Smoothing some melted butter and strawberry jam over the nooks and crannies of an English muffin is one of life’s simple pleasures — but there’s a way to make it even more enjoyable. Instead of reaching for a jar of Smuckers to top your toast, you can easily make your own jam using fresh strawberries — and what better time to start than during the peak of strawberry season!
Strawberries can be found in the produce section of the grocery store year round, but they’re at their prime time during June. Just take a look at your local farmer’s market! Like many of us, strawberries love when the weather is nice and warm, but not too hot. So take advantage of the timing and buy a big container of freshly picked strawberries. You’ll definitely want to eat a bunch on their own right out of the basket, or throw some on yogurt or in a fruit salad, but with any extra we highly recommend you try this 3-ingredient strawberry jam.
Making jam from scratch is a simple way to prepare the fruit so it tastes great and lasts — and it doesn’t get much easier than this recipe from Scrambled Chefs! What makes it unique is that you don’t have to go through the trouble of sterilizing mason jars because it’s not going to be kept at room temperature where it’s easier for mold to grow, compared to the fridge or freezer. Anyone who’s ever done that knows it can be a dicey juggling act carefully removing the jars from a pot of boiling water (ouch!).
Instead, use a large airtight container like the Rubbermaid 4.7 Cup Food Storage Container (Buy on Amazon, $9.99) or a few Ziplock plastic bags (Buy at Walmart, $3.58). Plus, all it takes is an hour for that big vat of strawberries to go from fresh fruit to a yummy jam!
How to Make 3-Ingredient Strawberry Jam
First, soak two pounds of whole strawberries with one teaspoon of salt and enough water to cover the fruit for 10 minutes. This step cleans the strawberries so that any harmful pesticides left on the skin won’t get into the jam. Afterwards, rinse the berries in a colander to get rid of the salt water.
Slice off the green tops and cut the fruit into 1/2 inch thick pieces. Then, place the berries in a large pot with three cups of granulated sugar, the juice of one lemon, and one teaspoon of lemon zest. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium heat and let it cook for 15 minutes while stirring it occasionally.
Next, insert a candy thermometer (Buy on Amazon, $9.75) into the mixture and make sure the temperature reaches 220 Fahrenheit, which will allow it to set into a thick jam consistency. Remove the pot from the heat and let it fully cool down for about 30 minutes.
This jam will last up to three weeks in the fridge as long as it’s kept in an air tight food storage container. To store it in the freezer for up to six months, scoop one cup of the jam into individual Ziplock plastic bags and seal it tight.
This recipe will make about two to three cups of jam, so feel free to double or triple the amount of ingredients. That way you’ll never run out of strawberry jam to spread on toast with butter or on top of oatmeal!
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