Strawberry jam

Cook: 1 hr - 1 hr, 20 mins Plus optional overnight standing

More effort

Makes about 3kg/6½ lb
Make a jam with British strawberries for the ultimate flavour

Nutrition and extra info

Nutrition: per tablespoon

  • kcal39
  • fat1g
  • saturates0g
  • carbs10g
  • sugars10g
  • fibre1g
  • protein1g
  • salt0g
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  • 1.8kg small whole strawberries



    Once available in Britain for just a brief period during the summer, strawberries are now a year…

  • juice of 3 lemons



    Oval in shape, with a pronouced bulge on one end, lemons are one of the most versatile fruits…

  • 1.84kg jam sugar (not to be confused with preserving sugar)
  • knob of butter



    Butter is made when lactic-acid producing bacteria are added to cream and churned to make an…


  1. Wash, drain and hull the fruit and put in a large non-metallic bowl. Sprinkle over the lemon juice and sugar, gently mix. Cover with a tea towel and leave overnight. (This helps keep the strawberries whole.)

  2. Put a saucer in the freezer. Tip the fruit and juice into a preserving pan or a 4.5 litre/8 pint heavybased pan. Heat gently, stirring, to dissolve the sugar. Do not boil until it has.

  3. Turn up the heat, then boil hard for exactly 4 minutes (use a timer). Take off the heat to test for setting point. Spoon a little jam onto the cold saucer. After a couple of minutes gently push your finger through the jam and if the surface wrinkles it is ready. If not, return to the boil for 2 minutes, then re-test.

  4. Take off the heat and swirl in the butter. If the scum doesn’t dissolve, skim with a slotted spoon. Cool for 10-15 minutes. (Pot when too hot and all the fruit rises to the top.)

  5. Stir gently to distribute the fruit, then pour into warm sterilised jars. Put waxed discs on straight away, cover with lids or cellophane circles, then seal, label and wipe the jars. Keeps for 6 months in a cool dry cupboard.

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Comments (35)

liznfil's picture

I ended up with some strawberries and raspberries which my daughter forgot to take home with her, didn't want them to go to waste. After hulling I had about 550g of fruit. I had no lemons and no jam sugar! I used 500g golden caster sugar and a flew slugs from a bottle of lemon juice. Boiled for 6 minutes. The best jam I have ever made. A little softer than shop bought but tastes yummy.

lisaann612's picture

Result was a little on the runny side, even after using a jam thermometer and using the saucer/freezer test. The jam tasted perfect though, and went nice with scones and clotted cream. When you compare it to shop bought jam, you can really taste the difference.

Growalot's picture

This recipe was excellent, really easy to follow. However I did add a packet of Tate and lyle pectin for good measure and it set really well. The taste was amazing. I used medium to small size strawberries which were firm and all of my jars of jam are packed with fruit. A real favourite with all the family.

peterharrop's picture

A really easy recipe that works first time, the extra lemon gives the jam a lovely bite. Fabulous.

truckerboy's picture

Have just made jam and it is too runny,done exactley as reciepe said, looks as if it will go in the bin disapointed

tarryho's picture

Very easy to make and the jam tasted great, although I would recommend chopping the strawberries as I had huge whole strawberries which didn't break down - also watch the jam doesn't boil over - I made a right mess!

kikiwin1's picture

I tried this recipe a few months back and without the other readers comments I think I would have found this recipe even more of a disaster then I already did! Taste great but is incredibly runny! Like other people I couldn't get it to set either and some further research has led me to believe that it may because this recipe says to wash the strawberries - which apparently you should never do with fruit for preserves and other recipes also seem to require the jam to be boiled for a lot longer then 4 minutes. Think I'm going to try good old delia next time - may be more faff but I suspect it yields better results for beginners than this one. Finger crossed I have more success! (also the weight of the strawberries is wrong - says g instead of kg)

janicedewdney's picture

We made this strawberry jam with the children who loved it, we explained that they had to have one sleep before we could cook the jam. We cooked the jam in the kitchen with the children watching through the hatch for safety. The jam was excellent and we would definitely make this again.

janepcraig's picture

Made this yesterday afternoon with strawberries picked at our local pick your own in the morning. It is beautiful jam! Slightly runny if I'm being fussy, maybe I should have boiled it a little longer. And use a very large pot - I had a crisis when it reached boiling point and started bubbling over! But the taste this morning on hot crumpets was worth the mess!

janecancook's picture

Peanut - see my comment above - roughly equal weights of sugar and fruit is traditional. The set is achieved by the balance of pectin, acid and sugar concentrations. Strawbs can vary quite a bit in water content and acidity, and have generally fairly low pectin quantities, so people add pectin and lemon juice for a reliable set. The jam will not spoil by heating repeatedly up to setting point, but its fresh flavour will be spoiled if you let it burn at all. I still have a jar of last year's jam from this recipe (I tend to make too much of all sorts of jam, as I have a couple of kids) and it is fine. By the way, strawberries in November? How exotic!

peanut123's picture

I'm a bit confused by the quantities, it says 1.8g strawberries, what is the correct weight? I really want to try this recipe for xmas gifts.

jachan's picture

Made this earlier in the year...had not made any form of jam turned out fantastic...tasted divine.....looked and smelt gorgeous....has gone down great with family and friends....have been asked to make more of the same. Great jam and great taste!!

stanners1984's picture

I really want to make a version of this with champagne in to give out as Christmas presents, but I read somewhere that putting champagne in will mean that it won't keep for very long. Can anyone give me any help / advice on adapting this recipe?

surfdude's picture

purchased a preseving pot from m&s . made apricot jam and marmlade each time I find it starts to stick and if not careful it burns ,just made some more apricot jam and it stuck and burnt had to through it away. now thinking of throwing the pot away. its made of stainless steel. was informed stainless steel not good for making preseves.!! any advice on this.

pollpolle's picture

Just made this jam today - I didn't stand it overnight, just used the exact quantities and heated it very slowly to melt the sugar. Had no trouble reaching setting point, though after reading the comments I gave it 5 mins instead of 4. The drips which have already cooled taste gorgeous - lovely and lemony, and not too sickly sweet.

janecancook's picture

And, by the way, I made this jam exactly to the recipe, and it is simply gorgeous.

janecancook's picture

JD - This may come too late for you, but the rule is, the more sugar, the longer it keeps. Older pre-fridge recipes usually call for at least 50/50 sugar/fruit by weight. This will keep unopened in the cupboard for over a year. A perfect seal is critical, too (cellophane tops should pull in to a dish shape as it cools, with the vacuum created; the 'safety button' on saved screw-top jars should also pull down and not click when pressed). Always use scrupulously clean, sterile jars. Lower sugar jams are best kept in the fridge, and eaten in a couple of months. I have also read (keep this quiet) that a bit of mould scraped off the top will not make the rest of the jam unfit to eat. When it ferments, catch wasps with it!

catrionakitson's picture

I used 8oog strawberries to 1kg jam sugar. I found that if you squash the strawberries with a potato masher to release the juice, then add the sugar and gently dissolve, add a little knob of butter before bringing to the boil, boil it for 4 mins as above, stirring all the time. You will then have a perfect set and you haven't had the faff of leaving it overnight. Leave for about 10 mins or so before putting into warm jars. You don't get whole fruits but the jam is delicious!

laura-40's picture

sorry-not tried it yet but looks yum !!!

sam0267's picture

i have never made jam before and i followed the recipe exactly but it's just not setting. is it wise to just continue to heat it hard and keep restesting? how long should i do this? its tastes so good but way too runny. it did start to "catch" and at the bottom of my saucepan was a layer of totally perfect jam but the rest has not set. any advice would be so greatly received. thanks


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