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Low Sugar Blue Berry Jam (or No Sugar!)

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Blueberry jam is an ol’ favorite, but so many jam or jelly recipes contain so much sugar, it’s hard to taste the fruit. With this low sugar blueberry jam recipe, it’s perfectly sweet, sets up nicely, and the flavor is focused on the blueberry! It is one of the prettiest jams I’ve ever made too. 

In this article, you’ll learn how to make your own blueberry jam using mashed fruit, a bit of sugar (you choose the amount), and pectin boiled together to make delicious jam that can be canned in half-pint jars.   

Extended Directions & Expert Tips for Making Blueberry Jam  

How Much Blueberry Jam Does This Recipe Make?  

This recipe makes approximately 5 half-pint jars.

As for fruit, you’ll need about 6-8 cups of whole berries to make enough mashed blueberries.

If you don’t have fresh blueberries, don’t worry! You can also make jam with previously frozen fruit that’s been thawed before cooking. (keep all the juices!)  

Know Your Canner  

Before you start this project, if you’ve never used a water bath canner, please take a moment to read “How to Use a Water Bath Canner.” It’s a great resource that will help you understand how your canner works and guide you through the setup for any canning project, including jams and jellies.  

Pomonas Pectin

This recipe is made with Pomonas Pectin. The nice thing about this Pomonas is you can actually just choose how much sugar or sweetener you want to use.  It gives a range of options.

If you are not familiar with Pomonas Pectin you read more about how it works here. It is a little different than other brands as it includes calcium water, which is needed for this type of pectin to set. NOT hard at all. Just one extra ingredient to add. No biggie.

How to Make Blue Berry Jam

1- Start by preparing calcium water according to instructions on the Pomona’s packaging. (The ratio is usually ½ teaspoon calcium powder to ½ cup water.) I make mine in a small jelly jar.

You won’t use all of the calcium water in this recipe, but luckily, extra calcium water can be stored in the refrigerator for months. I’m not sure exactly how long I’ve stored it but I’m sure 3 or 4 months and it was fine.   

2- Wash, sort, and mash blueberries. Be sure and pick out any stems or other debris.

I suggest just mashing the blueberries with a potato masher. I’ve seen people use an immersion blender but do so with caution. You don’t want to liquefy the blueberries. Just mash it.

3- Put fruit into pan. Add lemon juice and calcium water to the fruit. Mix well. 

Why bottled lemon juice? Bottled lemon juice is a consistent acidity, which makes it safer for canning and better for yielding a consistent result with jam/jelly as well.  

Add pectin and sugar to the fruit

You get to choose how much and what type of sugar or sweetener you want to use.  The Pomonas package gives a range of options. I’ve put the amount I used in the recipe below, but feel free to add a bit more, or less if you like.  My family prefers some sugar. 

Don’t skip the next step of mixing the pectin with your sweetener!  The reason you mix the powdered pectin in with the sweetener first is to avoid clumping.  (ask me how I know!). If you try to add the pectin directly to the fruit with all the liquid… it will clump up.  Mixing it with sugar spreads it out so there is no problem.  This goes for whatever sweetener you choose. Honey works just the same.

4- Mix pectin powder into sugar before you add it to the fruit.  Then add the pectin and sugar to the fruit.

5- Bring fruit to a boil in the pan.

6- Stir hard for 1-2 minutes, to dissolve the pectin and heat the jam. Once jam comes to a full boil, remove it from the heat. You do not need to boil this any longer. Just bring it to a boil and then stop.

Canning Blue Berry Jam

7- Ladle hot jam into hot jar, leaving ¼” headspace. Wipe the rim of the jar clean. This is to avoid any stickiness on the top of the jar from interfering with the seal.

8- Place jar in the canner. 

When all jars are filled and in the hot water bath canner, process according to the instructions below. Remember to adjust for altitude if needed!

What About Using Honey or Other Sweeteners in Blueberry Jam?  

Yes, you can absolutely use ½-1 cup honey (make sure it is room temperature) in place of the sugar in blueberry jam. You can also substitute another liquid sweetener like maple syrup. Stevia is another option. (measure it like sugar, according to the brand you’re using). 

Can you make blueberry jam without sugar?

What makes Pomona’s Pectin so great for jam making is that you don’t have to use any sugar at ALL if you don’t want to! You could entirely omit the extra sweetener and make this sugar free.

For our family, low sugar has worked best. We do like some sweetness, but half the amount compared to a full sugar recipe lets the fruit flavor come through. 

Can I double this Jam recipe?

Remember, jam recipes don’t double well – it’s harder for it to set up properly. If you want to make more, just make two separate batches instead of trying to make one large batch. You’ll be much more successful! 😉  You can even make both batches at the same time and process them together.

Frequently Asked Questions on Blueberry Jam  

How long does blueberry jam last in the fridge?    Once you open it, you can keep the jam in the fridge for a ​​few weeks. (Remember, don’t eat moldy jam!) However, low-sugar jams tend to not last quite as long, because sugar itself can help preserve fruit. You can read more about low-sugar jam’s one problem here. The lower your sugar content the shorter it will last in the fridge.  Why is my homemade blueberry jam runny? How do I fix it? There are several causes for runny jam, including not measuring properly, leaving out an ingredient (lemon juice is important for set) or not cooking long enough. With Pomona’s Pectin, it is pretty reliable.  I’ve not had any issues with runny jam.  That said, if you’ve done everything you can and still can’t get it to set up properly, runny jam is still safe to can. Use it as blueberry syrup instead! YUM.  Does low sugar pectin taste different?  The main difference is that you’ll be able to taste more of the natural flavors of the fruit, instead of just sugar.   With Pomonas in particular some people have noted a difference in texture.  I personally like it.  It’s super spreadable, and it always sets up nice.    Can I add spices/flavorings to blueberry jam? Yes! You can add up to 1 teaspoon of dried herbs or flavorings to a recipe.  I think vanilla blueberry would be great.  Or what about adding a bit of lime juice?   What if I forgot the lemon juice? If you forgot lemon juice. The mixture likely won’t thicken correctly.  The acidity of the lemons helps the jam to gel correctly.  So you might end up with blue berry syrup. 

  

Before You Go…  

Blueberry jam is an old favorite, but I think strawberry jam is even more delicious! Find out how you can make it with this recipe for homemade strawberry jam.

Recipe Card  How to Can Blueberry Jam

Here is a printer friendly recipe. If you skipped here, remember to check above for some tips and tricks to get a nice set on your jam.

Prep Time:1 hour hrProcessing Half-Pints:10 minutes mins

Prepare calcium water according to instructions on the Pomonas package.Wash, sort, and mash blueberries. Put fruit into pan.Add lemon juice and calcium water to the fruit. Mix well.Mix pectin into sugar (Don’t forget this! If you try to mix the pectin directly to the fruit it will clump.) Bring fruit to a boil. Add pectin and sugar to the fruit. Stir hard for 1-2 minutes, to dissolve the pectin and heat the jam. Once jam returns to a full boil, remove it from the heat.Lade hot jam into hot jar, leaving ¼” headspace. Place jar in the canner. When all jars are filled, place lids and process according to the instructions below.Processing with Water Bath CannerAfter all jars are in the canner, lower rack into the water. Bring to a boil.When the water comes to a rolling boil, start your time.Processing TimeProcess half-pints or pints for 10 minutes. Be sure and adjust your time for altitude:0-1,000 ft – 10 minutes 1,001-3,000 ft – 15 minutes 3,001-6,000 ft – 20 minutes 6,001-8,000 ft – 25 minutes 8,001-10,000 ft – 30 minutesProcess for the full time indicated, adjusting the heat as needed to maintain a boil for the entire processing time.Cool Down TimeWhen processing time is completed turn off the heat.Remove the canner lid and wait 5 minutes.Remove your jars. (optionally you can wait another 5 minutes if the contents appear to be bubbling so hard it is coming out of the jars)Put the jars a few inches apart on a thick towel and allow them to cool to room temperature undisturbed. 12 hours is suggested.When the jars are cooled, remove the metal bands, check the seals, wash jars, dry completely, and store in a cool dark place.

Sources  

Pomona’s Pectin – https://pomonapectin.com/blueberry-jam/ 
Safe adaptations – https://drive.google.com/file/d/1MXHx2s-o94XBMteGs_-P8H0tB0ZKnc3Z/view 

Sources  

Pomona’s Pectin – https://pomonapectin.com/blueberry-jam/ 

Safe adaptations – https://drive.google.com/file/d/1MXHx2s-o94XBMteGs_-P8H0tB0ZKnc3Z/view 

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