How to Make Mom’s Homemade Strawberry Preserves

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5 from 17 votes

My mom showed me how to make her famous homemade strawberry preserves! The recipe is old-fashioned with an intense fresh strawberry flavor made from only a few ingredients. Made in a small batch without pectin, these preserves are SO much better than store-bought!

Why We Love Homemade Strawberry Preserves

I grew up eating my mom’s strawberry preserves, made from fresh local strawberries that were cooked down to intensify their flavor in just a few easy steps.

Although local spring/summer strawberries can’t be beaten, store-bought strawberries do the job perfectly, too!

With only a few ingredients, you can whip up homemade strawberry preserves in no time and it’ll keep so well in the fridge for weeks to come!

You’ll love having preserves on-hand for so many reasons: on Lemon Poppy Seed Scones, Silver Dollar Pancakes, Parker House Rolls, for the kids with Peanut Butter, etc.! The opportunities are endless.

Ingredients for Strawberry Preserves

You’ll need only a few ingredients to make the best strawberry preserves!

  • Fresh strawberries – fresh in-season strawberries can’t be beaten but regular strawberries from the grocery store do the job perfectly too.
  • Fresh lemon juice – a dash of lemon juice intensifies the flavor of the strawberries.
  • Sugar – sugar (but not too much sugar!) sweetens your jam just enough.
  • Cornstarch – a dash of cornstarch is the secret ingredient, helping to thicken your preserves to the perfect consistency.
  • Cold water – cold water activates your cornstarch.
  • Salt – a dash of salt adds flavor.

Variations & Substitutions

  • Substitute 1 cup of blackberries, blueberries, or raspberries for 1 cup of strawberries.
  • Substitute potato starch for cornstarch. Follow packaging instructions for quantity!
  • Add in a dash of cinnamon for a warm touch!
  • Add in a ½ teaspoon lemon zest, orange zest or lime zest for a citrusy undertone.
  • Add in 1 teaspoon vanilla extract or Grand Marnier to get fancy.

How to Make Strawberry Preserves

The full instructions and step-by-step video are in the recipe card below!

  1. Mash.

    Mash strawberries in a medium pot with a potato masher.

  2. Add.

    Stir in lemon juice, sugar, and salt.

  3. Cook.

    Bring mixture to a boil over high heat. Once boiling, turn heat to medium and add cornstarch mixed with cold water. Stir. Let simmer over medium heat for 7 minutes, stirring every minute.

  4. Cool.

    Remove from heat, and let preserves cool in a large bowl at room temperature before cooling completely in the refrigerator.

  5. Store.

    Transfer preserves to airtight containers.

Preserves Vs. Jam

The difference between preserves and jam is simple: preserves contain larger pieces of fruit than jam, which contains mashed fruit!

How to Store Preserves

After preserves have cooled completely, store in airtight containers in the refrigerator for 4-6 weeks for optimal freshness.

How to Use Strawberry Preserves

Oh my! There are SO many uses for homemade strawberries preserves, served warm or cold! Here are some of my favorites…spoon on:

  1. Lemon Poppy Seed Scones
  2. Cranberry Orange Scones
  3. Mini Buttermilk Pancakes
  4. Buttery Parker House Rolls
  5. Wheat Beer Bread
  6. With Homemade Honey Peanut Butter on toast or a sandwich
  7. Buttermilk Biscuits
  8. Classic French Toast
  9. Strawberry Muffins
  10. On ice cream or pound cake with fresh Vanilla Whipped Cream

How do you warm preserves? Place desired amount in a microwave safe dish covered with plastic wrap, and heat in increments of 30 seconds until warm.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Can you use frozen strawberries for preserves?

I don’t recommend using frozen strawberries to make homemade preserves!

What does cornstarch do?

Cornstarch naturally thickens strawberry preserves to the perfect consistency…it’s so much better than pectin!

Do strawberry preserves need to be refrigerated?

Yes…strawberries preserves should be refrigerated, but can be served chilled, room temperature, or warmed in the microwave!

How long does homemade jam last?

Homemade preserves/jam lasts at optimal freshness in the fridge for 6-8 weeks.

Can you freeze homemade preserves?

Yes! To thaw frozen preserves, place in the refrigerator.

More Strawberry Recipes You’ll Love On Tastefully Grace!

Mom’s Homemade Strawberry Preserves

My mom showed me how to make her famous homemade strawberry preserves! The recipe is old-fashioned with an intense fresh strawberry flavor made from only a few ingredients.
5 from 17 votes
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Course: Sauce & Dips
Cuisine: American
Keyword: spring, summer
Servings: 16 servings
Calories: 40kcal
Author: TastefullyGrace

Equipment

  • Potato masher

Ingredients

  • 4 packed cups fresh strawberries hulled & cut in half
  • ½ lemon juiced
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 2 tablespoons cold water
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt

Instructions

  • Mash strawberries in a medium pot with a potato masher to desired consistency. I like some large pieces of strawberries and others that are completely mashed.
  • Stir in lemon juice, sugar, and salt.
  • Bring mixture to a boil over high heat. Once boiling, turn heat to medium and add cornstarch mixed with cold water. Stir. Let simmer over medium heat for 7 minutes, stirring every minute.
  • Remove from heat, and let preserves cool in a large bowl at room temperature for 30 minutes before cooling completely in the refrigerator.
  • Once cooled, transfer preserves to mason jars or other airtight containers!

Video

YouTube video

Nutrition

Serving: 2tablespoon | Calories: 40kcal | Carbohydrates: 10g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 19mg | Potassium: 56mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 8g | Vitamin A: 4IU | Vitamin C: 22mg | Calcium: 6mg | Iron: 1mg
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11 Comments

  1. Linda
    November 15, 2022 / 6:11 pm

    I am a muffin freak and and found some really good deals on strawberries over the course of the season so I froze them I know they say that you should use fresh strawberries for this but I used Frozen and it still came out wonderful very simple recipe and gave a great flavor and satisfied my sweet tooth🤗

    • TastefullyGrace
      Author
      November 16, 2022 / 3:16 pm

      Hi Linda!

      So happy you loved the recipe!! Thanks so much for the comment.

      Grace

  2. Kate
    September 19, 2022 / 10:26 pm

    5 stars
    Over the weekend I picked up 7 quarts of strawberries and abour 6 pounds of peaches for free. Though I haven’t decided what i’m going to do with the peaches, I want to make preserves with the strawberries. I was over the moon when I found your cite and this recipe. Last week I made plum Lekvar, it’s like a super stiff apple butter but made with Italian plums. It took 2 days of cooking before I finally ended up with 8 half pints. The recipe for your strawberry preserves looks so much easier and a lot quicker. Thanks.

    • TastefullyGrace
      Author
      September 20, 2022 / 1:04 pm

      Hi Kate,

      I’m so happy to hear this recipe helped! It’s one of my favorites. Enjoy!

      Grace

  3. John young
    August 22, 2022 / 2:48 pm

    How do I can some preserves

  4. Janine
    August 13, 2022 / 4:52 pm

    I made this and it turned out good but if you don’t process this won’t it spoil????

    • TastefullyGrace
      Author
      August 15, 2022 / 1:09 pm

      Hi Janine,

      The preserves will last for about a month without any processing!

      Grace

      • August 19, 2022 / 1:06 am

        Thank you fir taking the time to reply

  5. Cheryl Cobb
    May 11, 2022 / 11:05 am

    This recipe doesn’t seem intimidating at all! I’ll be on the ready the next few weeks, when strawberry season kicks in. We love preserves and I am excited to try your recipe!! Thank you for sharing this.

    • TastefullyGrace
      Author
      May 11, 2022 / 12:43 pm

      I’m so glad you’re excited about making it! Please let me know how the preserves turn out 🙂

      Grace

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