Small-batch Strawberry Jam

Strawberry Jam 1200

Small-batch strawberry jam goes together so quickly! Start with the berries: rinse them well, hull them, and cut them into quarters. Put them in a heavy-bottomed pot. (I used my favorite 4 qt pot, which was perfect for the task.) Add the sugar and lemon juice, then stir well, cover with a clean tea towel, and let stand for an hour or so to bring the juice out of the berries. (You can actually let them stand, covered, in the refrigerator overnight, if you need to.)

Now prep one more jars than you’ll think you need. Put 4 clean 8-oz jars in a pot, cover them with water, and bring the pot to a boil. Boil the jars for 10 minutes, then turn off the heat, cover the pot, and let the jars stand. Wash the lids in warm sudsy water, then rinse and set aside with the bands. Put a saucer or small plate in your freezer to chill (this will be for testing doneness.) Have an extra small jar, or custard cup, clean and ready for any excess.

When you’re ready for the cooking – you’ll need 60 minutes, no more – add a tiny pat of butter and bring to a boil.

Continue boiling the jam, stirring occasionally. Now you’ll make your choice about the set of the jam: do you prefer a loose set, a bit runny, or a very stiff one, that won’t fall off the spoon? A loose set jam will barely pass a wrinkle test, while a stiff set is cooked a bit more.

Now you’ll have some choices to make: do you prefer your jam smooth like a fruit butter, or with slices of berries like traditional preserves? For smooth jam: When the fruit is cooked all soft and tender, remove the pot from the heat, and whiz with an immersion blender, to make a smooth puree. For traditional jam: don’t bother with this step.

Remove from heat. Ladle jam into prepared jars, wipe rims, and apply lids and bands. Process for 10 minutes in a boiling water bath. Cool jars, label, and store in a dark cool place.

Anything that won’t fit in your four jars can go into the clean custard cup – chill it in the fridge, this is perfect with yogurt or on toast for breakfast!

Strawberry Jam 1200

Small-Batch Strawberry Jam

Course: Jams and Jellies
Cuisine: American
Keyword: jam, strawberry, strawberries, small batch
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
standing time: 2 hours
Total Time: 3 hours
A small batch of a favorite jam
Print Recipe

Ingredients

  • 1 quart strawberries, quartered (should be about 4 cups packed)
  • 3 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice
  • ½ tsp unsalted butter (optional, reduces foaming)

Instructions

  • Start with the berries: rinse them well, hull them, and cut them into quarters, and put them in a large heavy-bottomed pot. (I used my favorite 4 qt pot, which was perfect for the task.) 
    Add the sugar and lemon juice, then stir well, cover with a clean tea towel, and let stand 1 to 2 hours to bring the juice out of the berries. (You can actually let them stand, covered, in the refrigerator overnight, if you need to.)
  • Meanwhile, prepare jars and any other equipment. Make sure your jars are sparkling clean. Wash the lids in warm water and set aside. Keep the bands handy. Have an extra small jar, or custard cup, clean and ready for any excess jam. Put a couple of small saucers in the freezer to chill so they’ll be ready for testing the jam.

COOKING TIME

  • After the fruit macerates with the sugar and lemon juice for hours, there will be plenty of juice in the pan. Cook the jam: add a tiny pat of butter (it reduces foaming), and bring the fruit mixture to a boil, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat somewhat and simmer it  until the chunks of fruit are translucent and thoroughly cooked. Blitz the preserves with an immersion blender – this will create a smooth thick texture, and will help the jam cook faster.
  • Return the preserves to the heat, and continue cooking, stirring often, until it bubbles and looks quite thick. I like to test for doneness by putting a spoonful on a saucer, and chilling it in the refrigerator for 2 minutes. After that time, if I can drag my finger through the jam, and leave a clear track that doesn’t fill in again, it’s ready.  In my kitchen, this took about 10 minutes more.
  • When the jam is ready, remove the pot from the heat. Ladle jam into prepared jars, wipe rims, and apply lids and bands. Anything that won’t fit in your four jars can go into the clean custard cup and chill it in the fridge.
  • Process for 10 minutes in a boiling water bath or steam canner. Cool jars, label, and store in a dark cool place.

2 Comments

  1. Just made a half-batch – I had some very tasty, very ripe local organic strawberries which were going to be over-ripe in about another hour, so I ended up with three 4-oz jars of jam cooling on the counter. It would have been criminal to waste them. So glad you posted this!

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Welcome

I’m Maurita Plouff, and I write about cooking and preserving the local harvest in Southeast Michigan. Any recipe you find here is something I have cooked myself, and enjoyed, and think you might like too. I invite you to try the recipes, and leave comments.

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