All you need are three ingredients to make this amazingly delicious blueberry jam! No pectin required! Aside from eating blueberries fresh or baking with them, this jam is a great way to enjoy this powerhouse fruit well beyond blueberry season!
Blueberries, glorious blueberries.
I love grabbing a handful and popping them into my mouth.
They're the perfect topping to my yogurt or granola in the mornings...
...and of course, they're also fabulous in muffins or scones.
But did you know that they also make a fabulous jam?
And the jam is not only fabulous, it's EASY.
I know that making homemade jam can seem intimidating, but it's really not that hard and blueberry jam is one of the easiest ones to make.
All you need for this recipe are blueberries, maple syrup, and lemon juice. That's it!
Blueberries and lemon naturally contain pectin, and when they are cooked with the maple syrup (or regular sugar), they gel together and create jam. The lemon juice also has the extra benefit of helping to prevent bacteria growth in the jam.
Many recipes call for a 2:1 ratio of blueberries to sugar, or in the worst cases, it's equal amounts of both! However, I find that if you are using ripe berries at their peak, there is no need to add so much sugar, and really, you're not letting the flavor of the blueberries come through. I am also not a fan of overly sweet jams, thus why this recipe uses ⅓ cup of maple syrup to 4 cups of blueberries.
Combine the blueberries, maple syrup, and the juice from one lemon in a heavy pot and bring to a boil over medium heat. I use a potato masher to roughly mash some of the blueberries to help break them down. Alternatively, you can wait until the blueberries cook for a while and simply mash some of them with the back of a spoon.
Cooking the Jam
Once the mixture starts to boil, reduce the heat slightly while still maintaining a boil. You want to cook off some of the liquid and allow pectin and sugar in the fruit to meld properly to form the gel-like consistency.
At the beginning, the mixture will be relatively thin and will start to take on a violet/purple hue. As the mixture continues to boil, it will start thickening and there will be a light foam on top. You don't need to stir the jam.
After about 20 minutes, you'll notice that the foam that was prevalent at the start is lessening and within a few minutes, the foam will be gone and all you'll be left with is a mixture that is deeply colored, thick, and glossy. Stir the jam at this point to prevent it from sticking and scorching to the bottom of the pot.
When Is It Done?
The jam is ready if a candy thermometer or instant-read thermometer registers the jam at 210F/100C, which is the temperature at which jam is ready to set. There is also the frozen plate test.
Alternatively, you can be like me and go by the fact that all the foam has disappeared and the jam is glossy. I know that doesn't sound particularly scientific, but again, this recipe is supposed to be easy and I have not run into any jam disasters.
The time markers I've given in the photo collage are a guideline, but don't simply set the timer and walk away from the pot. You have to use some judgment and not only pay attention to the time but also to the appearance.
If your jam ends up a little less gel-like, that's okay. If it ends up being like some jars of jam you buy at the store where they are slightly more firm, that's okay, too. You certainly do not want to overcook the jam so that there is not much liquid left and and you end up with chunky jam that doesn't spread. Therefore, it's best to err on the side of being conservative.
Storing the Jam
Once the jam is done, let it cool slightly before transferring it to a sterilized jar, and then let it come to room temperature before screwing on a lid and place it in the fridge overnight so the jam can completely set.
This recipe makes approximately 1 ½ cups of jam...a nice amount that can be easily consumed over a week or two once the jar is open.
Store the unopened jar in the fridge for 2-3 months, or store it in the freezer for long term. Let the frozen jam sit in the fridge overnight before using.
And that's it!
Years ago, I used to make my mother-in-law's blueberry jam recipe, which was also just 3 ingredients, but blueberries is the only thing my recipe has in common with hers! Her recipe called for 4 cups of blueberries, 2 cups of sugar, and a box of lemon Jell-O. I really loved it back then, and memories of it are what inspired me to make this much healthier version to suit our lifestyle and taste buds now.
Spread some jam on toast or let it sink into all the divots in an English muffin. Swirl it into some plain Greek yogurt...there will be way less sugar than if you were to buy blueberry flavored yogurt! Eat it with ice cream and some fresh blueberries. Drop a dollop on a slice of cheesecake.
You are going to love this jam and that you made it yourself!
3-Ingredient Blueberry Jam
- 4 cups blueberries
- ⅓ cup maple syrup
- Juice from one lemon
- Wash and drain blueberries.
- Add blueberries, maple syrup, and lemon juice to a medium pot and bring to a boil over medium heat.
- Using a potato masher or spatula, roughly mash the blueberries.
- Reduce to simmer and cook for approximately 30 minutes or until mixture reaches 210F/100C.
- Transfer jam to jar and let cool completely to room temperature before securing lid.
- Keep in the refrigerator or freeze.
- Adjust the maple syrup whether you want your jam less or more sweet.
- Jam in the refrigerator will last 2-3 months.
- Freeze the jam in a sealed jar if you will not be using it right away.