Strawberry Fields Forever – Let’s Make Jam!

Should we all break out into song? “Strawberry Fields Forever” Of course the Beatles song doesn’t have anything to do with real strawberry fields, but I’m a gal from the 60’s so songs from that era pop into my head often. I can’t remember what clothes I wore yesterday, but I can remember a song from 50+ years ago!) In fact, Lennon based the song on his childhood memories of playing in the garden of Strawberry Field, a Salvation Army children’s home in Liverpool. So now you know. 

The truth is I do live in an area in the Willamette Valley in Oregon that is surrounded by strawberry fields, so when in season, little roadside stands and larger farmer’s markets have fresh field-picked strawberries in abundance. That doesn’t mean they are cheap to buy, just available and beautifully sweet and yummy. 

I decided to take advantage of buying a flat of freshly-picked strawberries this year. One reason, because I had the time to make jam;  two, it was an outing from being couped up in the house, and three, we had used up all the canned products from last year (pasta sauce and zucchini relish to name a few) and the cupboard was looking bare. But truth be told, I never need an excuse to make jam!

This recipe is for a big batch of jam. I had purchased a flat of strawberries and except for two pint baskets, used it all to make 13 half-pints of jam. 

All ingredients go into the pot and boil up into an amazing strawberry jam.

Jam is a star when used on waffles and combined with fresh strawberries. 

And don’t forget to have some strawberry jam bursting with flavor with homemade biscuits. 

Strawberry Fields Forever - Let's Make Jam!

Yields 13 pints

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  • 15 cups strawberries (most of a flat minus 2 pints), hulled and cut into pieces (or you can use a potato masher to mash up if you prefer)
  • 4 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 1/2 large honey crisp apple, peeled and shredded
  • 3 tablespoons bottled lemon juice


  1. Place all ingredients into a large dutch oven or sauce pot and bring to a boil over med/high heat. Cook until thickened up a bit and registering about 220 degrees (about 20 minutes) Skim off froth and remove from heat.
  2. Test jam consistency with a frozen spoon dipped into strawberries. If it sticks on the back of the spoon, it is about right. Or make it to the thickness you prefer. (I like this jam just a little looser than other jams I make because it doubles as a topping for waffles and other dishes.)
  3. Transfer jam to sterilized jars and water bath or refrigerate/freeze. Follow water bath standards. I boiled for about 10 minutes, turned off the heat, and left in water bath for another 5. Then removed and set on towel-covered counter for 12 hours. (If you don't water bath the jam it will need to be frozen or refrigerated.)


The strawberries I used were perfectly ripe, just picked from the fields. You could probably use any type of apple, I just happened to have honey crisp on hand. It serves as my pectin and adds sweetness so I could cut back on the sugar.

Also, I used bottled lemon juice to make sure the acid ratio was consistent. You could use fresh lemon juice if you prefer.

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