Jam without the Pectin?

Have you ever made strawberry jam without pectin?

I don't usually make jams, preserves, or jellies because...well, I usually eat my fruit ripe and raw and I'm not a big fan of them!

Well, my folks called earlier this week, so excited... They found a local, organic berry farm! They were raving about the strawberries and said... We got you a GALLON!

Yeah, they said...and it's only $22.00 bucks!

A gallon! I'm one person! How am I going to eat 150 strawberries in less than a week!?

You see, my freezer is where fruit goes to die. So, I don't want to freeze them. And I'm not a big fruit on toast or fruit dessert topping kind of gal. I just like to eat fruit. When it's in season.

But, not this much fruit!


Can I make a jam (slightly chunky) without sugar or pectin?

I am thinking of just mixing some lemon juice with the strawberries and boiling away until passes the spoon test? Thoughts?

Any advice welcome!




  • annbeck62
    annbeck62 Posts: 980 ✭✭✭✭

    @Ruth Ann Reyes On occasion I've blended the fruit to the consistency I want and than added chia seeds to thicken.

  • Monek Marie
    Monek Marie Posts: 3,535 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Yes, many older recipes did not use pectin. And the addition of lemon is good. I am not sure long long you cook it - I know its longer.

    Here are two links.


    I think you end with a softer set if you don;t use pectin.

    Great price on berries!~

  • dipat2005
    dipat2005 Posts: 1,203 ✭✭✭✭

    @Ruth Ann Reyes this link says to use White sugar (which I wouldn't use) but it also doesn't use pectin:https://www.allrecipes.com/recipe/38410/strawberry-jam/

    I use All recipes a lot! I went to the farm today and got a flat of Strawberries. I will freeze most of mine. I am lucky because they also add an additional 4 hallocks of strawberries on top of the ones already there. I did notice the outer container is smaller and they squished the hallocks together. A hallock is a small square green box that strawberries come in. I believe it is a pint container.

    Things are shrinking these days. They want us to eat more of things thus a bigger carb and sugar load. Just leave things alone. Smaller containers and pricier.

  • Torey
    Torey Posts: 5,396 admin

    @Ruth Ann Reyes

    I have never used commercial pectin when making jams or jellies. I follow the older methods and I just add lemon juice or start with an apple juice base or make my own pectin from lemon pith & pips or green apple peels & cores. It also depends on the amount of natural pectin in the fruit as to how long it will take to cook to the jell stage. And, it also depends on the fruit you are using as to whether it is a hard set or not. Oregon Grape Jelly sets up in about a minute and is quite firm but it is very high in natural pectin and acid. Apple jelly sets without any additional pectin or acid. Raspberries take a bit longer to get to the jell point. Strawberries don't have quite as much pectin or acid so I would make some pectin with the pips & pith and add that along with the lemon juice if I were making strawberry jam.

    But I have never made jam or jelly without sugar. To make a juice (or fruit) jell you need three things; pectin, acid and sugar. There are ways to make sugar free jam and jelly but those involve commercial pectin and sometimes the addition of lemon juice for the acid. If you are thinking about cooking down the fruit without adding sugar, I think you will just get very cooked fruit and it will be more of a paste than a jam and it won't keep any longer than any other cooked fruit.

  • Tave
    Tave Posts: 951 ✭✭✭✭✭

    We canned strawberries in their own juice when we had more than we could eat. One time, my dad burnt them and canned them anyway. They had a slightly smokey flavor that wasn't bad.

  • Ruth Ann Reyes
    Ruth Ann Reyes Posts: 538 admin

    Thanks, y'all! I'm getting onto this today and I'll read all the recipes before I get started!

    I'll keep ya' posted on how it goes!