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Simple Homemade Strawberry Jam: Perfect for Gifts

This simple strawberry jam is great for gifting!

This simple strawberry jam is great for gifting!

Grandma's Recipe

When I was a little girl, I remember standing on a stool in my grandmother's kitchen, stirring a big pot of bubbling strawberries and sugar with a wooden spoon. The sweet, warm smell of the concoction was wonderful. My grandmother and I made strawberry jam at least once a year, and I loved making it with her almost more than eating it.

So, when my boys got to be old enough, I was excited about making it with them. I called my grandmother and asked for her recipe. What she sent me was a compilation of different bits and pieces of recipes she'd used over the years. I read all of them carefully and put together the parts that made sense. We've made jam two years in a row now, and everyone is always delighted to receive it as a gift. What follows is our deliciously simple recipe.

Cooking Notes

  • You can easily cut the recipe in half by simply halving each ingredient quantity and the number of jars.
  • Powdered fruit pectin along with canning jars can often be found in the canning section of your grocery store.

Cook Time

Prep timeCook timeReady inYields

10 min

20 min

30 min

24 (4-ounce) jars


  • 3 pounds fresh strawberries
  • 8 cups sugar
  • 2 boxes powdered fruit pectin


  • 24 (4-ounce) or 12 (8-ounce) canning jars
  • 1 (8-quart) pot
  • potato masher, or similar
  • large spoon for stirring
  • ladle and pitcher (if you don't wish to pour straight out of the pot)

Step 1: Cook the Strawberries

  1. Rinse the strawberries, cut the stems off, and place them in the large pot.
  2. Mash the strawberries thoroughly with the potato masher. I like to leave some large pieces, but this is a matter of personal taste.
  3. Add the powdered fruit pectin, and mix well.
  4. Place the mixture on high heat. Stirring constantly, bring to a full boil.
  5. Slowly add the sugar, continuing to stir. Be sure it returns to a full boil.
  6. Do not remove it from the heat before reading the next section.

Step 2: Pour the Jam Into Jars

Pouring jam in jars may seem simple—until you read you're supposed to boil the jars after filling in order to seal them. Also, when you're faced with a vat of boiling strawberries, you may wonder how you're going to get all that into all those little jars without making a complete mess. Here's how:

Pour the Jam

  1. Some people skim the foam off the top before pouring. To avoid this, I pour the jars, especially the first few, all the way to the top so that when the air settles out of them, the jar is still plenty full.
  2. Immediately after removing the jam from the heat, ladle it into a pitcher with a good pour spout.
  3. Use the pitcher to pour into the jars, refilling the pitcher as necessary.
  4. Wipe any excess jam from the rims and lids, to ensure proper sealing.
  5. Screw lids on tightly.
  6. It's useful to have another person wiping, capping, and removing the jars to another surface. This way, you can pour quickly while the jam is hot and have the filled jars out of your way while you do the rest.

Seal Using the Inversion Method

Turn them upside down for at least five minutes, immediately after capping. The heat from the jam seals the jar. No boiling is required. That's it!

If the jam sticks to the lid after turning right side up again, gently shake the jar in an upward motion to return it to the bottom.

Labels by Autumn Leah Designs (Etsy)

Labels by Autumn Leah Designs (Etsy)

Step 3: Label Your Jars

It's a good idea to label your jars, especially if strawberry jam isn't the only thing you're canning. Most canning jars come with write-in stickers you can use. You may want something more artistic though, especially if you're using them as gifts. I'm partial to the circular ones that go on the lids, since they are easily seen from the top and are decorative, requiring no additional packaging to make them attractive. Etsy is a great resource for inexpensive, attractive canning labels.

My homemade strawberry jam

My homemade strawberry jam

Gift Ideas

Now that your jam is all ready and labeled, you have some great gifts for family, friends, neighbors, and teachers. You can pair it with tasty homemade biscuits or bread for a more elaborate gift or just let the jam stand for itself. You may also choose to attach the recipe to your gift jam. Since sealed jars of jam need no refrigeration and can last for years as long as they remained sealed, you can make them well ahead of time and have gifts for people year-round. You're jammin'! (I couldn't resist.)


April Garner (author) from Austin, Texas on September 30, 2014:

RNMSN, they never are. It's more than just the taste, it's the whole memory.

Barbara Bethard from Tucson, Az on September 29, 2014:

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I loved helping with the pickles at Grandmoms and I made watermelon rind pickles one summer when I was missing her so much and that was fun but they weren't as good as hers of course

April Garner (author) from Austin, Texas on September 29, 2014:

Thanks, RNMSN. I have such warm memories of making jam with my grandmother. It's not as hard as it seems, and the kids really enjoy it, too.

Barbara Bethard from Tucson, Az on September 29, 2014:

turning the jars upside down was the way I saw my mom and grandmother do all preserves...I didn't know it wasn't the preferred method :) I haven't tried any jams or jellies...this article makes it look strightforward...makes me want to try it and way to go too on editors choice / HOTD!!! well deserved!

April Garner (author) from Austin, Texas on December 23, 2013:

mbuggieh, thank you for the link. I read it, and while the inversion method isn't that publication's preferred method, it does not condemn it. Done properly, I stand by the inversion method as an easier and reliable method for sealing jars. It is, I suppose, more suitable for home canning than mass production for sale in stores.

mbuggieh on December 23, 2013:

Please Do NOT use the so-called "inversion method". Is is not a reliable method of sealing jars---and for several reasons.

Please read:

April Garner (author) from Austin, Texas on December 23, 2013:

Thanks for all the great comments, everyone!

Hui (蕙) on December 23, 2013:

Great recipe, beautiful jam, and good gift ideas give this nice hub. Most important thing is the sweet childhood memory with grandma, old time and good memory.

mckbirdbks from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas on December 23, 2013:

What a really nice Hub. It is filled with warmth. Thanks for sharing your Grandmother's recipe and such warm memories.

Cheeluarv on December 23, 2013:

I used to make tomato jam at home, but never tried with strawberries. Thanks for sharing your grandma's recipe with useful storing tips and congratulations on Hub Of the Day.

RTalloni on December 23, 2013:

Congrats on your Hub of the Day award for this useful and nicely done post! Following this recipe with all your tips would make the process easy.

poetryman6969 on December 23, 2013:

Looks like a darn tasty excuse to eat some biscuits!

Keely Deuschle from Florida on December 23, 2013:

Last night I had asked a question here about favorite jams! And this morning I wake up to find your delicious recipe featured as hub of the day! Congratulations! I think I know what my next jam will be!

Rebecca Mealey from Northeastern Georgia, USA on December 23, 2013:

Good trick to learn to keep from having to boil the jars. Thanks! Congrats on HOTD,too.

Barbara Bethard from Tucson, Az on December 23, 2013:

You have inspired me April!

I have always wanted to try jam,jelly, memories of my grandmother as the same as yours and my grandmother loved to do pickles as well!

I am adding this to my collection and congratulations on your Hub of the Day!

April Garner (author) from Austin, Texas on December 19, 2013:

Thank you, Pamela! It's great to hear that from a preserve veteran.

Pamela Oglesby from Sunny Florida on December 18, 2013:

I have made strawberry preserves many times, but I think your hub is excellent. You explained the process very well and I like your recipe.

April Garner (author) from Austin, Texas on December 17, 2013:

Sweet tooth, glad you enjoyed the jam. Maybe I need to publish "The year the tree went down."

sweet tooth on December 17, 2013:

As a recipient of your strawberry jam, I can highly recommend this delictable treat. Also, your story: "The Year the Tree Went Down" is an ongoing gift of humor and remembrance.

April Garner (author) from Austin, Texas on December 04, 2013:

Toytasting, you're welcome. I look forward to hearing how your jam making experience goes. Thank you!

Toy Tasting from Mumbai on December 04, 2013:

Really nice hub..This recipe is simple and easy to make. I would be making it around next week, would share my experience with you

Thanks for sharing this recipe. :)

Sally Gulbrandsen from Norfolk on December 03, 2013:

April Garner

Home Made Gifts are for me, just the best like of gift to receive, given with thought and love. What more could one ask for? A patch of strawberries big enough to do it myself! Wish fruit were no so expensive in the UK. I think I will be making sweets instead of Jam this year - such a shame because I do love strawberry jam.

Thanks for sharing


Donna Herron from USA on December 03, 2013:

Yay! This is something I've always wanted to try! Perfect timing and pinning now :)

April Garner (author) from Austin, Texas on December 03, 2013:

Thank you, Kukata Kali and star stream!

Dreamer at heart from Northern California on December 03, 2013:

Beautiful presentation of your favorite jam recipe and photo! I also enjoyed so many years of Oregon jam making. Now I am making peach pepper jam while living in California. Memories sustain us.

Kukata Kali on December 03, 2013:

My goodness, I'm making this soon! Thank you so much. Voted up and shared on my FB.

April Garner (author) from Austin, Texas on December 02, 2013:

Thank you, Amie.

Amie Butchko from Warwick, NY on December 02, 2013:

April, I am truly sorry for your loss. It is really amazing that you just shared her recipe and got to tell her about it. I am sure she is very proud of you and will be with you, by your side, as you are making your jam for years to come.

April Garner (author) from Austin, Texas on December 02, 2013:

Thank you all for your kind words about the recipe. My grandmother, Sue, passed away just a few days ago on Thanksgiving. She did so much more than make jam and was a wonderful writer herself. I am thankful I was able to tell her about this article before she died. She was always on my case to write, and I'm glad she knows I'm finally getting on with it!

FullOfLoveSites from United States on December 02, 2013:

Thank you for sharing this recipe, as well as proper pouring and ideal packaging of your homemade strawberry jam. What's sweeter in this is your bond between you and your grandma, sharing your passion for cooking. I'm quite touched by it. :)

Preston and Kate from the Midwest on December 01, 2013:

Thanks for sharing April! I enjoy hearing of your memories with your grandma. My family does a lot of canning, and we are always making memories doing it together. :)

April Garner (author) from Austin, Texas on November 27, 2013:

Thanks, Obreinfamily. Good tip!

Amy Goldstein from Chesterfield on November 27, 2013:

Great Hub.... Just a little tip- after they have sat turned upside town for a while- when you flip them over- push in the top lid- to ensure that is is sealed..:)

M K Paul from India on November 26, 2013:

wonderful..I'll surely try this....

April Garner (author) from Austin, Texas on November 26, 2013:

Wiserworld, you're welcome. Cooking isn't generally my thing, so I always appreciate a detailed recipe as well. Eiddwen, I'm glad you enjoyed it.

wiserworld on November 26, 2013:

Thanks for explaining in such detail. Will have to try this jam out for the holidays!

Eiddwen from Wales on November 25, 2013:

Great recipe and thank you for sharing.


April Garner (author) from Austin, Texas on November 25, 2013:

Thanks, Amie!

Amie Butchko from Warwick, NY on November 25, 2013:

Great idea for spending time with the kids, and for heartfelt gifts as well. Your boys will have the same memories you did. Very nice legacy to pass between generations.

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