This sweet vanilla bean strawberry jam is perfect when made with fresh-picked summer strawberries. It’s super simple to make, only requires 4 ingredients and is ready in just under 2 hours!
I have always had a love affair with vanilla bean but I love it, even more, when it’s tossed with strawberries and turned into a thick and dreamy jam. I have eaten the majority of this jam on toast but let me tell you something. Don’t underestimate the deliciousness of jam on vanilla ice cream. It’s a match made in sweet treat heaven!
And while I didn’t have the time this year to go pick my own strawberries this is a great use for all those fresh-picked strawberries.
Never made homemade jam before?
Don’t worry I SWEAR homemade jam is nothing to be scared of. It’s so simple to throw together and from start to finish you’ll be done in less than 2 hours.
Now, I will say that if you’re looking into canning jam it can be a little more time consuming but today’s jam is what I call a refrigerator jam. That means you make your fresh jam and store it right in the refrigerator and use it within 2 months. Plus all you need is 4 ingredients and it can’t get any easier than that! And I used my most favorite dessert ingredient – vanilla bean paste! If you have been following me you know it’s one of my favorites!
Do I need to use pectin?
Yes, and no. We are not adding any packaged pectin, instead, we are adding in some chopped apple. Apple is naturally high in pectin so it will help thicken up the jam just as well as store-bought pectin. Since strawberries are naturally very low in pectin this helps to make sure the jam will set up properly.
Can I adjust the sugar content?
Sorta? I know that is not a great answer. Let me better explain the role sugar has in jam making.
If you have ever made candy before you can see just by heating sugar you can get anything from soft chewy caramels to hard and crunchy brittle. That’s because sugar changes as it is heated. The higher you go the harder the set of the candy.
When looking at jam making its sort of the same process. You have to have enough sugar in the recipe to bond with the pectin to create a thick and spreadable jam. If you cut the sugar down too much you’ll be left with a much thinner jam. Now, that doesn’t mean you can’t take mess around with the sugar content a little in this recipe BUT just know if you cut it down by a lot you may be left with a thinner jam. You’ll likely also need to add a little cooking time.
- Not a fan of vanilla? Try adding in fresh basil to boost the summertime flavor of this jam.
- Want to add more than just strawberries? Try adding in blueberries, cherries, or raspberries.
- What if I can’t find vanilla bean paste? Use 2 whole vanilla beans, insides scraped clean, instead.
So, there you have it! Homemade vanilla bean strawberry jam in just under 2 hours. How easy and delicious does that sound? Plus, it’s a fun twist to traditional strawberry jam.
Love this vanilla bean strawberry jam?
Try a few of my other strawberry recipes!
- cheesecake stuffed strawberries
- vanilla bean pickled strawberries
- roasted strawberry olive oil cake
- no bake strawberry tartlets
- homemade strawberry rhubarb pie
- roasted strawberry greek yogurt scones
- strawberry goat cheese quinoa salad
- 4 cups stemmed and quartered strawberries
- 1-1/2 cups granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon vanilla bean paste
- 1/2 apple, peeled and small dice
- Wash berries thoroughly and then stem and core.
- Add berries to a large bowl and add sugar and vanilla bean paste. Stir to combine.
- Let the strawberry mixture sit for 45 minutes or until the berries are juicy and the sugar has dissolved.
- Add strawberries with all their juices and the chopped apple to a medium-sized pot and set over medium heat.
- Simmer for 30 minutes or until the mixture starts to thicken. The mixture will start out VERY watery but this is normal.
- Gently mash the berries and cook for about 15 minutes longer or until you have reached your desired jam-like consistency.
- Cool jam and store in a clean mason jar or another airtight container.
- Store in the refrigerator for up to 2 months.
- 2 vanilla bean pods scraped can be used in place of vanilla bean paste.
- This jam is NOT canned so please make sure to store refrigerated and eat within the time frame given.
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Nutrition Information:Yield: 16 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 115Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 1mgCarbohydrates: 29gFiber: 1gSugar: 28gProtein: 0g
This website provides approximate nutrition information for convenience and as a courtesy only. Nutrition information can vary for a variety of reasons. For the most precise nutritional data use your preferred nutrition calculator based on the actual ingredients you used in the recipe.