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Easy Strawberry Jam - No Added Pectin or Preservatives

The easiest strawberry jam you could make. Whole strawberries or large pieces in sugar, with lemon juice to add that touch of tartness. Step by step instructions to tell you when the jam is ready!
Prep Time25 mins
Cook Time45 mins
Total Time1 hr 10 mins
Course: Jam
Cuisine: American, british
Keyword: Jam, Natural ingredients, No added Pectin, Strawberries, Strawberry Jam
Servings: 16 servings
Calories: 43kcal
Author: Sujata Shukla


  • 300 gms Whole strawberries about 2 cups with tops removed
  • 150 gms Granulated sugar about ¾ cup (50% of strawberry weight)
  • 24 ml Lemon juice ½ tablespoon (8 ml) + 1 tablespoon (16 ml)
  • 60 ml Water about ¼ cup



  • Wash, drain and dry the strawberries well. Gently slice off the leaves at the top. Either take away a thin slice of the top, or cut a 'v' into the top to prise the leaves out.
  • Slice the strawberries into 2, length wise ( I often add them whole if they are not overlarge).
    Place the strawberries in a bowl ( I prefer a glass bowl), add sugar. Add ½ tablespoon of lemon juice. Stir gently till all the sugar is moistened.
    Cover the bowl and allow to stand at room temperature for 10-15 minutes
    Meanwhile, place 4-5 large spoons in the freezer so that they are ready for testing the 'doneness' of the jam.

Making Strawberry Jam

  • Heat a heavy bottomed pan on the stove. The height should be about double the volume that the strawberries will occupy, to give sufficient room for making the jam.
    Transfer the strawberry mixture to the pan.
    Add water, stir well but gently.
  • Keeping the heat on low, cook the berries in the water till all the sugar melts. Stir frequently so that it doesn't catch at the bottom of the pan.
    Once the mixture begins to bubble, you may get a faint aroma of strawberries. This could take very little time (about 3 minutes) for small volumes as in this recipe, or up to about 15 minutes for larger quantities.
    Continue to cook the fruit mixture on low heat, stirring frequently. Foam will begin to form on the surface.
  • Keep stirring as the jam cooks, still on low heat, until the foam subsides. This may take 15-25 minutes or more. At this stage, you could remove the foam on the surface, with a dry wooden spoon or ladle. The aroma from the jam will be stronger now and the jam will show signs of thickening.
  • Taste the jam by taking a little on a dry spoon, allowing it to cool before you taste. If the jam is sweet, add the remaining lemon juice, a few drops at a time, stirring well and tasting at each stage. Once the jam reaches a balance of tart and sweet, i.e. when the lemon flavour is just barely perceptible, stop adding lemon juice. You don't want the lemon flavour to overtake the taste of strawberries.
  • Allow the jam to cook, stirring periodically, till the bubbling reduces (5-15 minutes). The jam will have a glossy shine, and will show thickening at the edge of the pan. Remember that it will thicken further as it cools.

Frozen Spoon Test for Strawberry Jam

  • Turn off the heat.
    Remove one of the spoons you had placed in the freezer, and immediately add a dollop of jam on it. Tilt the spoon and see how the jam moves across its surface. If the jam holds together and does not run off the spoon, but moves forward very slowly, it is done.
    If it is runny, turn on the heat again, on low, and continue to cook. Keep stirring frequently to prevent scorching. Repeat the spoon test every 5 minutes, till the jam passes the test.
    (Note: The Serious Eats blog advises that jam be added to the frozen spoon and the spoon replaced in the freezer for upto 5 minutes, and then checked for runniness/ whether done.)
    Transfer while hot to sterilized jam jars. Wipe off the top and sides of the jar for any jam sticking to them. Allow the jam to cool completely and close the lids.
    My strawberry jam keeps good for months in the freezer. I keep it in small jars, taking out just one jar at a time, and placing it in the fridge till I've used up all the jam in that jar. I make sure I use only dry spoons for taking out the jam.


Serving: 20gm | Calories: 43kcal | Carbohydrates: 11g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 1mg | Potassium: 30mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 10g | Vitamin A: 2IU | Vitamin C: 12mg | Calcium: 3mg | Iron: 1mg