This blueberry jam recipe is incredibly good, friends. Made with both lemon juice and a touch of balsamic to balance and brighten the mellow berries, it also gets a creamy vanilla flavor from half a vanilla bean or some vanilla extract.

Made in the French style without any pectin, this jam is beautifully spreadable and bursting with blueberry flavor.

You may also want to check out my strawberry balsamic preserves recipe. And for ease of browsing, you can find all my condiment and jam recipes in one place. Let’s jump into it.

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Two jars of blueberry jam with the lids off. There are loose blueberries, a container of blueberries, a vanilla bean, and a lemon in the background.

Blueberry Jam, At a Glance

✅Skill Level: Beginner
✅Skills: Boiling Fruit and Sugar, Patience
✅Type: French-Style Jam
✅Number of Ingredients: 5
✅Prep Time: 10 minutes
✅Cook Time: 30 minutes
✅Yield: A generous 2 cups

Related Recipes: French-Style Strawberry Preserves, Mixed Berry Jam

Jump Straight to the Recipe

Tasting Notes

A high-angle shot into the open top of an almost-full jar of blueberry jam with a small wooden spoon sticking out of it.

In developing this blueberry jam recipe, I knew I wanted to use vanilla bean in it. I also was looking for an acidic element to use in conjunction with lemon juice.

When I read that balsamic vinegar contains the polyphenol vanillin, one of the main flavor compounds of vanilla, I knew I’d found my answer.

The resulting jam is brightly blueberry balanced by a well-rounded acidity and an almost creamy vanilla finish.

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How to Make French-Style Blueberry Jam

The traditional French style of making jam takes a couple of days, but nothing is difficult. Most of the time is spent doing whatever you want while your berries and sugar hang out in the fridge.

If you’re familiar with the process, feel free to jump straight to the recipe. Otherwise, I’ll go over ingredients, substitutions, and walk you through the procedure, step by step.

Ingredients and Substitutions

Labeled images of the ingredients for making blueberry jam arranged on a white background: blueberries (fresh or frozen), sugar, lemon juice, balsamic vinegar, and vanilla beans or extract.
  • Blueberries: Fresh or frozen will work equally well
  • Sugar: Provides sweetness as well as the jammy consistency when cooked
  • Lemon juice: Brightens the flavor and lowers the pH of the jam (makes it more acidic). I prefer freshly squeezed lemon juice. You could also substitute lime juice
  • Balsamic vinegar: Provides a bit of additional sugar as well as acidity. In addition, balsamic contains vanillin which is also present in blueberries and vanilla. This makes for a really harmonious flavor pairing
  • Vanilla bean: I use half a Mexican vanilla bean, split and scraped. You can use whatever vanilla bean you like, and if you don’t have vanilla beans, use a little vanilla extract after the jam comes off the heat
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07/19/2024 02:19 am GMT

Procedure

As I said, this is a multi-day (but easy) process. If you’re already familiar, just jump down to the recipe.

For those of you who’ve never made a French-style jam before, let me break it down by day:

Day One

A collage of 4 images showing the beginning stages of making blueberry jam. 1)Blueberries, sugar, lemon juice, and a split vanilla bean in a medium-sized metal pan. 2)A measuring spoon pouring some balsamic vinegar into the pan on top of the berries. 3)Smashing the berries together with the sugar and other ingredients with a meat chopper. 4)The pan of partially chopped berries in pale purple juices.
  1. Place fruit, sugar, lemon juice, and the half vanilla bean (split and scraped) into a large, heavy-bottomed pan.
  2. Add the balsamic vinegar.
  3. -4. Use a potato masher or similar to mash up the berries somewhat to help release the juices. Cover, and refrigerate until the next day.

Jenni Says: If using vanilla extract, wait to add that at the end of cooking.

Day Two

A collage of 3 images and 1 block of text. 1)Mashed berries in deep purple juice in a large saucepan. 2)The berries getting more completely mashed with a potato masher right in the pan. 3)The berries and juices bubbling on the stove. 4)Text reading: "1)Place the pan over low heat. 2)Mash the berries more completely as they heat. 3)Bring to a high simmer."
  1. Heat the pan over low heat for about an hour. Then turn the heat up to medium and bring it just to a high simmer.
  2. Mash the fruit more thoroughly as it cooks and softens.
  3. The mixture will be steaming and little bubbles will gently break the surface in a few places.

Remove from heat, allow to cool for an hour or so, cover, and refrigerate until the next day.

Day Three

If you’ve made the strawberry preserves, you know that the first thing that happens on Day 3 is to strain the fruit out, but since we’ve already mashed out blueberries, it’s much easier to just cook everything together.

A collage of 4 images. The first three show jam cooking on the stove and a blue, instant-read thermometer reading 219F, 220F, and 223F. The fourth image shows three jars of jam upside down on a countertop.

Put your pan over medium to medium-high heat and cook, stirring frequently, until the fruit comes up to 223F/106C.

Use tongs to pull out the spent vanilla bean, or if using extract, stir that in off the heat.

Ladle into clean jars and refrigerate for up to 3 months.

If you don’t have a ladle, fill jars with a large spoon or a metal measuring cup. Whether or not you’re quick canning the jam, be sure to wipe the rims to make sure no jam is stuck that might ruin a good seal.

Simplifying the Process

If you are short on time, you can make the jam in one day. Rather than doing each step on a different day, do them all on the same day.

Try to give it at least 4 hours between steps, but even if you just go from one “day” to the next, your jam will still be very tasty.

A good schedule to make the jam all on one day would be Day One at 9am, Day Two at 1pm, and Day Three at 5pm.

Recipe Variations (Make It Fancy)

This jam is already pretty fancy as it is. But I’ll tell you what, if you want to fancy up a jam with some Bourbon, Pook’s Pantry has the blueberry bourbon jam for you.

Hers does contain pectin. So if you prefer a French-style jam, check out the amount of Bourbon she uses and apply it to this recipe.

A Little Blueberry Jam Q & A

A jar lid with a spoon with blueberry jam on it. There's also a vanilla bean, several fresh blueberries, and a small lemon in the frame.
Do I have to use the balsamic?

No, you don’t. You can just go ahead and use 2 ounces of freshly squeezed lemon juice.

Can I can this jam?

I am not a canner, so my word is not gospel here, but I “quick can” mine by putting the hot jam in clean jars, adding the “sticky lid” and ring, and turning the jars upside down. When cool, I turn them right side up, and they seal. NOTE this method is not USDA approved as being safe, although this is the way most folks who make jam in France do their canning.

How long will this keep?

Your jam will keep well in the fridge for up to 3 months.

Questions?

If you have any questions about this post or recipe, I am happy to help.

Simply leave a comment here and I will get back to you soon. I also invite you to ask question in my Facebook group, Fearless Kitchen Fun.

If your question is more pressing, please feel free to email me. I should be back in touch ASAP, as long as I’m not asleep.

A Note About Measurements

My recipes are almost all written by weight, including liquids, unless otherwise specified.

For accuracy and consistency of results, I encourage you to buy–and use–a kitchen scale.

I promise that baking and cleanup will be so much quicker and easier.

This is the scale that I recommend for home use. I have owned and used one for years.

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07/19/2024 12:57 am GMT

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A square image shot down into an open jam jar. The jam is a brilliant purple-blue color, and there's a small wooden spoon sticking out of the jar.

Blueberry Jam Recipe

Jennifer Field
This blueberry jam is made using the French method, contains no pectin, and yields a bright blueberry flavor tempered by mellow vanilla.
No ratings yet
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Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Combined Fridge Time 2 days
Course Breakfast
Cuisine French
Servings 16
Calories 145 kcal

Ingredients

  • 2 dry pints blueberries 20 oz/567 grams/roughly 4 cups
  • 16 oz sugar 454 grams/2 slightly generous cups
  • 1.5 oz lemon juice freshly squeezed, 43 grams/3 Tablespoons
  • 0.5 oz balsamic vinegar 14 ml/1 Tablespoon
  • ½ vanilla bean split and scraped, substitute 1 teaspoon vanilla extract at the end of cooking

Instructions
 

Day One

  • In a medium-sized, heavy-bottomed saucepan, combine blueberries, sugar, lemon juice, balsamic vinegar, and 1/2 vanilla bean (if using).
  • Use a potato masher or similar to partially crush to berries to start releasing some juices.
  • Cover, and put the pan in the fridge overnight.
    A collage of 4 images showing the beginning stages of making blueberry jam. 1)Blueberries, sugar, lemon juice, and a split vanilla bean in a medium-sized metal pan. 2)A measuring spoon pouring some balsamic vinegar into the pan on top of the berries. 3)Smashing the berries together with the sugar and other ingredients with a meat chopper. 4)The pan of partially chopped berries in pale purple juices.

Day Two

  • Take the cover off the pot, and put it over low heat for about an hour to gradually heat it until it's nice and hot.
  • As the berries soften, mash more completely with your mashing implement of choice.
  • Bring the mixture to a high simmer. Remove from heat and cool to warm.
  • Cover, and put the pan in the fridge overnight.
    A collage of 3 images and 1 block of text. 1)Mashed berries in deep purple juice in a large saucepan. 2)The berries getting more completely mashed with a potato masher right in the pan. 3)The berries and juices bubbling on the stove. 4)Text reading: "1)Place the pan over low heat. 2)Mash the berries more completely as they heat. 3)Bring to a high simmer."

Day Three

  • Uncover, and heat over medium to medium-high heat, stirring frequently, until the mixture comes to a boil.
  • Boil, stirring almost constantly, and bring the mixture to 223F/106C.
  • Remove from heat, fish out the vanilla bean or stir in 1 teaspoon of good quality vanilla.
  • Ladle into clean jars, put the lids on, and invert until room temperature. Flip jars right-side-up again. If you don't want to "quick can," just let the jam cool, cover, and refrigerate for up to 3 months.
    A collage of 4 images. The first three show jam cooking on the stove and a blue, instant-read thermometer reading 219F, 220F, and 223F. The fourth image shows three jars of jam upside down on a countertop.

Did You Make Any Changes?

Notes

Store in the fridge for up to 3 months.
Please note again: quick canning by inverting the jars is not a USDA-approved canning method. 

Nutrition

Serving: 2TCalories: 145kcalCarbohydrates: 37gProtein: 0.5gFat: 0.3gSaturated Fat: 0.02gPolyunsaturated Fat: 0.1gMonounsaturated Fat: 0.03gSodium: 1mgPotassium: 50mgFiber: 1gSugar: 34gVitamin A: 32IUVitamin C: 7mgCalcium: 4mgIron: 0.2mg
Keyword blueberry
Did you make this recipe?Please tell us what you loved!

And that’s it for today, y’all.

I really hope you make and love this blueberry jam. It’s great stirred into plain or vanilla yogurt, on toast or a sandwich. I know you’ll find many ways to enjoy it!

Take care.

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