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!
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!
Mash strawberries in a medium pot with a potato masher.
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 before cooling completely in the refrigerator.
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:
- Lemon Poppy Seed Scones
- Cranberry Orange Scones
- Mini Buttermilk Pancakes
- Buttery Parker House Rolls
- Wheat Beer Bread
- With Homemade Honey Peanut Butter on toast or a sandwich
- Buttermilk Biscuits
- Classic French Toast
- Strawberry Muffins
- 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)
I don’t recommend using frozen strawberries to make homemade preserves!
Cornstarch naturally thickens strawberry preserves to the perfect consistency…it’s so much better than pectin!
Yes…strawberries preserves should be refrigerated, but can be served chilled, room temperature, or warmed in the microwave!
Homemade preserves/jam lasts at optimal freshness in the fridge for 6-8 weeks.
Yes! To thaw frozen preserves, place in the refrigerator.
More Strawberry Recipes You’ll Love On Tastefully Grace!
- Strawberry Muffins
- Best Strawberry Lemonade Popsicles
- Strawberry-Rhubarb Coconut Crumble Bars
- Strawberry Mango Bellini
- Potato masher
- 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
- 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!