Strawberry Preserves

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If your family loves to go berry picking like mine does, you are likely going to end up with baskets full of of luscious red strawberries, raspberries, or juicy blueberries. This recipe for strawberry preserves will work for any type of berry. It is easy, can be made with basic pantry items, it is much lower in sugar than store-bought brands, and this small batch recipe is so flavorful and naturally sweet! I make this recipe with floral accents using dried rose petals and lavender extract. The floral accents are completely optional, but we love the delicate fragrant hint with the strawberries. For this recipe, you don’t need pectin or any special tools. You need a good pot, a lemon, only half a cup of sugar, and a very attentive eye!

I love all things summer, and one of my favorite things is strawberry picking! They are so much juicier, redder, and sweeter than anything you can get in store. The best perk, is that the strawberries last for over a week without any molding. I bet your grocery store berries can’t do that. As I always say, eat local, buy local whenever you can!


Fresh berries are best!

After picking your berries, keep them refrigerated. Do not wash them until you will use them. I soak them in water and some apple cider vinegar to disinfect, lift them out of the water to leave the dirt behind, and then lay them out on a towel. I use 2 pounds of fresh strawberries for this recipe, which is roughly 4 cups of quartered berries. My basket of berries from the farm has about 4-5 pounds of strawberries so you have plenty if you also went picking! I put the kids to work hulling the stem and leaves with a little metal teaspoon. The small round shape is perfect for scooping out the hull!

Floral infusions

I use dried rose petals and buds in a tea filter. I find these have a much more fragrant and delicate rose essence than using rose water. It also allows me to control the amount of liquid added to the recipe. I pour 1/4 c water over the tea filter to help draw out the rose essence, and this liquid all evaporates as the preserves reduce over the heat. I use lavender extract or grind my lavender tea and sprinkle this into the tea filter as well.

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Lemon juice and sugar

Many recipes call for 1-3 cups of sugar for 2 pounds of berries. I only use 1/2 a cup. Sugar is important as it preserves the fruit and draws out the juices. Towards the end of my reduction, I taste the preserves and add 2-3 tablespoons of honey as needed.

The lemon juice is essential as it allows the pectin in the fruit to become thick and gel like. I do not add in any additional pectin powder because you do not need it for this recipe!

If you happen to have pure salep powder which is the ground powder from the tubers of the orchid flower, you can sprinkle in half of a teaspoon to help thicken the jam, and a bonus is more floral infusion into the flavor! Salep powder is hard to come by, as I get mine from Turkey or Egypt, but it really is a lovely addition if you have it!

While you do not need any special thermometer or tools for this recipe, you will need a very attentive eye. If you do not constantly stir the pot, or if you let it boil over, the preserves will burn and the berries will turn to char. I continuously stirred my small batch pot for 45 minutes or so, while I was preparing something else in the kitchen. So plan to make this while you will be hanging out in the kitchen so that you can keep a close eye on it.

Storing the Preserves

I used 3 jars that I saved to reuse. I simply rinsed the jars with boiling water, and boiled the lids to sterilize. I did not officially can the jars with a seal, as I know we will go through this in about a month. If you wish to properly preserve the jam in jars, you will need sterilized jars and lids to seal them. This is a surprisingly easy method which you can watch on YouTube here. I love these jars. These preserves sealed in jar would make for a perfect gift for friends and family! This recipe will yield 3-4 jars of jam.

Strawberry Preserves

This delicious, floral small-batch strawberry preserve recipe is so easy and delicious, and uses pantry basics to create a beautiful, juicy, sweet jam perfect for bread, biscuits, pancakes, and more!
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Course Breakfast, Dessert, Side Dish
Servings 3 10 0z jars


  • 2 lb strawberries, hulled and quartered
  • juice of half a lemon 1/4 c
  • 1/2 c granulated sugar
  • 1/4 c rose petals (optional)
  • 1/4 c water
  • 2-3 tbsp honey (optional)


  • Combine the strawberries and sugar in a large, heavy bottom pot, with enough room for liquid and foam to bubble up (see video).
  • Place the rosebuds in a tea filter, make an open pit in the pot in the midst of the berries, and set the filter in the pot, in the middle of the strawberries.
  • Pour the water directly over the tea filter. Set the pot over medium heat and bring to a simmer.
  • After about 10 minutes, the pot will begin to boil with a lot of foam and liquid coming up. Continuously stir with a silicone spoon. Set the spoon on top of the pot so that it does not spill over. Do not leave the pot unattended at any time because the preserves will easily burn.
  • Once the foam has settled a bit, reduce the heat to low, add the lemon juice and continue to stir. Allow the pot to simmer while stirring every so often. The berries will break down and the liquid will evaporate eventually, leaving a thick jam behind. Every 10 minutes, check the pot and stir so that nothing sticks to the bottom.
  • Once the jam looks thickened, taste it. If you prefer it sweeter, you may add 2-4 tablespoons of honey according to your preference. Stir well and simmer for 3 more minutes.
  • Remove from heat. Scoop the jam into jam jars and allow them to come to room temperature before enjoying or refrigerating.
Keyword berry, jam, preserves, strawberry

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