Easy Strawberry Jalapeno Jam is a tasty, spicy twist on homemade strawberry jam. Large batch jam recipe with water bath canning instructions!
The spicy sweetness of this Strawberry Jam makes it wonderfully versatile. Spread it on a warm slice of Homemade White Bread for Breakfast, glazed on Roast Pork Loin for Dinner or spooned over Vanilla Ice Cream for Dessert.
While adding spicy peppers to a classic Strawberry Jam may seem odd, it’s sure to become your new favorite spread! The jalapeno peppers add just enough heat to turn this normally sweet jam into a spread that can go on savory dishes too! It’s such a simple way to make an everyday recipe a little more special. This recipe makes a big batch of jam so it’s perfect of canning and either gifting or keeping on hand to enjoy all year long.
You may think that a whole cup of jalapenos sounds extreme, however, the naturally tart sweetness of the berries and some sugar do a great job balancing out the spicy flavor. If you prefer more mild jam, or are still a bit uncertain, you can start by adding a little at a time and tasting before adding more. Don’t be surprised if you end up adding a cup of peppers though, this unexpected combination really works together!
If this is your first time making jam or canning, then you’re in luck because this is a great recipe with everything you need to know to make the perfect jam and preserve it properly. There’s minimal extra equipment you need to make this canned jam, just small canning jars and a large pot. It really comes down to three main steps which are making the jam, sterilizing the jars, then canning the jam. As long as you follow the tips and steps below, you will be making delicious homemade jam in no time to keep on hand or gift all your friends!
How to Make Strawberry Jalapeno Jam
- Jam: Add the strawberries, lemon juice, jalapenos, and pectin to a saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat. When the mixture starts simmering, stir in the sugar and bring back up to a boil. Cook for an additional minute then remove from the heat. For a jelly consistency, you can press it through a mesh sieve to remove the seeds.
- Jars: Fill a pot with enough water to completely submerge the jars. Bring the water to a boil, then boil jars for 5 minutes. Pour the jam into the hot jars, leaving a ¼ inch space at the top. Use a knife or canning spatula to remove air bubbles by going around the insides of the jar, and wipe any jam from the sides of the jar with a wet paper towel. Put on the lids and screw on the rings to seal, but don’t tighten rings.
- Boil: Put a rack in the bottom of a large stockpot and fill it up halfway with water. Turn the stove to high heat to bring to a boil. Lower the 8 jars into the rack using tongs. Leave at least 2 inches of space between each jam jar. The water should be about 1 inch above the jars. Pour in more water if necessary. Once the water reaches a full boil, cover with the lid and boil for 10 minutes.
- Seal: Use tongs to carefully remove the jars from the pot and place them on a cloth or wooden surface, without touching. Let the jars cool overnight. In the morning press the top of the lids to make sure the airtight containers are properly sealed. The lid shouldn’t move up or down at all. Move the jam to a dry, cool area to store for up to 18 months.
FAQs for Strawberry Jalapeno Jam
Water bath canning is a form of canning that can be used for high-acid foods that don’t need to be canned at a higher than boiling heat like jams, jellies, salsas, and pickled goods. It uses water to boil the contents of the can and then as they cool, it creates a vacuum seal.
This recipe makes 8 cups of jam, or enough to fill 8 half-pint jars. You can always use pint size jars for less cans overall, or you can reduce the recipe by half to make a smaller amount of jam. It’s not recommended to reduce this recipe by more than half though because that will throw the acid and pectin balance off and it may not set properly.
Jalapenos are part of the fruit family and raw peppers do contain a good amount of natural pectin. However, they do lose some pectin as they cook so that is why you need the lemon and added pectin.
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- Strawberries: You want to crush the strawberries before using them so that your jam is less chunky and it will release more natural juice faster. To crush the berries, pulse then in a food processor until they make a chunky puree.
- Jalapenos: A full cup of jalapenos seems like a lot, but there are four cups of berries plus lemon and sugar to balance the heat. Most of the heat in a pepper is in the seeds and veins so make sure to scrape all that out to keep it from being too spicy.
- Lemon: The acid in the lemon juice helps activate the natural pectin and the added pectin so the jam thickens properly. It also acts like a natural preservative to keep the unopened jam fresh.
- Pectin: Pectin is a natural soluble fiber that is found naturally in fruits in varying amounts. As fruit cooks though, the natural pectin breaks down so that’s why you need to add extra. If you want to use liquid pectin, add it after the jam has cooked.
- Sugar: The sugar sweetens the jam, balances the spiciness from the peppers, and acts as a natural preservative. Additionally, the pectin, acidity from the lemon juice and the sugar all work together for the perfect thick jam.
- Fruit: A couple other fruits that go really well with the spicy peppers and work for jam are peaches and mangoes. Just replace the berries with 2 ½ pounds of peaches or mangoes and leave the other ingredients the same.
- Berries: This jam would work with any other berries like blackberries, blueberries, or raspberries. You could also make a mixed berry jam too with whatever is seasonal.
- Lime: Instead of the lemon juice, you can use lime juice for a slightly different citrus flavor. Lime has a similar acidity as lemon to help set and preserve your jam so it makes a great substitute in canning.
How to Serve Strawberry Jalapeno Jam
- Bread: Of course, you can serve this like you would any other jam over a toasted or soft bread, or with Dinner Rolls or Beer Bread. You can use some butter, soft cheese, or just plain with the bread.
- Cheeseboard: Try putting this Strawberry and Hot Pepper Jelly out with appetizers at a party. The hot, sweet, and tangy flavors go wonderfully with savory, salty cheese, salami, crackers, and Mixed Nuts.
- Meat: You can treat this jam like balsamic glaze and rub it all Grilled Pork Tenderloin of Grilled Chicken for an easy, yet fancy upgrade to your favorite meaty dinner recipes.
- Dessert: This spicy and sweet jam makes an amazing ice cream topping! Of course it tastes great with vanilla but you could also use it on Chocolate Ice Cream or Strawberry Ice Cream too!
How to Store
- Sealed: Once the Strawberry Jam has cooled down leave it in the airtight jars and store the jam in your pantry. Unopened, it will stay good for up to 18 months while kept in a dry cool place.
- Opened: Once you’ve cracked open this Strawberry and Pepper Jelly it will keep well for up to a month. Reseal the container and store it in the fridge to keep it fresh.
- 4 cups crushed strawberries
- 1 cup minced jalapeno peppers
- 1/4 cup lemon juice
- 2 ounces powdered fruit pectin , 1 packet
- 7 cups white sugar
- 8 half-pint canning jars with lids and rings
- Place the crushed strawberries, minced jalapeno pepper, lemon juice, and pectin into a large saucepan, and bring to a boil over high heat. Once simmering, stir in the sugar until dissolved, return to a boil, and cook for 1 minute.
- Sterilize the jars and lids in boiling water for at least 5 minutes.
- Pack the jam into the hot, sterilized jars, filling the jars to within ¼ inch of the top. Run a knife or a thin spatula around the insides of the jars after they have been filled to remove any air bubbles. Wipe the rims of the jars with a moist paper towel to remove any food residue. Top with lids, and screw on rings.
- Place a rack in the bottom of a large stockpot and fill halfway with water. Bring to a boil over high heat, then carefully lower the jars into the pot using a holder. Leave a 2-inch space between the jars. Pour in more boiling water if necessary until the water level is at least 1 inch above the tops of the jars. Bring the water to a full boil, cover the pot, and process for 10 minutes.
- Remove the jars from the stockpot and place onto a cloth-covered or wood surface, several inches apart. Allow to cool overnight Once cool, press the top of each lid with a finger, ensuring that the seal is tight (lid does not move up or down at all). Store in a cool, dark area.