Learn how to make homemade blueberry jam with this 3 ingredient Blueberry Jam without pectin! It’s the perfect recipe for beginners because this small batch blueberry jam makes only one 6-ounce jar. Spread it on toast for breakfast or swirl it into dessert.
I have a small handful of blueberry recipes on the blog already.
While I was figuring out what to make, I realized I was missing an easy homemade recipe for blueberry jam without pectin.
Now technically I’ve published my blueberry jam recipe before to accompany my Blueberry Oatmeal Bars.
Since my small batch jam recipes do well on their own, I wanted to give my homemade blueberry jam recipe its own post.
If you’ve made my fruit jams before, then you’ll recognize I use the same technique for my no pectin blueberry jam – fruit, sugar, and lemon juice.
If not, it’s totally easy to get started! Stir everything together in a large 12 inch skillet then boil for about 8-10 minutes. I’ll even show you a cool trick (literally) on how to know when your blueberry jam is done.
The best part is my small batch blueberry jam only makes one jar. That’s it.
Enough to last you all week for breakfast or to use in my Strawberry Swirl Cheesecake with a blueberry twist.
No dealing with storing and giving away tons of blueberry jam just so you can keep one jar for yourself.
What is pectin?
As you read more about how to make blueberry jam, you’ll come across an ingredient called pectin. Pectin is a thickening agent often used in jams and jellies so they set up properly after cooling.
You can buy it in the canning section of a store, but it’s mostly only used when making jam.
However, I don’t want to buy an ingredient I’d only use a few times a year. Luckily for us, pectin occurs naturally within blueberries.
Ingredients For Blueberry Jam Without Pectin
To make your no pectin blueberry jam, you need only 3 ingredients:
- Blueberries: The star of the jam!
- Sugar: Sugar acts as a preservative for canning your jam. When the blueberries cook, they release water. The sugar bonds with the water and helps prevent the growth of microorganisms.
- Lemon juice: Lemon juice helps with the gelling process as well as balancing the sweetness.
Why do you put lemon juice in blueberry jam?
Canning is a bit of a science, mostly to help keep harmful bacteria from growing.
Keep the ingredients proportions as I have written. Even if the berries are a little sweet, you need the sugar to ensure the jam thickens. It’s more than a sweetener; it’s a preservative.
When you cook blueberries, they release water. The sugar bonds with the water and helps prevent the growth of microorganisms.
The acid from the lemon juice also helps with the gelling process. Plus it helps brighten the jam so it’s not too sweet and complements the blueberries.
How To Make Blueberry Jam Without Pectin
Before starting your small batch blueberry jam, first put a small plate in the freezer. This is used to test your jam after cooking.
Next add your blueberries, sugar, and lemon juice to a large 12 inch skillet. You want to make sure you have enough room to stir without throwing berries out of the pan.
Bring to a rolling boil, stirring often. Once boiling, cook until it thickens, about 8-10 minutes.
How To Know When Your Jam Is Done
Your blueberry jam without pectin is done when it has thickened enough. However, you won’t know until it has finished cooling. At that point, it’s too late to fix it.
That’s why I use the frozen plate technique. Because the plate is frozen, it’ll instantly cool down the jam so you can determine how thick it is.
When you’re ready to test your jam, take the plate out and add a small spoonful to the plate.
Next, tilt your plate. If the jam slides too fast, it needs more time. If it slides slowly, it’s done. However, if it doesn’t move at all, you may have overcooked it.
If your jam needs to cook longer, be careful not to overcook it. Even a minute too long can be the difference between done and overdone. It’s best to check too often than not enough.
Do I have to can my blueberry jam?
Since this blueberry jam recipe only makes one 6 ounce jar, you honestly don’t have to can. Canning is only necessary if you don’t plan on eating the jam right away.
If you have no desire to can, make the blueberry jam as directed and store in a heat-proof container. Let cool to room temperature before putting it in the fridge.
Once opened, homemade blueberry jam will last about 2 weeks in the fridge. You’ll have to use your best judgment after 2 weeks. If it seems a little off, don’t use it.
What To Do With Blueberry Jam Without Pectin
In addition to spreading it on toast for breakfast, here are some recipes to use your blueberry jam:
- Swirl it into Strawberry Cheesecake Bars
- Use as a filling for Raspberry Crumb Bars
- Add it as a topping for Mini Cheesecakes or Cheesecake For Two
- Turn my Lemon Raspberry Cake into a Lemon Blueberry Cake
- Serve it on a cheeseboard with Cranberry Baked Brie.
- Eat it for dinner with Blueberry Chicken by Framed Cooks
- 2 cups fresh blueberries
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- Place a small dish in the freezer to use for testing the jam.
- In a large deep skillet, add blueberries, sugar, and lemon juice. Bring to a rolling boil, stirring often. Once boiling, cook until it thickens, about 10 minutes.
- When it seems thick enough, take your plate out of the freezer. Put a small spoonful of the jam onto the plate and let sit for 30 seconds. Tilt it. If it slides too fast, keep cooking in 1-2 minute increments. If it moves slow, it is done.
- Transfer to a heat-proof container. Cool to room temperature. If not canning, use within 2 weeks. Once opened, store in the refrigerator.
Canning Instructions (Optional)
- Place a clean 6-8 ounce glass mason jar and lid pieces into a large pot of boiling water deep enough for the jar to be completely submerged in water. Once the water is boiling, leave the jar in there until ready to use.
- Remove the jar and lids from water and drain out all of the water from the jar. Keep the water boiling.
- Transfer the finished jam to the jar. Wipe excess jam off the rim so it will seal properly. Add the lid. You may want to use an oven mitt so you can hold the jar still.
- Place sealed jar back into the boiling water and boil for 15 minutes. Make sure it is submerged in the water. Remove from the water and let dry on a heat-resistant surface for 18-24 hours.
- Once cool, press down on the lid. If it stays down, it is sealed. If it pops back up, put in the refrigerator and use within two weeks.
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Originally published July 11, 2019