Cook's Hideout: Strawberry Jam

July 26, 2007

Strawberry Jam

My husband is a big Costco and BJ’s fan. I like buying milk, salt, spices, nuts, bread that are definitely much cheaper (although in bulk). But I don’t like buying fruits and vegetables there. To me buying 20lbs bag of potatoes, 5 lbs of apples and 3 dozen eggs is almost putting money down the drain. The reason being we are just 2 people at home eating and how many months or years are you going to feed on the same bag of potatoes and apples? Apparently that’s not what my husband thinks; he says we still spend less based on per lb or per unit price. Well this is a very hot issue that is still under discussion and no outcome has come out of it yet.

Coming back to my Strawberry jam, we bought 4 lbs box of strawberries and I had to use them up before they start going bad. I found the recipe in my “Five-a-Day Fruit & Vegetable Cookbook”and it turned out pretty good.Very easy to make with few ingredients and tastes fabulous.

Strawberries – 4 cups
Sugar – 2 cups
Lemon – 1


  • The night before you want to make the jam, clean the strawberries with a damp paper towel and remove the stems. You can leave them whole if they are small, otherwise cut them into 2 or 4 depending on the size of the berry. Make sure that the berries are completely dry before you do anything.
  • Take the berries in a non reactive bowl, glass being an excellent choice. Add sugar, cover and let sit overnight.
  • In the morning, transfer the berries and their juices to a large heavy bottomed pan. Add the juice of 1 lemon, mix well (preferably with a wooden spoon) and heat the mixture on medium-low flame with occasional stirring. Sugar will slowly dissolve and the berries will start to fall apart. The mixture needs to be cooked till it reaches jam consistency*.
  • Cool the jam completely and transfer into sterilized bottle**. Will store in a cool dry place for almost a year.
* How do you know you reached the right consistency? Book has 2 suggestions, none of which worked for me. First one is to check the temperature of the mixture with a sugar thermometer and when it reads 212ºF it is ready (I don’t own a sugar thermometer and have no intentions of buying one). Second method is to chill a saucer, put a drop of the berry mixture on it, and chill it again for 3 minute. When you try to push the drop it should from ripples (ahhhh.. what?? I didn’t know if chilling should be done in the freezer or in the refrigerator).

So that’s when I had to make an urgent call to my mom, who has jam making experience and she gave me a better idea (that really worked for me). Put a drop of the mixture on a small plate and try to move it around. If it starts flowing then the jam is not ready yet. If it resists movement and doesn’t move, then it is ready; remove from heat immediately. It took about 30-35 minutes for the jam to come together.

**To sterilize jars: Wash in hot soapy water, then rinse thoroughly and drain. Place the jars on a baking sheet and dry in a warm oven for 15-20 minutes.


  1. Adding lemon juice is a good idea as well... I made mine by adding orange juice and its delicious! Next tiem it will be lemon juice! :)

  2. great and simple recipie as always...I love ur innovative Ideas...will try it out sometime and let u know for sure...

  3. I LOVE LOVE Strawberry jam with less sugar and more chunky fruit.This looks fabulous Pavani.Thank you so much for the recipe,easy too. I will try it:)

  4. gorgeous jam, pavanai. anita has a picture demo on checking if jam is done.

  5. Pavani, like the recipe. Its great to look at..

  6. I agree with you..some things just cannot be bought in bulk, eventually you lose money because something will rot and have to be thrown away, especially fresh produce...the jam looks yummy!!!

  7. Same conflicts that goes in my mind too. But I dont buy produce from Costco as they are not organic.

  8. thats it?? only 3 ingredients and jam is ready? waw. what is the shelf life? I too want to make them.

  9. Hi pavani,
    Yummy strawberry jam.I love strawberry jam but havent tried at home.Great recipe.Thanks for sharing.
    Its been a while I visited your blog.Looks like u have changed the layout and color.Looks great....
    Have a nice day!

  10. Love strawberry jam. My ideal end to a sunday morning breakfast is that last piece of toast smeared with butter and strawberry jam with some of the chunky bits of strawberries. Hmmm I could go straight to heaven eating it.

    If you have any great picnic food ideas do come over to my blog-picnic.

  11. Hi,
    Wonderful recipe!!
    Can I try the same method for plums? or apples?


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