Whether slathered on hot buttered toast, dolloped on a scone with clotted cream or as a filling for a Victoria sandwich, strawberry jam is a delicious treat.
It’s also surprisingly quick and easy to make strawberry jam at home – even for jam-making beginners.
So, whether you’ve a glut of strawberries that need to be used, or you see some over-ripe berries on offer, it’s easy to cook up a batch of strawberry jam to enjoy all year round.
See our collection of strawberry recipes for more great ideas for using up a glut of strawberries.
1. Prepare and sterilise your jam jars. Place two flat saucers to chill in the fridge: you’ll need these later for testing if the jam is set.
2. Using damp kitchen paper, wipe clean the strawberries and then hull them. Cut large strawberries in half.
3. Heat the strawberries and lemon juice in a large, thick-based saucepan over a medium low heat for a few minutes to soften. Add the sugar and stir until it’s completely dissolved.
4. Turn up the heat and let the mixture boil steadily for about 6 minutes or until the jam is set. To check if the jam is at setting point, spoon a little of the jam onto one of the cold saucers, leave for 30 seconds and then push the jam with your finger to create a channel through it. If the jam wrinkles and doesn’t flood back to fill the channel, setting point has been reached. If not, let the jam continue to boil and check again after another minute. Repeat until the jam is ready.
5. Take the saucepan off the heat and use a spoon to skim off any pink scum from the surface of the jam. Alternatively, add a small knob of butter and stir until melted as this helps disperse any scum on your jam. Leave the jam to cool and settle for 15 minutes to prevent the fruit from floating to the top of the jar when you add the jam.
6. Pour the jam into sterilised, hot jars, and seal with wax paper and a lid. Once the jam is cold, you can add labels to the jars. Store in a dry, cool, dark place.
How to sterilise jam jars
It’s important to use sterile jars to store your jam or other preserves. Jars should be hot when filled as adding hot jam to a cold jar may cause it to shatter. Here are a couple of easy ways to sterilize your jars.
Method 1: Preheat your oven to 140°C/120°C fan/gas mark 1. Wash your jars in hot soapy water and rinse thoroughly. Place them on a baking sheet in the oven for about 20 minutes to dry them. If you’re using Kilner jars, boil the rubber seals instead, as the oven’s dry heat will damage them.
Method 2: Stand the jars upright in a saucepan large enough so they fit snugly. Fill the pot with enough water to cover the jars. Add the lids too. Bring to a boil and keep boiling for 10 minutes. Turn off the heat and cover the saucepan with a lid until you’re ready to use the jars.
Method 3: Place clean cold jars and lids into the top rack of your dishwasher and run a hot wash without adding any detergent. Time the wash cycle to end when your jam will be ready.
For more delicious jams and jellies, see our preserves, sauces and condiments recipe collection.