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Easy three ingredient blueberry jam without pectin. This perfect small batch blueberry jam with lemon zest.
Ingredients for Blueberry Jam with Lemon
This simple jam recipe without pectin is only 3 ingredients:
- Blueberries - use either fresh or frozen blueberries for an easy jam.
- Sugar - granulated sugar or caster sugar work best in this recipe.
- Lemon juice and zest. Including citrus in jam helps to increase the natural pectin in the mixture. You can opt to make blueberry jam without lemon and use orange instead. Orange blueberry jam will have a subtle change in flavour, but is one of my preferred substitutes.
How to make No Pectin Blueberry Jam
Jam is so simple, but I know it can be nerve wracking. The key is a bit of patience, a deep sided pot and an instant read thermometer.
All you need to do is place all ingredients - the fresh (or defrosted frozen) blueberries, the sugar and the citrus juice - into the pot. Start cooking over a medium heat. Stir occasionally so that all of your fruit is getting coated in the sugar as this dissolves.
Continue heating until the mixture becomes a sauce and begins boiling. Keep an eye on the jam until it reaches about 220°F (105C). This is the traditional temperature for jam setting and should yield a thickened fruit jelly once cool.
How to thicken blueberry jam
So thickening jam is a notorious problem. It can be especially difficult without pectin, which acts as a thickening agent for many typical store bought jams.
This jam, without pectin is on the softer side of setting, but is nonetheless spreadable and delicious!
If you're worried that your jam is not thick enough, the simple answer is cook it longer. Even if you've already removed this from the heat to cool, you can return it to the pan and to the heat. Be careful though, re-heating the jam can quickly lead to over-thick and sticky jam (almost like a candy).
Things to Make with Blueberry Jam
Now that you've got a small batch of this delicious blueberry spread, you might be wondering what to make with blueberry jam?
Well, the options are really limitless - use this jam as a spread for toast, mix in to yoghurt or top some overnight oats.
Some other ideas:
- Blueberry Panna Cotta - simply top a vanilla or honey panna cotta with a healthy spoonful of blueberry jam.
- Use in layering a Strawberry Blueberry Shortcake - my easy trifle style recipe is perfect for using fresh fruits and jams.
- Create an easy Blueberry Buttercream, by mixing a couple of tablespoons into a classic vanilla American Buttercream. Use added powdered sugar and vanilla to adjust the texture.
- Blueberry Cheesecake - blueberry jam makes a fantastic topping to cheesecake, especially a New York style baked cheesecake.
Yes, absolutely! I know that frozen blueberries are often more accessible. In the case of making a blueberry jam, you can easily use frozen if you have these on hand or fresh aren't available. Simply allow the frozen berries to defrost first, before carrying on with the recipe as usual.
No, if you don't like lemon or don't have one available, you can substitute with other citrus fruits for a similar effect. I'd recommend blueberry jam with orange as the best alternative.
No! You don't have to use pectin for blueberry jam. While pectin is a useful agent for helping jam to set more firmly, this recipe will produce a quick small batch of blueberry jam, with no added pectin. The result is a deep purple jam, slightly zesty from the lemon.
If you like this recipe, try some other small batch spreads:
Small Batch Blueberry Jam [no pectin]
- 2 cups fresh blueberries or frozen, defrosted
- 1¼ cup granulated sugar or caster sugar
- 1 lemon juiced and zested (zest is optional)
- Place the blueberries, sugar, lemon juice and zest (if using) in a deep sided saucepan over a medium heat.
- Stirring occasionally, heat the mixture until the sugar dissolves and the blueberries begin to release their juices.
- Allow the mixture to boil and continue cooking until it reaches 220°F (105C) on an instant read thermometer.
- Remove from the heat and pour into a large shallow heat proof dish to cool quickly. Or pour directly into a bowl or jar. Allow to cool completely and store in the refrigerator.