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Blueberry jam

Updated: Wed, 18 October, 2023

Homemade blueberry jam with a hint of rosemary fragrance and a dash of balsamic vinegar makes such a sophisticated combination it should be elevated to being called confiture or preserve instead of the common ‘jam’.

blueberry jam small batch

What is the perfect scent to complement blueberries?

You might say blueberries don’t need any companions as their flavour is supreme and I would wholly agree – anything blueberry and everything blueberry is a winner in my books.

But in terms of fragrance, perhaps not so much: delicious as they are, they don’t quite waft sensuously like strawberries or perfume the air, when slightly warmed up, like raspberries. So with all due respect, I’m off to find a match for the little purplies.

There is vanilla but that’s boring. Lavender seems to be the thing and I am tempted, looking out of my window at the row of wavy blue that I manicure meticulously every autumn and bees are grateful for that every summer. But no – that would be purple and purple and I’m convinced a clash of colours makes a harmony of taste. Think caprese.


Blueberries love rosemary

So around the garden I walk, with a fistful of blueberries to sniff, picking odds and bits of plants – NOT rhododendron, stupid.

Mint is wrong, thyme is too strong and finally a sprig of rosemary answers my call. That is the perfect combination.

And it is – one large sprig in a pound of fruit makes a difference, subtle but striking.

I love this jam – not only the smell makes me stand there over the pan all the time it cooks, but blueberries will also obligingly jammify in not much more than 20 minutes if nudged by lemon and extra pectin. That’s unlike strawberries, the alleged jam princesses, that I had to re-jam on occasion when they decided to become sauce.

blueberry jam

Blueberry jam – a delicacy

Blueberries are frightfully expensive so unless you get lucky at your local market or actually grow the berries, a small batch is all you can make at a time.

Which is fine – this is not the stuff to slather over common toast every morning. It is more refined and wants a refined application: a lightly toasted brioche, an exquisitely made crêpe or a really posh cream tea with homemade fluffy scones.

homemade blueberry jam

How to make blueberry (or any-berry) jam?

The usual ratio of fruit to sugar in jam making is 1:1. That especially applies to fruits relatively low in natural pectin, which have to have extra pectin and/or acid added. Logically, the least acidic fruit is the lowest in pectin, blueberries one of those.

But if you want your jam to be less than screamingly sweet, it’s possible to achieve as long as you a/ use jamming sugar with added pectin, b/ add extra lemon juice on top of that and c/ cook it a little longer.

This recipe uses 1.25:1 proportion of berries to sugar, but it’s preserving sugar plus I squeeze in juice from a whole lemon for over a pound of fruit. It sets like a beauty.

making jam

It helps to initially warm up the blueberries with the sugar, lemon and rosemary over low heat for about ten minutes, until the fruit starts to faintly bubble. Then we can whack up the heat and keep it on a rolling boil (with appropriate splatter control) for just under half an hour. In the meantime the jars and funnel sterilise in a warm oven.

When the jam is thick to your liking (the frozen saucer test or a thermometer showing 105C / 221F), stir in some balsamic vinegar and a teaspoon of butter, which helps clarify the jam. Let it rest for ten minutes or so before carefully funnelling it into the jars.

NB I never faff about with water baths to seal the jars with my jams. When you put the lid tightly on a hot jar with high sugar contents, it’s absolutely enough to seal and keep the content for months. Sometimes over a year, if my jam making is prolific!

blueberry jam with rosemary

More blueberry recipes

Blueberry and cream sponge cake, Victoria sponge with layers of lightly roasted blueberries and whipped cream is an easy but very impressive dessert.

Blueberry duck is an oven-roasted duck breast fillet with blueberry sauce flavoured with a hint of rosemary. It's the nicest and the simplest blueberry sauce for duck.

Easy blueberry frozen yoghurt without sugar, made in a small blender without an ice cream maker. The recipe is with frozen blueberries and the secret to good frozen homemade yoghurt is the addition of double cream.

More jam recipes

Peach jam with a hint of vanilla, easy to make and very flavoursome. Roughly chopped peaches with skins make wonderfully chunky jam.

Cherry jam recipe, made in a small quantity with ordinary sugar. My cherry jam recipe has a secret ingredient that enhances the flavour. If available, Morello cherries would make the jam even better.

Apple marmalade, thick and gorgeous spiced apple preserve with natural pectin. If it’s never jam today, perhaps we can have some marmalade, eh?

rosemary scented blueberry jam

Blueberry jam

Servings: makes 2 small jarsTime: 50 minutes


  • 500g (3 cups) blueberries
  • 350g (1¾ cups) preserving sugar
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 sprig of rosemary
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tsp cold unsalted butter


1. Pick the blueberries but do not wash them. Place them in a large saucepan with the sugar, lemon juice and rosemary and give it a stir.

2. Preheat the oven to very low, 80-100C/212F, and place clean jars and lids in it to sterilise them, together with a jam funnel if using one.

3. Place the pan over low heat for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, so the sugar dissolves before the fruit starts simmering. When it does, bring it to a rapid boil and cook for 25 minutes. You can test readiness by spooning a drop of jam on a saucer chilled in the freezer and check if the consistency is thick enough.

4. Take the jam off the heat, discard the rosemary sprig and stir in the balsamic vinegar and the butter (butter gets rid of the foam and clarifies the jam). Let it rest in the pan for 15 minutes.

5. Place the jars on a tea towel or cloth and fill with the jam. Close with lids and leave to cool completely.

Originally published: Thu, 18 July, 2019

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Hello! I'm Anna Gaze, the Cuisine Fiend. Welcome to my recipe collection.

I have lots of recipes for you to choose from: healthy or indulgent, easy or more challenging, quick or involved - but always tasty.


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