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Easy Strawberry Jam. We be jammin’.

For years, I made Easy Freezer Jam, but freezer space is such a finite thing. What I really wanted was a jam that tasted as fresh as freezer jam, but would also hold up to canning. But whenever I tried canning jam, it would never thicken properly, and it was always so sweet that it hurt my teeth. Thankfully, at the Mother Earth News Fair a few years ago, I was introduced to Pomona’s Pectin thanks to Sherri Brooks Vinton, author of Put ’em Up!  Making strawberry jam with Pomona’s was love at first bite. And now I get to make Easy Strawberry Jam exactly how I like it – not too sweet and tasting of spring.

First, a little tutorial on Pomona’s, cause I couldn’t figure out how to use it at first.  Pomona’s comes with two little packages; calcium powder, and pectin.  Pectin is the component that is added to jam to that makes it “gel”. Most brands need insane amounts of sugar to create that perfect gel.  Pomona’s pectin is activated by the calcium with just a touch of sugar.  :confetti:

This is the calcium powder.  You mix 1/2 tsp of it with 1/2 cup of water.  It’s gonna last you a long time!

This is the pectin.Now that we have that cleared up, let’s get to the jammin’.

Can I share a pro tip with you? Yes? No? Oh well, I can’t hear you because this is just a computer screen and I’m sitting on my couch. I really hate canning. Yep, it’s true. But for me, it is one of those things where the good outweighs the bad, so I keep doing it. But, the summer is such a horrible time to can because the garden is vomiting fresh produce that demands immediate attention, and the kitchen is stupid hot. Now, with many items, strawberries included, I simply freeze the berries and wait until fall to can. To freeze berries like a boss, lay some parchment on a rimmed baking sheet, and add the berry in a single layer. Once the parchment is covered with berries, add another layer of parchment and fill that up with berries. Repeat until you have a layer cake of berries. Freeze for 12 hours, and then remove the berries and store in freezer-proof Ziplocs. Since you froze them individually, you can remove as many berries as you want when you need them. Unless of course you like using an ice pick to hack at a giant brick of berries when you just needed 1 cup.

Easy Strawberry Jam

Every year just prior to conference week, Jack’s school sends out a sign-up form for all the parents. They set a theme and ask for food/dish donations for lunch for the teachers and staff. As the daughter of a former elementary teacher, I can tell you long those days are during conference week. And everyone gets hungry, and cranky talking to families day after day. I love how his school handles this, and it’s a fun way for the parents to give back to the people who make the school run. Last fall, their theme was soup and carbs. I sent homemade biscuits and home canned strawberry jam. I went to get the dish the day after and the lovely office staff were raving about the fresh taste of the jam. That is why I will forever use Pomona’s Pectin to make jam. You cannot compare the taste of lightly sweetened jam to the overly sugared product that most people make. Pomona’s allows for the freshness of the fruit to shine. Pomona’s is the secret sauce of my Easy Strawberry Jam, and it owns my heart.

Easy Strawberry JamFun fact: in our house, we call jam “jam on” because when Troy was little, he thought that was the actual name for jam. His mom would make sandwiches and say “Troy, do you want some jam on it”?

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Easy Strawberry Jam
Print
5 from 1 vote
Easy Strawberry Jam
Prep Time
20 mins
Cook Time
20 mins
Total Time
40 mins
 

A step by step tutorial on making your own homemade Easy Strawberry Jam.

Course: DIY
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Easy Strawberry Jam
Servings: 48 servings
Calories: 50 kcal
Author: Sarah
Ingredients
  • 8 cups of strawberries tops removed
  • 2.5 tsp Pomona's Pectin
  • 2.5 tsp calcium water
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1/4 cup bottled lemon juice do not use fresh
Instructions
Prep for the canning part
  1. Prepare your water bath canner by filling it with water, and setting it on the stove.

  2. Wash and sanitize the jars. I put them in a lasagna pan with 2 inches of water, and then put everything in the oven at 250 degrees.

    Easy Strawberry Jam
  3. Wash your lids, and put them in a clean crockpot filled with 4 inches of water. Set the crockpot to high and put your lids on there.

Jam
  1. Rinse the strawberries.

  2. Remove the tops, and place in a heavy-bottomed saucepan. I adore my dutch oven for so many reasons, and jam season is another one of those reasons!

  3. Heat the fruit until the juices start to bubble. At this point, you can mash the fruit with a potato masher, but I prefer to be lazy and use my immersion blender. The goal isn't to puree the fruit totally; I leave some chunks in there for delicious effect.
    Easy Strawberry Jam
  4. Mix the sugar and pectin, set aside.
    Easy Strawberry Jam
  5. Add the lemon juice and calcium water, stir. Add the sugar/pectin mixture, and bring to a boil. Stir constantly for 3 minutes.

  6. Remove from heat, and stir for 5 more minutes. At the end of the 5 minutes, remove any foam that remains.

    Easy Strawberry Jam
  7. Add the jam to your prepared jars, and leave 1/4 inch of headspace at the top. Headspace is the amount of room between the top of the food, and the rim of the jar.

    Easy Strawberry Jam
  8. Wet a clean rag, and wipe the rim to make sure there isn't any sticky jam on there.

    Easy Strawberry Jam
  9. Using a magnetic canning lid lifter, add a clean lid to the jar, and tighten a ring around the jar.
    Easy Strawberry Jam
  10. Using canning tongs, add your jars to the boiling water, and put the lid on. Process (boil) for 10 minutes.
  11. Remove from heat, and let sit for 5 minutes. Remove the jars to some place where they can be undisturbed for 12-24 hours.

    Easy Strawberry Jam
  12. After everything has cooled, check the seal by pushing down on the middle of the lid. If it doesn't give way, it's sealed. If the lid bows a little bit, put that in the fridge and use it within 3 weeks.

  13. Label the jar, and store in a cool dark place for up to a year.

Nutrition Facts
Easy Strawberry Jam
Amount Per Serving
Calories 50
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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32 comments on “Easy Strawberry Jam. We be jammin’.”

  1. Okay, I don’t care if you’re not an “expert”, I am so going to do this! Last summer was my first time canning, and all I did was pickles and jalapenos. I really like the tips about keeping the sanitized jars and lids clean. Very helpful.

    • You have it correct – start with easy pickled items, and then move in to something that requires a bit more work. I started with jam, and it actually turned me off of canning for a bit.

      I hope you enjoy making this!

  2. This looks awesome! I’ve been wanting to make my own jam, but didn’t want to deal with all the sugar.

  3. The first time I made jam I used Pomona’s. When I tried something else, I was shocked by how much sugar it called for! I will certainly be using Pomona’s again. Thanks for reminding me that I can use strawberries now since they’re in season!

  4. Jam on, girlfriend.

  5. Beautiful! Awesome! Beautifully awesome?!?! Maybe this is the year I actually try this. Thanks so much for the step-by-step tutorial. Really looks fabulous! Pinning.

    Christine 🙂

  6. Okay I think I am ready. Last Christmas all I asked for was canning stuff! For the pictures in this post, how many pounds of strawberry’s did you start with and how many cans of “jam on” did you end up with?
    Thanks Sarah you are awesome! I am in Vancouver WA and have been (stalking) following your blog now for 2 years, and I think I am finally ready to try canning…
    Thanks!

    • What GREAT Christmas presents!!! I just had to go back and do some math for you to figure out the yield.

      We had about 32 lbs of strawberries. That made 38 jars of jam that were canned, and 3 more that weren’t full enough to be canned, so were just put in the fridge directly.

      In addition to that, we froze about 2.5 gallons of whole strawberries, and Jack also ate his weight in fresh berries. ;-D

    • Thank you so very much!

  7. Lookin’ good!

  8. This sounds great. I too hate all that sugar!

  9. Can’t wait to try this tomorrow. Do you have a place to subscribe to your emails or to follow you on FB and or Twitter? I’d love to follow you! 🙂

    • Hi Leila, under the Google Followers over on the right side of my page, there is a box where you can enter your email address and subscribe to the RSS feed. I’m not on Twitter, but I am on Facebook. On the right of the page above the Google Followers is a little Facebook badge. Click on that and it will take you to my page to like it.

  10. This is absolutely fantastic! I live in Amish country, and they’re basically the queens of freezer jam, which is yummy, but so sweet it sends electric shocks through my fillings when I bite into my toast. I’ve never even had the slightest desire to make jam before, but now I do. Next year, we are planning on adding a giant strawberry box to our square foot garden, and this recipe will be on my list of “yummy things with which to fill my freezer.” How do you find the taste? Is it jarringly (haha, see what I did there) different than the regular jam, sweetness-wise?

  11. Thanks for posting! I switched to pomona’s last year. I was planning to go strawberry picking with the girls this week…but…it has been raining for days! I am afraid to think what the fields look like! And there is rain in the forecast for several days! What am I going to do? I need my 50 pounds of strawberries!! I will probably just go on my own this weekend and brave the weather an mud. I will post my recipes on my blog next week. Come on New York-stop raining already!

  12. Very nice post and pics. I have canning jars, and every time I get berries we eat them. I really need to do this ! 🙂

  13. THANK YOU! I always wondered how the commercial jams made the “sugar-free” or 99% fruit versions! I love making jam, but like most of the other posts, gasp at the amount of sugar… I wonder if I can get the calcium powder in Australia? Otherwise, I’ll just import it! And I love your little jars… their so cute!

  14. Thanks! This makes me want to can, but I’ve downsized and where would I put all that stuff (the pots and all; I don’t even own (shocking!) a crockpot!) Sounds to me like Pomona’s is the way to go, so my jam lovin’ husband can mean it when he eats jam and declares he’s had “a serving of fruit!”

    Jam on! I had a friend I walked with every day when the kids were young. I called her Jane, but when the kids were around, I’d then look at them and say, “Mrs. Taylor to you,” so they’d call her Mrs. Taylor. One day my youngest asked, “Are you going with Mrs. Taylortoyou?” Sheesh.

  15. I went out and bought some to make strawberry jam which I haven’t done in a few years because of all the sugar. Thanks so much.

  16. How funny. I just bought a brand new canning utensils set at Goodwill for $2.99. It looks like now I have a recipe to try!

  17. I love Pomonas! I’ve tried other jam making products, but this is clearly my favorite. The flavor is amazing and I love that it’s low sugar. I’ve been using it for years.

    I’m hoping to pick raspberries this weekend and make some jam (using Pomonas, of course)!

  18. This looks nice and easy! Thanks for sharing!

  19. loved making this!

  20. Could you freeze instead of canning?