|Nutrition Facts (per serving)|
|Amount per serving|
|% Daily Value*|
|Total Fat 0g||0%|
|Saturated Fat 0g||0%|
|Total Carbohydrate 30g||11%|
|Dietary Fiber 1g||3%|
|Total Sugars 28g|
|Vitamin C 5mg||25%|
|*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.|
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 this 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, this 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 not be as thick as 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 six half-pint jars.
"The recipe is a nice introduction to canning jam. The berries broke down well, and the extra whole berries keep a real jam texture. The jam set up wonderfully. It’s not a super-sweet jam, either. Canning takes effort and creates extra dishes, but this recipe finished in just under an hour." —Colleen Graham
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
Prepare Jars for Canning
Prepare a water bath canner and jars. Fill a pot halfway with water and put in the cleaned jars. Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer.
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.
Make the Jam
Gather the ingredients.
In a large pot over medium heat, add about 3/4 of the berries and mash.
Add in the remaining berries, sugar, and lemon juice. Stirring constantly, bring to a rolling boil.
Add the pouch of fruit pectin. Stirring constantly, bring back to a boil, and continue boiling for 1 more minute.
If necessary, skim off excess foam.
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 the jars and jam are very hot.
With a clean dampened cloth, wipe the rims of the jars, and gently tap the jars to release any air bubbles.
Place the flat lids on the jars. Firmly close the caps with screw-on rings.
Can the Jam
Arrange the filled jars in the canner and add more water, as needed, so the jars are submerged under at least 1 inch of water.
Bring to a full boil. Cover and continue boiling for 10 more minutes.
Carefully remove the jars and place them on a rack to cool completely.
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, refrigerate those jars and use them within a month. Alternatively, pour the jam into a freezer bag or container and use it within a year.
Label the cooled, sealed jars with the contents and the date.
- Bottled lemon juice is preferred for canning because it has a consistent acidity that ensures a stable food product.
- You can sterilize the jars, prep the lids, and make the jam in a pot simultaneously to save time. Keep the canning kettle on the heat while filling the jars so it takes less time to return to a boil.
- Remember that the canning time doesn't actually start until the water is at a full, rolling boil. Some water bath canners include a thermometer in the lid for convenience, and the time should be adjusted for altitude.
- Everything from the canner to the jars and lids is hot. Take precaution to avoid burns; use oven mitts when necessary, and a jar lifter. A magnetic lid lifter is also convenient.
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.
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 preparations 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 preserves use chunks of fruit—like half peaches or quarters of apples or lemons—that are suspended in jelly or syrup.