Homemade Blueberry Jam

Homemade blueberry jam

The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

  • Total: 105 mins
  • Prep: 90 mins
  • Cook: 15 mins
  • Servings: 32 servings
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
115 Calories
0g Fat
30g Carbs
0g Protein
See Full Nutritional Guidelines Hide Full Nutritional Guidelines
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 32
Amount per serving
Calories 115
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 0g 0%
Saturated Fat 0g 0%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 2mg 0%
Total Carbohydrate 30g 11%
Dietary Fiber 1g 3%
Protein 0g
Calcium 3mg 0%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Making blueberry jam from scratch is a perfect way to preserve the taste of this sweet and tangy summer fruit. The best blueberries to use for our recipe are those that are just ripe; they will have the best acidity and tannins to give the jam a more complex flavor. If too ripe, the skins can become leathery and add an odd texture. If you don't have access to fresh blueberries, use thawed frozen blueberries.

Although blueberries are high in pectin and could thicken a jam on their own, our recipe uses commercial fruit pectin, a naturally occurring starch used in jams and preserves, to help the jam achieve a thicker texture. Pectin doesn't prolong the shelf life of jams, so if you can't find pectin, skip it altogether, but keep in mind the jam might be less thick than you'd expect.

Carefully follow the canning instructions to preserve the jam, and make bigger batches to enjoy its flavor throughout the year. Use this delicious blueberry jam on biscuits, scones, toast, muffins, or as cake or cupcake filling.

For this recipe, you'll need 6 half-pint jars.

Ingredients

  • 6 cups blueberries (washed and picked over, divided)
  • 4 cups sugar
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 (3-ounce) pouch liquid fruit pectin

Steps to Make It

Note: While there are multiple steps to this recipe, the process is broken down into workable categories to help you better plan for preparation and canning.

Prepare Jars for Canning

  1. Prepare a water bath canner and jars. Fill a pot halfway with water and put in cleaned jars. Bring to a boil and simmer to keep jars hot.

    Prepare water bath canner
    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck
  2. Put the lids in a small saucepan, add water, and bring almost to a boil. Lower the heat to very low to keep the lids hot.

    Lids are heated in a small saucepan
    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

Make the Jam

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients for blueberry jam
    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck
  2. In a large pot over medium heat, add about 3/4 of the berries and mash.

    Mashing blueberries over medium heat
    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck
  3. Add in the remaining berries, sugar, and lemon juice. Stirring constantly, bring to a rolling boil.

    Blueberries, sugar and lemon juice brought to a rolling boil
    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck
  4. Add the pouch of fruit pectin. Stirring constantly, bring back to a boil and continue boiling for one more minute.

    Fruit pectin is added to the blueberries and stirred
    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck
  5. If necessary, skim off excess foam.

    Skimming off some foam
    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck
  6. Carefully ladle the hot berry mixture into the prepared jars, or use a funnel, leaving enough headroom—1/4 inch is recommended. Be mindful that this preparation is very hot.

    Ladling blueberry mixture into jars
    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck
  7. With a clean dampened cloth, wipe the rims of the jars, and gently tap the jars to release any air bubbles.

    Wiping the rims of the jars with a damp cloth
    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck
  8. Place the flat lids on the jars. Firmly close caps with screw-on rings.

    Putting the lids on the jars
    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

Can the Jam

  1. Arrange the filled jars in the canner and add more water, as needed, so the jars are submerged under at least one inch of water.

    Jars arranged in the canner
    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck
  2. Bring to a full boil. Cover and continue boiling for 10 more minutes.

    The lid is placed on the canner and brought to a boil
    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck
  3. Carefully remove the jars and place them onto a rack to cool completely.

    Jars cooling on a rack
    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck
  4. Once cooled, check for seals: The middle part of the caps should have made a popping sound while cooling and will stay down. If any of the jars haven't sealed, you can refrigerate those jars and use them within a month. Alternatively, pour the jam in an adequate freezer bag or container and use it within a year.

    Checking the seals on the jars
    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck
  5. Label the cooled, sealed jars with the contents and the date.

    Labeling and dating cooled, sealed jars
    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck
  6. Enjoy.

What's the Difference Between Jelly, Jam, and Preserve?

Although all three products involve sugar and fruit—and pectin in most cases—these three types of preparation utilize fruit differently. Jelly uses fruit juice, so the resulting spread is homogenous in look and texture, which should be firm. Jam works with crushed fruit, so it's less smooth than jelly, softer, and easily spreadable. And preserve uses chunks of fruit—like half peaches or quarters of apple or lemon—that are suspended in a jelly or syrup.

How to Store

  • Store your canned unopened jars of blueberry jam in a cool, dark place, and keep for up to a year. You may notice that the jam begins to darken and thin toward the end of that period, so be sure you are using the jam within that time limit.
  • Once you open your jar, it has to be stored in the refrigerator and used within a month.