This easy Strawberry Jelly recipe captures the fabulous flavor of fresh strawberries in a beautiful, jewel-toned condiment you'll want to enjoy on toast, biscuits, scones... everything!
Every year when the local strawberry season rolls around, I feel compelled to incorporate the sweet crimson berries into recipes that be can enjoyed for breakfast, lunch and/or dinner. I know, from experience, that it's a rapidly fleeting moment in time. So I make cakes, galettes, muffins, scones, salads, lemonade, jam, ... even pizza! This year I got the inspiration to make strawberry jelly. Although I love jam, there's something so beautiful about a jar of clear, sparkling, jewel-toned jelly.
When the jelly was finished and the jars were lined up on the counter like little soldiers it was time for a taste test. Wow! This jelly truly captures the essence of strawberry flavor. And although we're thoroughly enjoying this strawberry jelly now, I know it will really be a delight on cold winter mornings when strawberry season seems like a wishful dream.
What's the difference between jam and jelly?
Some people use these terms interchangeably, but that's not really correct. I think Fine Cooking sums up the differences very concisely: "Jelly is a clear fruit spread made from cooked fruit juice and sugar, and possibly pectin, which helps it gel and thicken. ... Jam is a thick spread made from fruit juice, chopped, crushed, or puréed fruit, and sugar. Pectin may also be added to help it gel, but jams are usually looser than jellies."
I love that jellies really allow the color of the fruit to shine like jewels!
No canning skills needed!
You don't have to be an expert in canning techniques to make this strawberry jelly. It will keep in the refrigerator for 3-4 weeks. OR you can store it in the freezer for up to a year.
If you enjoy canning, that's another option. This strawberry jelly can be put through a traditional hot water bath. This takes a little extra time but ensures that the jelly is shelf-stable until it's opened. This is a great option if you don't have a lot of freezer space.
Apple in strawberry jelly?
In this Strawberry Jelly recipe, the strawberries are boiled in a cup of apple juice along with half of an apple. What in the world? Strawberries are super low in pectin. Apples are high in pectin. So in this recipe, we steal a little pectin from the apple juice and apple. The apple itself is strained out with the strawberry pulp but it ensures a good set.
A beautiful gift!
This strawberry jelly makes a gorgeous gift. Check it out:
We've created a free printable label PDF that we're happy to share with you. If you'd like to receive them via email, along with instructions on how to print them on your own printer, just let us know in the comment section at the bottom of this post.
This delicious jelly makes a wonderful gift for family, friends, neighbors, teachers, etc. I love to pair it with a plate of the No-Knead Potato Rolls pictured below.
Or serve it for breakfast with this No-Knead Brioche Bread.
Whether you decide to give it away or enjoy it yourself, don't let the season pass by without making a batch of this delicious Fresh Strawberry Jelly!
Café Tips for making this Fresh Strawberry Jelly
- This recipe calls for one box (1.75 ounces or 49g) of powdered pectin. I use SureJell which can be found in most grocery stores with the jam/jelly-making supplies (jars, bands, lids, etc.). It seems that every grocery stocks the jam/jelly-making supplies in a different section of the store so you might need to ask. You can also find it online.
- Don't try to adjust the amounts of ingredients in this recipe. Making jams and jellies with pectin is an exact science and each recipe is designed around the amount of natural pectin that is in a given fruit. If you increase or decrease any of the ingredients you may end up with jam that either is too loose or too stiff.
- The recipe instructs your to "bring the mixture to a rolling boil". What does that mean? A rolling boil is one that can't be stirred down - in other words, even when you stir, it continues to boil vigorously.
- It might seem a little odd, to include a half teaspoon of butter in this strawberry jelly recipe. The small amount of butter helps to prevent a lot of foam from developing when the juice/sugar mixture boils. If you finish boiling the jam and you still see foam, you can always pour it through a fine-mesh strainer one more time.
- You'll need a fine-mesh strainer for this recipe to strain the strawberry pulp from the juice. If you want really clear jelly, you'll also need some cheesecloth. Cheesecloth strains out every last little particle of fruit pulp and results in beautiful clear juice. Cheesecloth is sold at many larger grocery stores in the aisle with kitchen tools or in the aisle with rubber gloves and other cleaning utensils. You can also find it online. I wash my cheesecloth out after using it, let it dry and then store it in a ziplock bag until the next time I need it.
Thought for the day:
Great is the Lord and most worthy of praise;
his greatness no one can fathom.
What we're listening to for inspiration:
If you enjoy this recipe, please come back and leave a star rating and review! It’s so helpful to other readers to hear your results, adaptations, and ideas for variations.
- 2 quarts fresh strawberries stemmed and sliced
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 ½ cups 100% apple juice
- ½ medium apple unpeeled, cut into 4 pieces
- 3 cups strawberry juice
- 3 cups sugar
- ½ teaspoon butter
- 1 package powdered pectin (1.75 ounces or 49g) I use SURE JELL
Combine sliced strawberries, sugar, apple juice and the apple in a medium-large pot over medium heat. Stir until berries begin to release their juice. Bring mixture to a boil and boil for 10 minutes, stirring frequently.
Drain the berry mixture through a fine strainer for 30-45 minutes until you have 3 cups of berry juice. For super clear jelly, line the strainer with several layers of wet cheesecloth. If you don’t have 3 cups of juice, add a bit of extra juice to equal exactly 3 cups.
Combine exactly 3 cups of strawberry juice, the pectin and the butter in a large saucepan (at least 6-quart size). Stir and bring to a boil. Boil for 1 minute, watching carefully to keep the mixture from boiling up over the top of the pot and stirring occasionally. Add the sugar and stir to combine. Bring the mixture to a full, rolling boil (that can’t be stirred down.) Boil for exactly one more minute, stirring constantly.
Remove from heat and skim off any foam with a metal teaspoon. Ladle into clean jars, leaving ½ inch headspace at the top (if you’re planning to freeze the jelly as it will expand a bit in the freezer). Cover jars and allow the jars to sit at room temperature for 24 hours then refrigerate for up to 3 weeks or store in the freezer for up to 9 months.
Jelly can also be processed with a hot water bath at this point, using these directions.
See Café Tips above in the post for more detailed instructions and tips to ensure success.
If you prefer to use Metric measurements there is a button in each of our recipes, right above the word “Instructions”. Just click that button to toggle to grams, milliliters, etc. If you ever come across one of our recipes that doesn’t have the Metric conversion (some of the older recipes may not), feel free to leave a comment and I will add it.
This recipe makes 5 cups of strawberry jelly. The number of jars will be dependant on the size of your jars.