This strawberry jam is not the same red-hot pectin-thickened sugar-filled jam you find in the grocery store. It’s better. It’s dark, tangy, sweet and intoxicatingly floral. These are strawberries in a classic little black dress, not sequins and feather boas.
The pressure cooker speeds up the whole jam-making process. No need to coax the juice out of the berries by macerating them in sugar overnight or constantly stir fruit vigilantly to help it reach the right texture. The pressure cooker does both of these steps in just two minutes.
All that is left, is the little extra work to get that pectin-free jam post pressure cooking – reduce the contents to jam consistency (or until they reach the magic temperature).
I’ve made pectin-free jam before following various recipes but I wanted to see how low I could go with the ingredient count while still keeping it interesting. Enter my favorite sweetener: honey. It adds sweetness and that special touch without resorting to the latest trend of adding the most improbable ingredients.
Curry powder? Chopped pistachios? Espresso grounds? No thanks!
Swirling this jam in my children’s morning yogurt did away with guilty visions of heaping cups piled with sugar and replaced them with images of strawberries floating in honey.
|Pressure Cooker||Accessories||Pr. Cook Time||Pr. Level||Open|
|6 L or larger||none||2 min.||High(2)||Natural|
- about 2 lbs (1k) strawberries, cored and halved
- about 1½ lbs (750g) honey (light color and mild flavor I used "Millefiori")
- Place the pressure cooker on your scale and tumble in the trimmed strawberries. Note the weight ( 942g for this photographed recipe).
- Add ¾ of the weight in honey - you can use a calculator and multiply the weight your scale reads by .75. For example, for the 942 grams of strawberries used in this photographed recipe, we need just 707g of honey (942 x 0.75 = 706.5) - don't worry this works just as well with ounces!
- Then, hit "Tar/0" on your scale and pour in the honey until you reach the amount you calculated of honey.
- Put the cooker on low heat (keep warm mode for electric cookers) and stir occasionally until the honey has liquefied (about 3 minutes).
- Turn up the heat to high (saute or brown mode for electric cookers), and stirring occasionally wait for the contents to boil - it will look like white foamy bubbles bubbling around the strawberries.
- Quickly close and lock the lid. When the pressure cooker reaches pressure, turn down the heat and count just 2 minutes cooking time at HIGH pressure.
- When time is up, open the pressure cooker using the Natural Release method - move the cooker to a cold burner and don't do anything and wait for the pressure to come down naturally. For electric pressure cookers, turn off the "keep warm" mode and unplug the cooker.
- Remove the lid and bring the contents back up to a boil on medium heat (saute or brown mode for electric cookers) until the mixture reaches 220F (105C) (or the appropriate temperature for your altitude as measured with a digital thermometer) - or passes your favorite "gelling test". This step will take about 10 to 15 minutes.
- Pour hot jam into sterilized, or freshly dish-washed, jars. Carefully clean the edges and top with sterilized lids.
- Refrigerate for 4-6 weeks or process the jars in a hot water bath prepared in your pressure cooker (instructions in the pressure cooker lemon marmalade
- recipe) for 5 to 15 minutes (depending on your altitude).
- Yeild is about four 200ml (half-pint) jars
Would it be possible to make pressure cooker strawberry jam using sugar, or golden syrup (cane syrup) in place of the honey? If so, how much?
I wonder if you pressure canned the bottles, if *then* you’d be able to safely cut back on the honey for non-refrigerated storage…. (not expecting you to know the answer Laua, just wondering out loud…)
FYI. Update to my pondering of 2 years ago for anyone in the future reading. You do not want to pressure can jars of strawberry jam. Nor do they need pressure canning. They are a high acid food with a pH (3.0 to 3.9 as per the FDA) well below the safety cut off of 4.6 pH. Processing in an unpressurized boiling water bath as outlined by Laura is the way to go. Even if you left the strawberries sugar or honey free or used non-sugar sweeteners, it would be the pH (to control botulism) plus the heat of the proper water bath processing (to kill spores of mould, listeria, salmonella, and other nasties) that made your preserve safe, not the sugar (or the honey — though sugar free would require a sugar-free pectin such as Pomona to gel the mixture into jam) End FYI :}
Can you use frozen strawberries instead of fresh? What about other fruits (or berries) ? thanks
Yes, you can use frozen berries – the cooker will take a bit longer to reach pressure but the cooking time would be the same. As for other fruits, it depends on what they are.
When using an Instant Pot with your recipes, I just use the time that you list for after the pot has reached pressure –? E.g. in this recipe, I would set it for 2 minutes-?
Re other fruits, I was wondering about blueberry or raspberry jam this way (might need more honey)? Or maybe peaches/plums? I know you have citrus covered under marmalade.
many thanks for your wonderful recipes & help!
ellek, you can follow the sugar amounts for a traditional jam recipe and substitute it with the same quantity of honey. There is no need to make adaptations or adjustments, because sugar is a “liquid”!
Looks like the jam may gramma used to make. I think she used 1/4 cup sugar per box (strawberries came in little wooden strip boxes way back when)
Helen, shhhhh… ain’t no one round here old enough to remember those wooden boxes :} grin.
Ha ha Randal. Just me eh.
Went shopping for strawberries and the best price I could find was $6.99 a lb. Last year at this time they were $1.99 – $2.99.
I did buy one lb. as I was now craving strawberries, but the jam making will have to wait:(
Just FYI: there’s a small typo in step 2: (942 x .075 = 706.5) That should be 942 x 0.75 = 706.5
Not a big deal – just wanted to let you know. Thanks for all the recipes & tips!
Thanks for letting me know, Gloria. They typo has been fixed!
Laura, how would you do the calculation of honey with frozen strawberries? Would you have to adjust the equation for the additional weight?
Why, do frozen strawberries weigh more than fresh? I don’t think so – you’ll have to be aware when you put everything in the pressure cooker the honey may crystallize but it will melt back down with the heat.
Its a ratio.
If you buy your frozen cherries in 4 pound packs, use 3 pound of honey. If you buy them in 500g packs, use 350g of honey.
Cam I use the same honey ratio for nectarines?
Jess, in my cookbook I have an Apricot preserves and I use one pound sugar to two pounds fruit – so a little less. Stone fruits tend to be naturally sweeter and less tart than strawberries.
Can you do this with peaches instead of strawberries? (I have a ton and I’m trying to figure out a quick and easy way to make peach jam with my InstantPot! ;))