How to make strawberry jam

Use fresh strawberries to make this delicious preserve with our simple step-by-step guide.

Sometimes there's nothing tastier than a slice of toast with homemade strawberry jam, packed with fresh fruit. Store-bought versions are full of sugar and artifical flavourings, so instead follow James Martin's easy guide to making a homemade version without the hassle.

Step-by-step guide to making strawberry jam

Strawberry jam recipe

Step one to making fruity strawberry jam.Step one:

Prepare the strawberries by wiping them with a piece of damp kitchen paper. (Wiping the strawberries rather than washing them ensures the fruit doesn't absorb lots of water - too much water and the jam won't set easily.) To hull the fruit, use a knife to cut a cone shape into the strawberry and remove the stem. Cut any large berries in half. 


Step two to making fruity strawberry jam.Step two:

Put the strawberries in a bowl and gently toss through the sugar. Leave uncovered at room temprature for 12 hrs or overnight. This process helps the sugar to dissolve, ensures the fruit doesn't disintegrate too much and helps to keep its vibrant colour.


Step three to making fruity strawberry jam.Step three:

Before starting the jam, put 2 saucers in the freezer. Tip the strawberry mixture into a preserving pan with the lemon juice. Set over a low heat and cook very gently. If any sugar remains on the sides of the pan, dip a pastry brush in hot water and brush the sugar away. 



Step four to making deliciously fruity jam.Step four:

When you can no longer feel any grains of sugar remaining, turn up the heat to start bubbling the jam and bringing it to the boil. (The sugar must be completely dissolved before increasing the heat, otherwise it will be difficult for the jam to set, and it may contain crystallised lumps of sugar.)



Step five to making tasty fruity strawberry jam.Step five:

Boil hard for 5-10 mins until the jam has reached 105C on a preserving or digital thermometer, then turn off the heat. If you don't have a thermometer, spoon a little jam onto one of the cold saucers. Leave for 30 secs, then push with your finger; if the jam wrinkles and doesn't flood to fill the gap, it is ready. If not, turn the heat back on and boil for 2 mins more, then turn off the heat and do the wrinkle test again. Repeat until ready.


Step six to making tasty fruity strawberry jam.Step six:

Use a spoon to skim any scum that has risen to the surface and discard this. Do this only once at the end, rather than constantly during the boiling stage, to reduce wastage.




Step seven to making fruity strawberry jam.Step seven:

Add a knob of butter, if you like, to the finished jam, and stir in to melt. This will help to dissolve any remaining scum that you haven't managed to spoon off the top. Leave the jam to settle for 15 mins - this will ensure that the fruit stays suspended in the mixture and doens't all float to the top of the jam jar. Meanwhile, sterilise your jars.


Step eight to making tasty fruity strawberry jam.Step eight:

Ladle into warm jars, filling to just below the rim. Place a wax disc on top of the jam (this prevents mildew forming), then cover with a lid or a cellophane circle and elastic band. Pop on a label (include the date), plus a pretty fabric top, if you like. The jam can be stored for up to 1 year in a cool, dry place. Refrigerate after opening.


This tasty jam deserves a bread that's just as good - this easy white bread recipe is perfect for both bread machines and making the traditional way. 

Comments, questions and tips

Sign in or create your My Good Food account to join the discussion.
14th Jul, 2018
I followed this recipe to the letter and the taste of the jam is superb, but it was extremely thick and to my surprise, it only filled two jars. Should perhaps there have been some water added?
26th Oct, 2018
goodfoodteam's picture
2nd Nov, 2018
Thanks for your question. The ingredient quantities are in the strawberry jam recipe linked to just above step one.
4th Jul, 2016
Beautiful recipe, I will try it. Doubt: how much sugar? half and half?
goodfoodteam's picture
9th Aug, 2016
Thank you for your question, you'll find the full recipe with all the quantities here. Enjoy!
8th Jul, 2015
I have just tried to make Strawberry Jam from your recipe, however I am in Canada. I followed the recipe, however after 20 mins. of boiling, it is still not set. Wondering if it is the sugar here as we don't have 'jam sugar', I just used regular sugar. Any help would be appreciated, tks.
Be the first to suggest a tip for this recipe...Got your own twist on this recipe? Or do you have suggestions for possible swaps and additions? We’d love to hear your ideas.