Homemade Blueberry Jam

This delicious homemade blueberry jam is made with fresh blueberries, lemon juice, sugar, and pectin for a not-too-sweet summer treat you will want to slather on everything! Learn how to make and can blueberry jam with this easy to follow step-by-step guide.

A glass jar with blueberry jam and a blueberry to the right.

In all of the cooking, baking, and creating I have done since starting this blog back in 2007, I can honestly say that these jars of blueberry jam have given me the biggest sense of kitchen satisfaction since I mastered yeast bread.

Sometimes I rush around the kitchen and many times my mind is in a million different places at once. When I make this jam, I slow down. It doesn’t happen consciously, but I eventually become aware that I’ve allowed myself to become fully immersed in the process.

Crushing fresh blueberries, stirring the jam while it boils, carefully filling each hot jar with the mixture, picking them up, one-by-one, once they’re finished. I enjoy each and every step, and I can see how folks get into a serious canning habit. It’s more than just filling jars with jelly or jam; it’s a reminder that even though we’re busy, every once and a while we can allow life to slow down, be simpler, and be in the moment. Totally worth it.

Overcoming Canning Fears

When I first tried my hand at canning, I was intimidated by the process. I thought:

  • It’s going to take all day.
  • It’s going to make a massive mess.
  • I’m going to give people botulism. 
  • I will inevitably not get it right.

Finally, I sucked it up and ordered all of the supplies that I needed for the task. I designated a day to do it and just went for it! Let me tell you, I was so thrilled about how wrong I was regarding the entire process.

From start to finish, including prepping the jars and cleaning up, it took me 3 hours. Eight jars of jam in 3 hours made with 4 simple ingredients and no high fructose corn syrup… that’s unbelievably awesome if you ask me.

A tall glass jar with blueberry jam next to a cup of blueberries with a small glass jar of jam in front with a spoon in front of the glass jar and a piece of bread to the left.

Blueberry jam comes together with just a few simple ingredients to make a preserve perfect for slathering on toast and biscuits. Whole or crushed blueberries cook with sugar and lemon juice until they reach a gelling point. You can also use pectin to help obtain a thicker jam.

Jam differs from jelly in one main way. For jelly, the fruit is often crushed and cooked then strained for its juices. This results in a clear consistency versus the chunky consistency of a homemade jam.

Ingredients You’ll Need

Ingredients for blueberry jam labeled with a purple label telling what each ingredient is.
  • Blueberries: Fresh or frozen blueberries work well in this recipe. When they are in season, I prefer to use fresh blueberries over frozen ones.
  • Lemon Juice: Used to lower the pH in the blueberry mixture so the pectin can set properly.
  • Sugar: Sweetens the jam without making it overly sweet.
  • Liquid Pectin Helps thicken the jam without having to use too much sugar.

Step-By-Step Directions

Step 1: Prepare the Canner, Jars, and Lids

  • Wash your materials: Wash the jars, lids, and screw bands in hot, soapy water. Rinse well and drain (you don’t need to dry them).
  • Put rack and jars in canner: Place a rack in the bottom of a boiling-water canner, then place the required number of jars on the rack.
  • Add water to the jars and the canner until it reaches the top of the jars.
  • Simmer jars: Cover the canner and bring the water to a simmer (180°F) over medium heat.
  • Simmer lids: Place the lids in a small saucepan, cover with water and bring to a simmer (180°F) over medium heat.
  • Note: Do not boil the jars or lids, just keep them hot until you’re ready to use them and set screw bands aside as they do not require heating.
Side by side photos of preparing the jars for canning.

Step 2: Prepare the Jam

  • Heat blueberries, lemon, and sugar: In a large, deep stainless steel saucepan, combine crushed blueberries, lemon juice, and sugar over high heat.
  • Bring to a boil: Stirring constantly, bring to a full rolling boil that cannot be stirred down.
  • Stir in the pectin. Boil hard, stirring constantly, for 1 minute.
  • Remove from heat and skim off any foam.
Side by side photos of cooking the blueberries to make the jam.

Step 3: Canning Blueberry Jam

  • Remove a jar: Working with one jar at a time, remove a jar from the canner, pouring the hot water back into the canner. Place the jar on a heat-protected work surface, such as a wooden cutting board or towel.
  • Fill with jam: Ladle the hot jam into the hot jars, leaving ¼-inch headspace.
  • Release air pockets: Slide a non-metallic utensil, such as a rubber spatula, down between the food and inside of the jar two or three times to release the air bubbles.
  • If needed, add more jam: Adjust the headspace, if necessary, by adding more hot jam.
Side by side photos of how to fill the jars with blueberry jam.
  • Wipe the rim: With a clean damp cloth or paper towel, wipe the jar rim and threads.
  • Add a lid: Using a magnetic or non-metallic utensil, lift a hot lid from the water and place it on the jar, centering the sealing compound on the rim of the jar.
Side by side photos of how to clean and close the jars before canning.
  • Top with screw band: Place a screw band on the jar.
  • Tighten band: With your fingers, screw the band down until resistance is met, the increase to fingertip-tight. Do not use excessive force to tighten.
  • Place in canner: Return the jar to the rack in the hot water-filled canner.
  • Repeat filling steps until all jars are filled.
Side by side photos of closing the blueberry jam jar and canning them in a pot.

Step 4: Sealing the Jars

  • Add water to canner: When all of the jars are in the canner, adjust the water level in the canner so that it covers the jars by at least 1 inch.
  • Cover and boil: Cover the canner with a lid and bring the water to a full rolling boil over high heat.
  • Process: Once the water is boiling hard and continuously, process (continue boiling) for 10 minutes.
  • Let sit off heat: Turn off the heat, remove the lid from the canner, and let sit for 5 minutes.
  • Remove from canner: After 5 minutes, remove the jars, lifting them out of the hot water without tilting them. Do not dry the lids or jars at this point, you do not want to disturb the lids while the seal is being formed.
  • Cool for 24 hours: Place the jars upright on a towel in a draft-free place and let cool, undisturbed, for 24 hours.
A glass jar of blueberry jam on a parchment paper covered cutting board with a slice of bread in the back.

Step 5: Check the Jars

When processed jars have cooled for 24 hours, check the lids for a secure seal. To do this:

  • Remove the screw bands with your fingers, press down on the center of each lid.
  • Check for a downward curve: Sealed lids will be concave (they’ll curve downward) and will show no movement when pressed. If you heard a popping noise after taking the jars out of the water bath, that was the seal setting! Such a fantastic little noise!
  • Wipe sealed jars: For jars with good seals, wipe the lids and jar surfaces thoroughly with a damp cloth to remove any water residue or food particles. Store in a cool dark place for up to 1 year.
  • Refrigerate unsealed jars: Jars that have not sealed properly must be refrigerated immediately and used within 3 weeks.

Sweeteners and Substitutions

I use granulated sugar to sweeten the blueberry jam in this recipe but if you are looking to sub it out, here are a few options to try:

  • Honey: Replace the granulated sugar with half the amount of honey. So instead of 7 cups of sugar, you will use 3½ cups of honey.
  • Stevia: For making a “sugar-free” jam, use 1 teaspoon of stevia for every cup of sugar the recipe calls for and adjust based on taste.

Storing and Freezing Directions

After you have made your jam you will want to make sure you properly store it for peak freshness.

  • Sealed Jars: Store jars with a proper seal (see indicators in “Step 5: Check the Jars” to know if the jar has a proper seal) in a cool dry place for up to 1 year.
  • Opened Sealed Jars: After you have opened a sealed jar of jam it will keep refrigerated for up to 3 months.
  • Unsealed Jars: Keep jars that did not properly seal in the refrigerator and use them within 3 weeks.
  • Freezing Directions: Place cooled and cleaned sealed jars of blueberry jam in the freezer for up to 1 year. Thaw in the refrigerator before using.

Uses for Blueberry Jam

  • Slather on toast with peanut butter (my favorite).
  • Top fresh bread with cream cheese and homemade blueberry jam.
  • Serve it with a slice of English muffin bread.
  • Make some buttermilk biscuits and serve with jam and butter.
  • For a snack, slather peanut butter and blueberry jam on some saltines
Top down photo of a white plate with two slices of bread topped with blueberry jam and a spoon in the back right.

Blueberry Jam FAQs

How do you thicken blueberry jam?

The easiest way to thicken your jam is allowing the sugar and blueberry mixture to cook down by boiling. Then thicken and set into a gel by using pectin.

How long does it take for blueberry jam to set?

24 hours. Once the jars of blueberry jam have boiled they should cool for 24 hours to fully seal and set.

Why do you add lemon juice to blueberry jam?

The lemon juice lowers the pH of the blueberry jam mixture allowing the pectin to form a gel when added to the mixture. This is what gives it that thick jammy finish.

Fresh Berry Recipes to Try Next

Slices of bread on a cutting board topped with parchment paper and two slices of bread topped with blueberry jam and a jar of jam in the back right corner of the cutting board.

Overcome your fears of canning and make this delicious homemade blueberry jam! Made with fresh blueberries, lemon juice, sugar, and pectin, you’ll want to spread this easy blueberry jam on everything!

If you make this recipe and love it, remember to stop back and give it a 5-star rating – it helps others find the recipe! ❤️️

Blueberry Jam

Servings 8 (8-ounce) jars
Prep 2 hours 20 minutes
Cook 40 minutes
Total 3 hours
Course: Condiment
Cuisine: American
Author: Michelle

Learn how to make delicious homemade blueberry jam made with 4 simple ingredients.

Ingredients:

  • cups
    crushed blueberries
  • 4
    tablespoons
    lemon juice
  • 7
    cups
    granulated sugar
  • 6
    ounces
    liquid pectin

Directions:

  1. Prepare canner, jars and lids. Wash the jars, lids and screw bands in hot, soapy water. Rinse well and drain (you don’t need to dry them). Place a rack in the bottom of a boiling-water canner, then place the required number of jars on the rack. Add water to the jars and the canner until it reaches the top of the jars. Cover the canner and bring the water to a simmer (180 degrees F) over medium heat. Do not boil the jars. Keep jars hot until you’re ready to use them. Place the lids in a small saucepan, cover with water and bring to a simmer (180 degrees F) over medium heat. Again, do not boil the lids. Keep lids hot until you’re ready to use them. Set the screw bands aside, they do not require heating.
  2. In a large, deep stainless steel saucepan, combine crushed blueberries, lemon juice and sugar. Over high heat, stirring constantly, bring to a full rolling boil that cannot be stirred down. Stir in the pectin. Boil hard, stirring constantly, for 1 minute. Remove from the heat and skim off any foam.
  3. Working with one jar at a time, remove a jar from the canner, pouring hot water back into the canner. Place the jar on a heat-protected work surface, such as a wooden cutting board or towel. Ladle the hot jam into hot jars, leaving ¼-inch headspace. Slide a nonmetallic utensil, such as a rubber spatula, down between the food and the inside of the jar two or three times to release air bubbles. Adjust headspace, if necessary, by adding more hot jam. With a clean damp cloth or paper towel, wipe jar rim and threads. Using a magnetic or nonmetallic utensil, lift a hot lid from the water and place it on the jar, centering the sealing compound on the rim of the jar. Place a screw band on the jar. With your fingers, screw band down until resistance is met, then increase to fingertip-tight. (Do not use excessive force to tighten.) Return the jar to the rack in the hot water-filled canner. Repeat filling steps until all jars are filled.
  4. When all of the jars are in the canner, adjust the water level in the canner so that it covers the jars by at least 1 inch. Cover the canner with a lid and bring the water to a full rolling boil over high heat. Once the water is boiling hard and continuously, process (continue boiling) for 10 minutes. Turn off the heat, remove the lid and let sit for 5 minutes. After 5 minutes, remove the jars, lifting them out of the hot water without tilting them. don’t dry the lids or jars at this point. You don’t want to disturb the lids while the seal is being formed. Place the jars upright on a towel in a draft-free place and let cool, undisturbed, for 24 hours.
  5. When the processed jars have cooled for 24 hours, check the lids for seal. Remove the screw bands and with your fingers, press down on the center of each lid. Sealed lids will be concave (they’ll curve downward) and will show no movement when pressed. Jars that have not sealed properly must be refrigerated immediately. Use unsealed refrigerated product within a few days. For the jars that have good seals, with a damp cloth, thoroughly wipe lids and jar surfaces to remove any water residue or food particles. Store the sealed jars of jam in a cool, dark place for up to 1 year.

Recipe Notes:

  • Equipment: Canning pot / Canning accessories set / 8-ounce jars
  • Liquid Pectin: I found this in my local grocery store where they had a little display with jars, lids, and canning accessories. It can also be purchased online.
  • Sugar Substitutes: You can substitute 3½ cups of honey for the sugar OR 2 tablespoons + 1 teaspoon Stevia. 
  • Storing Sealed Jars: Store jars with a proper seal (see indicators in “Step 5: Check the Jars” in the post above to know if the jar has a proper seal) in a cool dry place for up to 1 year.
  • Opened Sealed Jars: After you have opened a sealed jar of jam it will keep refrigerated for up to 3 months.
  • Unsealed Jars: Keep jars that did not properly seal in the refrigerator and use them within 3 weeks.
  • Freezing Directions: Place cooled and cleaned sealed jars of blueberry jam in the freezer for up to 1 year. Thaw in the refrigerator before using.
  • Canning Alternative: If you cannot procure the necessary equipment for long-term storage, you can still make this recipe. Use refrigerated jam within 3 weeks or freeze for up to 6 months, then transfer to the refrigerator and use within 3 weeks of thawing.
  • Recipe adapted from Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving
Nutritional values are based on one 8oz jar

Nutrition:

Calories: 728kcal
Sodium: 2mg
Potassium: 71mg
Carbohydrates: 187g
Fiber: 2g
Sugar: 183g
Vitamin A: 45%
Vitamin C: 11%
Calcium: 7%
Iron: 0.3%

Did you make this recipe?

Leave a review below, then snap a picture and tag @thebrowneyedbaker on Instagram so I can see it!

Photography by Dee Frances.