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Simple Strawberry Apple Jam Recipe (Without Pectin)

This strawberry apple jam is simple to make, using only four ingredients. It takes advantage of the natural pectin found in apples, which allows this jam to gel beautifully without the use of any commercial pectin.

an english muffin topped with strawberry apple jam and butter with a bite taken out of it

Once a necessity, canning and preserving food has become a lost art. Gone are the days where we relied on these methods to keep our families fed throughout the winter.

Today, many of us take for granted all of the foods available to us throughout the year. We can easily pop into the grocery store and buy green beans, apples, broccoli, and strawberries any time we’d like. Sure, they might not taste as good as when they’re in season, but they’re there.

When I began homesteading, one of my first goals was to build myself a large garden. I wanted the majority of my produce to come from home. Of course, being only myself and my fiancé, I would also have to learn how to preserve some of the fruits and vegetables I would be growing.

Making jams is a great place to start if you’re new to canning. Because of the high acidity of the fruit, you can use the water bath canning method to preserve jam instead of pressure canning.

Read on to learn how to make and preserve my simple strawberry apple jam recipe.

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Why This Recipe Works

  • Balanced Flavors- The sweetness from the strawberries and sugar is balanced nicely by the tart apples and acidic lemon juice.
  • Texture- The diced apples give this jam a lovely texture and mouthfeel. If you enjoy a chunky jam, you’ll love this recipe.
  • Preserving the Harvest- This jam recipe is able to be preserved using the water bath method, which means it’s a great way to use up all of those summer strawberries. You’ll be enjoying your own garden harvest well into the chilly winter months with this delicious jam.

Ingredient Notes

Here are some notes on key ingredients. For a full list of ingredients, check out the recipe card below.

  • Strawberries- The best strawberries to use are the ones you pick from your own garden. However, if using store bought, I recommend soaking for 20 minutes in a vinegar solution to remove any pesticide residue. Simply mix 4 parts water with 1 part white vinegar in a bowl and allow the strawberries to soak. Rinse with clean water prior to dicing.
  • Tart Apples- I prefer using a tart apple like Granny Smith because it helps balance out the sweetness of the strawberries. Apples are also naturally pectin-rich, which helps this jam gel up nicely. Wash your apples before peeling to ensure you remove any pesticides present on the skin.
  • Lemon Juice- As an acid, lemon juice lowers the pH, which allows the pectin to create the structure needed to “set” the jam. Lemon juice also decreases the risk of bacterial growth in your preserved jam, giving it a longer shelf life.
  • Sugar- If you’ve ever looked at a jam recipe and balked at the amount of sugar, you’re not alone. But, there’s a good reason preserving jam contains so much sugar. Not only does the sugar help the pectin gel properly, it also helps reduce bacterial growth.
an open jar of strawberry apple jam with a spoon inside

Step by Step Instructions

Here is how to make this strawberry apple jam.

*Note: Make sure the saucepan or pot you choose to use is large enough to accommodate all of the fruit, liquid, and foam that forms while the mixture is at a steady boil. I always recommend using a larger pot than you think you’ll need.

Step 1: Prepare the fruit. Start by cleaning and preparing your strawberries and apples. The strawberries should be hulled and diced small. Similarly, the apples should be peeled and diced small.

strawberries diced on a bamboo cutting board

Step 2: Mash the strawberries. Add the strawberries, lemon juice, and sugar to a large saucepan. Dissolve the sugar over low heat while mashing the strawberries with the back of a wooden spoon or with a potato masher. This helps the strawberries begin to release their juices.

Step 3: Add the apples. Once the strawberries are sufficiently mashed and the sugar is dissolved, add in the diced apples. Turn the heat up to medium-high and bring the mixture to a boil.

a pot of strawberry apple jam just beginning to cook on the stove

Step 4: Cook the jam. Allow the jam to boil, stirring continuously, until the temperature reaches 220°F. If you don’t have a thermometer, you can tell the jam is done when it easily coats the back of a metal spoon. Remove from heat.

At this point, you can store your jam in the refrigerator to be eaten within 3 months. However, if you want to learn how to preserve your jam for a longer shelf-life, keep reading.

finished strawberry apple jam in a pot

Water Bath Canning Method

Here is how to preserve your jam using the water bath canning method.

Step 1: Sterilize the jars. Place two pint-sized mason jars right-side-up into a large stockpot or water bath canner. If you don’t have a canning rack, you can use a clean kitchen towel to prevent the cans from sitting on the bottom of the pot. The jars should be covered by at least an inch of water. Bring the water to a rolling boil and boil the jars for 10 minutes.

Step 2: Fill the jars. Using your jar lifter, remove the jars from the hot water and place them on a kitchen towel on the counter. You will use the same pot of water for your water bath. Fill the jars with the finished strawberry apple jam, leaving ¼-½ inch of space at the top. A canning funnel is extremely helpful here, but if you don’t have one, just make sure to wipe away any residue on the mouth of the jar before putting the lids on.

Step 3: Boil the prepared jars. Carefully tighten the lids back onto your jars and place them back into the hot water bath, making sure they’re covered by 1-2 inches of water. Cover the pot and bring the water to a boil. Allow the jars to boil for 10 minutes, then turn off the heat.

Step 4: Cool completely. After 5 minutes, remove the jars from the hot water and place onto a kitchen towel on the counter. Allow the jars to cool, undisturbed, for 12-24 hours. You should hear a popping sound from each jar after a few minutes, which means you successfully created a seal.

Storage

If You Water Bath Canned

Room Temperature: Unopened, this jam will stay good for 12-18 months. Jars should be kept in a cool, dry, dark place. Don’t forget to label your jars with the date!

Refrigerator: Once opened, your jam will stay good in the refrigerator for up to 3 months.

Freezer: If you open your jam and find you won’t be able to use it all before it goes bad, freezing the jam is an option. Leave it in the jar and store in the freezer for up to 6 months.

If You Did Not Water Bath Can

If you decided not to use the water bath canning method, then you have two options. Similar to the opened jars above, you can refrigerate your jam for up to 3 months or freeze it for up to 6 months.

an open jar of strawberry apple jam with a fresh strawberry placed next to it

Nutrition Facts

Here are the nutrition facts for one tablespoon of strawberry apple jam:

  • Calories: 44
  • Carbs: 11.5 grams
  • Sugar: 10.8 grams
  • Fiber: 0.5 grams
  • Fat: 0 grams
  • Protein: 0 grams

FAQ

Why do you add lemon juice to jam?

As previously mentioned, lemon juice lowers the pH of the jam mixture. This allows the strands of pectin to form a network, giving the jam its essential gel-like consistency. The acidity of the lemon juice also helps to inhibit bacterial growth in the jam.

Is jam better with or without pectin?

People are divided on the use of pectin in jam making. Some enjoy the peace of mind that they will end up with a nicely set up jam. Others, however, are against the use of pectin because it requires the addition of a lot of sugar.

The more sugar you add, the more the flavors of the fruit get muddied in sweetness. I prefer to use high-pectin fruits, such as apples or pears, in my jam recipes instead of commercial pectin.

Can I add less sugar to my jam?

If you want to use less sugar in a jam recipe, your best bet is to find one already written to be low-sugar. Jams are finicky and altering the ratio can result in a jam that doesn’t, well, jam.

Most experts recommend using a 1:1 ratio of sugar to fruit. So, if you’re adding a pound of fruit, you will need about a pound of sugar. My strawberry apple jam recipe goes a little lighter on the sugar (about 1.5 lbs sugar to 2.5 lbs fruit) so, I wouldn’t attempt to go any lower.

It sounds like a lot, but remember, sugar acts as both a preservative and as an agent to help the pectin gel properly.

Recommended Equipment

Serving Suggestions

Here are a few of my favorite ways to enjoy this strawberry apple jam.

  • Mixed into a bowl of oatmeal or yogurt
  • Spread onto a thick piece of toasted sourdough bread with butter
  • Smeared onto my Whole Wheat Veggie Muffins or my Strawberry Zucchini Bread
  • As a topping for waffles, pancakes, or French toast
  • As a cake or cupcake filling
  • On top of baked brie or as part of a charcuterie board
  • Added to a grilled cheese for a sweet and salty lunch
  • As an ice cream topping

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an english muffin topped with strawberry apple jam and butter with a bite taken out of it
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5 from 1 vote

Strawberry Apple Jam

This strawberry apple jam is simple to make, using only four ingredients. It takes advantage of the natural pectin found in apples, which allows this jam to gel beautifully without the use of any commercial pectin. Make your breakfast extra special each morning with a little homemade jam!
Course Breakfast, Dessert
Cuisine American
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Water Bath Canning Time 10 minutes
Servings 2 pints
Calories 1417kcal
Author Ashley Petrie

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds strawberries hulled and diced
  • 3 cups granulated sugar
  • ¼ cup lemon juice
  • 2 medium granny smith apples peeled and diced

Instructions

Prepare the Jam

  • Add the strawberries, sugar, and lemon juice to a large saucepan over medium heat. Using the back of a wooden spoon or a potato masher, mash the strawberries into the sugar so they begin to release their juices. Allow the sugar to completely dissolve.
  • Once the sugar has dissolved, increase the heat to medium-high and bring to a boil. Once boiling, add in the diced apples. Allow the mixture to boil, stirring continuously, until the temperature reaches 220°F on a thermometer or it begins to easily coat the back of a spoon. Turn off the heat and set aside.

Water Bath Canning Instructions

  • Sterilize the jars. Place two pint-sized mason jars right-side-up into a large stockpot or water bath canner. If you don’t have a canning rack, you can use a clean kitchen towel to prevent the cans from sitting on the bottom of the pot. The jars should be covered by at least an inch of water. Bring the water to a rolling boil and boil the jars for 10 minutes.
  • Fill the jars. Using your jar lifter, remove the jars from the hot water and place them on a kitchen towel on the counter. You will use the same pot of water for your water bath. Fill the jars with the finished strawberry apple jam, leaving ¼-½ inch of space at the top. A canning funnel is extremely helpful here, but if you don’t have one, just make sure to wipe away any residue on the mouth of the jar before putting the lids on.
  • Boil the prepared jars. Carefully tighten the lids back onto your jars and place them back into the hot water bath, making sure they’re covered by 1-2 inches of water. Cover the pot and bring the water to a boil. Allow the jars to boil for 10 minutes, then turn off the heat.
  • Cool completely. After 5 minutes, remove the jars from the hot water and place onto a kitchen towel on the counter. Allow the jars to cool, undisturbed, for 12-24 hours. You should hear a popping sound from each jar after a few minutes, which means you successfully created a seal.

Notes

Don't forget to date your jars, especially if you canned them!

Nutrition

Calories: 1417kcal
Did you try this recipe?Let me know! Comment below, or take a picture and tag me on Instagram @enwnutrition.

Did you try this recipe?

Let me know! Comment below, or take a picture and tag me on Instagram @enwnutrition.

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