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Strawberry Jam Without Pectin

This Strawberry Jam without pectin is so easy and fun to do in the microwave with just 3 ingredients.

Make the most of fresh or use frozen strawberries, the results are equally good. Plus homemade strawberry jam has a quality and taste that no store bought variety can match.

A jar of the finished strawberry jam recipe with a spoon of the jam resting on top.
This jam has a super bright, strawberry flavor!

When strawberries are abundant and cheap, it’s the time to make this Strawberry jam recipe without pectin. However if you are short on time, hull and quarter the strawberries and throw them into zip lock bags to freeze. Then you can make this jam whenever you like. 

Why you will love this recipe!

This Strawberry Jam without pectin is a recipe that I have been using for many years and has been tried and tested with many different microwaves over that time. Whether you’re an avid jam maker or have never made jam, this is a recipe you need to make.

Making fresh strawberry jam is extremely rewarding. For very little effort, you will produce two large jars of jam with the most delicious taste and fragrance to surpass any store bought variety.

I love making jam in the microwave for a few reasons. Firstly, I find that the fruit remains vibrant and there is less chance of burning the jam. For the novice jam maker, it can be quite daunting following stovetop jam recipes. Using the microwave simplifies the process.

Plus, it’s so quick to make this strawberry jam without pectin. Within 30 minutes, it will be ready. That’s right! It’s super easy and fast!

I just can’t imagine serving my English scones with anything else!

For complete ingredient quantities and full instructions, please scroll to the printable recipe card bottom of the page.

Ingredients

Making this Strawberry Jam recipe without pectin is super easy and only takes 3 ingredients:

  • Strawberries – Buy fresh strawberries at their peak when they are the most economical. Or use frozen strawberries. When I have too many strawberries, I’ll hull and quarter them then pop the fruit into zip lock bags in the freezer for later.
  • Lemon Juice – Be sure to use the juice of ripe lemons. If you don’t have ripe lemons, use bottled lemon juice which has the correct amount of acidity required for jam.
  • Sugar – White granulated sugar is best for this recipe. It will dissolve and help set the jam properly.

Instructions

  1. Cook quartered strawberries with lemon juice in the microwave for 5 minutes.
  2. Add the sugar and stir.
  3. Microwave on high for 15 minutes stopping every 5 minutes to stir.
  4. Ladle into sterilized jars while hot and seal with the lids immediately (protect your hands with a thick towel). Allow to cool to room temperature before storing in a cool, dry place for up to 6 months.
Strawberries cooked in the microwave.

Tips for success

  • Sugar is needed to set and preserve the jam. If the sugar is reduced in this recipe, the result will be thin, runny jam that doesn’t keep very well. I don’t recommend reducing the sugar in this recipe!
  • Don’t under cook. Undercooked jam will taste fresh but may separate as it cools.
  • Avoid doubling or tripling the batch. This homemade strawberry jam without pectin will boil up and bubble over if you make more than this quantity.
  • This recipe has no added pectin but uses lemon juice to assist with setting.

FAQ

Why do you put lemon juice in strawberry jam?

Strawberries and other low acid fruit need the acid from lemon juice to help set the jam. It is a science which I am not going to explain here but you could research it yourself. To help set the jam even further, you can cook the jam with a little muslin pouch of lemon rind and seeds which contain lots of natural pectin. This means you don’t need to add any additional pectin!

Another reason for adding lemon juice is to make the jam safe and prevent growth of mold and bacteria and preserve the jam.

How do I sterilize jars?

Sterilize in a water bath by placing the jars and lids in a large pot and covering with cold water. Bring to the boil and boil for 10 minutes. Remove from the boiling water with tongs and drain on a paper towel lined baking sheet. Any excess can be patted dry with paper towel.
Alternatively place upright jars and lids in a preheated 250ºF/120ºC oven for 20 minutes.

What makes strawberry jam set?

This strawberry jam without pectin needs to be microwaved on high power for at least 15 minutes after adding the sugar to ensure a good set. Be sure to stir at 5 minute intervals.

After 15 minutes you can begin testing by dropping about 1/2 teaspoonful on a cold saucer. Place the saucer back in the fridge and after a few minutes check if the jam has jelled. I usually find I need 3 – 5 minutes more.

Also the sugar and lemon juice work with the natural pectin in the strawberries to ensure a good set.

What is the best way to store homemade strawberry jam?

Store the jam in a cool dry place for up to 6 months and once opened use within 2 months. However for longer shelf life, store in the fridge or freezer. Filled jars can also be processed in a water bath. There is lots of sites and books that explain water bath processing fully.

Bread served with the preserves and a jar on a wooden table.

Serving Suggestions

This easy Strawberry Jam without pectin is wonderful in my Strawberry Crostata or over these super quick mini pancakes or simply served on vanilla ice cream. It’s an easy, fail proof recipe with delicious, fruity flavour. In fact, if you have never made jam, this microwave Strawberry Jam without pectin will ensure you turn out perfect preserves every time.

More recipes you will love

Easy Strawberry Coulis
Vanilla Bean Panna Cotta
Strawberry Lime Water

Made this recipe?
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Jar of jam with strawberry jam on a spoon. strawberries and bread.

Strawberry Jam Recipe Without Pectin

This homemade strawberry jam recipe is easy to make in the microwave. You can use fresh or frozen strawberries. This recipe makes 2 1/2 cups of jam.
5 from 72 votes
Print Pin Rate
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Servings:40 servings
Author: Marcellina

Equipment

  • 4 litres/16 cups capacity microwave safe bowl

Ingredients

  • 4 cups hulled and quartered strawberries (approx 1 pound or 500 grams) hulled and quartered
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice (60mls)
  • 2 cups sugar (400 grams)

Instructions

  • Place strawberries in a large (4 litres/16 cups capacity) microwave safe bowl with the lemon juice. Microwave on high for 5 minutes. It should start smelling amazing already. Remove from microwave.
  • Once you add the sugar the fruit won’t break down much more so if you want it smooth cook for a little longer.
  • Add the sugar and stir to dissolve.
  • Return to the microwave, cook for 15 minutes on high, stopping every 5 minutes to stir and check. The jam will come to a full rolling boil. Don't leave unattended just in case it boils up and over the bowl.
  • Pour into sterilized bottles. Seal.

Notes

Tips for success
  • Be sure to use a very large bowl. The one I use has a capacity of 4 litres or 16 cups. The strawberry jam will boil up and spill over if you have a small bowl and you’ll have a sticky mess!
  • Don’t leave unattended while cooking just in case the strawberry jam boil up and over the bowl.
  • Sterilise jars in the microwave by washing and rinsing well. Leave jars wet and cook in the microwave for 60 seconds on high. Be careful when removing from microwave oven – they will be hot. Fill with strawberry jam and seal immediately.
Tried this recipe? Give it a star rating and leave a comment below!

Nutritional Estimate Per Serving

Calories: 43kcal | Carbohydrates: 11g | Protein: 0g | Fat: 0g | Saturated Fat: 0g | Cholesterol: 0mg | Sodium: 0mg | Potassium: 23mg | Fiber: 0g | Sugar: 10g | Vitamin A: 0IU | Vitamin C: 9.1mg | Calcium: 2mg | Iron: 0.1mg

Nutritional Disclaimer

Nutritional information is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. For accurate results, it is recommended that the nutritional information be calculated based on the ingredients and brands you use.

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26 Comments

    1. Hi Anna! Store the jam in a cool, dry place for up to 6 months and once opened use within 2 months. However for longer shelf life, store in the fridge or freezer. Filled jars can also be processed in a water bath.
      Either way, be sure to sterilize the jars (by either boiling the jars and lids in water for 10 minutes or placing jars and lids in a 250ºF/120ºC oven for 20 minutes) then fill hot jars with hot jam and seal with the lid immediately.
      Thanks for the query! I’ve updated the post to reflect this.

  1. 5 stars
    This jam is delicious! Love the precise instructions & that it took less than 30 minutes from beginning to 2 lovely jars of jam. Thank you

  2. Hi could you let me know your weights in ounces or grams please as we live in uk and I’m really looking forward to making this jam

    1. Hi Gillian! I’m so sorry I didn’t add the weights into the recipe card! I use approximately 500g or 1 pound of strawberries. You’ll love this recipe. I’m actually making some today myself. The strawberries are super cheap at the moment. (BTW, I’ve amended the recipe card)

  3. Do you do a 10 minute water bath after you seal jars so they can be kept on a shelf until opened

    1. Martha, I generally don’t. Ladle hot preserves into sterilized jars right to the top and seal immediately. As the jam cools the jar will vacuum pack. Store in a cool dry place. If you live in a hot, humid climate (like I do) store in the refrigerator for longer shelf life. I will keep my preserves in the pantry for a couple of months particularly if I make the preserves in our cooler winter.

  4. Hi thanks so much for this easy way to make strawberry jam. I’ve always made it the old way over the stove so am keen to try this way when our strawberries are ready here in NZ. Could you make raspberry Jam the same way? I imagine you could but thought I’d check to see if you have tried raspberry jam. Its another jam I make every year as it is love by the family on toast and on scones with cream on top. Thanks again for posting this way of making strawberry jam, going to be so easy this year.

    1. Hi Jane. Yes, you can make raspberry jam the same way. I often do a mixture of both raspberry and strawberry. This is a fantastic method because there is no risk of scorching the jam. The important thing is to have a bowl large enough because it really does bubble up. Don’t wander away. Keep an eye on the microwave just in case you haven’t judged the size of the bowl correctly and the jam wants to spill over. After making this once or twice you’ll soon know what’s best in your case.

        1. Yes, you can use apples. If you want a smooth jam, blend the apples after cooking for the first 5 minutes. Depending on how sweet the apples are you may want to reduce the sugar but the rest will be the same. Adding a little cinnamon would be tasty. Enjoy!

    1. Hi Nicole, I have never frozen this jam. When cool I store in the refrigerator. Keep in mind that it will keep at least a year in the refrigerator as long as the jars are sterilised and sealed while hot. However, I can’t see why it wouldn’t freeze.

  5. 5 stars
    Wow, strawberry jam is looking amazing. I am glad to know how easily we can make . My daughter is a big fan of strawberries. I will surprise her with this jam. Thank you so much marcellina for the recipe.

  6. Marcellina – This is definitely a recipe I am saving for next spring when strawberries are back in season here. I love strawberry jam more than any other… And to be able to make it so quickly homemade? Yes, please!

    1. Hi Mimi, thanks for the kind comment! You are quite right, not only can this method be used with strawberries. I have substituted other berries or combined berries with the strawberries with great success. I also always make cumquat jam in the microwave. I have found that it retains a gorgeous colour.