Listen: Now might be your last chance to make strawberry jam this year. You don’t need any fancy equipment and there are only three ingredients and it doesn’t take very long and it’s totally worth it. Sold? Thought so.
This recipe is suitable for canning, if that’s what you’re into, but this is a small enough batch that you can keep it in the fridge and enjoy it right away, or freeze it.
Last Chance Strawberry Jam
2 pints whole strawberries (that’s about 2 lbs. or 4 cups hulled and chopped)
2 cups sugar
1/4 cup lemon juice
Hull and chop the strawberries and combine them with the sugar and lemon juice in a heavy-bottomed pan over low heat. Stir to incorporate and dissolve sugar, then raise the heat so that the mixture comes to a full rolling boil (approaching 220 degrees F), stirring more than occasionally, but not constantly.
Once your jam comes to a full boil, you have to stand there and stir, or it will burn. Don’t think you can go out to the garage to look for jars and it won’t boil over and make a huge sticky mess because you cannot. Just stay there and stir. Be present for once in your life.
While you’re stirring, think about what kind of jam you like. Lush and syrupy on crepes and waffles? Or heavy and gooey on a peanut butter sandwich? I like a sturdy, substantial jam that doesn’t seep into my toast, but you can have whatever you want. The longer you cook, the thicker your jam will be. Pull it off the stove before it gets to the desired consistency because it will continue to thicken as it cools.
I cooked this jam down to 2 cups in volume, and it took about 30 minutes.
Skim off foam (if any) with a spoon and ladle the jam into jars or plastic containers and allow to cool. Any clean jar with a tight lid will do. (Use plastic if you’re planning to freeze.) Store in the refrigerator for up to one month or in the freezer for up to one year. You’ll be so glad you did.