Ruby red and sweet, perfect jewels of strawberry goodness bursting with the deep flavor of spring. Three ingredients plus two days equals the perfect spread for your morning toast or afternoon tea and scones! I love Strawberry Jam and honestly, it’s quite simple to make. Just three ingredients to strawberry perfection. Technically, because the strawberries are whole and not mashed it’s a preserve. But, no matter what you call it, it’s delicious!
I prefer to use the French method for making jams and preserves rather than making quick jams with pectin. It takes a bit longer but the results are well worth the wait. My favorite home canning book by far is Mes Confitures: The Jams and Jellies of Christine Ferber, the internationally known patissiere who comes up with the most amazing concoctions like Black Cherry with Pinot Noir, Fig with vanilla and one of my favorites which is on my blog Pear and Chocolate Jam.
Strawberry Jam–The French Way
Makes 4 or 5 half-pints
- 2½ pounds fresh organic strawberries
- 4 cups granulated organic sugar
- Juice of one small lemon
- Wash, dry, and hull your strawberries. Place the strawberries into a large ceramic bowl. Stir in the sugar and the lemon juice.
- Store in the refrigerator overnight covered with a piece of parchment paper.
- Next day, bring the strawberries to a simmer in a wide-bottomed pan or a preserving pan. Pour into a ceramic bowl. Cover with parchment paper and store in the refrigerator overnight.
- On the third day, pour the contents into a sieve. Bring the collected syrup to a boil, skim, and continue cooking on high heat until a candy thermometer reaches 221 degrees.
- Meanwhile set up your water bath canner, sterilize your jars and warm your lids in a pan of hot water. See link in Kate's Tips.
- The syrup will be sufficiently concentrated at 221 degrees (105 degrees C) on a candy thermometer.
- When you've reached 221 degrees, add the strawberries and return to a boil on high heat. Skim and boil for five minutes, stirring gently. Check the set. You can do this by placing a small plate in your freezer when you begin cooking the berries. When the jam has cooked for 5 minutes, drizzle a teaspoon full on the frozen plate and place back in your freezer for one minute. Take it out and you should be able to run your finger through the jam without the jam filling in the space left by your finger. If the jam is still runny, cook another couple minutes and test it again.
- The strawberries will be translucent and beautiful!
- Pour the jam into sterilized jars and either cool and store in your refrigerator or freezer or can in a boiling water bath.
The berries have replaced their juice with the sugar turning the juice a deep ruby red. This causes the jam to have the most intense strawberry flavor.
- Take care your berries don’t boil over. The pot will boil quite vigorously. I use a deep Le Creuset dutch oven to make my jam like this one: Le Creuset Round French Oven 7.25 qt.. I have my mom’s white one from years ago but if I were getting a new one, this is probably the color I’d go with
- You will get about 4 or 5 half pint jars.
- For full water bath canning instructions, go here.
- You will need a candy thermometer to make this recipe. I use this one: Deep Fry/Candy Thermometer
- It’s not recommended to double canning recipes so I officially don’t.
- If you didn’t want to wait the full two days you could prepare the berries the night before by washing, hulling, and macerating them and then making the jam the next day.
- Making jam the French way makes for a runnier jam. Remember we’re not using pectin which will cause a jam to firm up. But, I find the slightly looser quality quite delicious.
- This same recipe will work well for raspberries and most fruits. I made a peach jam last week the same way but only macerating for one day, and it is out of this world delicious!
- For a super simple jam recipe, try my Fresh Raspberry Jam. You can make this in an hour and it’s the most intensely delicious raspberry jam I’ve ever eaten!
- Strawberry Jam the French Way is absolutely perfect with popovers or French Toast Muffins.