An easy, small-batch strawberry jam with an herbal note of bay leaves. Bright, sweet, and summery, it makes good use of seasonal berries. This recipe makes about a cup of jam, just right for someone who wants to make it themselves but doesn't want to make a dozen jars.
Ingredient Notes and Substitutions
- Strawberries: fresh berries that are red all the way through have the best taste and the least amount of water. you can substitute an equal weight of frozen strawberries or any other berries you like.
- Bay leaves: if you don't have or want to use bay leaves, simply omit them.
- Pectin powder: These instructions are for apple pectin. We haven't tested with liquid pectin.
Step 1: Wash and dry the strawberries then remove the stems. Slice the fruit into quarters then place them in a saucepan and mash with a potato masher.
Step 2: Add the bay leaves to the pot and bring to a boil.
Step 3: Add the pectin and sugar to the pot.
Step 4: Stir the jam constantly for two minutes over medium-high heat. Remove the jam from the heat to cool, using a spoon to skim any foam that develops on top. Once completely cool, transfer to a clean airtight container and store it in the fridge.
- Don't wash strawberries in advance: this makes them soggy and will add too much water to your jam. Rinse just before using!
- One boil only: this is the case when using apple pectin, as we did. With some other pectins, you may have to boil again or simmer, once the pectin is added.
- Wait until the jam is cool to store: this is only true if you're refrigerating, not canning, but it'll prevent any jars or containers from cracking.
Because of the low amount of sugar, if you want to can the jam, use a water bath or pressure-canning method. If you're not an experienced canner, we recommend storing the jam in the refrigerator or freezer instead.
How to Store
Storage: You can refrigerate strawberry jam for up to a month, depending on the temperature of your fridge. The jam will last longer if the jar it's stored in was sterilized first.
Freezing: Spoon into a freezer-safe jar or container, then seal and freeze for up to six months. Thaw in the refrigerator rather than at room temperature.
What's the difference between fresh and dried bay leaves?
Fresh bay leaves are much more pungent than dried and will add a lot of bay flavour. Dried bay leaves are more mild and subtle. You can use fresh, but remove them much earlier.
How can I use different pectin types?
This will depend on what the packaging says. Usually there will be little brochures folded into the package with instructions. The amount used and the cooking time needed will be totally up to the type of pectin and we usually use apple pectin.
Can I make strawberry jam without pectin?
Sure can! There are a couple methods: one, do it the old fashioned way, and cook the water content down until the fruit sets on its own. This takes ages. Two, you can add lemon zest which adds natural pectin, or use a cheesecloth bag with apple cores and peels. Using pre-made pectin is easiest though!
Can I reduce or omit the sugar from jam?
Sugar helps the jam to set and is generally pretty important for preserving. There are sugar free jam recipes and we recommend using one from a tested source if you plan on canning it.
If you make this Small-Batch Strawberry Jam recipe or any other preserve recipes on the Baked Collective, please take a moment to rate the recipe and leave a comment below. It’s such a help to others who want to try the recipe. For more baking, follow along on Instagram, TikTok, and YouTube.
Small-Batch Strawberry Jam With Bay Leaves
- Measuring cups and spoons or a digital kitchen scale
- Medium sized pot
- Potato masher
- Wooden spoon
- 2 cups strawberries halved, stems removed
- ½ cup sugar
- 2 bay leaves dried
- 1 tablespoon pectin powder
- Place the sliced strawberries in a medium-sized pot.
- Use a potato masher to crush the berries until they are well-mashed but still chunky.
- Add the bay leaves to the pot.
- Place the pot over medium-high heat on the stove and bring the crushed berries to a rolling boil.
- Quickly stir in the sugar and pectin powder.
- Stir the jam constantly for two minutes as it continues to cook over medium-high heat.
- Remove the pot from the heat and that's it! As the jam cools, use a spoon to gently skim off and discard any foam that develops on top.
- Once cool, remove the bay leaves and spoon the jam into a sterilized jar with a tight-fitting lid. Place the jar in the fridge to fully set.
- For more information about cooked jam, check your package of pectin to better understand how it works.