Small Batch Blueberry Jam
As someone who doesn’t regularly eat bread products anymore, it’s not often that I have jam in the house.
Sometimes, though, we just really get in the mood for toast with jam... and - a lot of those times - it happens to coincide with “we have too much (fruit), what should we do with it?”
One of us usually mentions how jam from whatever fruit that is would be good, and the other agrees.
... and that’s how we got into making small batch jams!
Small batch blueberry jam is really easy to make, and doesn’t take a ton of time to do.
It makes a nice amount to have on hand - 1 jar - without the need for the whole production of canning.
Before we get going with the recipe, I’d like to discuss the (very few) ingredients:
You can use fresh or frozen blueberries for this.
If using frozen, don’t bother to thaw them first, just toss them in the pot and start out at a low temp until they’re thawed.
This way, you won’t lose any of the juices!
Use plain white granulated sugar for this - other varieties of sugar will overpower the Blueberry flavour, IMHO.
Also, I don’t like the way it looks when you use brown sugar - just not as appetizing.
LOL just kidding.
I made this recipe for the times when I just want a bit of jam, and don’t want the hassle of making jam. Making jam can be a big ordeal, to be honest, and I wanted this nice and simple.
Some fruit has a lot of pectin, so you can just rely on the pectin and added acid to react with the sugar and gel up normally.
Blueberries are one of these fruits.
That means you can make this small-batch recipe without having to measure out a small amount of pectin from a pouch meant for a much larger batch of jam!
The lemon juice is necessary for flavour and texture, as well as working together with the pectin in the berries to gel.
How to Make Small Batch Blueberry Jam
Full recipe follows, here's a pictorial overview:
Add blueberries, sugar, and lemon juice to a medium pot, bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring frequently.
Once the mixture is boiling, turn the heat down to low and simmer for about 15 minutes, stirring frequently.
As the blueberries soften, mash them a bit with a potato masher. I like a bit of texture - not pureed, and not TOO chunky.
At the 15 minute mark, start testing for thickness. Run a spoon through the mixture - if it leaves a visible “wake” for a second or so, it’s thick enough. Don’t overcook it!
Once your jam is thick enough - it can take 35 minutes or more, heads up - remove from the heat.
Use a clean funnel, and ladle the hot jam into a clean jam jar.
Use a wet paper towel to wipe the top edge of the jar, and affix a clean jam lid and ring.
Allow the jam to cool to room temperature before transferring to the fridge.
Use within 3 weeks
While I specifically designed this recipe to NOT need canning ... if you want to do a bigger batch, you’ll want to actually can the jam.
Here’s what you’ll want to do, to take this from a refrigerator jam, to a properly canned jam:
1. Buy new jar lids - just the flat pieces. You shouldn’t reuse those for actual canning, but you CAN reuse jars and the rings.
2. Actually sterilize / sanitize your jam jars, lids, rings, funnel, and ladle. You can do this with heat - in a dishwasher - or you can use a chemical sanitizer, like Star-San . This is something you should have on hand if you’re into brewing Homemade wine.
3. Once you’ve got everything sanitized/sterilized, wash your hands well, and be careful not to touch anything in areas that will touch the food - the underside of the jar lids, the inside or rims of the jars, etc.
4. As you’re making the jam, get a large pot of water boiling. It should be wide enough to accommodate all the jam jars you’re going to use, and have enough water in it to cover the jars by about 1" when they’re in there.
FYI: This recipe makes 1 jar. If you triple the recipe, you’d need 3 jars... on paper. As each batch may have slightly more - depending on how much you cook down the berries - I recommend adding an extra jar. 4 jars for a triple batch, 5 for a quadruple batch, etc.
You may not end up using that extra one, but it’s a lot easier - and less annoying - to prepare that extra jar/lid/etc in the batch, than to find yourself short one, when you need it!
5. After you’ve made the jam - and it’s still boiling hot - carefully use your sanitized items to ladle the hot jam into the sterilized jars.
6. Use a wet paper towel to wipe any jam off the lip of the jars. You might want to make a second pass, to be sure. This is important for the seal, and for food safety.
7. Immediately affix the lids, tighten the rings, and carefully put them in the pot of boiling water. Allow them to boil for 10 minutes. (Add 5 minutes for altitudes above 1,000 feet; add 10 minutes for altitudes over 6,000 feet.)
8. Carefully use a jar lifter to remove your jars from the water. (Note: I like this set for canning. Everything you need, in one cheap package!)
9. Allow to cool overnight. I like to carefully remove the rings - without disturbing the lids - to allow it to dry out between the jar/ring. This prevents rusting.
10. The next day, check all lids for a proper seal: they should have sucked down into a vacuum seal as the jars cooled.
11. Store properly sealed jars for later use; refrigerate any that did not seal for use in the coming weeks.
More Pickling and Canning Recipes
Looking for more canned preservation recipes? Here you go!
Homemade Dill Pickles
Homemade Pickled Beets
Homemade Pickled Carrots, 2 Ways
Hoppy Dill Pickle Relish
Hoppy IPA Pickles
Mixed Root Vegetable Pickles
Mixed Vegetable Pickles
Roasted Corn Salsa
Roasted Corn Salsa Verde
Roasted Salsa Verde
Sweet Corn Relish
Sweet Mustard Pickles
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Small Batch Blueberry Jam
- 2 cups blueberries
- ½ cup sugar
- 2 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
- Add blueberries, sugar, and lemon juice to a medium pot, bring to a boil over medium high heat, stirring frequently.
- Once mixture is boiling, turn heat down to low and simmer for about 15 minutes, stirring frequently.
- As the blueberries soften, mash them a bit with a potato masher. I like a bit of texture - not pureed, and not TOO chunky.
- At the 15 minute mark, start testing for thickness. Run a spoon through the mixture - if it leaves a visible “wake” for a second or two, it’s thick enough. Don’t overcook it!
- Once your jam is thick enough - it can take 35 minutes or more, heads up - remove from the heat.
- Use a clean funnel, and ladle the hot jam into a clean jam jar.
- Use a wet paper towel to wipe the top edge of the jar, and affix a clean jam lid and ring.
- Allow to cool to room temperature before transferring to the fridge.
- Use within 3 weeks