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How to Make Mom’s Homemade Strawberry Preserves

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5 from 158 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 158 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: Tastefully Grace

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

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
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!
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68 Comments

  1. Anonymous
    February 6, 2024 / 12:47 am

    5 stars
    Delicious!!! Thank you!

    • February 6, 2024 / 10:23 am

      So glad to hear! Thanks for your comment.

      Grace

  2. Debbie
    January 1, 2024 / 2:23 pm

    5 stars
    I can’t wait to make it

    • January 2, 2024 / 10:03 am

      Debbie,

      I can’t wait to hear how it comes out!

      Grace

  3. Carly
    December 21, 2023 / 9:16 pm

    What if it isn’t super sweet after you let it sit? Should you add more before letting it go into the fridge

    • December 22, 2023 / 9:45 am

      Hi Carly,

      Hmmm, good question. If the preserves aren’t sweet enough for your taste, I’d probably add in more sugar while it’s on the stove. If it’s already off the stove, you can add more sugar in small increments, and microwave it very gently to help melt the sugar.

      I hope this helps!
      Grace

  4. Kween
    October 21, 2023 / 12:53 pm

    5 stars
    So happy I found this recipe. I had a boatload of strawberries and didn’t know what to do with them. This is an excellent recipe.

    • October 22, 2023 / 6:28 pm

      Hi Kween,

      Thanks so much for your comment! I’m so happy you like my mom’s preserves!!

      Grace

  5. Tina
    October 4, 2023 / 9:25 am

    5 stars
    The most delicious preserves I’ve ever had!!!

    • October 4, 2023 / 9:27 am

      Thanks, Tina! My mom’s recipe is the best!

      Grace

  6. Anonymous
    August 21, 2023 / 10:11 pm

    5 stars
    I’ve been looking for something to add pizzazz to my jam!🍓

  7. Leisa
    August 5, 2023 / 6:21 pm

    This was awesome! Can I use this recipe with peaches?

    • August 7, 2023 / 1:28 pm

      Hi Leisa!

      So sorry for the delay in response. I haven’t tried the recipe with different fruits. My guess is it would work but I don’t want to mislead you. Other berries would certainly work!

      I hope this helps:)
      Grace

      • Leisa Fell
        August 10, 2023 / 8:13 pm

        I’ll give it a shot and see what happens. 🙂 Thanks!

  8. Cindy
    July 27, 2023 / 8:50 am

    5 stars
    I have used this recipe for strawberries, black raspberries and raspberries, love the low sugar . The jam sets up nicely and the flavor is like fresh fruit. Thank you ! I have passed your recipe along to several people.

    • July 27, 2023 / 9:01 am

      Hi Cindy,

      I love the mixed berry method! Thanks for your comment. I’m so glad you love the preserves!

      Grace

  9. Jim
    July 25, 2023 / 5:57 pm

    5 stars
    I just finished putting up my third batch of preserves and want to thank you for sharing your mother’s recipe! So easy to make and just an amazing taste. Fortunately I have a unlimited supply of fresh strawberries and shared my first two batches with family & friends who are now asking for more!

    • July 26, 2023 / 9:28 am

      Hi Jim,

      I’m glad you enjoy the recipe as much as I do…especially during strawberry season!

      Cheers,
      Grace

  10. Stacey
    July 6, 2023 / 3:41 pm

    5 stars
    Absolutely Love this recipe!! It came out perfect. I doubled the recipe and reduced mine for a little longer ( about 20 min) The result was the most beautiful bright red strawberry colour I’ve ever seen, not too sweet, and perfect texture. Made 8 jars ( and one for the fridge. Lol)

    Thank you so much for posting!

    • July 6, 2023 / 4:01 pm

      Hi Stacey,

      Thanks so much for your comment! Wow, so happy the recipe turned out well!!

      Grace

  11. Beth Ann
    June 29, 2023 / 10:01 am

    5 stars
    The perfect sweetness, consistency and taste! OMG!

  12. Jill
    June 28, 2023 / 12:40 pm

    5 stars
    Never had something more delicious in my life!!

  13. Judy
    June 28, 2023 / 11:31 am

    4 stars
    I picked a lot of native strawberries yesterday and decided to try your recipe last night—I followed it to the letter. The result is absolutely delicious, but the preserves are extremely liquid-y, like a runny sauce with berries. I used the correct amount of cornstarch and cold water and added the mixture according to the instructions. I put the preserves in the fridge after cooling, and when I checked on it this morning, it hadn’t thickened up. Is there anything I can do at this point?

    • June 28, 2023 / 12:39 pm

      Hi Judy,

      Thank you for your note! I am a bit shocked and saddened the preserves didn’t thicken properly for you. The reasons I can think of are: the cornstarch was expired, mixture wasn’t boiled and then simmered long enough, or maybe the consistency of the preserves just isn’t for you 🙁 Check out my video to see whether the consistency looks similar to yours and for visual instructions just in case something went wrong. I wish I could provide more concrete reasons why the preserves didn’t set, but it’s tough for me to say since you followed the recipe accurately and this is one of my top recipes. Please let me know if you retry the recipe and if I can of help more!

      Grace

      • Judy
        June 28, 2023 / 10:19 pm

        Hi Grace,

        My preserves were much more liquid-y than yours were in the video. Not sure why. The cornstarch I used was brand new—I had just bought it yesterday. This is a head-scratcher. Perhaps the berries I picked had much more liquid in them than the store-bought variety? They were particularly juicy–maybe they just needed a little extra corn starch mixture? No matter, the preserves taste incredible! (They’ll just make for an especially drippy PB&J!) I’ll absolutely try this again in the next couple of days and will let you know how it turns out…Sticky fingers crossed!

        Judy

        • June 29, 2023 / 9:25 am

          Hi Judy,

          I agree on the strawberries. Native strawberries are very juicy and delicate 🙂 I’m so glad it tastes delicious! Let me know when you try again!

          Grace

  14. Denise Fairbrother
    June 24, 2023 / 7:49 am

    Picked my first flat of berries for the season and anxious to try your recipe! Was wondering if you can double it? I’m new to this
    Thank you so much

    • June 24, 2023 / 11:08 am

      Hi Denise!

      You absolutely can double the recipe! Let me know how it turns out.

      Grace

  15. Scott
    June 22, 2023 / 9:02 pm

    5 stars
    I made this for first time and it was beyond my expectations. I added a touch of vanilla and honey too. Rest was as instructed and wow. Thank you!

    • June 23, 2023 / 8:22 am

      Scott,

      Thanks so much for letting me know! Mom’s recipe does it again!

      Grace

  16. Misty
    June 16, 2023 / 10:18 am

    If using vanilla, can I use vanilla paste?

    • June 16, 2023 / 10:30 am

      Hi Misty,

      Although I haven’t used vanilla in this recipe, I assume a bit of vanilla pasta would work!

      Grace

  17. Anne
    May 25, 2023 / 8:36 pm

    5 stars
    I just made this and it’s delicious! I picked fresh strawberries and I used those that appeared to be almost too ripe. The beautiful color, fresh strawberry scent, and the perfectly proportioned ingredients make this an instant hit! It took me about 10 minutes. Thanks so much for sharing this wonderful family recipe! 🙂

    • May 26, 2023 / 8:40 am

      Hi Anne,

      This made my day! So happy it turned out just the way my mom would want it to. Thanks so much for letting me know!

      Grace

  18. April 30, 2023 / 9:20 am

    5 stars
    Only changed one thing! Added a little lemon zest. Turned out delicious! Thanks for the recipe!

    • April 30, 2023 / 11:51 am

      So glad it turned out well! Love the lemon zest addition.

      Grace

  19. Mair
    April 23, 2023 / 11:09 am

    This looks great. Just have 2 questions: can I omit the cornstarch? and can I substitute stevia for sugar?
    Thanks

    • Stacey
      July 6, 2023 / 3:54 pm

      Hi Mair,

      It’s not recommended to omit the starch all together, but you can sub the cornstarch with arrowroot starch, or sub with flour ( like a gravy). However, the sugar part is the iffy. I tried using a stevia sweetener and it did.not.work.out.well. It doesn’t preserve right. I ended up having to throw out all the jars I made. If you were to use stevia, make it for the fridge only. So 1 jar at a time. Hope this helps.

      • July 6, 2023 / 4:01 pm

        Thanks so much for replying to this comment from Mair. For some reason I missed this one 🙁

    • July 6, 2023 / 4:03 pm

      Hi Mair,

      I’m SO sorry I missed your comment. It was pushed to spam for some reason. I hope Stacey’s input is somewhat helpful (I agree with her!).

      My apologies again!
      Grace

  20. Veneal
    April 23, 2023 / 11:08 am

    Can I freeze the jam in jars?

    • JENNIFER ILG
      June 2, 2023 / 3:35 pm

      I would avoid freezing them in anything glass as it will expand in the freezer. We used to use soft plastic storage containers and freeze them that way. Something that will flex is best.

    • June 2, 2023 / 3:56 pm

      Hi Veneal,

      I’m not sure how this comment slipped through the cracks! Someone answered your question below and I agree with her advice. Or you can freeze them in jars but be sure to leave a ½ inch at the top of each jar to allow for expansion.

      I hope this helps and is not too late!
      Grace

  21. Rebecca Sanderlin
    March 4, 2023 / 9:18 am

    5 stars
    It’s strawberry season here in central Florida, and I wanted a new way to take advantage. Tried this recipe and it’s amazing!

    • March 5, 2023 / 3:05 pm

      So happy to hear you enjoyed! Thanks for commenting 🙂

      Grace

  22. Julie Fager
    March 3, 2023 / 7:40 pm

    This is my first EVER attempt to make jam/jelly, and I have a probably juvenile question. Your recipe say to use the juice of 1/2 a lemon. What approximate measure would that be? Some recipes need to be EXACT, and I’d hate to mess this up right off the bat. Thank you in advance!!

    • March 5, 2023 / 3:07 pm

      Hi Julie,

      So sorry for the delayed response! I was away for the weekend. The amount of lemon juice doesn’t have to be exact. I’d personally just squeeze in half a normal-sized lemon, but measurement-wise, I’d say it’s equivalent to about 1 or 1 1/2 tablespoons of juice.

      I hope this helps!
      Grace

      • Julie J Fager
        May 30, 2023 / 9:09 am

        Thank you so much, and please forgive MY slow response. I’m going to try the strawberry jam again.

        Thanks again!!

  23. Rita Scott
    February 24, 2023 / 11:22 am

    Do preserves require hot water bath for preservation & sealing of the jars?

    • Diana
      June 21, 2023 / 1:11 pm

      If you want to store on a shelf, then yes hot water bath for 10 minutes. Make sure you cover the entire jar. 2 inches over the lid. Rapid boil for 10 minutes in sterile jars. Cool at least 12 hours before checking the seal.

  24. 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

  25. 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

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

    How do I can some preserves

  27. 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

  28. 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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