Strawberry Jam, the old fashion way

Last week I bought 2 gallons of strawberries from Darnell Farms in Bryson City as I have done for the past number of years and made a double batch of strawberry preserves.  YUM!

A gallon basket will be about 12 cups and will yield 8 cups of preserves.

These preserves are made the old fashioned way, with no pectin.



  1. 12 cups strawberries
  2. 2 cups sugar 
  1. Either pick or buy ½ a flat of berries picked that day at a berry farm.
  2. Pick the leaves off the berries either by pulling on them or cutting them off.
  3. Put berries in a container filled with water (a clean sink will do) and gently let water run over them for about 10 minutes. This will flush out the sand.
  4. Rinse and plunge in water again to make sure all sand is off of them.
  5. Put a tea towel on a cookie sheet and set the strawberries on it to dry. If it is a sunny day, I put them outside in the sun.
  6. When the strawberries are dry, put them in a large pot that you will use to make the preserves in, and add the sugar.
  7. Let them stay overnight in the sugar.

The next day

  1. Put the pot with strawberries on medium heat and bring to a very slow boil.
  2. Reduce the heat to simmer and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 3 hours.
  3. After about 2 ½ hours begin boiling the water for the water bath.
  4. Sterilize the jars and tops by simmering in near boiling water for 10 minutes.
  5. Fill 8 jars with jam and top with sterilized tops and screw tops.
  6. Put the jars back in the water bath and leave for 14 minutes in the mountains or10 minutes sea level.*
  7. Remove jars from the water bath and place in a safe place for 24 hours without touching them. Tops will “pop”.

*If using a pressure cooker, use 6 pounds pressure for 8 minutes.

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