Wednesday, May 22, 2024

Small Batch Blackberry Jam Recipe Without Pectin (Low Sugar)

We have been making this easy blackberry jam recipe for years. Not only does it capture the rich, vibrant flavor of summer blackberries, but it also allows you to control the ingredients. A low-sugar, pectin-free version ensures a healthier option without sacrificing taste. This recipe is perfect for those who prefer a natural and lighter jam. It's simple, delicious, and brings the essence of freshly picked blackberries to your breakfast table.

Easy Blackberry Jam Recipe

There’s something undeniably satisfying about creating your preserves. The process transforms simple fruit into a delicious spread, rich with personal effort and care. 

Low-sugar, no pectin blackberry jam is particularly beneficial as it avoids unnecessary additives and excess sugar. This version retains the true flavor of the fruit, offering a healthier alternative. 

Moreover, the pride that comes with homemade preserves is unmatched. It’s not just about taste; it’s about the wholesome, gratifying experience of crafting something yourself.

For more jam recipes, check out these posts:

Keep track of your favorite canning recipes in my printable canning journal.  This has room for inventory, notes, recipes, and more.

Selecting the Perfect Blackberries

We have several blackberry bushes on the farm, so we're able to pick them at home for our preserves.  The key to exceptional jam lies in choosing the right blackberries. 

Look for berries that are plump, shiny, and deep in color. These are indicators of ripeness and juiciness. The best time to pick blackberries is during late summer when they are at their peak flavor. 

If you cannot use them immediately, store them in the refrigerator in a single layer to prevent them from crushing. Use them within a couple of days for optimal freshness.

You can also wash and clean the berries and freeze them to use later.  Let them thaw before making this easy blackberry jam recipe.  You can use this homemade produce wash to clean them.

Do You Need Pectin to Make Blackberry Jam?

Blackberries are naturally high in pectin, so you can use the natural pectin to make an easy blackberry jam recipe without adding a box of pectin.  

Since boxed pectin needs sugar in order to work, this also helps you reduce the amount of sugar.  This is a low sugar blackberry jam recipe similar to my strawberry jam recipe without pectin.

The added lemon juice helps the natural pectin fibers form a mesh that helps thicken the jam and suspend the berries.

You can also make chia seed jam from any fruit to thicken jam without pectin.

Can You Can Blackberry Jam Without Pectin?

Yes, according to the USDA, pectin is not needed for a safe canning recipe.  I do want to note that this makes a small batch of about two cups, so you'll need to make several batches for a canner load.

For more canning safety information, check out these posts:

What's the Difference Between Jam With and Without Pectin?

I prefer a low sugar blackberry jam recipe because the fruit flavor stands out more.  This jam isn't as firm as a pectin recipe, so be aware of that.

Small Batch Blackberry Jam Ingredients

Here's what you need to make blackberry jam without pectin:

Blackberries.  It's best to use the highest quality berries that you can find.  Locally grown fresh berries will yield better results.

Sugar.  This recipe does have some sugar in it, which works with the lemon juice to help create a gel.  You can use powdered stevia if you want to, but you may have to cook the jam longer to reach a gel.  This will decrease the yield, and it can be bitter.  I have also used half stevia and half sugar to cut the calories.

Lemon Juice.  Normally, I like to use fresh lemon juice.  However, it's best to use bottled lemon juice in canning.  The pH can vary in fresh lemons, but bottled lemon juice will have a consistent pH for safe canning.

Salt.  This is optional, but it helps to enhance the berry flavor.

How to Preserve Small Batch Blackberry Jam

This no pectin blackberry jam makes about two cups of jam.  You can store it in the fridge and use it within a few weeks.  

You can also water bath can it or freeze it for later.  If you are canning it, then plan on making a few batches for a full canner load.

For freezing, use freezer containers to prevent freezer burn.

Testing and Setting the Jam

Even though this is a no pectin blackberry jam recipe, you can still test for a gel.  To test for doneness, use the freezer test. 

Place a small plate in the freezer for a few minutes. Drop a spoonful of hot jam onto the plate and return it to the freezer for a minute. 

If it wrinkles when pushed with your finger, it’s ready. If not, continue cooking and test again after a few minutes. Common issues like runny jam can be remedied by cooking longer to evaporate excess water.

How to Make Small Batch Blackberry Jam Recipe Without Pectin

Prep time 5 minutes 

Cook time 30 minutes 

Yields 2 cups 


  • 1 pound blackberries, washed
  • 1 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon bottled lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt 


Step #1

Place blackberries, sugar, lemon juice, and salt in a medium sized saucepan.  Heat over low heat, stirring regularly.

Step #2

Once the sugar has dissolved, mash the berries into small pieces.  Then bring to a low boil.

Step #3

Run the mashed blackberries through a mesh sieve.  Save the syrup and pulp and discard the seeds.

Step #4

Lower the heat to low and simmer until it reaches the desired thickness.  You can use the freezer test to test the gel. 

You jam is now ready to use.  You can place it in the refrigerator for two to three weeks, freeze it, or can it.

Canning Directions

Step #1

Fill 8 ounce jelly jars with hot jam, leaving a 1/4 inch headspace.  Wipe the jar rims and place flats and lids on the jars.  Tighten to fingertip tight.  

Step #2

Place the filled jars in hot water.  Make sure they are covered by water by at least one inch.  Bring to a boil and keep boiling for 10 minutes for jelly jars or 15 minutes for pint jars.  Add 2 minutes of processing time for each 1,000 feet above sea level.

Step #3

Once the time is up, turn off the heat and remove the lid.  Let sit for a few minutes in the canner.  Then use a jar lifter to remove jars and place on a towel or cooling rack.  Let sit undisturbed for 24 hours.

Step #4

Then check the seals.  If they are sealed, remove the ring and store.  If they did not seal, you can reprocess or store in the fridge for up to three weeks.

I hope you enjoy this low sugar blackberry jam recipe!

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