Blueberry Jam

measured blueberries

When it comes to canning, blueberries were my gateway fruit (although they didn’t usher me through the doorway into the realm of canning preoccupation until I reached adulthood). Growing up, I’d often pick them with my family, but I always left the jam-making and canning to my mom, participating only when it came time to squish the berries into jammable shape with my fingers (there’s something so deeply satisfying about crushing those juicy little blue orbs into pulpy bits).

However, one fateful July day during the summer of 2007, my friend Seth and I decided to go blueberry picking and everything changed. That summer, I was in grad school and he was unemployed, so we both had free time on our hands. It was the first time I had gone berry picking without parents, a sibling or babysitting charges that needed to be entertained. We spent at least two hours out in the blueberry field, filling up our buckets and eating until our fingers were stained blue and our stomachs were ready to burst with fruit.

smashed blueberries

Later that day, when I was home alone with my berries, I did the thing that was innate. I called my mom for canning advice, ran across the street to the hardware store for some jars and pectin and made my first solo batch of jam. Thinking back on it now, it’s hard to imagine a time when I had so little canning experience, when I hovered anxiously over my filled jars, praying for them to seal (admittedly, there are times when I still check and recheck freshly processed jars, only able to relax when they ring out a ping of sealed success).

Since then, I have made at least 100 batches of jams, marmalades, fruit butters, chutneys and pickles. However, blueberry jam will always feel familiar, foundational and necessary in a way that no other fruit can match. Summer doesn’t feel complete without at least one blueberry picking trip and a batch of homemade blueberry jam cooling on the kitchen counter.

blueberry jam in pot

We’re heading into the end of blueberry picking season here in the mid-Atlantic region, but there are still to be found if you look (as a side note, if you’re interested in the history of cultivated blueberries, check out this interesting little article). You can also get them at the grocery store for relatively cheap prices, if you don’t have any u-pick farms in your area.

And on to the recipe…

blueberry jam in jars

 

Blueberry Jam

Ingredients

  • 6 cups of smashed blueberries (you’ll need 8-10 cups of unsquashed berries to equal this amount)
  • 4 cups sugar
  • 3 tablespoons classic pectin powder
  • zest and juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon grated nutmeg

Instructions

  1. Prepare a canning pot and 3 pint jars. Place 3 lids in a small saucepan and bring to a bare simmer.
  2. Pour the smashed berries into a low, wide, non-reactive pot. Measure out the sugar and whisk in the powdered pectin. Add the sugar and pectin mixture to the fruit and stir to combine.
  3. Once the sugar is mostly dissolved, place the pot on the stove and bring to a boil. Cook at a controlled boil for 10 to 15 minutes, until the fruit begins to look thick and any foaming has begun to subside.
  4. Add cinnamon, nutmeg, lemon zest and juice and let jam continue to cook until it passes the plate test, or until the drips hang off the spatula in thick, sticky rivulets.
  5. Remove jam from heat and funnel into prepared jars. Wipe rims, apply lids and rings, and process in a boiling water bath canner for 10 minutes.
  6. When time is up, remove jars from canner and place them on a folded kitchen towel to cool.
  7. Once jars are cool enough to handle, remove rings and test seals.
  8. Sealed jars can be stored on the pantry shelf for up to one year. Any unsealed jars should be refrigerated and used promptly.
https://foodinjars.com/recipe/blueberry-jam/

Eat atop fresh scones or biscuits for maximum enjoyment.

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171 responses to “Blueberry Jam”

  1. My first jam was strawberry-blueberry! I still have never canned anything, it went into the freezer. Your blog makes me wish I had more free time to get into the hobby!

  2. Ooh, I want to make some! I’m making so many jars of fruit jam, though! I guess I need to just keep my batches small so I can have all this great variety. YUM!

  3. Wow that looks so nice! I have not had time to do any canning this year yet, but I hope by the time I get back home the Saskatoons (Similar to blueberries) will still be out in force 🙂

  4. For me, it’s strawberry jam and raspberry jam. I prefer the freezer jam for them though, because I find it just has a fresher, truer flavour. Blueberry picking is starting very soon up here in northern Canada, and I love canning blueberry syrup for pancakes (my recipe says to strain the berries out before canning, but I like to leave them in.)

  5. I love blueberries. Last year I made my weight in blueberry butter and syrup. It was my first year canning, so I didn’t know how much to can. Well come February or March, no canning food left. This year doubling or tripling things. On all my days off canning is commenced in my household. I’m enjoying every minute of it. I’m going to make blueberry jam this coming weekend. I made sweet cherry jam yesterday. Wonderful is not the word. First time in Jam Land for myself. I made alot of freezer jam last year and some this year. I want to make more regular jam. Everyone enjoy the blueberries while they are still here. Luckly I found a 10 lb. box at the farmers market for $25.00. Great deal!

  6. I have a question. I noticed you have used liquid pectin in several of your jams. Any reason why? Does it make better setting? Let me know! 🙂

    Amelia, I use liquid pectin because it gives the jam a more natural, soft set than the powdered stuff. I don’t like the rigid set that jam takes on when you use powdered pectin. However, I’ve been told that the liquid pectin is harder to find, so if you can’t find it, feel free to substitute in the powdered pectin. -Marisa

    • I have never had a batch of blueberry jam set up for me (even using powdered pectin). What do you think I could be doing wrong? Every other type of jam and jelly I’ve tried works fine, so I’m not sure what the issue is. Also, do you think the recipe would be fine without the cinnamon and nutmeg? I’m more of a straightforward blueberry person 🙂

      • My guess would be that you’re not cooking it long enough. The more you cook the water out, the better chances you have of a good set.

  7. Blueberries are such a good first canning experience because you don’t even have to chop them. What size are those squatty jars and where did you get them?

    Mama Urchin, it’s true about about blueberries being a good first experience. I love that the prep necessary to make blueberry jam is so little! Those squatty jars are the Ball’s Collection Elite and the ones pictured are pints. They also make some very cute half pints that I like. The one problem with these jars is that they’re a bit more expensive than the standard jars, so I’m careful to only use them when I’m making a small batch of something that I’m going to give away. -Marisa

  8. Wow, looks delicious!! I love your story and your addiction to canning 🙂 It’s funny I used to think my mom and grandma were crazy. Now I right there with them canning everything I can get my paws on. Thanks for your fantastic blog, I check it out every week and I am totally inspired by your love of canning and sharing with all of us.

  9. I was inspired before, but you’ve given me the courage to act on my inspiration: last weekend I undertook my first canning ptroject(cherries). It was terribly exciting. Tonight: cucumber pickles!

  10. My boyfriend and I are just getting into canning. We got the Blue Ball book in the mail yesterday, made salsa & pickles this past weekend, and reeeeeally want to make jam soon! I have some peaches from the Farmer’s Market, but I bet the U-Pick blueberries would be even better! I can’t wait to try out your recipes! 🙂

  11. This looks so tasty and wonderful! Perhaps when I get around to making my cherry jam (8 cups of pitted fruit in the freezer…) I can make blueberry too. Thanks for the inspiration!

  12. I’m inspired by your blog – prior to this I had only every canned watermelon pickles, but have now started in on canned peaches and peach syrup.

  13. I love blueberries. Sadly, the only farm within 35 miles where you could pick them was sold to a developer for houses. However, the supermarket has had some good ones at pretty reasonable prices, maybe not for jam making but at least for munching. I like to add them to cereal, to biscuits, to yoghurt, to my hand for fresh munching.

  14. I love blueberries . . . I’ve never tried canning, but I make a wicked plum/blueberry crumble that is one of thee best things I’ve ever eaten. This recipe looks so easy that I may have to cross the divide and start making it myself! 🙂

  15. My mom and I are making jam as wedding shower favors tonight, and we struggled to find a recipe using liquid pectin that wasn’t overloaded with sugar…we’re so happy to find your recipe. Many thanks from the Motor City!

  16. I bet my husband and I went through a bushel of fresh blueberries when they were cheap here in NE Ohio, in cereal, pancakes and our favorite, blueberry-peach crumble. They are one of nature’s perfect fruits.

  17. Crazy. I was just searching your site last night for a blueberry jam recipe. I’ve been reading for a while, but this is the first time I ever attempted food in jars myself, and last night, I’m happy to report that I successfully canned my first canned produce ever, blueberry jam.

  18. I just bought a pint of blueberries yesterday! Perfect timing as I’ll be stocking up and making this jam.

  19. I have never made jam on my own but I have done some with my sister over @ Cannin’ & Jammin’. Blueberry is so good! As a child I went picking with my mom and sister 🙂

  20. I’m thinking of making some blueberry jam, but I was wondering–is it seedy at all? I made a batch of raspberry last summer, and ended up giving most of it away because I didn’t like the crunchies.

  21. About how many jars does one batch of jam make? I want to make a few different kinds to give away at Christmas time, and this blueberry looks delicious!

  22. mmmmmmm….blueberrie jam sounds great!! its my step-dads favorite!!!! and the last time we made bluberrie jam i lost my purity ring…..and we thought it was in the JAM!! oh no!!!
    but luckly we found it in some towls i wiped my hands on..well hope you enjoyed my story?? good luck to everyone!

  23. is smashing just so they’re smoother, less ‘whole-fruit’ at the end?

    i have to admit, this looks great (as usual)!

  24. I was just coming here hoping to find something blueberryish since I might go pick some this weekend (if there are any left). Awesome, I hope to make this soooooon! yum.

  25. I love blueberry jam! I tried to make some this summer but it turned out to be blueberry syrup! But thats ok it will be very good on pancakes & ice cream! I would love to have some jam!

  26. I’d love to try your blueberry jam! I made peach freezer jam today. It’s so hot to be standing over the canner…

  27. just bumbled over to your site, and will now follow.

    I just attempted my first blueberry-peach jam, with surprising results. most definitely to be repeated next year…the season is over down here, but I’d love to see what a veteran can do with them!

  28. A bumper blueberry season is just getting started here in Seattle. My mother has an amazing blueberry marmelade recipe – blueberries with lemon and orange segmants and zest – it’s the best thing ever on scones come January – sunshine in a jar.

  29. Where do you get liquid pectin in Philly? I tried making peach jam the other night, and it was very…. gelled. I love a looser set jam, so if liquid pectin is the way to go, then that is the way I will go!

  30. Blueberry jam was my first too. I think I waaaay overcooked it because I was so nervous about it gelling. MY daughter and I made over 4th of July weekend so we called it “Red, White and Blueberry Jam.” I’ve since made a blueberry-lime jam that has won raves. I would have never thought of that combination but it works!

  31. Kroger had blueberries for $1/pint, so I bought enough to eat, and make some jam, too. This recipe looks yummy! I love your blog. It’s great to find one that has canning recipes and tips, plus great giveaways!

  32. So far, my gateway has been my mom’s salsa. It’s the only thing I’ve canned. But I just bought some pectin, and I am READY to do this!

    I love your blog – found through a Canvolution tweet. I will be keeping up from now on, and your blueberry jam recipe may be my first jam canning adventure.

    Amber <3

  33. I have a question… my berries are all frozen (I have picked 9 gallons this season). When I “squish” them should they stay frozen or come to room temp?

  34. Hello,

    I really appreciate the calm, level headed advice and experience you give at your website.

    This week I am going to try putting up blueberry jam. I live in a small apartment with what I laughingly call Barbie’s Dream Kitchen: a small kitchen with small appliances. A regular sized canner will not fit on top of my stove. If I use a small stockpot and stack the jars will it derail the water bath process? Must the jars be processed in a single layer?

    I’m am in the process of getting rid of all my plastic ware for storage and am slowly replacing it with glass. I’ve begun intentionally buying things in glass jars at the supermarket: first I use the contents then I use the jars for storage later.

    Love the site,

    TonyB

  35. I just found your blog and am SUPER excited!!! I wanted to know if I could use frozen blueberries? OHHHH so much to look at here! Thanks
    Shorty

  36. This Rasberry Jam turned out soooooooooooo go:) What a difference liquid pectin (kroger) makes compare to powdered. It wasn’t so thick. Your recipe was so easy.
    Thank you:)

  37. I just picked blueberries from my friends place and was thrilled to see your receipe for Blueberry Jam. I found 7 cute little canning jars at my local goodwill and they are ready and waiting to be filled with some yummy goodness! Thanks.

  38. I’ve been making several batches of no sugar added blueberry jam over the past couple weeks & have sold out every time I make it. I still have another batch I have to make tomorrow (maybe the last for the season) & to be honest I’m not looking forward to it. Everytime I’ve made it, when it comes to a rolling boil it splatters all over & I have to hurry to wipe it up before it stains my counters. I try to keep a lid on it but them I run the risk of the bottom getting thick/burning if I don’t stir it often enough & then when I do it jumps out of the pot & “bites” my hands, then I end up with little burn blisters. Anyone else have this problem?? I’ve also been making several other types of jams (watermelon, honeydew, cantaloupe)& none of them boil out of the pot as violently as the blueberry.

  39. @Heather: It sounds like you’re cooking at too high a temperature or your pot isn’t big enough. This recipe bubbled for me but not splattering onto the stovetop. I use a splatter guard (one of the ones designed for deep fryers) because you can still wedge a spoon underneath to stir.

    I made this yesterday and it’s delicious blueberry goodness. The yield was 10(!) half pint jars for me.

  40. I made this last night as my first batch of solo jam (I had only one experience previous making jelly with my mum) and I must say this recipe was fantastic. It was simple, yet when I brought a can and some biscuits into work this morning, no one could have guessed I was a rookie. Thank you so much for sharing such a wonderful recipe and story. I can’t wait to try some of the others now that I have the confidence to do it!!

  41. I just made this jam and must say am very disapointed. I like cinnamon and nutmeg but it really takes away from the blueberrys and overpowers the jam. As I love blueberrys I find that It does not taste like blueberry jam at all. The next time I make it I will not use the cinammon or nutmeg and advise others not to use it as well. Mainly if you want to taste the blueberry’s.

    • Some say that if you stir the jam off the heat for a few minutes after its finished cooking, that helps integrate the fruit into the jam. Chopping it into smaller pieces can also help with better integration. However, there’s no magic bullet. Happily, it does no harm to have the fruit rise to the top. Just stir it in when you open the jam to eat.

  42. I am interested in making my very first jar of jam….I have about 2 cups of blueberries…and your page is the first page I stumbled upon… now I only need more blueberries to follow Your recipe…thanks for the share! Here I go….. 🙂

  43. I just made your recipe (minus the spices) as my first ever jam-making. My jars (8 half pints) are popping away on the counter and the finished product is delicious. Thanks for your clear directions and pictures, they are invaluable to a newbie like me. 🙂

  44. I just found this website & it has been so amazing at all the info. I would like to know if I can use frozen blueberries. The other comments weren’t answered so still wondering. Thanks for sharing in all you wealth of information.

    • Frozen berries can be used, but they don’t tend to set up as well as fresh fruit. So there’s a chance that your jam will be runnier than is desired.

      • Thanks for the quick reply. Is there anyway to let them sit out & thaw before starting the process. Will that make any difference?

        • Letting them thaw has nothing to do with it. Freezing food breaks down the cell walls. That’s where the pectin in the fruit lives. So by freezing it, you essentially break down the fruit’s natural pectin. That’s why it doesn’t set as well.

  45. Hi! I’m planning on making this as my first jam ever! I was just wondering how many tablespoons of instant pectin is equal to 2 packs of liquid pectin? Thanks!

    • Michelle, I honestly have no idea. I don’t really use instant pectin, so I’m just not sure of the conversion.

  46. Thought you might be interested in this–Joy of Cooking has directions for testing level of pectin (with grain alcohol) so you don’t have to add pectin. My husband uses this method and it works.

    http://books.google.com/books?id=C4_5MCUd6ucC&pg=PA832&lpg=PA832&dq=jam+grain+alcohol&source=bl&ots=2d5THBjyRU&sig=vqemodtccsU7_haaFzaVI-bLyCE&hl=en&ei=BMJGTriVG9O_gQeov9XOBg&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=6&ved=0CDkQ6AEwBQ#v=onepage&q=jam%20grain%20alcohol&f=false

  47. Blueberry is BY FAR my son’s favorite. I’m trying to make my own batch so I don’t have to pay $5 for a jar. Hopefully he will like this one! Making it tomorrow, since I already canned some salsa today, and one canning job is my limit for a day. I’m hoping for the best results tomorrow!

  48. Hi! Great blog! When i read the recipe i was reluctant to use it because of the nutmeg and cinnamon. I was wrong! I made this jam tonight and it is AMAZING!! My house smells like Christmas and i can’t get enough of it! Thanks for inspiring my canning endeavors.
    😀

  49. I just bought 15 pounds of fresh Michigan blueberries today … Plan to make jam… I like the sounds of your recipe…. Just wondered what the cinnamon does…. Would love to try yours:)

  50. I made this last year and LOVE it! This year I would like to make it as a pancake syrup. If I left out all the pectin or maybe just used one pack instead of two, do you think it would be the consistancy of syrup?

  51. Just got finished making this recipe and listening to every last jar pop! I left out the spices and used coconut sugar. So far tastes great! Can’t wait to give it out to my family and friends. Thanks for the great recipe!

  52. I love this jam but am wondering is if it is possible to make a Blueberry-Lemon Basil jelly? We have loads of lemon basil growing in our garden and its lemony-lovely flavor is fantastic! Would it work to toss some crushed basil leaves into a batch of blueberries as I am preparing to make the juice for jelly? How much basil would I use?

    • Lynn, you could certainly infused the basil into blueberries as you prep them for juicing. I wouldn’t add whole basil leaves, as they will turn brown and slimy during cooking. As far as how much to use, that really depends on how strong a flavor it is and how strongly you want it to taste of the lemon basil. Start with some and taste.

      • Thanks Marisa 🙂 I was thinking of adding the basil when I crush & cook down the blueberries for juicing since it all gets strained clear in cheesecloth anyway. If this process won’t work, how would I go about getting that lemon basil flavor into the jelly? Would I need to steep the basil in a little hot water that I would then strain and add to the blueberries as they cooked for extracting the juice? BTW…we have Mrs. Burns Lemon Basil OG growing in the garden, oh my word, superb flavor-best ever lemon basil!

  53. This is the first year since moving back to Wisconsin that I have gone blueberry picking. My hubby and I got a little over zealous and picked 30 lbs. Your recipe for the jam is easy and good. I will be making many more batches this year.

  54. I stumbled onto your pages by accident while looking for a new garlic dill pickle recipe for canning. I am delighted to find so many recipes on canning and the memories that go with them. I would love to be the winner of your extra jar of jam. I am going to attempt to make some for the first time ever this year so it’d be great to see how I measure up 🙂
    Tammy in Maine

  55. Hi Marisa,

    I’m going blueberry picking on Saturday and would love to try this recipe. Any idea what the approximate yield is? Trying to figure out how much picking I should do 🙂

    Also wanted to say that many or your recipes have become favorites. In particular we can’t do without your tomato jam to spread on grilled cheese sandwiches during the winter. I also just made a batch of your peach jam with fresh GA peaches. My husband says it tastes like cobbler in a jar.

    Thanks,
    Katelyn

    • You should get either 3 or 3 1/2 pints from this recipe. Yields vary a lot, so that’s as specific as I can get!

  56. Marisa, i found this page by accident, i glad i did. we picked blueberries this year and tried to make blueberry jam. the problem is, it never set up. Still thin, any suggestions on how to fix the problem. delicious but thin
    thanks
    Melissa

  57. I’ve just lost my canning verginity making this wonderful blueberry jam!!! Looking forward to many more adventures in canning:)

    • Nope, it wouldn’t be the same at all. Sugar provides a chemical reaction that you don’t get with Splenda. If you want to make a jam sweetened with Splenda, you should get a low sugar pectin, and follow the directions on the packet.

  58. hi marisa

    just wondered can i use frozen blueberrys i have 3 big bags that i need to do something with wanted to make jam but unsure if it will set or not

  59. Hi Marisa,

    Does this recipe translate well into freezer jam, using the freezer pectin? Ideally, I’d like to use my frozen berries to make a freezer jam. Do you think I’d need to alter the recipe any other way? Thanks for a great blog – I’m a newbie but will be back for sure!

  60. Hi, Marisa – I just noticed that this recipe and the one in your book (which I love!) are slightly different. Is there a reason why you use powdered pectin here and liquid in your book?

    • I tweaked this recipe recently to use powdered pectin because people are reporting that they’re really struggling to find liquid pectin in their grocery stores. It was my attempt to make the recipe more accessible and useful.

      • Phew! I have access to all sorts of pectins in the shops here (including Pomona’s), but my farmer’s market has been giving away powdered in recent weeks, so I just stocked up! During my first attempt at using pectin, I learned the hard way that they are just not interchangeable. (Not peach jam! Peach paste!) But doing the math of translation always makes me nervous.

        Did I mention how much I love the book? FIJ and the Blue Book are my canning guides. Thanks for everything!

  61. Hi there

    My husband and I just made your jam and in your book you had put 2 oz of liquid pectin. We didn’t have liquid pectin only the powder ones and we used the whole package, and it turned out fine. However I thought it tasted a little bit “rusty” so I’m wondering how you convert the ingredient over if you only have the powder version (since in the recipe in this post said 3 tbsp of the liquid kind. Thanks!

  62. […] out Marisa’s book or her web site here. She has some really good tips, as well as the recipe for blueberry jam. Be prepared to spend a lot of time at first, waiting for the water to  boil and figuring out  at […]

    • How was it, I just made it with the cinnamon and not the nutmeg, because I didn’t have it. It looked fine while cooking. I heard the jars “pop” so I know that the jars have sealed.

  63. Hi Marisa– are the cooking instructions on this recipe correct? The pectin powder instructions say to cook 1 minute after reaching a full boil rather than the 10 to 15 minutes called for in your recipe.

    • It’s correct. Because I use less sugar than the packet instructions, you need more cooking time in order to get the jam to set.

  64. Just gave this a go … reduced to 4 cups smooshed fruit and 2 2/3 cups sugar, since that’s all that fits in my 10″ skillet. Skipped the cinnamon/nutmeg and let it macerate/cook with some lemon-thyme from my “herb garden” — pulled that before canning. Skipped powdered pectin and used liquid at the end (similar to your blackberry jam recipe). I got three half-pints and three quarter-pints, plus a bit for the fridge, so that’s almost 2 1/2 pints even after reducing quantities by 1/3!!

    I **love** the reduced sugar volume in your recipes. I’ve seen other published recipes that call for equal amounts of sugar and fruit — and sometimes more sugar than fruit! Yours are plenty sweet and plenty gelled. Thanks for turning me into a small-batch-jam-princess !!

  65. Hi Marissa,

    I was thinking about making this with jam and adding vanilla to it. I’ve been looking at your recipes (just tried tomato jam and its awesome) and trying to plan out my summer…at least try to start collecting enough jars and lids I will need this summer! I thought about making a blueberry vanilla jam. What about this recipe and add vanilla sugar instead of plain sugar or the pulp from a bean? I don’t think that would change the acidity and I wouldn’t be changing the amount of sugar.

    Thanks!

  66. I just made this jam with Saskatoon berries instead of blueberries – it turned out pretty well – very “nutmegy.” My husband said it tastes like mince tarts, which is a great compliment, in my mind, and very appropriate, as I’ll be giving it away as Christmas presents! Question: this is my third successful batch of jam, the first two being your vanilla rhubarb with earl grey. But my jam always takes forever to set! I end up boiling it for about a half an hour after I add the pectin, and it never reaches the appropriate temperature, even if it’s splattering all over the stove. By that point I just figure it “has” to be set, and it has been these last three times, but in the past, when I’ve gone with a shorter boil time, I’ve had utter no-set failure. Any ideas as to why my jam takes so long? Am I doing something wrong? (I used liquid pectin, btw, as per the recipe in your book.)

  67. What about blueberry-rhubarb? It might be a bit sour but would like to know your thoughts. I have a bunch of frozen berries and the rhubarb is in its prime now.

  68. I love younsite and have used it for years. Thank you! One thing I wish is that you’d use weight measurements for the amount of fruit. It’s hard to know how many cups when you’re buying at the grocery store or farmers’ market everything is measured by weight.

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