A delicious Homemade Strawberry Jam with less than 1/2 the amount of sugar and NO store-bought pectin. The natural sweetness of ripe strawberries is brought to life with the pleasant tartness of apples and a touch of lemon juice.
This reduced sugar, homemade strawberry jam is perfect for using up those overripe strawberries!
HAPPY NEW YEAR to all my lovely readers!
It’s a new start, and I’m looking forward to seeing what 2018 has in store for all of us. Last year was a productive one for me- I released my first cookbook (YAY!), and The Flavor Bender continues to grow with the awesome support of all my amazing readers. This year, you will see more breakfast, brunch and dessert recipes with a sprinkling of others. I adore breakfast and brunch, and often find myself having breakfast food for lunch and dinner too! So I want to share that passion with you guys, along with some creative, exciting and of course delicious recipes for a nourishing breakfast that are easy and will save you time too.
There were TWO things in our fridge at all times when I was growing up that were meant for breakfast. Strawberry jam and Marmite spread (New Zealand Marmite, not the UK kind!). These were always on the breakfast table for anyone who wanted toast. I was a Marmite girl, still am. But if my mother ever made homemade strawberry jam, then all else was irrelevant. I wanted that delicious, classic homemade strawberry jam slathered on top of EVERYTHING!
WOULD YOU like to make classic strawberry jam with only half the sugar, and all of the fruity, berry flavor? Then look no more, this homemade strawberry jam is honestly the best! One taste of this apple and ripe strawberry jam, and you’ll never want to buy from the store again!
Difference between old fashioned strawberry jam and this recipe.
Old fashioned strawberry jam isn’t usually made with a lot of ripe strawberries. The reason for that is that ripe strawberries have less pectin and therefore the jam doesn’t set enough without lots of pectin and a ton of sugar. Plus store-bought jam contains all kinds of preservatives and dyes too. I was always told to add at least the same amount of sugar (by weight) as fruit in my homemade jam.
BUT this homemade strawberry jam recipe ONLY uses 1/2 the amount of sugar and absolutely no store-bought pectin!
Do I need to add apples to this recipe?
Yes! It’s a crucial ingredient. Instead of store-bought pectin, I made this reduced sugar strawberry ham with apple. That is because apples naturally contain pectin perfect for homemade jams. Some recipes like to add lemon juice as a source of pectin instead, but when I tried it I found that the flavor of lemon tended to overpower that of strawberries (making the jam somewhat sour). So I went with apples, and the result is delicious!
So what makes this homemade strawberry jam special?
- Contains less than 1/2 the amount of sugar compared to classic jam recipes, this makes for one amazing reduced sugar Strawberry Jam.
- Instead of store-bought pectin, this recipe uses apples as a natural source of pectin, which makes this an apple strawberry Jam, but with more strawberries and less of the apples. The slight tartness you get from the apples complements the strawberry flavor well!
- I use overripe strawberries that have natural fruit sugars, which allowed me to reduce the sugar content, and increase the strawberry flavor.
- I only use about 1 tbsp lemon juice, which is just enough to “brighten” all the fruit flavors, without overwhelming the berry flavor.
No more food wastage!
Plus, since I use overripe strawberries, this homemade strawberry jam is PERFECT to use up those strawberries that have become too ripe and are prone to be thrown away. Instead, you can make this apple strawberry jam and enjoy a warm piece of toast for breakfast, while preserving those gorgeous fruits for so much longer! 🙂
You can add the apples in this recipe in two different ways, depending on how you prefer the texture of your homemade jam to be.
- Cut the apples into small cubes so that you will have little bits of apple in the strawberry jam as well (this is how my husband likes it).
- GRATE the apples so that the apples are completely incorporated into the strawberry jam.
- If you prefer NOT to have apple pieces in your homemade strawberry jam and want to grate the apples instead, make sure to PEEL THE SKINS off from the apples too (because the skins are not going to get incorporated into the jam).
This reduced sugar homemade strawberry Jam is perfect for PB&J sandwiches, or just on warm toast (made with homemade bread!) with butter, or my absolute favorite – warm, flaky cream scones (or buttermilk biscuits) with this homemade strawberry jam and cream. Yum!
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Homemade Strawberry Jam (Sugar Reduced Strawberry Jam)
- 2 lbs strawberries overripe or ripe sweet strawberries, already hulled and cut in half
- 8 oz apple peeled and grated or cut into small cubes - granny smith is the best or a slightly tangy, crispy apple (like Gala)
- 14 oz white sugar
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- Pinch of salt
- Weigh the strawberries AFTER they have been hulled to make sure you have 2 lbs of ripe strawberry flesh. DO NOT DISCARD THE STRAWBERRY TOPS.
- Peel and grate the apples if you prefer not to taste the apples or have apple pieces in your jam. Alternatively, cut the apples into 1 cm cubes.
- Place all the ingredients in a big pot and stir. Then leave it aside for about 15 minutes.
- Stir the strawberries over low - medium heat until the sugar dissolves. Increase the heat to medium-high and bring the jam to a boil. Stir frequently.
- Cook the strawberries until the mix thickens and bubbles (about 40 minutes, depending on your stove and pot that you use, make sure not to leave the jam unattended as the sugar can burn very quickly). Stir frequently to prevent the jam from burning.
- The sugar should reach a temperature of 220°F, but I prefer to check if the jam is ready with the jam test (see below).
- Jam test - place a few small saucers or small flat bowls in the freezer. When the jam looks ready, place a small amount of the jam on the cold saucer/bowl and freeze for 5 - 10 minutes. Next, run your finger through the jam to make a streak. If the jam does not join back up in the middle and fill the streak, then it's ready!
- Place the jam in glass bottles, close tightly and refrigerate. These would be suitable for canning as well (although I don’t can, so I’m not entirely sure how to can these).
- Makes about 2 ½ - 3 cups.
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