Old-Fashioned Strawberry Preserves

A preserve recipe found on what was then called about.comOld-Fashioned Strawberry Preserves

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.

A candy thermometer is recommended for the best results. There are other methods for testing the preserves. See the jelling tests below the recipe.

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
Yield: 5 to 6 Half Pint Jars

3 pints ripe strawberries *
5 cups granulated sugar
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice

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


[1] Wash the strawberries in cold water and drain thoroughly. Hull them and discard the caps. Combine the berries with sugar in a large stainless steel or enamel-lined pan; let stand for 3 to 4 hours.

[2] Bring the strawberries to a boil slowly, stirring occasionally. Add the lemon juice. 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.

[3] Ladle or funnel the strawberry preserves into hot, sterilized jars, leaving 1/4-inch headspace. Process for 10 minutes in a boiling water bath.

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 degrees 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.