging? I heard 2 or 3 pings but don’t know for sue which ones were the culprit:) Also what would be the reason for them not sealing if I followed the directions?

    • Usually the next day, I take the rings off and lift the jar up (just an inch off the table) by just the lid to make sure its sealed.

  61. I was actually planning on going strawberry picking tomorrow with my family. Can’t wait to come home and make this jam!!

  62. Hi there! I have the strawberries, sugar, and vanilla sitting in the fridge, just waiting to be made into delicious jam. 🙂
    Quick question, though–is it 5 cups sugar total, or 2 cups overnight + 5 additional cups? The directions were a bit unclear to me.
    Thank you, as always!

  63. Just finished making the strawberry jam and realized I only added one package of pectin instead of two. What difference will it make?

  64. Hi Marisa,
    We just moved to China from the US and I have no idea where to get pectin here. Could you please suggest a few substitutes for store bought pectin? I am dying to make some jam. I did try some small batches (don’t know where to buy cans either) of mango pineapple jam (using lemon) and that turned out really good but I did see someone mention in the comments that the lemon killed the flavour of the strawberries. The berries here in Shanghai aren’t super sweet, so I fear the lemon might not do much good 🙁
    Thanks,
    Veena.

    • Veena, there’s really nothing that can substitute for pectin. You could try making smaller batches. I wouldn’t suggest skipping the lemons, because their juice actually adds pectin.

      • Nutiva organic Chia Seed. It works great. You can find recipes on the net. I made both strawberry and blue berry. Was great and not overly sweet.

  65. Help! I made this recipe last year – loved the flavor, but the consistency was more sauce-like. Although, it was my first time canning, so I chalked it up to canning novice-ness. Anyway, made 4 batches this week, with about 18lbs of hard picked strawberries, and it still turned out really really runny. I remade about 4 pints of the jam thinking I might need to remake all 22 jars (ugh!). The pectin pkg says it could take up to 2 weeks, so I’ll compare them in a week or so. But, in the meantime, any thoughts? If I just recook it and make sure it hits 220* would that work to gel it up better?

    Also, I used my copy of the recipe from last summer which says 7 cups of sugar (2 w/ the vanilla + 5 more during/at time of cooking).

    • So sorry that your jam was runny! I’ve found that the Certo brand liquid pectin just isn’t as good as it once was, which could be part of the problem. You can always substitute powdered pectin for a better set. Four tablespoons would do the trick.

      • I’m making some of this jam this weekend, and was going to go the powdered pectin route. Do you add powdered at the same time you’d add liquid?

        It occurred to me to wonder in general, what dictates WHEN pectin is added to a jam? It seems like the timing would affect jam set. Some recipes include pectin from the start – even mixed in with the sugar (e.g., your blueberry jam recipe) – while with other recipes, you add pectin right at the end, then strictly time the jam before taking it off the stove (e.g., Ball canning recipes from the packets).

  66. Just wondering if you have any recipes {new to this site :)} that you could use splenda or a generic? Don’t get me wrong I LOVE sugar but it doesn’t love me. 🙁

    • Mandy, I don’t really do much with artificial sweeteners, they’re just not my thing. When I want to make a product that’s lower in sugar, I make a fruit butter instead of a jam. You cook it slowly for a long time, in order to remove the water and concentrate the natural sweetness. If you look at my recipe archive, you’ll find a whole section on fruit butters. My friend Shae did make a sugar-free jam recently using fruit juice as the sweetener. The post is here: http://hitchhikingtoheaven.com/2011/07/sugar-free-cherry-blueberry-jam-2.html

    • Use 3/4 splenda or equal for every 4 cups of berries I am a diabetic also so understand they also have the low sugar no sugar pectin you can use

  67. I love your site. You are truly an inspiration. I found it looking for a “how to” on homemade butter. I’d never considered canning before and I’ve since made the butter and all kinds of jams and pickles…even ketchup. Thanks for the motivation!

  68. I have been making jams,preserves,and butters all summer from not so sellable produce from the grocery store. I was intreiged with using a vanilla bean in the masserating process…… so got me thinking of making some home made pure vanilla extract… long story short bought 5 bourbon vanilla beans to make a first attempt at vanilla extract and did a double batch of your strawberry jam. I didn’t use the lemon and only used 4 cups of sugar, and 2 pouches of liquid pectin…. made 2 half pints and 6 pints with the last pint only 3/4 the way full…. Just pulled them out of the water bath…My BF tells me that I have bottled perfection….. (was hoping that there would be a smig left in the pan to go on an english muffin but alas it wasn’t the case). Hats off to you and your fab recipe.

  69. I have a question. I’m making strawberry jam later this month, but I don’t have any special equipment (about to start law school = no money to buy equipment :(). I making it with my cousin, and we decided that we’d just make enough for ourselves and maybe our families and that we wouldn’t preserve it. Someone suggested we just put it in cleaned mason jars and use it up in about a week. Is that doable? Is it okay to not sterilize/preserve so long as we eat it before it goes moldy? About how long would it be safe to eat? We like the idea of starting out simple without having to worry about the whole complicated preserving process.

    Any tips would be much appreciated. We’re so excited about learning how to make jam, but feeling rather intimidated by the process. Thanks!

  70. I run a B&B here on the Eastern Mediterranean Island of Cyprus and have been making my own conserves for a good number of years. People just love the idea of their food being made from home grown produce. I have never used pectin or preserving sugar and have mixed other fruits in as well as vanilla, extract in my case as i can’t find the real thing here, and find that if you use the correct amount of sugar and cook for long enough you get a great consistency of jams/marmalades. My advice is don’t panic just go with the best recipe you can find, a matter of trial and error, and you can even use the errors…mix with yoghurt, add to fruit pies , crumbles…..ooooh endless delicious possibilities.

  71. I used this recipe as the base for a batch of jam this weekend. I skipped the vanilla, substituted limes for lemons (juice from 3 limes, zest from 4.) It was a little more sour than I wanted, so I added an extra cup of sugar. I’m really pleased with the way it turned out! The strawberry flavor is strongest at the beginning, but the lime hits you on the backswing and builds bite after bite. I forgot to skim off the foam, so my jam has some pink frothy spots. Oh well, I’ll remember next time! I have enough strawberries for another batch of jam, and I think I’ll do the vanilla next.

    Your blog has so much inspiration material! Thank you!

  72. When I saw this recipe, I was intrigued because usually jams and jellies have almost double the volume of sugar to fruit, which I find unattractive. It’s amazing that you’re able to reverse the amounts here and still come out with an amazing product. Mine turned a brilliant ruby red and is absolutely delicious. I even saved the skimmed foam and am using that. Thank you so much for making this awesome recipe available to the public! P.S. You pushed me to try something new: I’ve never used the liquid pectin (Certo, in my case) before.

  73. Hi Marissa,

    My strawberries are macerating as I type. I was reading the comment about the runny jam. How can I make mine not so runny? Do I add more sugar?

    • Cathie, I know I’m too late to help, but the best insurance against runny jam is to keep checking the set by monitoring the temperature of the jam and observing the droplets as they fall off a spoon. Adding more sugar won’t do it.

  74. […] this year i was determined to get things right.  i tried a new recipe from food in jars. this strawberry recipe used vanilla beans.  i was intrigued.  and i must say, it is HEAVEN in a jar. if you stop my way, […]

  75. Hi Marissa,

    I made this Jam last year and it ended up really runny. I love the flavor and want to make it again but was wondering if you have any tips to thicken it up? Thanks for being an inspiration!!

  76. I made this tonight. It’s amazing. Way too much sugar though. I doubled the amount of berries (20 cups of berries), but used only five cups of sugar. it’s plenty sweet (my berries were picked in NJ and already were like candy!). I also used Pamona’s Pectin instead of the liquid so I could cut the sugar. The vanilla bean adds a nice flavor dimension. Thanks!

  77. […] and went to my jam-guru blog, but alas, found no fig recipes. Check her out anyway. Especially her strawberry vanilla jam recipe, which the Power Rangers call CRACK JAM. I dole it out to them when feeling queenly and […]

  78. This looks great… I have a question about the amount of sugar, though. In your recipe narrative, you said you used two cups of sugar (while macerating the strawberries) and then added five more cups later. But in the recipe at the bottom of the post, you list five cups of sugar and say that it “includes any sugar you added during the maceration step”. So is it a total of seven cups or a total of five? I just don’t want to end up with to little sugar, but don’t want to add more if I don’t need to. My berries are macerating now :). Just want to make sure I get things right. Thanks for the recipe… can’t wait to see how it turns out.

  79. I just finished experimenting with using this as my first jam recipe ever! I tasted the foam and it seemed more like strawberry lemonade instead of strawberry vanilla. Is this okay? I would have figured it would be less lemony. I haven’t made labels so not afraid to call them strawberry lemonade jam if this is the case.

    • It could be that your berries weren’t as sweet as mine. You should be able to taste the lemon, but it shouldn’t be crazily prominent.

  80. I introduced my Wife to PYO last year with Raspberries and she loved it, although maybe a bit sick from eating more than she put in her basket.

    I’ve not thought of using vanilla in strawberry jam But will be trying it later this year.

    Great site will be taking a look at other tips i can get 🙂

  81. I’m sorry for the confusion again about the amount of sugar in this recipe. I saw that you responded to a comment that it was 5 cups total, but I see that the recipe clearly states 7 cups including the maceration?

    I made this jam exactly following these directions and boiling to 220 degrees for the times suggested and had the opposite problem as everyone else, my jam was far too overcooked! It even burnt on the very bottom of my pot. I was quite disappointed. Next time I will have to cook it far less longer.

    • Sara, here’s what happened. Awhile back, I tried to update the recipe to represent how I was currently making it and so I reduced the amount of sugar. However, it ended up confusing people and so I changed it back. It will work as it is written.

      I am sorry to hear that your jam burned. Were you stirring it regularly and moving the jam along the bottom? As it approaches 220 degrees F, you have to stir almost constantly. It could also be that your thermometer isn’t perfectly accurate. Whatever the reason, I am sorry that your jam burned.

      • Thank you so much for your response! I think it was a combination of not enough stirring, as well as overlooking as the jam is a bit gummy. I am going to give it another go today 🙂

        I am happy to see it works with both amounts of sugar, I originally used 7 cups but usually prefer things a bit less sweet (and am trying to be health conscious) so am going to try it with 5 today. Thank you again! Absolutely love your site and again appreciate your response.

  82. I’m new to all this jam making business so I have a perhaps silly question: can I substitute Pomona’s pectin for the liquid pectin in this recipe? Thanks a lot.

  83. My vanilla beans didn’t arrive in time for this (well, they showed the morning after I set the berries to macerating in the fridge) as my first attempt last week ended up very, very firm. I’ll chalk that up to taking the farmers market at their word that the quart was truly a quart without weighing (using the recipe published in the your first book). Wondering what to do, I remembered I have, at times, sprinkled anisette sugar on my cut berries. I excitedly stuck 3 star anise in the with berries…….the result is heavenly! It’s the perfect combination of strawberry goodness with a hint of licorice! I cannot wait to spoon this into my morning yogurt!

  84. Hi going to try this jam today but every where I look vanilla bean is so outrageous! Can I substitute with pure vanilla extract and if so how much of it? 🙂

    • I would recommend substituting some other flavor enhancer rather than using vanilla extract. The flavor will cook off and leave you with nothing.

  85. I made this recipe a few weeks ago, and while the taste is great, it did not set properly (it’s more like a syrup). I’m going to try to fix it, but may leave some as syrup to use in drinks or for breakfast syrup.

  86. HELP! I have made this jam before with the best results, but just realized that the batch I’m currently about to start cooking may have less sugar than was called for in the recipe. I’m not sure how much less, do I need to toss it and start over? Do I need to adjust the pectin? Help! And thank you.

  87. I just finished my first batch of this jam … It’s very good, but I really don’t taste or smell the vanilla bean. Maybe add two beans instead of only one? Either way, it’s a keeper! Thank you for posting!

  88. I just made a double batch of this strawberry jam. The ratio of sugar to fruit and 1/4 cup lemon juice and zest from a Meyer lemon produced a wonderful frest and bright flavor without being overly sweet. This was only the 2nd time I’ve made strawberry jam. I didn’t have a vanilla bean, but would like to add that next time. I also didn’t use an immersion blender. I prefer to cut the berries and as they are cooking, mash with a potatoe masher. Putting a folded towel in the bottom of the pan for processing is brilliant. I’m looking forward to trying more of your recipes!

  89. Made this jam this morning with some spectacular organic strawberries. The set is perfect & the taste divine. Thanks for the great recipe as always!

  90. I just wanted to say that I come back to this recipe every year, thank you! One of these years, I’ll remember to write/print it out. Until then, don’t take it down 😉

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