This simple strawberry jam recipe comes together quickly on the stove top. It lasts 2-3 weeks in the fridge.
The recipe below is adapted from Marisa McClellan’s book Preserving by the Pint. McClellan’s original recipe calls for honey, and I use maple syrup to veganize it. The resulting jam has a sweet, complex flavor, but the recipe is anything but.
I’m using a recipe from McClellan’s book, because I’m going to be doing a free jam-making demonstration at the May 9th Freedom Farmers Market here in Atlanta. Holly, my contact at the market, recommended this book because McClellan has done demos with them before. If you like this recipe, I definitely recommend picking up her book. I ordered my copy the moment I tasted this jam!
Did you notice that subtle plug for my strawberry jam demo? If you’re in the Atlanta area, I hope that you can make it out on Saturday! The Freedom Farmers Market is our newest in-town market, and it’s a great one. They have a stellar mix of vendors, and there’s plenty of parking at the Carter Center. I hope that you can make it out!
Hulling Your Strawberries
The recipe calls for hulling your strawberries. If you’ve never done that before, don’t worry! The hull is just the white part inside the berry, underneath the leaves. It doesn’t taste very good, so getting rid of the hull makes for naturally sweeter strawberry preserves.
To hull your strawberries, just use a sharp knife to puncture the berry at a slight angle just beside the leaves. Saw around the leaves, and the hull lifts right out. If you’re new to hulling strawberries, you will be a pro by the time you’ve hulled the pound and a half you’ll need to make this strawberry jam recipe!
Got your berries hulled and ready? Let’s get to the strawberry jam recipe, y’all!
Strawberry Jam Recipe: Strawberry-Thyme Preserves
These instructions don’t include the canning directions from McClellan’s book. If you want to try making these to put up, I’d check out her book!
Yield: about 1 1/2 cups of strawberry jam (3/4 pint). They will keep for 2-3 weeks in the fridge.
- 1 quart fresh strawberries (about 1 1/2 pounds), hulled and chopped (that’s 1 quart before chopping)
- 1/4 cup maple syrup
- 1-2 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves (depending on how herbal you want your preserves)
- juice of 1/2 a fresh lemon
- In a medium sized bowl, combine the chopped strawberries, maple syrup, thyme leaves, and lemon juice. Stir them up and set aside for 10 minutes to soften.
- Transfer the strawberry mixture to a wide stainless steel frying pan heated to high, and cook, stirring constantly, until your strawberry jam gets nice and thick. The mixture will go from the consistency of pie filling to thick, dense preserves in this time. When McClellan says that they’re ready “when you can pull a spatula through the cooking fruit and it doesn’t immediately rush to fill the space.” It took me about 15-16 minutes.
- Transfer the preserves into your jar(s), and let them cool a bit before putting on the lid(s) and sticking the jar into the fridge. Enjoy!
- The original version of this recipe called for 1 cup of honey. Sugar is a natural preservative, which I imagine is why the original used so much more sweetener.
- If you do want to try properly canning these, I’d recommend checking out this FAQ from Ball. It has so much useful info! You will also need to use a full 1 cup maple syrup – canning recipe ratios shouldn’t be monkeyed with!
- The cooking time on the original recipe is 8-12 minutes. If you’re using more sweetener, your strawberries will soften more in the bowl, so you won’t need to cook them for as long as I did.