Homemade Strawberry Jelly

August 16, 2022
3 Ratings
Photo by Julia Gartland
  • Prep time 24 hours 10 minutes
  • Cook time 20 minutes
  • makes 3 12-ounce mason jars
Test Kitchen Notes

Peak strawberry season varies depending on what part of the country you live in, but broadly speaking, you’ll find the plumpest, juiciest, and all-around sweetest strawberries from May through August. There are so many ways to cook and bake with an abundance of fresh strawberries but naturally, one of our favorite recipes is homemade strawberry jelly. Smear it on toast or swirl it into ice cream; come late summer, use it for your little one’s PB&J sandwiches as they head back to school. If you properly can jelly, it’s good for up to 12 months, so long as it’s unopened and stored properly in the pantry. Don’t know how to can? We’ve got you covered with a step-by-step guide to canning, which is found in the recipe below.

So what’s the difference between jam and jelly anyway? Jelly is thinner and more translucent than jam, and doesn’t contain big chunks of fruit the way that jam usually does. However, jelly doesn’t always resemble the thickened, gelatinous jelly that you find jarred in the grocery store. It may be as smooth and spreadable as jam or a little bit thicker—that all depends on whether or not you add pectin to your jelly recipe. Pectin is a fiber found in fruit that is processed as a powder for baking. When heated, it helps to thicken jelly and jam, giving them more structure than they’d otherwise have. Adding pectin to this recipe is totally optional—either way, we promise that this recipe will deliver the best summer flavor for months to come. —Food52

What You'll Need
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Homemade Strawberry Jelly
  • 2 pounds strawberries, trimmed and halved (about 5 cups)
  • 4 cups granulated sugar
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 5 tablespoons (1.75 oz. package) pectin (optional)
  1. To sterilize jars: Wash jars, lids, and bands with hot, soapy water and let dry. Place jars in a large pot, cover with water, and bring to a simmer. Place lids and bands in a separate pot of hot water. Leave jars and lids in water until ready to fill.
  2. Make the jelly: Place strawberries in a blender or food processor and blend until smooth; add them to a large nonreactive pot.
  3. Add sugar, lemon juice, and pectin to the pot and place over medium-high heat. Start stirring until they dissolve in the mixture.
  4. Bring mixture to a boil and cook, stirring frequently, 3 minutes. Reduce heat to low and simmer until mixture darkens and thickens slightly, 3 to 5 minutes more.
  5. Turn off the heat and skim off the appearing foam with a spoon.
  6. Start filling the mason jars with jelly one at a time with a wide-mouth funnel. Clean the residue from the jar’s exterior.
  7. Place the center lids on the jars Tip: Make sure to leave a little space at the top of the jar (they will expand as they cool.)
  8. Fill the canning pot with water and boil for 10 minutes.
  9. Turn off the heat and let the jars cool for five minutes.
  10. Using a jar lifter, remove the jars from the hot water and let them sit at room temperature for 24 hours.
  11. After 24 hours, check the lids for seal. If sealed properly, store the jars in a pantry or kitchen cabinet.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Jamey Adcock
    Jamey Adcock
  • mrJR
  • Maureen
  • sfheight

9 Reviews

mrJR April 19, 2024
I have made jam and jelly you might want to try topping the jars with a little bit of paraffin wax to keep it sealed especially if it’s been opened. we prefer to use it to keep it fresh and ready to eat. simply just peal the wax off or in half when you want to eat it. In response to the comment Jelly is made mostly with the juice of the fruit or vegetables that you want to make jelly from. Jam traditionally is made with chunks or pieces of fruit in it. Not as much as you would find in say a Chutney or fruit salsa. I mentioned vegetables because my Grandparents used to make Tomato preserves it’s a jam made from one over ripe tomatoes, can also make it with things like jalapeño tomato jam, other vegetables as long as it’s something that you like to eat. I make a very large batch of Apricot, Apple, and or Peach jam. So that latter on after it’s had time to age in the jars, I can use it for filling in kolach, from the Czech and Slovak koláč is a type of sweet pastry. also the peach can be used for a great spicy pork roast marinade just add a little cyan pepper to your preferred taste in heat. Jams and Jelly was originally made as a way of keeping the juice and fruit or vegetable fresh for the long Winters. Then it could be used as is or made into something else later on.
Maureen June 29, 2020
Obviously the author doeS NOT KNOW THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN JAM AND JELLY. This was a waste of my time in searching for a strawberry "JELLY" recipe!!
Jamey A. May 25, 2020
Made this recipe doubled it. Its not setting yet its been 15 hours now. I hope like recipe says will thicken by 24 hours!!! Making me very nervous for sure.
Momp May 11, 2022
Did it ever set up or what did you have to do.
sfheight February 20, 2020
This is an amazing recipe! I made the strawberry jelly today and it was so good!
[email protected] August 10, 2019
This is jam not jelly geeeze
Christy June 21, 2018
I'm very sad to say, despite the title, this is a jam recipe and not a jelly recipe at all.
Brittany May 23, 2017
How long will the canned jelly be good for?
Brenda D. April 13, 2019
The jars say 18 months. As long as they are sealed this should be a good rule! I make lots of strawberry jelly and I just use the SurJell recipe in the box. I also use a NuWAVE hot plate to get consistant heat and after I add the sugar I let it boil for 1/1/4 minutes. Works every time and never had any that did not jell! Strawberry Jelly is so much better than jam. Extracting the juice is a lot easier than cutting up strawberries for jam.