Photo: Aaron Kirk; Prop Styling: Christina Daley; Food Styling: Robin Bashinsky
Active Time
15 Mins
Total
45 min. plus chilling time
Yield
Makes 1 quart

Have an abundance of perfectly ripe strawberries on your hands? Sounds like you’re ready to make jam. We know what you’re thinking—but trust us, making your own strawberry jam at home is surprisingly easy, especially with this foolproof recipe in hand. The ingredient list is concise, but every element plays an important role. Adding water at the beginning of the cooking process keeps your sugar from burning before the berries can begin to release their juices; however, the water evaporates as the jam simmers, so it doesn’t dilute the final product. Meanwhile, utilizing pectin to thicken the jam allows you to encapsulate some of the strawberries’ fresh vibrancy, rather than having to extensively stew the berries down to reach a rich, jammy consistency. Red wine vinegar brightens the strawberry jam’s flavor without making it distinctly tangy. And a finishing touch of butter takes care of the little white air bubbles that can make a jam cloudy. Your completed homemade jam can provide a welcome burst of farm-fresh berry flavor to any number of foods; try it on biscuits or toast, spooned over oatmeal or ice cream, drizzled onto waffles or pound cake, whisked into a vinaigrette, or dolloped onto a cheese board. And for a herbaceous flavor variation on your next batch of strawberry jam, try adding 3-4 sprigs of an herb like basil, mint, tarragon, or thyme to the jam while it cooks (simply remove and discard the herbs before jarring). 

How to Make It

Step 1

Combine strawberries, sugar, water, pectin, vinegar, and salt in a large saucepan over medium-high; bring to a boil. Cook, stirring occasionally for 6 minutes. Reduce heat to medium; cook, stirring occasionally, until berries release their juices and liquid is syrupy, 15 to 20 minutes. Swirl in butter until melted.

Step 2

Pour into jars and cool completely uncovered, or alternately place lids on jars and process in boiling water to sterilize.

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