Peppered Strawberry Jam is quick and easy to make at home with only 4 ingredients and no pectin. You’ll love the delicious medley of sweet and spice on your breakfast toast!
One of my favorite comfort foods and one I indulge in often is a midday snack of toasted peanut butter and strawberry jam sandwich with an icy-cold Diet Coke to wash all the sweet, gooey goodness down. A simple treat yet absolutely one of the best pleasures on earth. 🙂
Nothing beats homemade jam on toast to wake up to in the morning! Making your own batch at home means less artificial flavorings and is a great way to savor the flavor of strawberries year round.
With summer in full swing and berries now in abundance, I’ve been whipping up my favorite fruit concoction every chance I get. It’s a simple project that takes less than an hour to make; I usually spend half of a weekend afternoon making sure I have a few jars stashed away to feed my addiction as well to give out as gifts to family and friends.
Tips on How to Make Peppered Strawberry Jam
- Use the fresh, quality fruit free of bruising and signs of spoiling, wilting or shriveling. If you can, buy organic berries.
- Make sure food prep implements are thoroughly clean and storage jars are properly sterilized (read how to sterilize empty jars here) and with tight-fitting lids.
- Do not reduce the amount of sugar; it not only acts as the sweetener but also binds the water to help the jam set and thicken.
- Don’t skip the lemon juice. The acid in the citrus balances the sweetness of the sugar while its high-pectin content helps the strawberry jam thicken and gel.
- To keep the sugar from crystallizing and the jam to become grainy, allow the sugar to completely dissolve before bringing the strawberry mixture to a boil.
- When setting point is reached, skim off any scum that floats on top. Or add a knob of butter to dissolve the scum.
- To test for setting, place a small saucer in the freezer for a few minutes and spoon a little jam onto the cold saucer. Leave for 30 seconds and then push the edges of the jam with your index finger; if the jam wrinkles and doesn’t flood to fill the gap, it is ready.
- Remove jam from heat and allow to settle for about 15 minutes to prevent the fruit from rising to the top.
- You can omit the freshly-ground black pepper if you like a more traditional strawberry jam but let me just say, it does provide a delicious contrast to the sweetness of the strawberries. It’s a weird combination that works!
Peppered Strawberry Jam
- 3 cups strawberries, hulled and diced
- 2 cups sugar
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly-ground black pepper
- In a saucepan over low heat, combine strawberries, sugar, and lemon juice.
- Cook, stirring regularly until sugar is completely dissolved.
- Bring mixture to a hard boil for about 8 to 10 minutes. To test for setting, place a small saucer in the freezer for about 5 minutes. Spoon a small amount of jam on the cold plate, leave for about 30 seconds, and use index finger to push in the jam. If it wrinkles and does not flood back to fill in the gap, it's ready.
- With a spoon, remove any scum that floats on top. Or add butter to dissolve the scum.
- Remove from heat and add pepper. Stir to combine.
- Allow jam to settle for about 15 minutes and then transfer into clean, sterilized jars, leaving about 1/4 inch headspace. Close the tight-fitting lid.