In Which I Scratch a Canning Itch (Recipe: Honey Strawberry Jam)

Local flavors marry in this four-ingredient, sugar-free, Honey Strawberry Jam and I’ve finally scratched a summer itch – canning!

When July arrived and I hadn’t canned or preserved a single thing, save for a few bottles of strawberry-infused vodka, I began to panic a little. Yes, even though I’m the one who coached you on how to get your act together for the canning season, I’m still trying to kick-start my efforts.

So partially as incentive to get canning and partially to get out of the post-camping cleanup, I purchased a large flat of fresh Québec strawberries with the intention of making them into jam. Goodness knows when I was going to get the opportunity, as my summer days are jammed packed full of picnics, bike riding, backyard baseball, finger painting and other important activities. However, when Danny called around lunchtime one day this week to let me know he’d be home from work early, I knew I had my chance. Jam would be made by evening or I’d be a monkey’s uncle.

Out of my 9 good reasons to can your own food, personal satisfaction and passion are my main motivation to preserve the harvest.

Making jam and canning is most definitely therapeutic for me. It starts with the prepping of the fruit, a task I usually take to the back patio where I can watch the kids play and multitask in the most relaxed of ways. Then I put a large pot of water on to boil, and as it gurgles on the stove, I pad around the kitchen, gathering ingredients and tools, grateful for the time and space for the task at hand.

I feel a connection – to food culture, to the past, to the countless homemakers before me who ‘put up’ every summer. The fruit under my hands is ripe, luscious and deserving of respect. Plus I know that the experience of opening a jar of strawberry jam in March is more than just practical – it’s transporting. So a-jammin’ I go.

Honey + Strawberries = Jam

I’ve been captivated with strawberries and honey ever since Mother’s Day and the Honey Whole-Wheat Strawberry Shortcakes with Honey-Sweetened Whipped Cream. While the honey does have a strong flavor contribution to this jam, it marries beautifully with the berries.

Believe it or not, this is my first attempt at a true strawberry jam. In the past I deemed it too common and went for more adventurous flavor combinations, but now, I’m craving the comfort of the classics. Does that mean I’m getting old? Perhaps.

At any rate, this jam is neither boring, common or inferior to other jazzier conserves. It’s dead simple, with just four ingredients, and is made without the cups and cups of white sugar that round out most fruit jams. As with many sugar-free jams, it is a tad on the thin side.  I wouldn’t call it runny (I’ve seen some runny jam in my days!) but it doesn’t just sit on a knife, either.

Don’t let the thin texture deter you from trying this jam. It’s been less than 24 hours since I made it and we’re nearly through a jar because I’ve been spooning it over vanilla ice cream, adding it to yogurt and slathering crusty baguettes with its sweetness. It’s perfection!


Honey Strawberry Jam
5.0 from 3 reviews
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Recipe type: Preserves
Author:
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves/Yield: 6 cups of jam
If this is your first time making jam, be sure to review our Canning Basics before you get started.
Ingredients
  • 6 cups chopped strawberries
  • two boxes powdered pectin
  • 1 ½ cups honey
  • 2 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice
Instructions
  1. Wash and sterilize six 250ml jam jars. Boil the flat parts of the lids in a small pot and keep at a low simmer.
  2. Mash the berries with a potato masher and place in a large heavy bottomed saucepan.
  3. Add the pectin, stir with a wooden spoon, and place on a burner over high heat and bring to a rolling boil. Stir and boil for 1 min.
  4. Remove from heat and add the honey and lemon juice and mix well. Return to heat and bring to a boil again, stirring occasionally. Boil for 5 min, stirring constantly.
  5. Remove jam from heat and let sit for a couple of minutes, stirring occasionally. It will thicken slightly. Ladle jam into hot jars, then place a flat lid on jars, and add screw rings.
  6. Immerse jars in hot water bath, and boil rapidly for 8 min. Remove from bath and place on a towel on the counter to cool.

 

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About Aimee

Cooking has always been Aimée's preferred recreational activity, creative outlet, and source of relaxation. After nearly ten years in the professional cooking industry, she went from restaurant to RSS by trading her tongs and clogs for cookie cutters and a laptop, serving as editor here at Simple Bites. Her first book, Brown Eggs and Jam Jars - Family Recipes from the Kitchen of Simple Bites, was published in February 2015.

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Comments

  1. Lots of jam. Love this! We’re jam sisters! xoxox

  2. I am definitely going to try this! I’ve never made jam with honey before. I wonder if you could make a lemon version of this too?

  3. Do you need a special kind of pectin, or will anything do? I’m new to all of this and get scared by all of the warnings on the included recipes (i.e., “Will not jell unless you use exactly the prescribed amount of sugar”).

    • I used regular pectin from a box, and although it didn’t set up quite as much as I would have liked, it is a small exchange for the benefit of no sugar!

      • I tried making strawberry jam with pectin before. I can’t remember if I used liquid or powder, but I do remember that it turned out moldy. Would the problem have been the pectin. I did not use any lemon. Help and Thanks.

        • Rebecca C says:

          it could have been not using lemon. the lemon adds acidity which prevents things like mold. especially since fruits differ in their acidity, you should typically use some lemon when canning. even lemons differ in acidity from other lemons. some people use store bought lemon juice because of this as it will be a standard acidity. i think you can just taste your lemons and figure out if they are acidic enough.

        • Becky Leach says:

          moldy? sounds like the lids and/or jars were not sterilized in boiling hot water.

  4. Aimée ,

    Thank you , this is beautiful and so inspiring, honey jam, sounds delicious. I am so greatly enjoying your posts on SImple Bites, thank you.

  5. What beautiful jam. I love the use of honey.

  6. Lovely !! Do you think this would work with raspberries? Any idea if I need more or less honey (or lemon juice?) to offset the tang of raspberries? I have 4 qts and hope to try your recipe! 🙂

  7. This looks so good! And relatively simple — I’ve never made jam, so this looks like the sort of recipe I’d like to start with.

    Do you think other fruit could be substituted? The u-pick where we get strawberries had its last of the season a month ago! That’s what I get for living so far south, I suppose 🙂

    • Hmm, good question, the natural pectin content really varies in fruits and berries, but I think you could do it. I know my mother ONLY preserves with honey and she has great success.

  8. This sounds delicious! My farmers’ market has strawberries through the summer so I’ll try this for sure. I’ve put up strawberry jam and strawberry/olallieberry jam this season. Apricots might be next.

  9. Steph (The Cheapskate Cook) says:

    The cups and cups of white sugar are exactly what has been preventing me from giving jam a shot the past few years. Now I have no excuse!!! Thanks!

  10. We’re overrun with strawberries this year, so yes: strawberry jam, strawberry rhubarb jam, and strawberry black currant jam. I like using rhubarb and black currant because they take the place of purchased pectin.

  11. Oh, yeah–we’re also trying pickled asparagus for the first time this year.

  12. Can you clarify if the pectin is two boxes of powdered or liquid? I’m assuming powdered but want to be sure.

  13. I’ve read about the importance of using only tested canning recipes. When you develop canning recipes, do you test them? Thanks!

    • Good question, Trish. I did try the recipe a few times, and also, it was adapted from a book I have a lot of respect for, so I knew that it was going to be great!

  14. Oh you little jam princess! I new you’d emerge from your busy summer and come up with something! 🙂 I too have found myself prepping fruit on the back porch while watching my son play in the yard, then making the jam after his bedtime. It is therapeutic for me as well.

    I took advantage of my neighbor’s amazing crop of tiny, but sweet peaches. I made Peach Jam (clean & pure flavor) and Peaches & Spice Jam (hint of cardamon, cinnamon, clove & vanilla).

    • Peach jam is totally on my list for this summer. I’ve even got a few vanilla beans that I am saving to go into it. 🙂 Happy canning and thanks for stopping by!

  15. I need to get my act together and start jamming too, my reserves from last year are running low!

  16. adrianne says:

    Can you still make this without the lemon juice? I am allergic to citrus!

  17. I made this jam last night and it is amazing! My husband couldn’t believe it didn’t have any sugar. Thanks for sharing this, and I’m hoping you share your peach jam recipe too 🙂

  18. Aimee, I just love your recipes and can’t wait to try this one,
    but I’m wondering why there hasn’t been a “print this recipe”
    option on your recipes lately?

  19. Oh my! I just purchased my last flat of strawberries this past Thursday & I am in great need of making this jam! It sounds wonderful!

  20. I am so going to have to try this. Been looking for a recipe to make “squeezable” jelly for my husband and anything on the thin side is a good bet. Now I will also have a good excuse to go pick berries and find local honey…

  21. I have always wanted to make and can my own jam, but have been nervous about it. This recipe has changed my mind, though, and I’m ready to go! Have you ever tried using the pectin specifically for sugar free recipes? Thanks for sharing this! I love the idea of using honey instead of sugar 🙂

  22. I have 6 cups of fresh blackberries we picked last night. I’d like to try this. I’ve been wanting to make jam without the sugar. So I think this would work for blackberries, too, what’s your thoughts? We canned 8 quarts and I froze 3 quarts recently here, http://momonamission.me/?p=2068. I’m posting my best blackberry recipes this week. Aldi berries have been 1.29 each week, I may have to make stawberry, jam too. I’m thinking about freezing it.

  23. Just made this today with a nice big batch of u-pick strawberries I brought home yesterday. I tripled the recipe, although I didn’t triple the pectin. I used 3 1/2 boxes instead, and it still seemed to thicken up quite nicely and the taste is lovely. Thanks, Aimee!

  24. I needed this recipe a couple days ago! I made strawberry jam and it was hard to put all those cups of sugar in there. As I did it I was wondering if it would work with honey instead. Now I have my answer! One question…
    Do you have to use pectin for making jam with honey?

  25. Would it be possible to use no sugar/low sugar pectin? I’m assuming the amount of honey would be cut down. Do you ever use that kind of pectin?

  26. I hate to be another jam newbie looking for advice here, buuuut…… Linda (above) commented “I like using rhubarb and black currant because they take the place of purchased pectin.” If I were to make this recipe a strawberry rhubarb jam, do you think I could eliminate the pectin completely, or just reduce it to a lesser amount?
    Thanks so much!

  27. HippieGirlxo says:

    I just made this jam, and WOW! so good! the honey flavour blends in so nicely with the strawberries! I used sugar-free pectin, and doubled the batch. everything BUT the pectin. I left that at 2 boxes. It turn out really nice and light!

    Thanks so much!

  28. Mary Lou Sumberg says:

    Consider trying Pomona’s Universal Pectin for low-sweetener jam. It is 100% citrus pectin, no sugar or preservatives added. It jells well with low amounts of any sweetener or no sweetener at all. Be sure to read the instructions and follow the Pomona’s recipes that come in the box. It is different from other pectins and cannot simply replace other pectins in a recipe.
    Instructions and recipes are available for free on the website: http://www.pomonapectin.com, as well as a how-to video for low-sugar strawberry jam.

  29. Just canned for the first time a couple of weeks ago when I was given some overgrown cucumbers (apple cinnimon rings). With that success, I had the confidence to try this recipe. My wife is diabetic so I have to watch the sugar in foods. Well, I am happy to report that this was another success as I hear the lids popping down as I type this. I was able to find Ball brand “No Sugar Needed” pectin on sale at Kmart for $1 a box. Just tried a little jam that was left over from the canning and it is delicious!

    Thanks so much for sharing this recipe with us.

  30. i have a problem, were i live i dont have those boxes of pectin , i buy it in kilos or grams , so i dont know i much pectin im suposed to use in this jam??

  31. Will this recipe work with ollolieberries?

  32. Thanks so much for the recipe using honey rather than white sugar. My first attempt at no-sugar jam (with fruit juice concentrate) was much too tart for my husband’s taste. I’ve had this bookmarked for MONTHS, but decided to give it a “go” today. It is in the water bath canner right now so I can’t speak for the taste (although it smells awesome), but I am amazed at how easy it was!
    I’ve been addicted to canning applesauce lately and didn’t realize that jams require less time/energy! You may have created a monster 🙂

  33. This sounds wonderful! I started my year off by making strawberry banana jam, one of my family and friends favorites. But your recipe may be our new favorite!

  34. I make strawberry banana jam every year and it is wonderful! But I’m a diabetic and this would be great using honey instead of sugar.

  35. My boyfriend and I just finished making this…and holy cow the taste is fantastic! It’s not too sweet. It’s not too tangy. Each ingredient in this recipe compliments the other perfectly. We actually ended up slicing the strawberries and then sticking them in a blender to make the jam really smooth. It’s not hard to make and it doesn’t take up a ton of time. Thank you so much for sharing 🙂

  36. Melissa Nowack says:

    So xcited about this website! I can’t believe that Naturallyella.com posted a link just on the day I was dreaming of strawberry jam since they are almost ready here in northern wisconsin. I am all over it and all over your canning posts! So excited! Thanks a bunch!

  37. Julie H. says:

    Is this jam that stores in your cupboard? I have only made freezer jam, so I was wondering what the shelf life is before I make a ton. Thank you.

  38. Hi Aimée! Can you please clarify the quantity of pectin in this recipe? I don’t think that an American box of pectin is the same quantity as a Hungarian one. Plus, in Hungary you can’t buy pure pectin, it is very difficult to get. I found one store who sells but it’s liquid pectin and I have no idea how much I should use (grams or oz) in this recipe. Thanks!

    • Hi! I’m Canadian and not sure about US pectin, but our boxes are 57 grams. Hope that helps!

      PS Thanks for stopping by from Hungary. We honeymooned there and loved it!

      • Ups, sorry. I should have known you are Canadian! 🙂 I found only one store who sells pectin powder (and one who sells liquid pectin) but I’m gonna buy the powder.

        I’ll also ask my best friend (who lives in Toronto) to buy pectin powder for me and post it. I don’t know why pure pectin is not available in Hungary?!

        Wow, honeymoon in Hungary? How come? Were you on a European trip or only in Hungary? Where did you go? I’m glad to hear you enjoyed it! 🙂

        BTW, I’ve been following you for a while (here, on Twitter, on Instagram). 🙂

  39. My sister and I made jam yesterday. She used the traditional recipe with sugar and I made this recipe and both came out FABULOUSLY! I used freshly squeezed lemons and 100% natural pectin. I followed the instructions to the “T” (with one minor addition) and both jams turned out having the same consistency. The only thing I did differently, was add a pat of butter to the mixture the second time I brought it to a boil. That drastically reduced the foaming and splatter. I LOVE this recipe! The finished product tastes Gorgeous and looks Gorgeous!

  40. Danielle Dean says:

    I just used 11/2 cups honey and 2 cups orange juice with low sugar pectin 🙂 Also very delicious.

  41. Uh…I think mine OVERset. Is that even possible? This is my first time making jam and loved using honey instead of boatloads of sugar. It is absolutely delicious, and now next time I know to use less pectin! Thanks for a delicious recipe, we are loving it.

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