Strawberry jam

Strawberry jam

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(18 ratings)

Prep: 20 mins Cook: 40 mins Plus overnight macerating


Makes 3-4 jars

James Martin's step-by-step guide to making homemade preserve - the resulting jars are ideal for gift hampers

Nutrition and extra info

  • Freezable

Nutrition: per tbsp

  • kcal35
  • fat0g
  • saturates0g
  • carbs9g
  • sugars9g
  • fibre0g
  • protein0g
  • salt0g


  • 1kg hulled strawberry



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

  • 750g jam sugar



    Honey and syrups made from concentrated fruit juice were the earliest known sweeteners. Today,…

  • juice 1 lemon



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

  • small knob of butter (optional)



    Butter is a dairy product made from separating whole milk or cream into fat and…


  1. 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.

  2. Put the strawberries in a bowl and gently toss through the sugar. Leave uncovered at room temperature 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.)

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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 doesn’t all float to the top of the jam jar. Meanwhile, sterilise your jars.

  8. 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.

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Comments, questions and tips

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Cherry Macknay's picture
Cherry Macknay
7th Jul, 2020
Leaving the strawberries in the sugar overnight was an excellent tip. The sugar had all dissolved so cooking time was reduced and the jam has turned out very well.
6th Jul, 2017
Good old James Martin, his recipes never fail! Disasters of the past making strawberry jam all forgotten, this is easy, fruity, perfect colour and set. I used 1.5 kg strawberries, 1.1 kg jam sugar, 1 lemon, otherwise exactly as recipe, including overnight sugar-soak and boiling to 105 deg C. Made five 'Bon Maman' size jars.
26th Jun, 2017
Made this today and although it tastes absolutely gorgeous I just could not get it to set. I'm going out tomorrow to buy some pectin powder, scrape it all out of the jars and boil it some more. Fingers crossed.
KochinVeronica's picture
28th Jun, 2016
Lovely jam!
20th Jun, 2016
You just can't beat homemade jam, easy to make and the taste difference compared to brand jam is off the scale. I have an allotment and this is the time I look forward to the most, homemade is the only jam I eat now, when it runs out I just have to wait until the next season, doing it that way makes me appreciate it a lot more. What's even better is all my strawberries are free every year, tons of them! Grow your own and make your own!
17th Jun, 2016
Dead easy recipe with great results! Even with my almost 'overripe' strawberries... Have never made jam before and didn't have a 'preserving pan' so used a HUGE heavy based saucepan (there was lots of rising during the boiling process so glad I used the largest pan I had or it would've overflowed). Got absolutely perfect results and it made three large jars as it said it would. Made it with my three year old for father's day gifts and whilst we are so excited to give it away, we're also a bit sad as it's SUPER yummy :)
10th Mar, 2016
Does anyone know if I can use normal sugar instead of jam sugar ?
20th Jun, 2016
Yes there is a recipe on allrecipes uk which people have commented positively on
12th Mar, 2016
I did use normal sugar and turned out perfect :)
8th Oct, 2015
Yummy jam and so easy, will be making this again :)


13th Apr, 2016
I live in a tropical country so I'm worried about insects taking a liking to it while leaving the sugared strawberries out over night. If I cover the bowl with a tea towel, will this effect the process? Also roughly how many ml of jam does this recipe make? I'm a first time jammer and excited to buy some cute jars, although I'm not sure what size to get. Any suggestions from those more experienced is much appreciated!
8th Aug, 2013
I have made this jam & used a thermometer - correct temperature reached. However jam still seems ver runny - any ideas why? Mind you , my previous jams have been rock hard, so prefer runny!
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