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Canning as a way of preserving has become second nature to me. When you do something with enough repetition, it seems to happen without much thought.
It feels like I grew up in the kitchen, and during the summer months, Grandma and Mom were always preserving something. I would sit at the table and cut up beans, peel peaches, or shell peas. The whole time, I was watching and listening to Grandma and soon enough, I too knew what to do.
If canning is a new venture, jam-making is the best way to start. It’s quick, easy, and doesn’t require a large batch to make it worth the effort!
How do you make jam?
There are three main types of fruit jams: butter, jelly, and preserves.
- Butter is fruit cooked with sugar, then passed through a food mill (affiliate link) for a thick, smooth spread.
- Jelly is fruit juice cooked with sugar and boiled until thick.
- Preserves is fruit cooked with sugar, but most of the fruit is left in pieces This way, the resulting jam has texture and real pieces of fruit to spread.
I prefer to make preserves because of how easy it is. Plus, I like to see the pieces of fruit I’m enjoying!
Why do you water bath jam?
I preserve all of my jams by canning them in a water bath. After cooking the jam to the desired thickness, I fill sterilized jars with the jam and top the jars with lids and rings.
Before our grandmas had the USDA to check all the canning recipes, the heat from the cooked jam would seal the lid without a water bath.
Nowadays, we know that a quick water bath is best for safety reasons. During the water bath, any excess air leaves the jar, creating an airtight seal, trapping out any bacteria. This makes the jars of jam shelf-stable for at least a year!
Watch how to make this blueberry jam
How to Can Blueberry Jam
- 3 ¾ lbs blueberries
- 2 ¾ cups sugar
- 2 tsp lemon zest
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- Before beginning, make sure to have all of the water bath equipment ready, as well as the sterilized jars, lids, and rings.
- In a large, heavy-bottomed kettle or Dutch oven, combine the blueberries, sugar, lemon zest, lemon juice, and vinegar.
- Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Once boiling, continue to boil until a rolling boil is achieved, 8-12 minutes. A rolling boil means that as the mixture is stirred, it continues to boil.
- Remove the mixture from the heat and pour it into a sieve fitted over a bowl. Drain the blueberries from the juice and set the blueberries aside. Pour the juice back into the kettle, place it back on the stove, and bring it back to a boil.
- Continue to boil until the mixture reaches 221°F. This can take more time than one would think as the mixture must cook off excess water in order for the temperature to increase. Once the mixture reaches the correct temperature, add the blueberries back in. Bring to a boil and cook for an additional 2 minutes.
- Remove the jam from the heat and pour into prepared jars, leaving ¼-inch of headspace. Wipe off the jar rims with a clean cloth and fit with lids and rings tightened to fingertip strength. Boil in a water bath for 10 minutes. Remove from the water bath and cool on a rack for 12-24 hours before removing rings and storing.
Hay Kaleb, Just use ur recipe for the blueberry jam, except I used blackberries . Taste wonderful by the way!!!! I reduced recipe , got 4 pint jars of jam. Has been a while since I’ve done any canning, oh the memories this brought back, of my childhood on the farm in Ohio. Luv your blog, Sincerely Karen G.
About how many pint jars does this recipe fill?
I don’t have a scale but want to make this recipe, about how many cups of blueberries would that be?
Love your videos!!
I made this Blueberry Jam yesterday. Followed the recipe exactly. The color, the thickness, the flavor is delicious. However, I do find it a hair too sweet for my taste. Is it possible to reduce the amount of sugar?
Wow, wow, wow! This recipe is amazingly simply and yields THE BEST blueberry jam! I am so impressed ease of the recipe and it honestly makes the most delicious jam. I could not believe how ‘thick’ the jam became without even using pectin. Thank you SO very much for wonderful recipe and video tutorial!
OMG you are such a sweet person with so much knowledge. I love your recipe, the blueberry jam, actually it’s in the making right now, and I will be sharing on Instagram the final picture. I used pure & brown cane sugar and kept everything else the same like in your recipe. I love you passion for making the world a better place. Thank you <3
Can’t wait to try this!
This was delicious! I canned a few pints and gave some away for Christmas presents along with some homemade bread. Took FOREVER to get the temp up to 221 degrees, but the results were worth it. Thanks for the recipe.
I am going to make blue berry jam tomorrow using this recipe.
Can you pressure can blueberry preserves? Will they last longer? If so, how do you pressure can them please? Thank you!
Great directions and video! I used some raspberries and blackberries along with my “I have almost enough” blueberries. Because I taste tested the jam that didn’t fit in my jars, I can say the balsamic vinegar added just the right touch. Some jams can be too sweet and the balsamic vinegar fixed that problem. Thank you!!
Wow wow wow! I was looking for a lower sugar blueberry jam recipe and tried yours! When I read basalmic vinegar I thought what?!?!? But I do love basalmic so I have to a try! I will never make any other recipe again. THIS IS PERFECTION!
I made your blueberry jam last night and it was perfect!!! My first time canning and it couldn’t have turned out any better!!! ThNk you!
This was absolutely the best blueberry jam I have ever made. I did a lot of searching around before I started and the logic behind this makes so much sense. The vinegar (acid) is important as is the straining of the berries to cook down the jam was brilliant! Thank you so much for sharing it.
I am going to try this recipe. Thank you for all your recipes and gardening knowledge!
The texture came out nice. The jam is very tasty, but unfortunately, the taste is mostly lemon. Not what I was hoping for in a blueberry jam.
If I make this again, I’ll definitely be leaving out the lemon zest at least. Maybe some of the lemon juice.
Thank you for the great blueberry jam recipe! This was my first time making jam. I used fresh blueberries that I picked and followed the recipe exactly. The jam is absolutely delicious!
Thank you again,