Strawberry Serrano Jam

by Hannah Loporchio

photo by Dana Bueno

photo by Dana Bueno

Every time I go home to California, my mom always has a jar of strawberry pepper jam waiting for me. It is a delicious blend of sweet and spicy, the kind of treat that pairs perfectly with brie, crackers and a relaxing afternoon. 

photo by  Dana Bueno

photo by Dana Bueno

Unfortunately, pepper jam is hard to find in Nashville. Being the resourceful, do-it-yourself girl that I am, I set out to bring this taste of home to my new city. Now that the summer strawberry season is upon us, it is the perfect time to make my own strawberry pepper jam.

For someone who have never made any sort of jam before, I was worried about how it would turn out. To my surprise, strawberry pepper jam is incredibly quick and easy to make! The recipe takes about 45 minutes and yields four and a half 16 oz jars.


4 cups crushed strawberries (about 2 pints)

6 sorrano peppers

1 lemon

1 packet of liquid pectin
(found it in the jello aisle)

7 cups of sugar


Food processor or press chopper

Large stock pot

Canning jars

First, hull and crush the strawberries. I used a press chopper to finely chop the strawberries. You can also use a potato masher or food processor. Once the strawberries are crushed, measure out 4 cups and place in a giant pot.

Next, stir in 7 cups of sugar (I know). It’s important to stick to the amount of sugar the recipe calls for or the pectin won’t react the same to create a jam.

Cut the stems off the peppers and place in a food processor. Process peppers until they are finely cut into small pieces.

Add the peppers to the pot along with the juice of one lemon.

Bring the pot to a roiling boil, occasionally stirring so that the jam doesn’t burn.

Once it is boiling, add in the packet of pectin and stir until it is gone. Let the mixture boil for about one minute before removing from heat. If your jam is foaming, you can scoop it off with a spoon.

Wash your canning jars with hot water. Ladle your jam into your jars and let them cool before placing them in the refrigerator to solidify a little bit more.

Congratulations! You did it! I hope this California favorite becomes a staple in your home this summer.

What are recipes that remind you of home?