Blueberry Jam with Mint
Made with just 4 ingredients, this Homemade Blueberry Jam with Mint is dark and jammy-fruity, with a subtly cool flavor from fresh mint. Enjoy on waffles, drizzled over ice cream, or on a cracker with goat cheese. So delish!
Homemade Blueberry Jam Recipe
Summer blueberries are my jam. Literally!
This Blueberry Jam with Mint is intensely dark in color and gloriously jammy-fruity, plus subtly cool from fresh mint. Intriguing, really, for a jam.
From my first taste, I knew I wanted to spoon it onto a salty cracker smothered in tangy goat cheese. And to this day, this is how my family prefers to eat it.
This gorgeous jam is delicious morning, noon, or night. Spooned onto waffles, pancakes, or toast. Layered into a grilled turkey and cheese sandwich. Or spread on crackers, like I mentioned, for a beautiful little appetizer before dinner. It also makes a super lovely gift!
What You’ll Need
Here are the 4 ingredients you’ll need to make your homemade blueberry jam.
- Ripe blueberries – Use blueberries that are firm and sweet and perfectly ripe. Do not use fruit that is not yet ripe or overly ripe.
- Fresh mint – I love the combination of mint and blueberry but if you’re not a mint person, you can omit it from the recipe.
- White cane sugar – Makes the jam nice and sweet.
- Lemon Juice – Reacts with the sugar to help thicken the jam.
Do I Need to Use Pectin in Blueberry Jam?
To use or not to use pectin in blueberry jam is a bit of an ongoing debate. As you can see, this recipe does not include it.
While pectin can reduce the cooking time and help to thicken the jam, blueberries naturally contain enough pectin that it’s possible to make blueberry jam without it.
This recipe also contains lemon juice, which helps to lower the jam mixture’s pH and react with the natural pectin in the blueberries to help thicken the jam.
How to Make Blueberry Jam
Making blueberry jam does require some time and attention to details, as any canning recipe does, but once you get the basics down, it’s actually very easy.
- Sterilize the jars & clean/heat the lids. Wash and boil the canning jars. After 10 minutes at a full boil, remove, drain, and set aside to dry. Add the lids to a small pan with water and bring to a simmer; keep hot.
- Cook the jam. Combine the blueberries, sugar, and lemon juice in a pan. Stir constantly over medium heat until the juice runs from the berries. Increase heat to high, stirring frequently, until the mixture comes to a boil. Cook for 10 to 15 minutes. Check for doneness after 10 minutes. (See notes below.)
- Steep the mint. Turn off the heat but do not stir. Skim any foam off the top of the jam. Add the mint sprigs and steep for 2 minutes. Taste test and leave the mint for a bit longer or remove it, depending on your desire of mint flavor.
- Transfer jam to the jars. Pour the jam into the jars, leaving 1/4″ inch at the top to allow for expansion. Wipe the rims clean then add a hot lid to each jar. Twist on rings, just so they’re finger-tight.
- Boil the jars. Place the jars in the stock pot and cover with at least 1″ of water. Boil for 10 minutes.
- Allow to cool. Transfer the jars to a folded towel on the counter. Leave 1″ of space between the jars. Do not disturb for 12 hours.
- Verify the lids have sealed. After 12 hours, make sure the lids have sealed. The lids should be concave (curving slightly down in the center) and not push down any further when you press your finger in the center. Unsealed jars need to be kept in the fridge. The rest can be stored in a cool, dark place.
How to Tell When Jam is Done
A critical part of this recipe is making sure that the blueberry jam is ready before removing it from the heat.
To do this, transfer a half teaspoonful to a frozen spoon. Do not add more as that can affect the results.
Freeze for 3 minutes. Feel the underside of the spoon. If it’s still warm, return to the freezer as it should be neither warm nor cold.
Once it’s a neutral temperature, tilt the spoon vertically. If the jam runs ever so very slightly, it’s ready. if it runs more freely, continue cooking for another minute and test again.
If you prefer very thick jam, wait until it doesn’t run at all.
Tips for Success
Here are a few important tips for making the best homemade jam.
- Sterilize everything. As tedious as this sounds, it’s very important to sterilize the jars and lids. Dirty jars, or ones that are not correctly cleaned, can infect the food inside and cause it to spoil.
- Do not boil the lids. While the jars need to be boiled, the lids should be brought to a simmer only. Higher water temperature, such as boiling, can harm the rubber sealing rings on the lids. This can cause the jars to not seal properly and for the food to become contaminated.
- Stir frequently. When the jam is cooking, it needs to be stirred very frequently to prevent burning or sticking to the pan. If you notice it sticking to the pan, then reduce the heat just a bit.
- Can I use frozen berries? Making jam with frozen blueberries is not my favorite but it can be done. Just add frozen berries to the sugar mixture. In my opinion, you do miss out on some of the fresh, bright blueberry flavor this way.
What to Serve It With
As I mentioned right away, our family is very partial to enjoying this blueberry jam over goat cheese on a salty cracker. However, there are so many other ways to serve it, for breakfast, snacks, and dessert.
A few of our other favorite ways to enjoy this are spooned over yogurt or vanilla bean ice cream, spread on steaming yeasted waffles, pancakes, or popovers, and, of course, on toast or a biscuit in the morning.
Trust me, it’s all good!
How Long Will This Last?
Properly sealed jars of homemade jam will keep well for up to 1 year in a cool, dark place. Your pantry shelf tends to be the perfect place to store jams and other canned goods, though many people keep them in their basement or garage.
Once you open a jar of blueberry jam, you’ll need to keep it in the refrigerator. If the lid didn’t seal on a jar, it also needs to be kept in the fridge. I recommend using the jam within 3 months once placed in the fridge.
More Blueberry Recipes:
- Fluffy Whipped Blueberry Butter
- Blueberry Oat Crumble Bars
- Blueberry White Chocolate Cheesecake Bars
- Blueberry Tea Cake
- Blueberry Margarita
- Blueberry Basil Lemonade
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- 3 (8″) sprigs fresh mint
- 42 ounces (2 pounds + 10 ounces) fresh, ripe blueberries
- 26 ounces (1 pound + 10 ounces) white cane sugar
- 6 ounces strained freshly squeezed lemon juice
- Prep: Place a saucer with 5 metal teaspoons in a flat place in your freezer for testing the jam later. Rinse the mint well under cold water, pat it dry between two paper towels, and set aside.
- Sterilize the jars: Gather five 8-ounce jars and a stock pot that will allow water to cover the jar tops by 1″. Wash the jars and set them in your pot, right-side-up. Fill pot with enough hot water to cover the jars by 1″. Bring to a full rolling boil over high heat (covering the pot with the lid will speed up the boiling) and then boil for 10 minutes, to sterilize the jars. Turn off heat and remove the jars using jar lifter tongs, drain well, and set aside to dry on a clean surface.
- Clean the lids: Place jar lids in a small pan with enough water to just cover them. Bring to a slow simmer and keep hot until you fill the jars with jam. (Do not boil the lids, as the higher water temperature can harm the rubber sealing rings on the lids.)
- Cook the jam: Combine the blueberries, sugar, and lemon juice in a wide nonreactive pan (do not use an aluminum pan) with an 11- or 12-quart capacity. Place the pan over medium-high heat and cook, stirring constantly, until the juice begins to run from the berries. When the juice starts flowing freely, increase the heat to high. Continue to cook, stirring very frequently, until the mixture boils. Once it reaches a boil, cook it for 10 to 15 minutes more, stirring frequently, and decreasing the heat slightly if the jam starts to stick. Begin testing for doneness after 10 minutes.
- Test jam for doneness: To test for doneness, carefully transfer a scant half-teaspoonful of jam to one of your frozen spoons. Be careful to not add too much, as that will alter your doneness results – just a half of a teaspoon is all you want! Place the spoon back in the freezer for 3 minutes, then remove again and carefully feel the underside of the spoon. It should be neither warm nor cold. If it is still warm, return it to the freezer for a moment. Tilt the spoon vertically to see whether the jam runs. If it runs ever so very slightly, this is when I say it's ready. If it runs more freely, cook the jam for another minute, stirring, and test again as needed. If you like your jam very thick, wait until it doesn't run at all.
- Skim jam & steep the mint: Turn off the heat and do not stir. Using a stainless steel spoon, skim any foam from the surface the jam. Place the mint sprigs into the jam and let steep for a minute or two off the heat. Taste carefully and either remove the mint or leave it in for another minute or two. Keep in mind that its flavor will be slightly milder once the jam has cooled. When the flavor is strong enough for you, use tongs to discard the mint.
- Add jam to jars: Pour the jam into your sterilized jars, leaving 1/4″ headspace at the top - I like to use a ladle and wide-mouth funnel for filling the jars. Use a damp paper towel to wipe the rims of the jars clean, then put a hot flat lid and a ring on each jar, adjusting the ring so that it’s just finger-tight.
- Return the filled jars to the stock pot, making sure the water covers the jars by at least 1″. Bring to a boil. I put the lid on the pot to speed up the boiling, then remove the lid once the boiling starts. Then boil for 10 minutes to process.
- Remove the jars to a folded towel on the counter, with at least 1″ of space between jars. Do not disturb for 12 hours. As the jam cools, you may hear a few little pops as the lids seal. Before putting your jam away, be sure to feel the top of each lid to verify that it has sealed. It should be curving in very slightly in the middle and not be able to be pushed down any further. If any jars have not sealed, keep them in the refrigerator. Label the sealed jars and store for up to 1 year in a cool dark place. After you open a jar, keep it in the refrigerator.
Special equipment needed: five 8-ounce glass jars with lids and rims, a large stock pot, and jar lifter tongs. A ladle and wide-mouth funnel are also helpful, but not required.
Adapted from The Blue Chair Jam Cookbook by Rachel Saunders
Nutrition Information:Yield: 40 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 36Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 1mgCarbohydrates: 9gFiber: 0gSugar: 9gProtein: 0g
Nutrition information is automatically calculated by Nutritionix. I am not a nutritionist and cannot guarantee accuracy. If your health depends on nutrition information, please calculate again with your own favorite calculator.
This post was originally published in 2011 and updated in 2020.