Strawberry & Lemon Balm Jam

This jam recipe was inspired by the fresh tastes of early summer, and took me all of my daughter’s 30-minute nap to make! I have been searching for a recipe that incorporates lemon balm since my herb garden is overflowing, but when I tasted a leaf, I instantly thought of pairing it with strawberry and went for it! When I asked my hubby for feedback he said, “You could sell this. But you shouldn’t, because I want to eat all of it.”

I would highly recommend using very ripe, farm fresh strawberries for this recipe. They have a strong, sweet fragrance and taste that knocked it out of the park! We had some left in our freezer from our strawberry-picking adventure.

Strawberry and Lemon Balm Jam


  • 2 cups strawberries, whole
  • 1 lemon, zest and juice
  • 2 heaping cups sugar
  • 1 cup of lemon balm leaves, packed
  • 1 box pectin or 2 packets gelatin* (see note)


  1. Place strawberries in a heavy bottomed sauce pot and set to medium heat.
  2. While strawberries are reducing, wash lemon balm thoroughly in cold water. (A salad spinner makes easy work!) Dump in a heatsafe bowl and add 2 cups of boiling water to the leaves. Let steep for 10 minutes.
  3. Add the sugar to the strawberries, cooking until a thick jammy consistency forms. Using a stiring spoon, gently break up the strawberries, or, for a less chunky jam, blitz a couple times with an emerision blender.
  4. Using a strainer, pour the lemon balm tea into the saucepan. Make sure to squeeze the leaves for maximum flavor, then discard.
  5. Zest and juice the lemon, adding all to the pot.
  6. Finally, add in the pectin. If using gelatin instead, make sure to sprinkle it into a little cold water to soften for 1 min before adding it to the hot mixture.
  7. At this point you can simply pour into jars or pressure seal. Store in fridge to cool.
  8. Serve on toast, biscuits or scones. Or, just eat it from the jar.

* Gelatin vs. Pectin. If you plan to pressure-seal and store this jam for a long time, use pectin! It has a much longer shelf life. I had gelatin on hand and although the jam was pretty runny, it set into a beautiful jam consistency. Do not use the same amount as you would for pectin- in fact use half, unless you want to make jello! I gave one jar to my family, and kept the rest to be used for toast and jam breakfast rolls, so we plan to use it up quickly!

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