How To Make Strawberry Jelly

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If you have ever wanted to learn how to make Strawberry Jelly, then this is the recipe for you. It is amazingly simple, and you won’t believe how much better it tastes than those store bought ones. I usually end up using the store bought ones anyway because I can’t get the flavor or texture right when I make them myself. So now that we’re on this topic…

STRAWBERRY JELLY

This strawberry jelly is smooth, transparent, and low in sugar. It is simple and easy to make in less than 20 minutes using fresh or frozen strawberries.

Three jars with strawberry jelly.

Strawberries are in season and while We’ve made homemade strawberry jam and desserts, we love making strawberry jelly. Now, this jelly is made similar to jam unlike, the gelatin-based fruit desserts.

Jelly tastes different from the jam. Jam is more wholesome made with full strawberries crushed with a potato masher while jelly is very smooth made with strawberry juice. The processing time for jam is longer than jelly. We make homemade which is all-natural unlike, commercial jams and jellies that use high fructose corn syrup and citric acid.

WHY MAKE HOMEMADE JELLY?

  • No-fail method – This recipe is simple and easy. And if you’ve never made homemade jam and jellies before you will definitely start now.
  • No- canning – This is a homemade freezer jam recipe without the fuss of canning so you don’t need to put the jars in a boiling water bath. Just pour the jelly into sterilized jars and save them in the fridge or freezer. However, below, I have also given you the detailed process for canning.
  • With pectin – Ideally, you can make strawberry jam or jelly with just two ingredients: fruit and sugar. However, since we remove the fruit fiber and seeds, where the natural pectin is, for jelly we need to add artificial pectin. Artificial pectin is usually made from fruit rind and is safe and easy to use.
  • Low-sugar – Fresh strawberries are naturally soft and sweet. Therefore, you don’t need to add a lot of sugar to this jelly.
  • You can use this jelly on toast or French toast, as well as in cookies such as thumbprint cookies. Of course, in jelly donuts too.
A toast with strawberry jelly.

INGREDIENTS AND SUBSTITUTES

  • Strawberries – The best candidates for jams are ripe strawberries that are dark red, and more on the soft side. Ones that have been kept aside in the fridge for a day or two.
    Pro tip – Never let the strawberries soak in water as they absorb water making a very runny jam. I like to wash, hull and dry the strawberries with a paper towel or leave them in the fridge to completely dry – this helps reduce the cooking time.
  • Sugar – Unlike commercial jelly, I like to use less sugar, which is usually half the quantity of fruit. For example, if I have 1 kg of fruit, I usually add 500 grams of sugar. But, you can use up to 750 grams for 1 kg fruit.
  • Lemon juice – It’s best to use fresh lemon juice.
  • Pectin – This is fruit pectin and can be found in most supermarkets.
Ingredients shot collage for strawberry jelly.

HOW TO MAKE STRAWBERRY JELLY

  • Check the strawberries and remove any bad, discolored, or bruised ones.
    Pro tip – You can use soft strawberries but discolored and bruised ones will ruin the jelly. Also, don’t soak the fruit in water for too long as they do soak up moisture.
  • Place the strawberries in a food processor and blend until smooth. Pour the puree into a sieve /mesh, cheesecloth or jelly bag to strain out only the strawberry juice. Discard the seeds and fruit fiber.
    Pro tip – I like to use my blender instead of a food processor so I don’t lose all the fruit fiber. The disadvantage of keeping fruit fiber though is that the jelly is less transparent.
Progress pictures collage for strawberry jelly.
  • In a heavy bottom large pot (large saucepan works too), combine the strawberries, sugar, salt, pectin powder, and lemon juice. Give it a good stir.
    Pro tip – Some pectin can become lumpy when added to the pan, but, it does dissolve during cooking. Alternatively, you can add the pectin to a small batch of strawberry puree and then add it to the pot.
  • Cook on medium heat until the sugar is dissolved. Then, turn the heat up and let the mixture come to a boil. Let it boil for two minutes on medium-high. Skim any foam that rises to the top with a metal spoon.
    Pro tip – The foam does not affect the taste of the jelly but it does give the jelly a cloudy appearance.
  • Then, turn the heat to medium-low and cook for just about 5 minutes.  If there is still some scum on the top, you can add a tablespoon of butter to dissolve it.
    Pro tip – Ideally you do not need to reduce jelly or jam with pectin. But, since we are using less pectin in our jelly we will cook and reduce it for just about 5 minutes more.
Progress pictures collage for strawberry jelly.
  • Turn the heat off and let the jam sit in the pan for 2 to 3 minutes.
    Pro tip – When using pectin there is no need to test jam the traditional method. But, if unsure you can use a candy thermometer – the jelly should still reach 105 C / 221 F.
  • Pour the jelly into warm sterilized jars leaving ¼ inch space from the top. Use a clean sterilized knife or spatula to move the jelly a bit – this will remove any air pockets.
  • Place a piece of wax paper on the top before you place the lid on tightly. Clean the rim of the jar with a clean paper hand towel. Top the lid.
    Alternatively, use the lid with screw-on rings that come with the canning jars.
progress pictures collage for strawberry jelly.

THE CANNING PROCESS (IF YOU PLAN TO CAN THE JELLY)

STERILIZE THE JARS

  • Sterilize 4 x 8 oz (250 g) jars by washing them in soapy warm water or cleaning them in the dishwasher with a gentle cycle. Then, place them in the oven for 20 minutes at a low 284 F / 140 C.
    Pro tip – I find the dishwasher works well to wash jars and the oven dries any excess moisture in the bottles.
  • Note – Leave them in the oven until you are ready to use them (you can turn the oven off). Don’t forget to wash and sterilize the bottle lids as well.
Progress pictures collage for jam preserves jelly canning progress

CANNING PROCESS

  • Place a rack in the bottom of a large stockpot or water bath canner. Fill half the pot with water. Bring the water in the pot to a boil on high heat.
  • Lower the filled jars over the rack leaving enough space between the jars.
    Pro tip – The level of water should be at least an inch above the top of the jars. So, if necessary, pour more boiling water.
  • Bring the water to a boil again. Cover the pot and process/simmer for 15 minutes.
  • Then, carefully remove the jars from the stockpot and place them upside down on a kitchen towel to absorb any excess moisture. Cool completely.
    Pro tip – The hot jars are very delicate so make sure to use tongs when taking them out and place them on soft towels to prevent them from breaking. Do not touch the inside of the jar to prevent mold.
  • Press the top of the lid to ensure the seal is tight – the lid should not move at all. Store in a cool dry place.
A jar with jelly made with fresh strawberries.

STORAGE

  • If canning, the canned jelly will stay in a cool dry place in the pantry for up to a year or even longer.
  • When not canned, the jelly will stay at room temperature for a month or more in good weather.
  • You can also keep the jelly in the fridge for 3 to 6 months.
  • Label the jar with the name and date so you know what is in and when you made it.

Strawberry Jam

This is by far the easiest recipe I have found for strawberry jam without using a pectin. The jam is soft, spreadable and delicious.

Gallery

Recipe Summary

Cook:20 minsTotal:40 minsPrep:20 minsServings:40Yield:5 cups

Strawberry Jam in glass jars

Ingredients

Decrease Serving40Increase ServingAdjustOriginal recipe yields 40 servingsIngredient Checklist

  • 2 pounds fresh strawberries, hulled
  • 4 cups white sugar
  • ¼ cup lemon juice

Directions

Instructions Checklist

  • Step 1In a wide bowl, crush strawberries in batches until you have 4 cups of mashed berry. In a heavy bottomed saucepan, mix together the strawberries, sugar, and lemon juice. Stir over low heat until the sugar is dissolved. Increase heat to high, and bring the mixture to a full rolling boil. Boil, stirring often, until the mixture reaches 220 degrees F (105 degrees C). Transfer to hot sterile jars, leaving 1/4 to 1/2 inch headspace, and seal. Process in a water bath. If the jam is going to be eaten right away, don’t bother with processing, and just refrigerate.

STRAWBERRY JELLY ~ EASY HOMEMADE RECIPE

Strawberry jelly captures the luscious flavor of strawberries in a smooth homemade jelly.  Without strawberry seeds, this simple strawberry jelly is flavorful without distractions.

Jar of homemade strawberry jelly

My little ones love all things jam and jelly, especially strawberry preserves.  When strawberry season rolls around in Vermont, they’re on duty full time in our strawberry patch picking berries.  We plant two main varieties, the standard summer bearing early strawberries and everbearing strawberries. 

Unlike June Bearing varieties, everbearing strawberry plants produce berries all summer and into the fall, though they don’t bear huge crops at any one time.  Summer-bearing varieties produce big crops all at once in late spring and early summer, enough to pick bucket loads at a time for strawberry preserves off all kinds, including strawberry jelly.

While I love having a huge canning crop all at once, I also love having a steady trickle of berries all season long.  That means I get to see my little strawberry loving munchkins marching off to the garden, bucket in hand all summer long.

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I have this simple recipe for low sugar strawberry jam that’s my go-to way to preserve strawberries.  It’s perfect for my palate, which doesn’t want a lot of sweet.  The little ones though, they want all the sugar.  

It’s not just the sugar though, it’s about the texture.  While I love a barely sweet jam with a lot of chunks and even the occasional whole strawberry mixed in, they’re all about smooth fruit jellies.

Easy homemade strawberry jelly recipe

I’m happy to make strawberry jelly for them because it’s actually easier to make than strawberry jam in some ways.  There is a straining step, sure, but the cooking time is much shorter.  All I have to do is cook up the berries, get them into the jelly bag and then I can be back outside playing in the sun with the littles.

HOW TO MAKE STRAWBERRY JELLY

As with any homemade preserve, it all starts with good fruit.  It takes about 3 1/2 cups of hulled strawberries to produce just one cup of juice, so it’s important to start with a good quantity of berries. 

That said, I’ve written this strawberry jelly recipe to be adaptable.  Regardless of the number of strawberries you start with, just measure the juice produced and scale the recipe from there.

Hull the strawberries, no need to chop, and place them in a saucepan with a bit of lemon juice or water. 

Hulled strawberries in a pot for Jelly

Mash slightly with a potato masher and cook them over medium heat for about 10 minutes until they release their juices.

The next step is straining out the solids for a clear strawberry juice.  A jelly bag really helps with this, and it’s a pretty minimal investment if you plan on making jellies regularly.  Otherwise, use dampened cheesecloth lining a colander or fine mesh strainer to drain the cooked strawberry mixture.

Strawberry jelly needs to strain for 2 to 4 hours, but preferably overnight.  The longer you leave it, the higher the yield. 

It’s important to resist the temptation to squeeze the fruit while it’s hanging straining in a jelly bag or cheesecloth because that’ll cloud that jam.  It’s cosmetic, but we eat with our eyes as well as our mouths and a bright red strawberry jam just looks tastier!

Straining strawberry jelly though a jelly bag positioned over a saucepan

Once the strawberry juice has strained, measure it.

If you’re using standard pectin like sure gel, a “batch” of strawberry jelly requires 4 cups of strawberry juice.  I tend to keep low sugar pectin (Pomona’s Pectin) on hand in my pantry, and that type allows you to be more flexible with batch sizes and the amount of sugar used.

With Pomona’s pectin, there are two parts.  Powdered pectin that’s mixed in with the added sugar, and calcium water that’s mixed in with the strawberry juice. 

The calcium activates the pectin, rather than sugar in regular pectin.  That means you can make a very low or no sugar preserve if you want.

That’s not what I’m doing here though.  I’m making a regular full sugar jelly for sweet tooth toddlers.  Still, I love that it’s flexible on batch sizes. 

With Pomona’s pectin, add 1 teaspoon of both pectin powder and calcium water for each cup of strawberry juice.  Along with about 1/4 cup of sugar, this “micro batch” will yield a single 8oz jar.

Scale the recipe up or down as you need, adjusting to your total juice yield.

Homemade Strawberry Jelly in a Reusable lockeat canning jar

While I generally use standard 8oz jelly jars, I’ve been experimenting with canning jars with re-usable lids.  These beautiful canning jars have a rubber gasket and glass lid that can be re-used again and again.

Thus far, I’m very happy with them and they really make for a beautiful presentation.  I’m hoping to use them as fancy gifts this holiday season, but in the meantime, they’re holding strawberry jelly.

The flip-top is actually easier for my kids to manage on their own than a standard screw-top jar, but I’m always worried they’ll drop that glass lid.  In truth, it’s no riskier than them just dropping the whole jar on the floor.

Strawberry jelly in a lockeat canning jar

CANNING STRAWBERRY JELLY

Regardless of the canning jars you use, leave 1/4 inch headspace and process strawberry jelly in a water bath canner for 10 minutes.  Turn off the canner and leave the jars in the hot water for another 5 minutes before removing them to cool.

Check for seals, and store any unsealed jars in the refrigerator for immediate use.

Alternately, just store the whole batch in the fridge or the freezer and skip the canning step altogether.  It won’t be shelf-stable, but if you’re not into canning and you plan to use it up quickly it doesn’t much matter.

Homemade Strawberry Jelly

AUTHOR NOTES

Easy & delicious homemade strawberry jelly recipe for canning & preserving.

  • PREP TIME24 hours 15 minutes
  • COOK TIME25 minutes
  • SERVES4
Ingredients send grocery list
  • 5 cups strawberries
  • 5 cups granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 5 tablespoons pectin (optional)
Directions
  1. Easy & delicious homemade strawberry jelly recipe for canning & preserving. Goes perfectly with Hanukkah Sufganiyot, Oznei Haman or a slice of bread.
  2. On a separate pan, heat the center lids to a simmer as well
  3. Mash the strawberries using a food masher (steel recommended) and add them to a large pot
  4. Pour lemon juice, sugar and pectin to the pot and start whisking till they dissolve in the mixture
  5. Boil the mixture for around 1 minute while stirring.
  6. Turn off the heat and skim off the appearing foam with a spoon
  7. Start filling the mason jars with jam one at a time with a wide-mouth funnel. Clean the resedue from the jar’s exterior.
  8. Place the center lids on the jars Tip:Make sure to leave a little space at the top of the jar
  9. Fill the canning pot with water, and boil for 10 minutes
  10. Turn off the heat, and let the jars cool off for a few minutes
  11. Using a jar lifter, remove the jars from the hot water and keep them out for 24 hours
  12. After 24 hours, check the lids for seal. If sealed properly, store the jars in a pantry or kitchen cabinet & Enjoy!

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