Peppered Strawberry Jam

Make your breakfast extra delicious with Peppered Strawberry Jam! It’s easy to make with only 5 ingredients and no pectin and adds a delicious medley of sweetness and spice to your toast!

One of my favorite comfort foods and one I indulge in often is a midday snack of toasted peanut butter and strawberry jam sandwich with an icy-cold Diet Coke to wash all the sweet, gooey goodness down. A simple treat yet absolutely one of the best pleasures on earth. 🙂

And of course, nothing beats homemade jam on toast to wake up to in the morning! It tastes so much better than store-bought with less artificial flavorings and is a great way to savor the flavor of strawberries year-round.

I like to whip up this fruit concoction every chance I get.  It’s a simple project that takes only five ingredients and less than an hour to make!

I get to stash a few jars to satisfy my cravings, plus I get to look like the heroine at every holiday! Just a festive ribbon tied on the jars, and they turn into special homemade gifts for all the family and friends on my Christmas list.

Peppered strawberry jam ingredients

  • Strawberries – berries at the height of their freshness and sweetness are best! Use the fresh, quality fruit free of bruising and signs of spoiling, wilting, or shriveling. If you can, buy organic berries.
  • Sugar – do NOT reduce the amount called for in the recipe. The sugar not only acts as a sweetener but also helps thicken the jam by binding to the water in the fruit, which might otherwise prevent the jam from setting.
  • Lemon juice – the acid in the citrus juice balances the sweetness of the sugar while its high-pectin content helps the jam thicken and gel.
  • Butter – a knob of butter will help reduce or eliminate foaming.
  • Black Pepper – use freshly ground for best results. You can omit if you like a more traditional strawberry jam but it does provide a delicious contrast to the strawberries’ sweetness. It’s a weird combination that works!

    Helpful tips

    • Make sure food prep implements are thoroughly clean and storage jars are properly sterilized (read how to sterilize empty jars here) and with tight-fitting lids.
    • To keep the sugar from crystallizing and the jam to become grainy, allow the sugar to dissolve before bringing the strawberry mixture to a boil completely.
    • When the setting point is reached, skim off any scum that floats on top. Or add a knob of butter to dissolve the scum.
    • To test for setting,  place a small saucer in the freezer for a few minutes and spoon a little jam onto the cold saucer. Leave for 30 seconds and then push the jam’s edges with your index finger; if the jam wrinkles and doesn’t flood to fill the gap, it is ready.
    • Remove jam from heat and allow to settle for about 15 minutes to prevent the fruit from rising to the top.

      Serving suggestions

      • Spread on toast, muffins, scones, or crackers.
      • Stir into plain yogurt or cottage cheese for flavoring.
      • Use as an easy fruit topping for waffles or pancakes.
      • Add to bbq sauces or use as a glaze for roast pork or chicken.
      • Use as filling for layered cakes or sandwich cookies.

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