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Canning Blueberry Jam Recipe

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This blueberry jam recipe is so easy! It can be made with either fresh or frozen blueberries. Step by step photos for how to can it.

Different sized jars of jam with scattered fresh blueberries.Pin
Blueberry Jam

The best part of making your own jams and jellies, besides the obvious flavor difference, is that you control the ingredients. There are no ingredients that you can’t pronounce and none of the preservatives found in commercially available products.

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I have a confession. After making my own jams and jellies for years now, I cannot, and I mean cannot eat store bought jams. I would rather go without!

My jams need to be a little sweet and a little tart, just like fresh fruit. I prefer a low sugar jam. So I always use low sugar pectin. If you are making low sugar preserves, it’s important to use the low sugar pectin to ensure it gels.

I always go a little heavy handed with the lemon juice and a little light on the recommended amount of sugar.

That way, the jam retains more of the fresh fruit flavor. The lemon juice just brightens up the jam so much.

Jars of blueberry jam on white board.Pin

What you need

  • blueberries – use either fresh blueberries or frozen (thawed) berries
  • water – or use a mild fruit juice like apple or white grape
  • lemon juice – Important! Only use bottled lemon juice. The acidity is tested and consistent.
  • pectin – use low sugar pectin if making low sugar jam
  • sugar – substitute sugar substitutes or honey for processed sugar.
Ingredients for blueberry jam. See details in recipe below.Pin

Once you have a few basic tools, making your own homemade blueberry jam, is super easy! You will need a canning pot with a rack so that the jars don’t clunk around and crack while they are boiling.

Don’t miss our complete step by step guide to canning.

How to make it

  • If using fresh berries rinse in a colander and drain. If using frozen berries, remove from freezer, thaw in the refrigerator overnight. Pro Tip: Place them in a large container so that they don’t leak all over the refrigerator.
  • Measure out all of your ingredients before starting.
  • Mix pectin with 1/4 cup sugar. This aids in the pectin not forming clumps.
  • Place fruit, water or juice and lemon juice in a large pot. Bring to boil over high heat. Mash fruit with a potato masher or like tool.
  • Add pectin/sugar mixture. Bring to boil over high heat that cannot be stirred down, stirring constantly.
  • Boil for one minute.
  • Add remaining sugar. Bring back to a boil that can’t be stirred down, stirring constantly. Boil for one minute.
Step by step photographs of the process for making Blueberry Jam. See details in recipe below.Pin

How to can the jam in water bath canning pot

  • Wash jars. Heat them so they are not cold. It is no longer recommended to sterilize jars if processing more than 10 minutes but they should be heated. Pour hot water over lids. Put aside until needed.
  • Remove jars from heat. Fill hot jars with hot jam leaving 1/4″ headspace (the space between the top of jam and the top of the jar).
  • Remove air bubbles with plastic or wooden tool (chopsticks work great).
  • Wipe rims with damp paper towel.
  • Top jar with lids.
  • Secure bands fingertip tight.
  • Add jars back to canning pot. Bring it back to a boil. Start timer at 10 minutes and process jars in boiling water. Adjust for altitude. See recipe below for details.
  • Once time is up, turn off pan from (gas stove) or remove from heat (electric stove). Allow jars to sit in hot water for about 5 minutes.
  • Remove to counter and leave undisturbed for about 24 hours. After 24 hours check to make sure lids have sealed. (If lid flexes it has not sealed properly and should be stored refrigerated.)
Step by step photographs of the process for canning Blueberry Jam. See details in recipe below.Pin

Store jars that have sealed in a cool, dark place for 12-18 months. Refrigerate after opening.

About Commercial Pectin

There is some debate regarding prepared pectin. Pectin is a naturally occurring product in all plants. Different plants have different amounts and types of pectin. The reason we use pectin, is that you have to develop less natural pectin from the fruit you are using.

I made lemon marmalade several years ago and used a recipe that did not use prepared pectin. It developed the existing pectins in the lemon seeds and pith. The only problem I found is that the marmalade caramelized the sugar because it had to cook so long.

For this reason, the color is not the lovely yellow I was looking for, but a mousy brown! The next time I make lemon marmalade I will definitely use pectin, instead of cooking it so long.

This is an interesting article regarding pectin. There are different grades of pectin, as well. For this Low Sugar Blueberry Jam Recipe, use this low sugar pectin.

How to store jam

Store processed, sealed jars in a cool dark place, like a basement. Small batches can be made and refrigerated.

How long will jam last?

Sealed jam jars will last one year in a cool dark place. If using the new Ball brand lids that are guaranteed for 18 months then they will be good for at least that long.

Jars that are not processed will store in the refrigerator for a couple months, if they are unopened. Opened jars will last at least a month.

Although you don’t technically need this awesome set of canning tools, for less than $20 bucks it saves you a ton of time and burns!! Obviously, jars are a must. They are available pretty much everywhere in the US, from grocery stores, to tractor supply stores, to hardware stores, or here on Amazon.

So to get started canning, you need less than $100 worth of specialty tools! It’s well worth that when you think of all the money you will save and how wonderful it will be to have homemade jams!!!

Blueberry Jam on a homemade English muffin.Pin

Pro tips for your success

  • Use either fresh or frozen blueberries to make jam.
  • Adjust your time for altitude.
  • If you’d like to make jelly rather than jam, run the berries through a vegetable strainer or juicer to remove skins.
  • Use up to ½ cup of sugar in each batch. I usually use between ¼ and ½ cups.
  • Recipe can be multiplied but do not do more than 5 times the recipe as written.
  • The yield will be less the less sugar that you use. In other words, if you use ½ cup of sugar, you will end up with 2 half pints. If you add less sugar, you will end up with less jam.

How to use this jam

Other delicious jams for canning

a biscuit with blueberry and tea cupPin

Tools I Use to Make Low Sugar Blueberry Jam

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This post may contain affiliate links, which means I get a small commission if you click the link and purchase something, at no additional cost to you. See FTC Disclosure, here.

This homemade blueberry jam recipe is like a taste of summer in the cold winter months.

Love Gardening? If you love growing your own produce, these posts are packed full of information about how to get that big harvest by the end of the season! Don’t miss How to Start a Garden Series! The first part is Planning Your Garden! Second is Preparing the Garden Site. The third is Choosing Plants and Planting Your Garden. The fourth is Garden Maintenance, and the last is Harvesting a Garden and Preserving the Harvest, this post has over 100 FREE recipes for preserving your harvest!

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I hope you enjoyed the recipe today.

Enjoy. And have fun cooking!

Binky's signature
Blueberry Jam on biscuit with antique tea setPin

Low Sugar Blueberry Jam

Once you make your own jam, you will never want to eat store bought again!
See Step by Step Photos Above!Most of our recipes have step by step photos and videos! Also helpful tips so that you can make it perfectly the first time and every time! Scroll up to see them!
4.75 from 4 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: jam
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
Servings: 32 tablespoons
Calories: 7kcal
Author: Beth Neels
Cost: $5

Ingredients

  • 2 cups blueberries 500 ml
  • 1/3 cup fruit juice or water 180 ml
  • 3 tsp lemon juice, fresh or bottled 15 ml
  • 1.5 Tbsp Low Sugar Pectin 22 gr
  • 0-1/2 cup Sugar 113 gr

Instructions

  • Prepare water bath canner. Wash jars and lids thoroughly in hot, soapy water and rinse well. Add jars to canner and cover with water 1 inch above the jars. Let jars sit in hot water until ready to use.
  • Pour boiling water over lids and let sit in hot water until ready for use.
  • Combine the fruit, juice or water and lemon juice in a large saucepan. Gradually stir in pectin. Bring mixture to a full rolling boil (one that can’t be stirred down.), stirring constantly. 
    2 cups blueberries, 3 tsp lemon juice, fresh or bottled, 1.5 Tbsp Low Sugar Pectin, 0-1/2 cup Sugar, 1/3 cup fruit juice or water
  • Add sugar, if using. (see notes below) Return mixture to a full rolling boil that cannot be stirred down. Boil hard for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Skim foam, if necessary.
  • Ladle hot jam into hot jars. Cool to room temperature, if not canning. Then refrigerate immediately. 
  • If preserving, ladle hot jam into the hot jars, leaving 1/4″ headspace. Wipe rims clean with paper towel.. Center lids on jars. Apply bands and adjust to fingertip tight.
  • Place filled jars in canner ensuring jars are covered by over 1″ water. Bring to a gentle, steady boil.
  • Process jars for 5 minutes, under 1000 feet, adjusting for altitude. (see notes below) Turn off heat. Let jars rest in hot water for 5 minutes.
  • Remove jars and cool. Check lids for seal after 24 hours. Lid should not flex up and down in the center, when pressed. Store jars in a cool place.
See all of my favorite tools and gift ideas on my New Amazon Store!Check out Binky’s Amazon Store!

Notes

Makes 2 half pints. If you use less sugar, the yield will be less.
Recipe can be multiplied, but don’t do more than 5 times the recipe. The jam has a tendency not to set properly. 
Test lids for seal. Pres center of lid down in the middle. If it flexes up and down, jar is not sealed.
Store in a cool place.
If lids have not sealed, store those jars in refrigerator and consume those jars first.
Use up to 1/2 cup sugar. I usually use over 1/4 cup but under 1/2 cup of sugar.
Altitude adjustment for half pints
0-1000 feet – 5 minutes
1000-3000 feet – 10 minutes
3000-6000 feet – 15 minutes
above 6000 feet – 20 minutes

Nutrition

Calories: 7kcal | Carbohydrates: 1g | Sodium: 1mg | Potassium: 7mg | Vitamin A: 5IU | Vitamin C: 1.1mg | Calcium: 1mg
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Originally published May 31, 2018. Updated February 23,2022

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34 Comments

    1. They are half pint, like the quilted jelly jars. I believe they are Anchor Hocking. I found them on sale at Dollar General.

  1. 5 stars
    I increased the recipe toimake 5 pints and added some lemon zest and the jam was fabulous! Thank you for the wonderful recipe!

    1. I’m so glad you liked it Pat! The additional on the lemon zest is a great idea. Thanks for letting me know your thoughts.

  2. 4 stars
    I followed directions perfectly and the jam is delicious. But it’s too thick. Can barely get a knife into the jar to spread it.

    1. Perhaps you added a bit more pectin or had a few less berries or water to thin it? Anyway, sorry you had problems. I’ve made this jam a hundred times and have never had that problem. Thanks for letting me know.

  3. Can you tell me how many cups of jam this recipe will make? That way I can figure out how many jars I need.

    1. Hey Pattie! The link to where I buy low sugar pectin is below the recipe. Here it is again. (affiliate) I have also found it in my local grocery stores in the canning section. I buy the larger jar. It lasts a long time, as long as it stays dry! Thanks for checking out the recipe!

    1. That’s what I use. It tastes more like fresh berries without all of the sugar! Thanks for trying it, Cherri!

  4. 5 stars
    It certainly is jam season, we have raspberries, strawberries and cherries in full harvest at the moment and the plums are coming up fast on the rails too! Like you I love the opportunity to reduce the sugar a little, I certainly don’t have a beef with sugar like many. I just don’t have a sweet tooth 😉

  5. I love the way you write and this Blueberry jam looks delicious. I agree with you when you start making your own jams it is impossible to get back to the commercial ones.

  6. Up to last year my mom has made all our jams and jellies, although my brother and I always pick a few, she still has some 2015! Now she’s too tired and I live so far to learn from her! I’m happy to make my jams with less sugar though, I will try your way, blueberry, blackberry and cherry are my favorite!

    1. I love blackberry too! We have wild ones growing out back that we pick every year! I haven’t made cherry in a long time, but I love that as well! Thanks, Patty!

  7. Homemade jam is one of my favorite things to make during the summer when the berries are in season.

  8. I’ve been looking for a low-sugar jam recipe for ages, so thank you so much for posting this! It looks delicious! And who knew there was such a thing as low-sugar pectin?

    1. Thanks, Sandi! I’m glad you like it. I’ve gone to adding process shots because I got a new camera.

  9. I’ve watched my mom 1000x making her own jams, however, I’ve always been scared to make my own.You make it so easy looking that I might just attempt it finally.

    1. Once you do, you kind of get hooked and never want to eat the stuff from the grocery store again. You have to make your own, at that point! 🙂 Thanks Heidy!

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