Homemade Strawberry Jelly

By Amanda Paa – Updated June 5, 2024
This bright, fruity strawberry jelly is made with fresh summer strawberries for the most vibrant flavor and jewel-toned color. Using the water-bath canning method, it is preserved for months to come! Classic strawberry jelly makes for the most delicious peanut butter sandwich, spread for biscuits, or filling for cake or dessert
Jump to Recipe

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy.

strawberry jelly in a jar with a silver jar

Why You’ll Love this Classic Strawberry Jelly:

There’s an old school diner just across the river from us. Well, actually it’s a bar with a morning cafe attached, you can order breakfast from either side. The food is diner-style greasy, the counter seats are coveted on a Sunday morning after church, and the coffee is always screaming hot. When the buttered toast arrives, Brian always reaches for the Smucker’s strawberry jelly packet first and slathers it on thick.

It’s fruity and bright, sweet and shimmery. Maybe it’s nostalgia, or all the sugar, or the diner energy, but there’s just something about it. And so, this homemade strawberry jelly recipe for canning was born. Made with fresh, ripe summer strawberries, the true essence of the berries shines, canned and preserved for months.

Its translucent, ruby red color is stunning! And the gel-like texture is firm, but perfectly spreadable, the perfect match for a toasted slice of rye sourdough with peanut butter – my absolute favorite combination.

strawberry jelly and peanut butter on toast on a speckled plate

Crushing and straining the strawberries:

The most time consuming part of canning and preserving strawberry jelly is extracting the juice (but it’s worth, trust me!). I experimented with how to most efficiently and effectively to crush the strawberries and found that pulsing with a food processor was the best method.

You won’t puree the strawberries; that creates too much air/foam. Rather, you’ll pulse consistently in the food processor until the strawberries are finely crushed. Crushing diced fresh strawberries with a potato masher was not as effective as getting the juice out and it was much more labor intensive.

If you don’t want to do any of the crushing and straining work, you could make my Strawberry Rhubarb Jam instead!

To Strain the Juice:

Once I had the strawberries crushed, I used this inexpensive jelly bag straining setup to extract the strawberry juice. This is what took a long time, so just be patient. You don’t want to squeeze the bag, as this pushes some of the fruit through and can make your jelly cloudy. You can let it strain for 6 hours on the counter, or a nice way to do it is overnight in the fridge so you aren’t constantly checking.

strawberries in a white colander
ingredients for making strawberry jelly

How to water-bath can strawberry jelly:

  • Sterilize jars by washing in hot, soapy water.
  • Bring your half pint jars to a simmer in your water bath canner.
  • Add strawberry juice, sugar, and lemon juice to a large heavy-bottomed pot.
  • While stirring, turn heat to high to bring liquid to full rolling boil.
  • Once a rolling boil is achieved, add liquid pectin and boil hard for 1 minute. (You can also test to make sure mixture gets to 220 degrees F with a digital thermometer).
  • Remove from heat and skim off any foam that has accumulated.
  • Ladle hot jelly into hot jars, leaving ¼ headspace. Screw band on until fingertip-tight. Place jar in boiling water canner. Repeat until all jars are filled.        
  • Process jars for 10 minutes. Turn off heat; remove lid and let jars stand 5 minutes. Remove jars and place on a flat towel to fully cool and seal.

Helpful tips for making strawberry jelly at home:

  1. Always use undamaged, ripe strawberries. Too much damage will spoil the result and the jelly is likely to deteriorate quickly.
  2. You need the strawberries to be ripe so they have the most juice in them possible.
  3. Hard boil’ means it’s boiling so hard you can’t stir it down. Keep stirring. If the boil goes away, it’s not boiling hard enough. When it boils even with you stirring, it’s a hard boil.
  4. Add the pectin only after the mixture has reached a hard boil.
  5. Skim any foam that rises to the surface off of the heat, when setting point is reached.
strawberry jelly in a large steel pot
strawberry jelly in a mason jar with label

Delicious ways to eat strawberry jelly:

  • Spread on Bread: A classic way to enjoy strawberry jelly is by spreading it on toasted sourdough bread or biscuits. It can also be paired with peanut butter for a delicious PB&J sandwich.
  • With Pancakes or Waffles: Use strawberry jelly as a topping for sourdough discard pancakes, waffles, or French toast.
  • In Yogurt or Oatmeal: Stir a spoonful of strawberry jelly into plain yogurt or oatmeal for a burst of fresh flavor.
  • As a Cake Filling: Strawberry jelly can be used as a filling between layers of cake, in cupcakes, or in jelly rolls for a fruity surprise.
  • On Ice Cream: Drizzle strawberry jelly over vanilla ice cream for a quick and easy dessert topping.
  • In Smoothies: Add strawberry jelly to your smoothie!
  • With Cheese and Crackers: My favorite combination is an aged cheddar with strawberry jelly, or atop warm brie. This is a great way to use my hot pepper jelly, too.
  • In Muffins or Scones: Incorporate strawberry jelly into muffin or scone batter or use it as a filling for a delightful twist.
  • In Cocktails: Mix a spoonful of strawberry jelly into cocktails or mocktails for a unique and sweet flavor addition.

Do you really need that amount of sugar for making jelly?

Yes! Sugar isn’t used just to add sweetness to jam or jelly. It always seems like a lot of sugar to add, but the truth is that the ratio of sugar is crucial to the pectin set, shelf-stability, color, and flavor of the finished jam. 

It is a very important ingredient to ensure the preservation of the jam, preventing it from oxidation and creating a web of chemical bonds that prevent air and water from entering. Fascinating!

strawberry jelly in a weck jar with silver spoon

What is fruit pectin?

Pectin is a naturally occurring liquid that comes from fruit, such as apples or citrus fruits. Firm fruits like apples, gooseberries, plums and oranges have lots of pectin, whereas soft fruits like sweet cherries and strawberries only contain a small amount.

Pectin is in the cells of the fruit, which is boiled with water and an acid, such as lemon juice, and then extracted. Added to a jam or jelly recipe, it becomes the natural thickening agent when mixed with sugar.

Every brand of pectin is a bit different, so use only what is recommended per your recipe. I’ve used Certo Liquid Fruit Pectin in this Strawberry Jelly. 

Storing canned goods:

Keep your finished jars of jelly in a cool, dark spot.

Unopened, they will last for up to 16 months if stored properly.
Opened, they will last in the refrigerator for 2 months.

More Canning Recipes:

Save This Recipe Form

Want to save this recipe?

Enter your email below & we’ll send it straight to your inbox. Plus you’ll get more great recipes and tips from us each week!

strawberry jelly in a quilted mason jar

Homemade Strawberry Jelly (for canning!)

This bright and fruity strawberry jelly is made with fresh summer strawberries for the most vibrant flavor and color. It is water-bath canned to preserve it for months to come! This jelly makes for the most delicious peanut butter sandwich, spread for biscuits, or filling for cake or dessert.
No ratings yet
Prep Time :30 minutes
Cook Time :5 minutes
Yield: 4 Half Pints
Author: Amanda Paa

SCALE:

Ingredients

  • 2 cups (16 ounces) pure strawberry juice (I used 3 1/2 pounds ripe, fresh strawberries to get this amount of juice)
  • 3 1/3 cups (666 grams) granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup (2 ounces) bottled lemon juice
  • 1 pouch Certo liquid fruit pectin
  • 1/2 teaspoon butter, optional* (this greatly decreases the amount of foam)

Instructions 

  • To extract strawberry juice from fresh strawberries: Wash your strawberries and remove the green caps. Slice strawberries into quarters. Add half to your food processor. You won't puree the strawberries, that creates too much air/foam. Rather, you'll pulse consistently in the food processor until the strawberries are finely crushed. Add the crushed strawberries to your jelly straining bag, then repeat with the remaining half of strawberries.
    *To Strain the Juice: Once I had the strawberries crushed, I used this inexpensive jelly bag straining setup to get the strawberry juice. This is what took a long time, so just be patient. You don't want to squeeze the bag, as this pushes some of the fruit through the mesh and will make your jelly cloudy. You can let it strain over 4 hours on the counter, or a nice way to do it is overnight in the fridge so you aren't constantly checking.
  • When you're ready to make the jelly, sterilize your canning jars by washing in hot, soapy water.
  • Bring your half pint jars to a simmer in your water bath canner.
  • Add strawberry juice, sugar, lemon juice, and butter (if using) to a large heavy-bottomed pot.
  • While stirring, turn heat to high to bring liquid to full rolling boil.
  • Once rolling boil is achieved, add liquid pectin and boil hard for 1 minute. (You can also test with an instant read thermometer to make sure mixture gets to 220 degrees F.) These things will make sure you get a good set.
  • Remove from heat and skim off any foam that has accumulated.
  • Ladle hot jelly into hot jars, leaving ¼ headspace. Screw band on until fingertip-tight. Place jar in boiling water canner. Repeat until all jars are filled.
  • Process jars for 10 minutes. Turn off heat; remove lid and let jars stand 5 minutes. Remove jars and place on a flat towel to fully cool and seal. The jelly can take up to 24 hours to fully set.
    Unopened, the jelly will last for up to 16 months in a dark, cool place. Opened, it will last in the refrigerator for 2 to 3 months.

Notes

  • Every brand of pectin is a bit different, so use only what is recommended here,  Certo Liquid Fruit Pectin, otherwise your jelly may not set.
  • Hard boil’ means it’s boiling so hard you can’t stir it down. Keep stirring. If the boil goes away, it’s not boiling hard enough. When it boils even with you stirring, it’s a hard boil.
  • I used the recommended safety guidelines for canning this jelly using the outline by the National Center for Home Food Preservation.
  • If you’re having trouble getting enough juice, you can always take the jelly bag and squeeze it over a fine mesh strainer into a bowl, in effect, straining twice. I did this and was able to get a lot more juice, without making the jelly cloudy because I was squeezing the juice over the fine mesh strainer. 

Did you make this?

tag @heartbeetkitchen on instagram and hashtag it #heartbeetkitchen

June 5, 2024

COMMENT & RATE

I look forward to your comments, reviews and questions! If you love this recipe, please rate it when you leave a comment. Star ratings help people discover my recipes. Your support means a lot; thank you for being a part of the Heartbeet Kitchen community.

Amanda

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating




This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

no comments