Homemade Strawberry Jam (Small Batch)

Fresh strawberry jam bursting with bright flavor is right at your fingertips with this small batch recipe that is as easy as cooking strawberries, lemon and sugar together in a saucepan. It takes under an hour to make from start to finish and doesn’t need a lot of babysitting, special equipment or require pectin!

I love the idea of making jam and jelly when I need it. Or crave it. Finding jams and jellies at the market without high-fructose corn syrup has become increasingly harder and harder. Even the old-fashioned brand that’s been around since the 1800’s is using it now. In my mind I relate them to wholesome, nourishing goodness. Not highly processed sugar. They should be ashamed of themselves.

The secret to cooking it to the right consistency is to put a small plate in your freezer ahead of time. After 20 minutes or so of cooking test it by smearing a small amount over the cold plate, when it ‘sets’ or ‘gels’ up and feels firm to the touch it is ready.

This homemade jam will last a month or longer when stored in a sealed glass jar in your refrigerator and even longer if you were to freeze some of it.

Homemade Strawberry Jam (Small Batch)

Rating: 51

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 50 minutes

Yield: About 4 cups

Homemade Strawberry Jam (Small Batch)

Fresh strawberry jam takes under an hour to make from start to finish and doesn't need a lot of babysitting, special equipment or require pectin!


2 cups sugar
1 lemon, zested and juiced
1 1/2 pints fresh strawberries, hulled and halved


  1. Put a small plate in the freezer. Combine sugar, lemon zest and 1 tablespoon lemon juice in a medium saucepan and cook over very low heat for 10 minutes, until the sugar is dissolved.
  2. Add strawberries and continue to cook over very low heat for 20 minutes, until the strawberries release some of their juices and the mixture boils slowly. Cook until a small amount of the juice gels when spread across a very cold plate.
  3. Cool slightly and pour into 2 pint canning jars and either seal or keep refrigerated or freeze. Unsealed jars will keep for a month or so stored in the refrigerator.

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  1. Claudia says

    I am going to do this – I was just think that this is a far better time to make jam than in the heat of the summer! And I like the idea of small batches. The tip on the cold plate – very helpful!

  2. Melissa says

    Yum, Yum, Yum! I wish I had learned how to do all that canning when my mom wanted to teach me years ago. Now I have to learn it all by myself.

  3. Ann says

    oh that sounds so good. Years and years ago I made some strawberry freezer jam but haven't done it in a long time.

  4. Now Serving says

    Love the wonderful rich color of it – Hope to try some of these recipes over the summer after our annual strawberry picking event :)

  5. Sage Trifle says

    Strawberry jam is the best and I love this small batch recipe. Brilliant idea and beatiful results.

  6. Kathy says

    I love strawberry jam, but my daughter is crazy for it and in fact, just told me last night that she wants me to make it this spring. I love your photo, as well!

  7. charmaine anderson says

    Thanks for posting this recipe — I love barefoot contessa and had flagged her strawberry jam recipe a long time ago to try but had forgotten — my daughter loves jam and will have fun making with me. Out of curiosity this morning I looked through my barefoot contessa cookbooks to see how many recipes of hers I have done over the years — 131! Out of those there was probably only 1 or 2 complete failures and a lot of amazing successes!

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