Sure-Jell strawberry jam is the most classic of all homemade strawberry jams and it’s from the back of the pectin box ~ I’ll show you how to make it, and how to tweak it!
Sure-Jell strawberry jam is a classic!
If you’ve made jam, you’ve probably bought Sure-Jell pectin at some point. It’s the most commonly available fruit pectin on the market. And when I came home with a load of summer strawberries the other day, I had jam on my mind. This recipe makes a traditional, old fashioned sweet strawberry jam that can be water bath canned, refrigerated, or frozen. It’s perfect for toast, scones and clotted cream, or for use in cakes, bars, tarts and cookies that call for jam.
you’ll need 3 ingredients
- strawberries (fresh or frozen will work)
- granulated sugar
- Sure-Jell Powdered Fruit Pectin
let’s make it
The instructions in the Sure-Jell package are notoriously confusing, but I’ve boiled it down (pun intended) to the essentials…
- Rinse and hull your strawberries
- Crush them either by hand, or in a food processor (my choice.)
- Add the crushed berries to a large heavy bottomed pot and stir in the pectin.
- Bring to a rolling boil.
- Add the sugar and stir well.
- Bring back to a rolling boil, stirring continuously, and boil for 1 minute.
- Remove from the heat and skim off any foam.
- Fill jars and hot water bath can, or let cool and refrigerate or freeze.
tips and faqs about Sure-Jell strawberry jam
Sure-Jell is a commercial pectin made with sugar (dextrose) citric acid, and fruit pectin. The pectin is derived from citrus fruit. This recipe is made with the original formula (in the yellow box.) If you want a classic, sweet, firmly set jam, this is your pectin.
In this recipe the sugar is needed for a good set to the jam. Sure-Jell original pectin is a HM or high methoxy pectin that relies on sugar to help it set. This type of pectin creates a firm, classic jam set. If you’d like a tarter jam, consider adding some lemon juice to the crushed berries.
If you want a low sugar jam, be sure to use the Sure-Jell for low or no sugar pectin, in the pink box, which is an LM or low methoxyl type of pectin for low or no sugar jams.
Yes, just be sure to leave 1/2 inch free space at the top to allow for expansion as it freezes.
Yes, you can cook the jam down for a longer time until it thickens naturally through evaporation of the water. This could take 40-50+ minutes, depending on your fruit.
If you simply refrigerate the jam it will last up to a month. If you freeze it it will be good for 6 months, and if you can it, it will last a year.
There could be several reasons why jam doesn’t set, but the most common is that you don’t get it hot enough for long enough. When the recipe calls for a rolling boil (in steps 3 and 4) this means a full furious boil that cannot be stirred down. Over boiling is another reason jam might not set: if you boil your jam for too long, the pectin can begin to break down. It’s also important to follow this recipe to the letter, any variations can interfere with the set. So keep to the instructions on this and be sure to use a timer.
Yes, you can add other berries like raspberries or blueberries to this recipe, but keep all the measurements the same.
what do you think?
Jam can be as complicated or as simple as you want to get, and recipes can range from precise formulas like this one, to my uber simple microwave jam, which is basically fruit, microwaved down to its bubbly essence. My Belgian friend Elisa showed me how to make her family’s strawberry jam the European style, which is wonderful but doesn’t jive with American safety standards. There’s no doubt about it, the world of jam making is complex and fraught with pitfalls. That’s why I often default to small batch refrigerator jams so I can play with flavors and ingredients without worrying about safety concerns.
what’s your jam?
- An Easy Blackberry Jam Recipe
- Gin and Jam Cocktail
- Sweet Hot Red Pepper Jam
- Super Easy Hot Pepper Jelly
- The ULTIMATE Guide to Freezer Jam
- 5 cups crushed strawberries (you'll need about 3 lbs fresh, whole berries to start with)
- 1 package SureJell powdered fruit pectin (in the 1.75 oz yellow box.), find it here.
- 7 cups granulated sugar
- Measure out your ingredients and have your clean jars at the ready for filling with jam.
- Place the crushed berries* in a large, tall heavy bottomed pot (the mixture will rise as it boils so you want to make sure you have plenty of extra room in your pot), and stir in the whole package of pectin.
- Over medium-high heat, bring the mixture to a rolling boil. Note: a rolling boil is a boil that you can't stir down. This will take a few minutes or more, depending on your fruit, your pot, and the heat of your stove.
- Add the sugar and stir thoroughly. Bring the mixture back up to a rolling boil, and then continue to boil for exactly 1 minute. Continue stirring the whole time.
- Remove the jam from the heat, and skim off any foam with a spoon.
- Fill your jars with the hot jam and allow to cool at room temperature. Note: your jam will be quite liquid at this point, and that's normal. The pectin won't solidfy until the jam chills.
- Store in the fridge for up to a month, the freezer for up to 6 months, or follow instructions for water bath canning, if desired.
for water bath canning
- (If you are new to canning, make sure you've read the full details from a source you trust, I like the instructions from Ball.) Ladle the hot jam into hot jars, and leave 1/4 inch at the top. Wipe any drips off the rims with a clean cloth. Cover each jar with a clean lid, and screw to finger tight. Place jars on a rack in your canner. Be sure the water covers the jars by 1 to 2 inches. Cover the pot and bring water back to a boil. Process the jam for 10 minutes. Carefully take out the hot jars and put them on a kitchen towel to cool. After cooling, check seals on the jars. If any of the jars have not sealed properly, refrigerate them and consume within a month.
- *To crush strawberries, first rinse and hull your berries. Then cut them in halves or quarters. Puree them in a food processor, blender, or with an immersion blender until they are blended fairly smoothly, but still retaining some texture.
- Recipe is from the Sure-Jell pectin package.
Questions and Reviews
Oh my goodness…..I followed the recipe on the sure gel box and I was confused and now realized I did it completely wrong according to your tips and recipe. The box does not make it clear to mix sugar & berries on the stove top with the sure gel & water. It explains to mix them separately I thought. So now my dilemma is can I thaw out a container and heat it on the stove top to melt the sugar more or are all my containers now trash. Oh I’m so aggravated! Wish I would have seen your post before I started!!