Old-Fashioned Strawberry Preserves

Strawberry preserves recipe

​The Spruce / Teena Agnel

  • Total: 45 mins
  • Prep: 20 mins
  • Cook: 25 mins
  • Servings: 12 servings
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
334 Calories
0g Fat
86g Carbs
0g Protein
See Full Nutritional Guidelines Hide Full Nutritional Guidelines
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 12
Amount per serving
Calories 334
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 0g 0%
Saturated Fat 0g 0%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 1mg 0%
Total Carbohydrate 86g 31%
Dietary Fiber 1g 3%
Protein 0g
Calcium 7mg 1%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

This quick and easy recipe for strawberry preserves is made without added pectin. It's a vintage recipe and it makes about four half-pint jars. If you only want a small batch to refrigerate right away, use this easy small batch strawberry jam instead.

Use a candy thermometer for the best results. There are other methods for testing the preserves. See the jelling tests below the recipe.


  • 3 pints ripe strawberries (see tips)
  • 5 cups granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup fresh lemon juice

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients for strawberry preserves
    ​The Spruce / Teena Agnel
  2. Wash the strawberries in cold water and drain thoroughly. Hull them and discard the caps.

    Cut off strawberry tops
    ​The Spruce / Teena Agnel
  3. Combine the berries with sugar in a large stainless steel or enamel-lined pan; let stand for 3 to 4 hours.

    Add sugar
    ​The Spruce / Teena Agnel 
  4. In a medium sauce pot, bring the strawberries to a boil slowly, stirring occasionally. Add the lemon juice.

    Add lemon
    ​The Spruce / Teena Agnel
  5. Cook rapidly over medium heat until the strawberry mixture is clear and the syrup is thickened, or about 15 minutes. (See below for ways to test the syrup).

    ​The Spruce / Teena Agnel
  6. Ladle or funnel the strawberry preserves into hot, sterilized jars, leaving 1/4-inch headspace.

    Ladle into jar
    ​The Spruce / Teena Agnel
  7. Process for 10 minutes in a boiling water bath.

    ​The Spruce / Teena Agnel
  8. Cool and store in the fridge until ready to use.

    Cool and store
    ​The Spruce / Teena Agnel


  • One pint of fresh strawberries weighs approximately 12 ounces. A 1-pound container, once the strawberries are hulled, will weigh about 12 to 14 ounces.

Three Ways to Test for Jelling Point of Jams, Jellies, and Preserves

  • Temperature - If you use a candy thermometer, cook the preserves to 220 F or 8 degrees above the boiling point. For each 1000 feet of altitude above sea level, subtract 2 F. 
  • Freezer Test - Put a few small plates in the freezer. Near the end of the cooking time, begin to test. Drop a dab of jam on an ice cold plate. Put it back in the freezer for 2 minutes. If the preserves wrinkle a bit when gently pushed with your finger, it is done. If it is still runny and your finger, runs through it, continue cooking and test again in a few minutes.
  • Cold Spoon Test - Put a few metal spoons in the refrigerator. Dip a cold spoon into the boiling jelly and lift it. Let it run off the spoon. When two drops converge and "sheet" off the spoon, the preserves are done.

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