Homemade Blueberry Jam is a really simple recipe with only three ingredients and 15 minutes of cook time. Plus, this jam recipe doesn’t use pectin (so no funny ingredients).
For more ideas of what to make, check out all of our recipes.
Last year, we planted a blueberry bush in our front yard. Well, not a bush. It was a tiny start of a bush that I picked up at a hardware store. It grew a couple blueberries and I was really excited.
This year, the blueberry bush is actually large enough to be considered a bush and is producing a ton of berries. The first few weeks, I was just picking them and eating them. And then I decided to save them for a little bit and make homemade blueberry jam.
And yes, this jam, not jelly. The difference is jam is made from mashed fruit and jelly is made from fruit juice and doesn’t have any pieces of fruit in it.
What’s great about this jam is it uses really simple ingredients — and no pectin. Pectin is a soluble fiber found in fruits. If you’re making jam, you usually add pectin to act as a thickening agent. Because even though fruits have a natural pectin, ones like blueberries just don’t have enough to thicken the mixture to the gelatinous texture you’re used to.
But who has packaged pectin at home? Not me. And who wants to buy something that’s you’re going to use so seldomly? Also not me.
So, instead of adding packaged pectin, we just use some lemon juice in this recipe. That adds what store-bought pectin would, helps the jam coagulate, and adds a little sweetness to the flavor of the jam.
How To Make Blueberry Jam:
Put half of the blueberries in a single layer in a medium saucepan. Use a potato masher to squish them until they’re mostly all pulp.
If you don’t have a potato masher, you can finely chop the fruit. We do not recommend using a food processor to cut the fruit. It ruins the natural pectin, which is found in the cell walls of fruits, and adds air into your recipe, which you don’t want. For more about the science behind that, check out this link.
Add the remaining blueberries, sugar, and lemon juice.
Stir until they’re gently combined.
Bring the mixture to a full rolling boil, then reduce the heat to medium heat and let the mixture simmer for 15 minutes. Make sure you’re stirring pretty much constantly. Using a wooden spoon to stir is best.
The mixture will cook down and thicken during that time.
Remove the mixture from the heat and spoon it into cleaned 8 oz. mason jars. It’ll make about six ounces of homemade jam, but you want to leave extra space in the mason jar for it to breathe.
Let the hot jam set and cool for about three hours to get to room temperature before you put on a lid.
Now, quick note: This is just the technique for home consumption. If you’re using this for your family, within the next two or so weeks, this method is fine. If you’re going to store this for an extended period or if you’re making them as homemade edible gifts, you’ll want to check out this link for a proper canning method for that.
3 Ingredient Blueberry Jam: Frequently Asked Questions
If this is your first time making jam, you may be wondering how you know the jam is done. There’s a whole thing online about the frozen plate method (basically, you put jam on a cold plate, touch it, and see if it wrinkles). But that just makes this easy recipe more complicated than it needs to be.
So, you just have to watch it. You’ll see it changing. It starts as three separate ingredients. Then, the sugar starts to melt down and the mixture becomes foamy and bubbly. The foam then dissipates and the mixture gets darker. And then, finally, the mixture gets really thick and resembles the texture of store-bought jam. That’s when it’s done.
You want to make sure you remove it when it’s done. You can leave it an extra minute just to make sure, but that’s it. If you overcook your jam, it’ll become really solid when it cools completely and it won’t be spreadable at all.
If it’s not blueberry season and you can’t get fresh fruit (or because they’re just overpriced outside of the season), you can use store-bough frozen berries. You just want to make sure that the frozen berries are thawed before using them. Using frozen berries that come from your store’s freezer section can retain water and throw off your jam’s consistency and taste.
If you pick fresh blueberries from your own bush, like us, but don’t have a cup yet, you can put those in a glass container and flash freeze them (just put that in the freezer). When you have enough berries for jam, take those out and gently roll them in your hands to warm them before using them. You don’t need those to thaw completely.
Nope. Store-bought, packaged lemon juice works perfectly in this recipe. However, if you did purchase lemons to use the juice, you could also grate some lemon zest the pan to give it more of a lemon taste.
This recipe uses 1/3 of a cup of sugar, which is really the bare minimum you can go before you change the texture of the jam. See, the sugar also helps to solidify the jam, just like the pectin does. If you reduce the sugar, you risk not having enough to make a solid jelly.
The sugar also helps to preserve the fruit. So, if you don’t use any (or enough), you run the risk of the fruit growing mold in the jar and/or just reducing the shelf life of the jam.
Also, keep in mind that you want to use regular sugar in this recipe. You can’t substitute a sugar substitute for sugar in a no pectin jam. If you can’t have sugar, you’ll want to look for a no sugar needed pectin for your jam. Find out more about that here.
We personally haven’t tried freezing this jam. However, from everything I’ve read, you can definitely freeze jars of jam (as long as you seal the jars with a proper canning technique, like a hot water bath).
The jam may expand upon freezing, so you want to make sure you leave room at the top of the jar to compensate for that.
You’ll want to thaw the frozen jam in the refrigerator overnight before serving.
Small batch jams are the best because you don’t lose any of the sweet fruit flavor. So the smaller the batch, the sweeter the end result (in my experience, anyway).
You can multiply this recipe by four (so four cups of blueberries, 1 1/3 cup sugar, and 8 teaspoons of lemon juice), if you wanted to make a really large batch of jam. But, keep in mind that you will need to adjust the cooking time to compensate for more blueberries needing to break down. So, instead of only 15 minutes of simmering, you’ll probably need closer to 25 minutes.
If you need to make more than quadruple this recipe, I suggest breaking it into two batches. It’ll take longer that way, but you’ll get the best jam if you do that.
What To Serve With Homemade Blueberry Jam:
Our favorite recipe to use this delicious blueberry jam in is a twist on a recipe from Callie’s Hot Biscuit in Charleston. It’s a biscuit with blueberry jam, goat cheese, and arugula (Callie’s uses blackberry jam). Another great way to use this jam is in melted brie and blueberry jam grilled cheese.
- 1 to 1 1/4 cup fresh blueberries
- 1/3 c. white sugar
- 2 teaspoons lemon juice
- Put half of the blueberries in a single layer in a medium saucepan. Use a potato masher to squish them until they’re mostly all pulp.
- Add the remaining blueberries, sugar, and lemon juice. Stir until they’re gently combined.
- Bring the mixture to a full rolling boil, then reduce the heat to medium heat and let the mixture simmer for 15 minutes. Make sure you’re stirring pretty much constantly.
- The mixture will cook down and thicken during that time.
- Remove the mixture from the heat and spoon it into cleaned 8 oz. mason jars. It’ll make about six ounces of homemade jam, but you want to leave extra space in the mason jar for it to breathe.
- Let the hot jam set and cool for about three hours to get to room temperature before you put on a lid.
Stirring with a wooden spoon is best.
Amount Per Serving Calories 15Total Fat 0gSaturated Fat 0gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 0gCholesterol 0mgSodium 0mgCarbohydrates 4gFiber 0gSugar 4gProtein 0g
Have you made this 3 Ingredient Blueberry Jam recipe? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.