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Easy Mixed Berry Jam Without Pectin

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A fantastically easy mixed berry jam recipe celebrating the bounties of summer! This is a small batch recipe, meaning you don’t need to worry about cleaning jars, learning how to use a water bath canner, or sealing. This jam is made without added pectin and requires way less sugar than traditional jam.

Easy Mixed Berry Jam-with a combination of strawberries, blueberries, blackberries and raspberries.

The best part about this recipe is you can use fresh fruit or frozen, whatever you have on hand! Making your own homemade jam has never been simpler, and you’ll never go back to the grocery store stuff again!

What’s in this jam?

This jam recipe uses a simple combination of berries like strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, and blackberries. Only one cup of sugar is added for extra sweetness and a touch of lemon juice for brightness. That’s it!

How to make homemade Mixed Berry Jam:

Makes 2 3/4 cups of jam

Ingredients:

  • 16 oz of strawberries (about 3 cups coarsely chopped)
  • 10 oz of blueberries (2 cups or a pint)
  • 6 oz of blackberries (1 heaped cup)
  • 6 oz of raspberries (1 heaped cup)
  • 1 cup of granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup + 1 tablespoon of fresh lemon juice

Instructions:

If using fresh berries, wash and dry the fruit thoroughly and cut the strawberries in half.

In a medium sized saucepan (2 quarts or larger), add the berries, sugar, and 1/4 cup of the lemon juice.

Mixed berries in a sauce pot, with sugar, and lemon juice

Heat the ingredients over medium high heat until the juices have seeped out and the mixture starts simmering, about 3-5 minutes.

Continue to simmer the berries for about 15 minutes until the fruit softens. Using a spatula or wooden spoon stir the mixture periodically.

Once the fruit has softened, use a potato masher or a fork to start mashing the berries. Mash until no whole fruit remains, but don’t worry about getting everything perfectly smooth at this point.

Mash the softened fruit with a potato masher

Continue to simmer the jam over medium-high heat for another 35-45 minutes, stirring often to prevent scorching. Turn down the heat to medium if the mixture bubbles too furiously.

During the last few minutes of cooking, the jam will start to sputter a lot, and it’s super hot, so be careful!

Important: Stirring will agitate the splatter during the final minutes of cooking, so to keep yourself from getting splashed, remove the pot from the heat, stir the jam, and then return the pot to the burner.

The jam is ready when the mixture looks like it’s “breathing” and the bubbles are smaller and thickened.

The mixture should be as thick as loose pudding and a spoon should leave visible drag marks when moved through the jam. There should be no visible fruit juice, and the foam will have subsided. The mixture will have reduced to 2 1/2-2/34 cups as well.

A pot of finished jam, thickened.
Mixed berry jam after cooking.

Remove the jam from the heat and stir in 1 tablespoon of lemon juice. Allow the jam to cool at room temperature.

Once the jam has cooled, transfer to a clean jar or container, pop a lid on it, and store in the fridge for up to a month or in the freezer for even longer!

Note: The jam will continue to thicken as it cools.

Can I use frozen berries to make jam?

Yes! Prepare the jam as stated above, just swap any of the fresh fruit out for frozen berries–or even do a combo of both fresh and frozen! You don’t even need to bother thawing the berries before cooking.

Keep in mind when you’re using frozen berries, it might take a couple of extra minutes for the mixture to come up to a simmer.

This is a great way to use up frozen berries, and makes a delicious jam for any time of year!

Storing your finished jam

A jar of mixed berry jam with toast and fresh berries

Hooray! You made your own jam!

All you need to do is divide the jam between some clean jars or airtight containers and store them in the fridge. This stuff will keep up to a month in the fridge!

You can also store your jam long term by popping it into a freezer safe container and keeping it in the freezer for several months! Make sure to leave about 1″ of head space between the jam and the lid to allow for expansion.

Serving suggestions:

This jam is best slathered on thick sliced homemade bread, a buttery biscuit, or toasted english muffins.

For a fancy brunch party, serve this jam alongside some vanilla scones, lemon poppy seed scones, or a warm buttery croissant to impress your guests.

You can also use your jam as a topping for pancakes, waffles, or even grilled muffins.

And don’t think this jam is solely for breakfast foods! Serve your mixed berry jam as a condiment for herby grilled pork or savory roasted chicken for a truly delightful experience.

Slices of toast spread with homemade mixed berry jam

Can you make jam without pectin?

Yes! For this jam recipe instead of using powdered pectin, we use the natural pectin found in the mixed berries themselves and the pectin found in lemon juice.

To make sure our jam is nice and thick and spreadable, a long cooking period cooks out the excess moisture and leaves us with a very concentrated and thick berry spread.

One bonus of leaving out the powdered pectin is that we can reduce the amount of sugar that would normally be added, letting the natural sweetness of the berries do most of the work. Pectin needs sugar and acid in order to thicken, so that’s why you’ll see A TON of sugar listed in most homemade jam recipes.

Why is my jam runny?

In the case of this recipe, the jam simply wasn’t cooked long enough. Since we’re not adding pectin, we need to cook most of the moisture out of the fruit, reducing it to a paste. If you find your jam is still a little runny, pop it back into a pot, and bring it to a simmer. Once bubbling, let it cook down for 10-15 minutes.

How to know when the jam is ready:

Finished mixed berry jam is finished when it clinging easily to a spoon.
  • The bubbles will get thicker and more syrupy.
  • You’ll see a lot of splatter and sputter.
  • No more foam will gather on the surface.
  • The middle of the mixture will look like it’s “breathing” or puffing.
  • After dipping a spoon into the mixture, the jam should cling to it easily and coat the spoon.
  • You’ll notice the berry mixture has reduced significantly (it should be between 2 1/2 cups to 2 3/4 cups at the end of cooking).
  • Dip a spoon into the mixture and allow the jam to run off. If the mixture “plops” off the spoon and back into the pan, it’s ready. It should not run easily off the spoon and it should not melt back into the mixture instantly

The foolproof way to test if your jam is done cooking:

Place a small dish or small plate in the freezer approximately 5-10 minutes before the jam finishes cooking. Once the dish is very cold, spoon a little of the hot berry jam into the dish and pop it in the freezer. Let it cool completely, but not freeze, and then check the consistency. If it doesn’t run out of the dish when tipped out, or if it can be scooped up with a butter knife, it’s ready! If the jam is too runny, keep it simmering for another 10 minutes and check again.

Tips and notes:

  • If using fresh fruit, make sure to use ripe berries that are in season. Using out of season fruit will make the jam taste flavorless. If you want to make this jam in the winter, use frozen mixed berries instead.
  • Use fresh lemon juice, it has a brighter flavor.
  • Be careful towards the end of cooking, the jam will splatter. It’s important to stir the jam so it doesn’t scorch at this point, since most of the fruit juice will have been cooked out. However, stirring seems to agitate splatter, and this jam is HOT. To prevent getting stung by hot jam, remove the pot from the burner, give the mixture a stir and return the pot to the burner to finish cooking.
  • If you plan on freezing the jam in a glass jar, leave about 1″ of headspace between the lid and the jam. If you don’t, the jar will explode in the freezer. You may need to separate your jam between two pint jars or three half pint jars.
  • The mixture will be as thick as loose pudding when it’s hot and will thicken up to a proper spreadable jam once it’s cooled.

More Recipes Celebrating Summer Fruit:

Mixed Berry Muffins

Buttermilk Blueberry Muffins

Blueberry Banana Oatmeal Muffins

The Best Blueberry Pie Cookies

Blackberry Lemon Cake

Mini Strawberry Cheesecakes

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Finished mixed berry jam on a spoon

Homemade Mixed Berry Jam (Low Sugar and Without Pectin)

Yield: 2 3/4 Cups
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes

Homemade Mixed Berry Jam is an easy way to enjoy the taste of summer everyday! This recipe is made with less sugar than traditional jam and without adding pectin.

Ingredients

  • 16 oz of strawberries (about 3 cups coarsely chopped)
  • 10 oz of blueberries (2 cups/pint)
  • 6 oz of blackberries (1 heaped cup)
  • 6 oz of raspberries (1 heaped cup)
  • 1 cup of granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup + 1 tablespoon of fresh lemon juice

Instructions

  1. Wash and dry the fruit thoroughly and cut the strawberries in half (skip if using frozen berries).
  2. In a medium sized saucepan (2 quarts or larger), add the berries, sugar, and 1/4 cup of the lemon juice.
  3. Heat the ingredients over medium high heat until the juices have seeped out and the mixture starts simmering, about 3-5 minutes.
  4. Continue to simmer the berries for about 15 minutes until the fruit softens. Using a spatula or wooden spoon, stir the mixture periodically.
  5. Once the fruit has softened, use a potato masher or a fork to start mashing the berries. Mash until no whole fruit remains, but don't worry about getting everything perfectly smooth at this point.
  6. Continue to simmer the jam over medium-high heat for another 35-45 minutes, stirring often to prevent scorching. Turn down the heat to medium if the mixture bubbles too furiously.
  7. During the last few minutes of cooking, the jam will start to sputter a lot, and it's super hot, so be careful! Important: Stirring will agitate the splatter during the final minutes of cooking, so to keep yourself from getting splashed, remove the pot from the heat, stir the jam, and then return the pot to the burner.
  8. The jam is ready when the mixture looks like it's "breathing" and the bubbles are smaller and thickened.
  9. The mixture should be as thick as loose pudding and a spoon should leave visible drag marks when moved through the jam. There should be no visible fruit juice, and the foam will have subsided. The mixture will have reduced to 2 1/2-2/34 cups as well.
  10. Remove the jam from the heat and stir in 1 tablespoon of lemon juice. Allow the jam to cool at room temperature.
  11. Once the jam has cooled, transfer to a clean jar or container, pop a lid on it, and store it in the fridge for up to a month or in the freezer for even longer!

Notes

*The jam will continue to thicken as it cools

**Best way to test if your jam is done cooking: Place a small dish or small plate in the freezer approximately 5-10 minutes before the jam finishes cooking. Once the dish is very cold, spoon a little of the hot berry jam into the dish and pop it in the freezer. Let it cool completely, but not freeze, and then check the consistency. If it doesn't run out of the dish when tipped out, or if it can be scooped up with a butter knife, it's ready! If the jam is too runny, keep it simmering for another 10 minutes and check again.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 44 Serving Size: 1 tablespoon
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 28Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 0mgCarbohydrates: 7gFiber: 1gSugar: 6gProtein: 0g

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10 Comments

        1. I have not tried it! But it should work with standard canning instructions for jam. Just test the ph to make sure the jam has enough sugar and acid for canning. Since there’s no pectin, there is a lot less sugar than typical jam recipes. Let me know if it works!

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