Every summer, I make my yearly batch of this Blueberry Lemon Jam. Summer wouldn’t feel complete without it because it’s one of my very favorite jams. It’s a sweet jam that’s also a little lemony and is perfect on toast, or as a topping for a cheesecake. (I even once made a couple of hundred tiny jars of this jam as wedding favors, and they were a bit hit!) And it’s not just lemon juice that gives it such a bright lemon flavor. A generous amount of lemon zest goes into every batch because that’s where the real lemon flavor comes from. (And if you love homemade jams and jellies, try my recipe for The Easiest Homemade Apple Butter.)
How to Make Blueberry Jam with Lemon:
Here are a few tips for the way I like to make my Blueberry Lemon Jam:
- Use Pectin. I know some folks prefer to make jam without pectin, but because blueberries are fairly low in naturally occurring pectin, I prefer to hedge my bets and use added pectin to help this jam to set. Plus, jam made without added pectin typically needs to cook longer than those with added pectin, giving the jam a more caramelized flavor. And while these kinds of jams are equally delicious, I like my Blueberry Lemon jam to have a fresh, bright flavor, so I go with the pectin.
- Add enough sugar. I also use a moderate amount of sugar in this jam. There isn’t as much sugar in this recipe as you find in many traditional jam recipes, but it really needs the sugar to balance out the flavor because of the added lemon. Also, low-sugar jams will quickly lose their color and flavor in storage and are more likely to have a reduced shelf life and even develop mold shortly after opening. For this reason, when I want a very low or no-sugar jam, I will often freeze it, or make a small batch that goes straight into the refrigerator.
- Can it or freeze it. Of course, you can freeze this blueberry lemon jam, too – just freeze it in small jars, or look for small containers made especially for freezer jam that you can pick up nearly anywhere that canning supplies are sold. I like to freeze my jam in these containers [affiliate link].
How do I can jam?
Canning jam is easy and safe when you know how to do it properly. When canning jam, you will use a method of canning called water bath canning. It’s a straightforward process and it’s very simple to learn. Here are a few places to go that will give you step-by-step instructions:
- http://nchfp.uga.edu/ – The National Center for Home Food Preservation at The University of Georgia offers a free online course that gives you the basics of at-home food preservation. I have taken this course and I highly recommend it!
- Simply Canning – Simply Canning is a great website for all things canning. Here you can find instructions for water bath canning and also lots of recipes.
- Ball – In case you aren’t already familiar, Ball is the company that makes the famous Ball Mason Jars and also publishes numerous authoritative books on canning. Here you can find a tutorial to get you started with water bath canning.
- And a couple of my favorite canning books to help get you started on your canning journey are The Homestead Canning Cookbook, Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving, and the USDA Complete Guide to Home Canning (These are Amazon affiliate links. If you buy a product through these links, it earns me a small commission, but at no extra cost to you.)
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Blueberry Lemon Jam
- Total Time: 40 minutes
- Yield: approximately 6 half pints 1x
- 8 cups fresh blueberries
- 6 tablespoons low or no-sugar needed powdered pectin (for a stiffer jam, use 9 tablespoons)
- 6 cups sugar
- Juice and zest from 2 lemons
- Pinch of nutmeg
- In a large bowl, mash the berries with a potato masher or wooden spoon, then transfer the crushed berries to a large, heavy-bottomed pot.
- In a second bowl, mix the pectin with ¼ cup of the sugar, setting aside the remaining 5 ¾ cups of sugar. Stir the pectin/sugar mixture into the mashed berries, then add the lemon zest, lemon juice, and nutmeg to the pot.
- Stirring constantly, bring the berry mixture to a full rolling boil that can’t be stirred down.
- Add the remaining sugar. Return mixture to a full rolling boil. Boil hard for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and allow to cool for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally to distribute the fruit. Skim foam if necessary.
- Ladle into HOT jars* (never put hot jam in cold jars), and process in boiling water bath for a full 10 minutes (adjusted for altitude). If not canning, allow jam-filled jars to cool, then store immediately in the refrigerator or freezer. If using plastic freezer containers, follow the manufacturer’s instructions.
- Prep Time: 30 minutes
- Cook Time: 10 minutes
Teresa PhilipsJuly 17, 2021 at 9:29 pm
Such an easy recipe to follow – if the spoon tastes are any indication, this is going to be yummy! Only note I would make is that the yield should be 6 pints as opposed to 6 1/2 pints. We were very pleased to have more so no complaints – think it’s just a typo.
MelissaJuly 21, 2021 at 5:30 pm
Thank you for letting me know! I hope the jam turns out great for you!
MariaJuly 31, 2022 at 7:33 pm
Jam turned out fabulous!
MelissaAugust 2, 2022 at 4:52 pm
That’s wonderful! Thank you for letting me know!
AlexandraJuly 21, 2021 at 10:19 pm
I love jamming, Ive been doing it for years! I ha e only ever done strawberry and mixed berries so I ha r a few questions. Can you make this with full sugar pectin? Also why so much pectin, is it due to the lemon content? Thank you!!
MelissaJuly 28, 2021 at 5:48 pm
Hi Alexandra. You actually can’t use full sugar pectin for this recipe because the recipe needs low sugar pectin to gel. I know it looks like the recipe has a lot of sugar, but it has quite a bit less sugar than a traditional jam. And the reason it needs so much pectin is that blueberries are fairly low in natural pectin. (You may see claims online saying that blueberries are high in pectin, but this isn’t true – you can see a chart by the National Centers for Home Food Preservation for different fruits and their pectin levels here.) And actually, lemons are naturally high in pectin, but the pectin is mainly in the rind. I hope this helps! 🙂
SarahAugust 13, 2021 at 2:24 am
Is one box of low sugar surejell enough? Or are you using more than one box of pectin? Thanks!
MelissaAugust 28, 2021 at 3:46 am
Use one box if you like a softer jam, or one and a half boxes (6 tablespoons) if you prefer a stiffer set jam (this is the amount I typically use.)
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ChelseaMarch 1, 2023 at 7:04 pm
This will be the third year I’ve made this jam. It’s my favorite jam and every jar of it gets used up every year.