travelandhome logo

Making your own strawberry jam - Is the best !

Fun summer activity for the whole family – Get out into nature.  It’s free !

Strawberry Picking is something the Capetonians love come springtime.  It is great fun for the whole family and not at all an expensive outing.  In our opinion, you just have to pick enough to make delicious strawberry jam as well.  I think homemade after all, just tastes better than store-bought.

Keeping in mind that you can eat strawberries in the field while you are picking, it is pretty much a fantastic outing for the kids.

After a day of strawberry picking, you are often left with way more strawberries than you can eat  (planned or not).  So the perfect solution is to make your own strawberry jam.  Just in time for Christmas and those summer afternoon scones or the perfect gift for someone near to your heart.

Strawberry jam

After our fun day of Strawberry picking at Mooiberge in the Western Cape of South Africa, I made this tried and tested ‘fool-proof’ recipe.

Recipe for Strawberry Jam

The South African Way

Course: Canning

Cuisine: The South African version


Canning strawberries


  • 1.8 kg (4 lb) Strawberries
  • 1.8 kg (4 lb) White Sugar
  • Juice of 1 lemon – Fresh is best.


  1. Remove any hard core or green leaves from the strawberries
  2. Wash and drain well
  3. Layer the strawberries and sugar in a pot on the stove and simmer on very low heat – stirring regularly just to get the sugar to dissolve.
  4. VERY IMPORTANT: Do not cook on high heat until all the sugar has melted.
  5. As soon as the sugar has melted and the syrup starts to form, bring to a boil and boil rapidly for 5-10 minutes. (Removing scum/pink foam – that forms on top, while boiling.)
  6. Add the lemon juice as soon as you turn up the heat (in the previous step)
  7. When setting point * is reached, transfer to clean jars and seal while still warm.

Chef Secrets!

Test for setting point of Jam:  Put a plate in the refrigerator freezer as you start your cooking time with the jam.  Once you think the fruit is soft and ready, pour a bit of jam on the plate (which you’ve taken from the refrigerator) and tilt it vertically.  If the jam runs slowly and is no longer runny, it is set and ready to go. 

Tip:  I like to blitz the jam to a fine consistency with a stick-blender just before I transfer it to the jars.  (Just be careful.)

Easy strawberry jam recipe Travel and Home

Frequently asked questions:

How long can you store your homemade jam:

If you sterilize your containers the proper way and make sure that all sugar melts as stated in the recipe above, it can easily last for up to two years.  Store in a cool, dry place.

Once opened how long can I keep my homemade jam?

You can keep it in the refrigerator for up to three months after you’ve opened it.

Why do you add lemon juice?

It helps your jam to set.  You can use bottled juice, but fresh is always best.