Easy Strawberry Vanilla Jam: A Homemade American Treasure Bursting with Flavor

You know what they say: “Home is where the heart is… and apparently where all your tornado-like organizational skills reside.” Well, they don’t say that, but they should. Juggling dishes, kids, and conference calls from my New York apartment reminds me of a high-stakes, adult version of “hot lava,” where my living room floor tiles turn into a productivity obstacle course.

So, there I was like Indiana Jones in the Temple of Doom, attempting to conquer the Everest of pantries—a tower of canned goods threatening to topple any moment. Alas, amidst the chaos, an idea emerged like a phoenix from the ashes of culinary despair.

Behold: Strawberry Vanilla Jam. It won’t teach you to balance grocery lists and yoga poses, and it’s not the magical elixir of time management. But when a spoonful of this fruity, sweet goodness hits your taste buds, it feels like you’ve won a three-second vacation lottery.

Get ready to dive headfirst into this jam-making adventure and brighten up your breakfast like a fireworks display—sans the explosions. Because life’s too short to not have a delectable spread that makes your morning toast feel like a getaway to a five-star resort.

After all, it’s the simple pleasures that make this work-from-home roller coaster a little less wild, right? So let’s head into the kitchen, whip up some jam, and laugh in the face of never-ending responsibilities. They’ll still be there when we come out, armed with a tall stack of toast and some jam-slaying prowess.


  1. Fresh strawberries – A good amount of ripe and juicy strawberries to be washed, cleaned, and chopped into small pieces.

  2. Granulated sugar – The ingredient responsible for the sweet and delicious taste of the jam.

  3. Vanilla bean – A subtle and delicate aroma to enhance the flavor. Vanilla extract can be used instead, but should be added later in the recipe to preserve the aroma.

  4. Citric acid – A common ingredient in jams and jellies that helps preserve color and flavor. Lemon juice can be used as a substitute.


  1. Start by washing and cleaning 21 ounces of fresh strawberries, making sure to remove the stems. Cut smaller berries into fourths and larger ones into eighths.
  2. Grab 2 small glass jars and their lids, giving them a good wash. Keep them in a warm place, like a preheated 200°F oven, to prevent them from breaking when you pour in the hot jam later on.
  3. In a large saucepan over medium heat, add the chopped strawberries and 1.5 cups of granulated sugar. Split a vanilla bean lengthwise, scrape out the seeds, and toss both the seeds and the bean into the mixture.
  4. Keep stirring occasionally until the mixture starts simmering. Then, turn the heat down slightly and let it simmer for 40-60 minutes. Keep an eye on it and stir every now and then so the jam doesn’t burn on the bottom.
  5. After 40-60 minutes, drop a bit of juice from the pan on a plate and check if it holds its shape. If it doesn’t spill around when the plate is moved, your jam is ready! Add a pinch of citric acid and remove from heat.
  6. Carefully fill the warmed jars with the hot jam, almost to the top, and close them tightly with the lids. Place them upside-down on the kitchen counter. Let them cool to room temperature like this, it ensures the lids are perfectly sealed.
  7. Keep the sealed jars in a dry place at room temperature for up to a year. Once you open the jar, store it in a cool place.
  • To hull a strawberry, stick a straw through the bottom of the berry and push it through the top. You will see the green tops starting to pop off.
  • Remember, small pieces are the key to a smooth jam. Large chunks will give you a chunky jam, so chop them up nice and small.
  • Avoid using a cast iron, non-enameled skillet or pot. These can transfer flavors into the jam.
  • Keep stirring frequently! As the jam cooks, it can easily start to burn at the bottom of the pan, so you want to make sure you’re stirring it often.

Serving Suggestions for Strawberry Vanilla Jam

Here are some ideas to help you get started on your jamming journey!

  • Toast it up! Spread some jam on a slice of toasted bread for a classic breakfast or brunch dish.
  • Yogurt’s BFF. Swirl a spoonful of jam into your favorite yogurt for a sweet and fruity start to your day.
  • Peanut Butter’s pal. Spread some jam onto a slice of bread, add a dollop of peanut butter, and you’ve got yourself a PB&J sandwich.
  • Bake it into a pie. Use the jam as a filling for a delicious and fruity pie.
  • Ice cream’s sweetheart. Spoon some jam over a scoop of vanilla ice cream for a classic dessert.
  • And the winner is… a slice of cheesecake with a generous drizzle of jam on top!

Fun fact: Did you know that the origins of the classic PB&J sandwich date back to the early 1900s? Peanut butter was a popular ingredient during World War II, as it was an easy and affordable source of protein. Jelly was a sweet and tasty addition to the sandwich, and the rest is history!


How do I know when the jam is ready?

You’ll know the jam is ready when it doesn’t spill around when the plate is moved. To test, drop a bit of juice from the pan onto a plate and give it a little shake. If it stays put, it’s good to go!

Can I use frozen strawberries instead of fresh?

Sure, but keep in mind that frozen strawberries tend to release more liquid as they thaw, so you may need to cook the jam for a bit longer. Additionally, frozen berries may not have as much flavor as fresh, so you may want to adjust the sugar and vanilla accordingly.

Can I use a different type of sugar?

Absolutely! Granulated sugar is the most common choice for jam-making, but you could also try using honey, maple syrup, or brown sugar. Just keep in mind that these alternatives will affect the flavor and consistency of the final product.

Can I use a different type of acid for this recipe?

Sure! If you do not have citric acid, you could also try using lemon juice or vinegar. Just keep in mind that these alternatives will affect the flavor and consistency of the final product.

Can I use a different type of vanilla?

Sure, you can use vanilla extract in place of a vanilla bean. Just keep in mind that vanilla extract is stronger than vanilla bean so you may want to adjust the amount to taste.

How long will this jam last?

Homemade jam will last for up to a year when stored in a dry place at room temperature. Once you open the jar, keep it in a cool place and enjoy it within the next 6 months or so. But let’s be real, it’ll probably be gone way before then because it’s just that good!

Strawberry Vanilla Jam with a Twist

A mouth-watering, juicy and flavorful jam made from the best seasonal strawberries, infused with the rich and sweet flavor of vanilla, and elevated with a surprise ingredient for a unique twist.
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 45 mins
Total Time 55 mins
Course Sauce
Cuisine American
Servings 6 Jars (250 mL)
Calories 140 kcal


  • 6 sterilized 250 mL glass jars and lids
  • 1 large saucepan
  • 1 fine-mesh sieve
  • 1 Whisk


  • 5 pounds fresh strawberries, hulled and chopped
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 vanilla beans, split and seeds scraped
  • 1 lemon, zested and juiced
  • 1 pinch of salt


  • Wash and chop the strawberries into small pieces.
  • In a large saucepan, combine the strawberries, sugar, vanilla beans and seeds, lemon zest, lemon juice, and salt.
  • Cook over medium heat, whisking occasionally, until the sugar has dissolved and the mixture comes to a simmer, about 5-7 minutes.
  • Reduce the heat to low and continue to cook, stirring frequently, until the jam has thickened and reached the desired consistency, about 40-45 minutes.
  • To test if the jam is done, place a small amount on a cold plate and push it with your finger. If it wrinkles, it’s ready.
  • Remove the jam from heat and strain it through a fine-mesh sieve to remove any excess seeds or solid pieces.
  • Carefully pour the hot jam into the sterilized jars, leaving about 1/4 inch of headspace at the top.
  • Let the jars cool to room temperature, then cover with lids and store in a cool, dry place for up to a year. Refrigerate after opening.


For an extra twist, try adding a pinch of cinnamon, nutmeg, or cardamom to the jam for a spicy kick.
Stir the jam often to prevent burning, especially towards the end of cooking.
Serve the jam on toast, biscuits, scones, pancakes, or waffles. You can also use it as a glaze for meat or as a topping for ice cream or yogurt.
The lemon juice adds a bright and tangy flavor to balance the sweetness of the jam, but you can adjust the amount to your taste.
For a smoother texture, you can puree the jam in a blender or food processor before straining.


Calories: 140kcalCarbohydrates: 36gProtein: 1gSodium: 5mgPotassium: 116mgFiber: 2gSugar: 32gVitamin C: 75mgCalcium: 1mgIron: 1mg
Keyword Strawberry Jam, Vanilla Jam, Sweet Spread
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