I never use pectin in my jams. It greatly increases the amount of sugar required for the jam to set, and it’s just an overall unnecessary additive. If I wanted extra junk in my jams, I’d buy it from the store. Enter: delicious strawberry jam without pectin.
This recipe uses lemon as a natural replacement for pectin (pectin is derived from citrus anyway, so duh why not).
To start, zest and juice one lemon. Add the juice and zest to a medium-sized pot along with the sugar. Turn the heat to low and let the sugar dissolve in the lemon juice slowly. This will take about 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, remove the stems from 1 and 1/2 pints of strawberries. If you are shooting for a chunky jam, just cut the strawberries in half. If you want a smoother end texture, place all of the strawberries in a bowl and crush them (I use a potato masher and get very aggressive). You should have about 3 cups of crushed strawberries which you can then add to the pot with the lemon and sugar.
Slowly bring the mixture to a boil on medium heat, stirring often. Then, stick a spoon or plate in your freezer. Huh? Stay with me folks!
After about 15 minutes, you’ll notice that the strawberries have broken down quite a bit. The jam should feel slightly thicker when you stir it as well. Take your cold spoon or plate out of the freezer, and place about a teaspoon of the hot jam on it. Let the jam cool down, and then move it around with your finger. It should have the texture of, well, jam. If the jam runs quickly off the plate or spoon when you tip it, let it cook a little longer. Keep testing the jam this way until it has gelled to your taste. If it’s not gelling, just keep cooking! When done, transfer the warm jam into clean glass jars for storing. You can also download my free printable strawberry jam tags to label your freshly made preserves.
Voila! You just made strawberry jam without pectin! This stuff should be kept in the fridge for up to two weeks. Or, if you have the canning bug, learn how to preserve it for up to a year here. Strawberry jam makes a great holiday gift, so can it if you are able! (I almost said “can it if you can” but then I felt way too corny.)
- Juice and zest of 1 lemon
- 1.5 cups sugar
- 1.5 pints of strawberries
- Add lemon zest, lemon juice, and sugar to a pot. Heat on low until sugar dissolves (about 10 minutes)
- Hull strawberries and cut them in half. For less chunky jam, crush the strawberries.
- Add the strawberries to the pot and heat on medium-low until boiling. Continue to cook until strawberries reduce and the mixture begins to gel (about 20 minutes).
- Transfer warm jam to jars and store in the fridge.