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Strawberry jam is a classic summer treat that can be enjoyed year-round. While many recipes call for the use of pectin, a natural thickening agent, it is possible to make delicious strawberry jam without it. 

This simple recipe uses just three ingredients and takes less than an hour to prepare. The result is a sweet and tangy jam perfect for spreading on toast, topping yogurt or ice cream, or filling for cakes and pastries.

Strawberry jam without pectin in a mason jar beside a bowl of strawberries and a piece of toast with strawberry  jam

Why We Love This Recipe

I make this homemade jam recipe every year, and we love this easy recipe for several reasons.

  • It is incredibly easy to make, even for beginners. The recipe uses just three ingredients, making it a great option for those who want to make jam but don’t want to spend much time in the kitchen. 
  • Strawberry jam has a bright, fresh flavor that is not overly sweet. The recipe uses less sugar than many other jam recipes. 
  • Perfect for gifting to teachers, friends, and yourself (we love a self care gift)!
  • It can be enjoyed all year! The jam can be easily stored in the refrigerator for up to two weeks, so you can enjoy it long after the strawberry season has ended. This perfect recipe is a great way to enjoy the fresh strawberry flavor and the taste of summer all year round. 

This fresh strawberry jam also makes a fantastic topping for this Philadelphia strawberry cheesecake recipe or as a topping for Artisan bread and no-butter banana bread! I hope you enjoy this recipe for strawberry jam without pectin as much as my family does!

Getting the Right Consistency

Thickening Strawberry Jam

If you need your jam to thicken faster: Try this quick method.

  1. Add two tablespoons of cornstarch to 4 tablespoons of water until dissolved, then add this to your heated jam mixture.
  2. Repeat if necessary; however, keep in mind that your jam will thicken more as it cools down. 

Fixing Jam That Is Too Thick

We have gone over a method to quickly thicken your jam if you are on a time crunch; however, what happens if it is too thick? There is a quick-fix method for this too. 

  1. Heat a neutral-tasting fruit juice, like grape or apple juice, and stir it into your jam mixture until your desired consistency!
  2.  Once you have achieved your desired consistency, continue canning or processing your strawberry jam.  

Thickening Jam Without Pectin

Time is the crucial factor in thickening jam without pectin. A long, slow boil will allow the berries and sugar to reduce and pull all the moisture from the berries that you are making jam. Different types of fruits will take longer than others to reduce this way as they contain varying moisture levels. 

Ingredient Substitutes and Variations

One of my favorite parts about jam-making is that I can change it up each time. By experimenting with ingredients and substitutes, you can create various flavors and textures of homemade jam that suit your tastes. I always recommend trying the recipe as prescribed the first time, but after that, there are a few different options you can try:

  1. Sugar: You can substitute granulated sugar with honey, maple syrup, or agave nectar. Remember that the jam’s flavor and sweetness will be affected by the type and amount of sweetener used.
  2. Lemon juice: If you don’t have lemon juice, use lime or orange juice. The acidity in the citrus juice helps to balance the sweetness of the jam.
  3. Strawberries: This recipe can also be adapted to use other types of fruit. You can substitute strawberries with other berries like raspberries, blackberries, or blueberries. You can also use a combination of different fruits.
  4. Vanilla extract: To add a touch of flavor to your jam, you can add a teaspoon of vanilla extract. This is optional, but it can add an excellent depth of flavor.
  5. Spices: You can add spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, or ginger to your jam to give it a unique flavor. Just be careful not to add too much, as it can overpower the flavor of the fruit.

Adding Lemon Juice

Did you know that strawberries have natural pectin already in them? Interesting, right? However, strawberries require acid to activate the gelling process when heated, so lemon juice is added! Lemon juice also helps to eliminate the growth of bacteria, allowing your jam to last longer. Fresh lemon juice will always offer a better taste for this easy homemade strawberry jam recipe than artificial. 

How To Make Strawberry Jam Without Pectin

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds of fresh strawberries, hulled and chopped
  • 2 cups of white granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
large enamel bowl of garden fresh strawberries wooden spoon linen towel on cafe chair

Optional**

  • 2 tbsp Cornstarch
  • 4 tbsp water
  • Fruit Juice, Apple, or Grape

Directions

Enjoy your homemade strawberry jam on toast, biscuits, or as a topping for yogurt or ice cream!

  1. Prepare the strawberries: Wash the strawberries and remove the stems. Cut the strawberries into small pieces and place them in a large bowl.
  2. Add the sugar: Add the sugar to the saucepan with the strawberries. Stir to combine.
mixing sugar and cut strawberries in a vintage enamel bowl for making strawberry jam without pectin
  1. Add the lemon juice: Once the sugar has dissolved, add the lemon juice to the bowl and stir to combine. Set aside to rest for at least an hour.
  2. Cook the mixture: Place the mixture into a heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium heat and cook the mixture, stirring frequently, until the sugar has dissolved and the strawberries have released their juices. This should take about 10-15 minutes.
  3. Simmer the mixture: Reduce the heat to low and let the strawberry mixture simmer for about 30-40 minutes, stirring occasionally. The mixture should thicken and become syrupy.
  1. Test for doneness: To test if the jam is done, place a small amount on a plate and let it cool for a few minutes. If it has thickened and is no longer runny, it is done. If it is still runny, simmer the mixture for a few more minutes and test again.
  2. Can the jam (optional): If you want to store it for longer than two weeks, you can can it using a water bath canning method. Sterilize the canning jars and lids, pour the hot jam into the clean jars, wipe the rims, and seal them with lids and bands. Process in boiling water for 10 minutes.
strawberry jam without pectin on a bread board with toast

Storing Strawberry Jam Without Pectin

Once the batch of strawberry jam is done, remove it from the heat and let it cool at room temperature for a few minutes. Let the strawberry jam set, then transfer it to a clean jar or container and let it cool completely before storing it in the refrigerator. The jam can be kept in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.

If you decide to make this into strawberry freezer jam, store it in an airtight container and keep it in the freezer for up to three months. 

This jam can be stored for a long time using a water bath canning method. Sterilize your jars and lids before filling them with hot jam, and process in boiling water for 10 minutes. In a sealed container, it will last for up to one year.

Shop my Favourite Jam Supplies

Strawberry Jam Without Pectin Tips

  • Choose ripe strawberries: The sweetness and flavor of your jam will depend on the quality of your strawberries. Choose ripe, juicy strawberries for the best results.
  • Use a heavy-bottomed pot: A heavy-bottomed pot will distribute heat evenly and prevent the jam from burning.
  • Stir frequently: Stirring the jam frequently will prevent it from sticking to the bottom of the pot and burning. Make sure to use a heat-resistant spatula or wooden spoon.
  • Skim off any foam: As the jam cooks, foam may form on the surface. Skim off any foam with a spoon and discard.
  • Test for doneness: To test if the jam is done, place a small amount on a plate and let it cool for a few minutes. If it has thickened and is no longer runny, it is done. If it is still runny, simmer the mixture for a few more minutes and test again.
  • Adjust the sweetness: If you prefer a sweeter jam, add more sugar. Remember that the amount of sugar needed will depend on the sweetness of your strawberries.
  • Sterilize jars for the canning process: If you plan on canning your jam for long-term storage, sterilize your jars and lids before filling them with hot jam.
  • Low-sugar strawberry jam: Feel free to cut some of the sugar in this strawberry jam recipe if you aren’t a sweet lover!
  • Try substituting other types of fruit with the strawberries in this recipe. Or you could add other seasonal fruit with the strawberries, like rhubarb or blueberries.

More Delicious Recipes

I hope you enjoy this tasty, EASY, homemade strawberry jam without pectin recipe. Try adding this to these delicious white chocolate raspberry scones! I would love to hear if you add rhubarb to this or use different types of fruits as well! 

Please let me know in the comments below or leave a review if you make it! You can also pop over and say hi to me on Instagram

If you are looking for more summer-inspired recipes, check out these great options:

Frequently Asked

Is Strawberry Jam Better With or Without Pectin?

Without adding pectin, the strawberry jam will take up to 4 times longer to gel. Sometimes, you can risk overcooking your jam and losing the bright, beautiful strawberry colour! However, if you follow this recipe, your jam will turn out every time. 

Can I use frozen strawberries to make this jam?

Absolutely, you can use frozen strawberries to make this jam; but fresh fruit will always be the best flavor. Just make sure to thaw them before using them and adjust the cooking time as needed. 

Can I use other fruits to make jam without pectin?

Yes, you can use other fruits like raspberries, blackberries, or blueberries to make jam without pectin. Just be aware that the cooking time and amount of sugar needed may vary depending on the type of fruit used.

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Strawberry Jam Without Pectin

There is nothing better than homemade jam! This easy, Strawberry jam without pectin recipe is simple and is the perfect summer treat!
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Course: from scratch recipes
Cuisine: American
Keyword: from scratch jam, how to make strawberry jam, strawberry jam, strawberry jam without pectin
Servings: 5 cups
Calories: 52kcal

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds of fresh cut strawberries
  • 2 cups of white sugar
  • Juice of one lemon
  • Optional** 2 tbsp Cornstarch

Optional

  • 2 Tbsp Cornstarch
  • 4 tbsp water
  • Fruit Juice Apple or Grape

Instructions

  • Begin by crushing the cut strawberries in a large bowl. 
  • Mix together the strawberries, sugar, and lemon juice and let sit for at least an hour. 
  • Transfer to a saucepan and begin to stir over low heat until the sugar is dissolved.
  • Increase heat until high, and bring the strawberry mixture to a full boil.
  • Continue to boil, stirring constantly, until the mixture reaches 220 degrees F (105 degrees C) or is the thickened consistency of jam.
  • Transfer to hot sterile jars, leaving 1/4 to 1/2 inch headspace, and refrigerate. The jam will hold in the refrigerator for a month or two. You can also use a canning method to preserve this jam too.

Video

Nutrition

Serving: 1g | Calories: 52kcal | Carbohydrates: 13g | Sodium: 4mg | Sugar: 12g
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