May 8, 2017

Bumbleberry (Mixed Berry) Jam - with no pectin, lower sugar options!

canned, freezer, no pectin, lower sugar
I originally posted this recipe in 2011, and it has remained a family favorite. (My sis says, "This is the BEST jam I've ever tasted!")

Recently, however, I wanted to make a batch for the freezer (instead of canning it and making it shelf stable) and realized that if I wasn't going to can it, it didn't need nearly as much sugar - and no pectin, either. 

So today I'm re-posting this delish jam, with notes on both canning it and making it as a lower sugar, no pectin freezer jam.

From 2011: This weekend I opened the freezer and was once again confronted with a bag of frozen strawberries and another of raspberries. When my son was tested for food allergies, we bought these bags and the nurse removed a single berry from each to use in the testing process. Since then the bags have sat, undisturbed, in our freezer. What to do with them? Especially since they'd been in there nearly a year.

We don't eat much jam in our household, but I do occasionally give it to the kids. And jam always makes a great gift. So I wondered if I could find a jam recipe that included both strawberries and raspberries. My Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving had the solution: Bumbleberry Jam. All I had to do was add a few of the frozen blueberries I also had on hand.

Incidentally, some people hesitate to use frozen goods for canning, but in most instances, it's fine. These days, frozen foods are flash frozen at their peak, so they are often more fresh than the "fresh" produce you buy at the grocery store. For this recipe, since the berries must be crushed with a potato masher, (EDIT: This is optional when making freezer jam) I recommend removing the berries from the freezer long enough for them to partially thaw.

The jam came out terrific. In fact, my 2 year old just threw a temper tantrum because I wouldn't give him more than one serving.

For Shelf Stable, Water Bath Canned Bumble Berry Jam:

1 cup crushed blueberries
1 cup crushed raspberries
1 cup crushed strawberries
6 cups granulated sugar
6 tablespoons powdered pectin

1. Review the guidelines for using a boiling water canner, if necessary.

2. Prepare jars and lids.

3. In the large pot, combine the crushed blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, and sugar. (EDIT: Please note that you cannot reduce the amount of sugar required in the canned version of this recipe, or it will not set.) Cook and stir over high heat until the mixture reaches a full boil that can't be stirred away. Add the pectin. Boil and stir constantly for 1 minute. Remove the pot from the heat. Skim off any foam.

4. One jar at a time, fill hot jars with jam, leaving 1/4 in. headspace. A funnel makes this job tidier. Use the handle of a plastic or wooden spoon to remove any air bubbles. Wipe the rim of the jar clean with a towel. Place a lid on top of the jar, followed by a screw band. Secure until the band is finger tip tight.

5. Using the jar lifter, place the filled jar in the canner. Repeat step 4 until the canner is full or all the jam is used up. Make sure the jars are completely covered by water.

6. Cover the canner and bring the water to a boil. Boil the jars for 10 minutes*, then turn off the heat. Wait 5 minutes and remove the jars from the canner and place on a wire rack or a thick towel to completely cool.

* NOTE: If you live at a high altitude, read this important information about adjusting canning times.

For No Pectin, Lower Sugar Freezer Bumbleberry Jam:

1 cup crushed blueberries
1 cup crushed raspberries
1 cup crushed strawberries
1 cup+ granulated sugar (to taste)

1.  Place a small plate in the freezer.

2. Pour the berries into a heavy, medium-sized saucepan. Add 1 cup granulated sugar. If desired, use a potato masher to mash up the berries.

3. Place the pan over medium heat and stir the ingredients until the fruit juices begin flowing. Turn the heat up to medium high, stir often, and bring mixture to a boil.

4. Stir constantly while jam thickens. Add more sugar, to taste, if desired. Boil jam while stirring, until the mixture reaches 221 degrees F. (Click here for more tips on testing jam for doneness.)

5. Pour hot jam into hot canning jars. Put on lids and allow jars to come to room temperature. Transfer to the freezer.


  1. DELICIOUS!!!!!!!!!!!

  2. Kristina have you made this with low sugar pectin? If so how much sugar did you use per batch?

  3. KathyA, no, I have not. We don't eat a ton of sugar, but we find the amount of sugar in this recipe just right for us.