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Small Batch Refrigerator Strawberry Jam

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This delicious recipe for Small Batch Refrigerator Strawberry Jam is the perfect recipe if you’re craving homemade strawberry jam but you don’t have time to make a full batch of canned jam. Keep this simple quick jam in the fridge, perfect for slathering onto scones, hot toast, or for filling a simple Victoria Sandwich cake.

Small Batch Refrigerator Strawberry Jam with a spoon and fresh cut strawberries on a white background.

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Strawberries in my neck of the woods usually ripen in early June. I like to set aside the better part of a day to put up at least one batch of traditional strawberry jam.

But sometimes, my schedule doesn’t allow. And before I know it, the local strawberries have passed, and with it… my window of opportunity.

This refrigerator strawberry jam has been my backup. Or… even my supplement. My guys tend to go through strawberry jam quickly at our house.

I love that it’s so easy. And that it contains zero added pectins.

Afternoon tea scones almost require a homemade strawberry jam. Here’s a quick and easy way to make it for your next afternoon tea!

Here’s my summer, go-to, one jar at a time, refrigerator strawberry jam. (But, if you want to make a jam that will last longer here is a great recipe!)

And if you like peaches, be sure to see our Easy Small Batch Refrigerator Spiced Peach Jam!

Strawberry jam on a split scone with clotted cream.

How does making this Small Batch Refrigerator Strawberry Jam without pectin work?

As this is a quick jam you’ll be keeping in the fridge and therefore not shelf stable, you don’t need the sort of set you’ll get from adding pectin. Also, strawberries do contain some of their own which will also help this quick jam set.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I use this recipe to make shelf stable strawberry jam?

As you are not adding pectins to this quick jam I would not recommend using this jam recipe or canning.

Can I make a low sugar version of this refrigerator jam?

Yes you can cut down the amount of sugar a little, but it is the sugar that helps this quick jam set so prepare for a softer set. If your jam being too sweet is the concern, just add a little fresh lemon juice to taste.

I’m vegan, can I just leave the butter out of this small batch strawberry jam recipe?

Of course, but you’ll want to but extra diligent about skimming the foam off the top of your jam as it boils!

Do I need to sterilise my jam jar?

I’d recommend it, without a sterilised jar I’d only recommend keeping the jam in the fridge for up to a week, rather than for up to four.

Small Batch Refrigerator Strawberry Jam close up with a metal spoon spooning jam out of a glass jar.

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Small Batch Refrigerator Strawberry Jam | 31Daily.com

Small Batch Refrigerator Strawberry Jam

This delicious recipe for Small Batch Refrigerator Strawberry Jam is perfect if you’re craving homemade strawberry jam but you don’t have time to make a full batch of canned jam. Keep this simple quick jam in the fridge, perfect for slathering onto scones, hot toast, or for filling a simple Victoria Sandwich cake.
5 from 6 votes
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Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Servings: 1 pint
Author: Stephanie Wilson


  • 1 3/4 cups sugar
  • 1- quart strawberries cleaned and hulled
  • 1 teaspoon butter to reduce foaming


  • Freeze a couple of spoons (I'll explain later, it has to do with the gel!)
  • Combine 1/4 cup sugar and the strawberries in a medium saucepan. Using a potato masher, roughly mash the strawberries. Then, using a wooden spoon, cook the berries, stirring until they are juicy. This should take about 5-6 minutes.
  • Stir in remaining sugar and butter until the sugar is dissolved and the butter is melted.
  • Bring mixture to a full rolling boil then, reduce heat to maintain a simmer on medium to medium-high heat. Remove foam from the surface of the jam as needed and continue cooking until the mixture has thickened and much of the liquid has been absorbed. At about 15 minutes, begin checking the gel.

Gel Test

  • Retrieve the frozen spoons (or freezer safe plate). Place a drizzle of jam on the back of a frozen spoon. After slightly cooling, run your finger through the jam. If it retains its track, it has set. If it runs, keep cooking the jam and retest in a few minutes.
  • Quickly pour jam into a clean pint size jar and refrigerate up to 4 months.


Add 1 tablespoon of lemon juice to the strawberries and sugar if you like a twist of lemon.
If you’d rather not handle cold metal, freeze a freezer-safe plate instead. Drop a little jam on the plate and run your finger through that instead of across the back of a frozen spoon.

Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.

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Course: Condiment
Cuisine: American
Keyword: afternoon tea, small batch, strawberry jam


  1. 5 stars
    It tastes good but it is really hard. I boiled it on medium heat and tested after 20 minutes. I think you should add a tip to start the spoon test after 15 minutes since all stoves are different. If I make it again, I will definitely do that.

    1. Hi Liz, you make an excellent point. Because water content in strawberries can widely vary depending on the variety and how ripe they are, they will be ready for a gel test at different times. It seems to always take about 20 minutes for my jam to set, but you’re right– stoves and heat do vary. I have updated the instructions to encourage gel testing at 15 minutes. Thank you for your comment!

    1. Hi Doug! It can be overcooked– you want to cook it just until its thickened and coats the back of a spoon you’ve put in the freezer for a few minutes. When you run a finger through the drizzled jam, the path you created on the back of the spoon should remain. There should be some moisture left in the thickened jam as it does continue to set up as it cools.

    1. Hi Vikki, I let it cool on the counter a bit until it’s just warm and then place the lid on and refrigerate..

  2. 5 stars
    Wow, making this recipe now. The use of butter is absolutely the way to do this! So little foam with this process. Love this recipe!!!❤️

    1. Hi Marilyn — Thanks for letting me know! Put the butter in when you stir in the remaining sugar. I’ll be sure to add that to the instructions!

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