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No Pectin Berry Jam

Did you know you can make no pectin jam without fancy equipment? Today I’m showing you how I make easy 3 Ingredient Berry Jam (in 4 tasty flavors!)

Different flavors of jam made without pectin in mason jars

I’ve learned that you can do a lot with berries, citrus, and sweetener. You can go the fruit roll-up route and make a homemade fruit leather. Or use frozen berries and go the smoothie route. Or you can make jam!

We’ve made berry jam using the magical thickening powers of chia seeds, but today we’re simplifying it even more. Naturally occurring pectin in fruit and citrus zest is going to give us a perfectly thick, deliciously easy no pectin jam (in 3 berry tasty flavors!)

And the real beauty of this recipe? You can use frozen fruit! That’s right, homemade jam year round. You’ll essentially just stir everything together and set on the stove to cook down. Mash it up a bit to let the juices cook, then remove from the heat when your jam is thick and delicious (about 20 to 30 minutes).

Jam and peanut butter on toast

Ingredients Needed to Make No Pectin Jam

Depending on the type of jam you choose to make, you will need slightly different ingredients. But the concept is the same for each:

  • Berries: We will use 2 heaping cups of ripe berries. They bring that fun fruity flavor and naturally occurring pectin, which will help to thicken the jam.
  • Sugar: Sugar amount will vary depending on the sweetness of your fruit.
  • Citrus: Orange or lemon work well and serve a few purposes. The juice of the citrus adds acidity, helping to bring out the fruity flavors. The zest adds natural pectin, helping to thicken the jam (while also bringing a lot of flavor!)
Different berries and citrus on a plate for making homemade jam

How to Make Homemade Jam

You’ll be surprised how easy it is to make homemade jam. After creating it yourself, you’ll wonder why you ever chose store-bought jam to begin with! The taste is so much more flavorful, and you know that you’re consuming less gnarly preservatives. Homemade all the way! 

  1. Cook the ingredients: Combine the berries, sugar, juice, and zest in a medium saucepan. Set over medium heat and cook uncovered until the berries begin to soften. Use a potato masher or fork to mash the berries a bit, and then increase the heat to medium/high and let them simmer. You’ll need to let cranberries simmer for 10 minutes, and let strawberries and blueberries simmer for 20-30.
  2. Cool the mixture: Remove from the heat and allow to cool. The mixture will thicken as the temperature decreases. (Speed this up by setting the pan in a sink full of cold water!)
How thick fruit should be when cooking jam

What is pectin?

Pectin is a starch that occurs naturally in fruits and vegetables, usually in the rinds or seeds. 

However, there is also a processed version that can be used as an additive for making recipes, such as jam. It contributes to the texture and the cooking process, usually acting as a thickening agent that helps achieve a gel-like consistency. When this is used, the resulting jam is able to cook faster, however it usually tastes less flavorful. 

We left added pectin out, instead opting for a natural recipe that takes a few extra minutes but tastes uber delicious! 

Blueberry jam without pectin in a mason jar

Tasty ways to eat jam

Strawberry jam in a glass

No Pectin Jam (3 Ways)

Did you know you can make no pectin jam without fancy equipment? Today I’m showing you how I make easy 3 Ingredient Berry Jam (in 4 tasty flavors!)
Print Pin Rate
Course: Breakfasts, Dips, Sauces, and Salsas
Cuisine: American
Keyword: berry jam, homemade jam, homemade jelly, jam without pectin, jelly without pectin
Diet: Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free, Vegan, Vegetarian
Occasion: Christmas, Easter, Thanksgiving
Time: 30 minutes or less, 45 minutes or less
Prep: 5 mins
Cook: 25 mins
Total: 30 mins
Author: Sarah Bond
4.5 from 8 votes

INGREDIENTS

Strawberry Jam
  • 2 cups strawberries 400 g, fresh or frozen
  • ¼ cup sugar 56 g
  • 2 Tbsp orange juice + 1 Tbsp zest
Blueberry Jam
  • 2 cups blueberries 400 g, fresh or frozen
  • ¼ cup sugar 56 g
  • 2 Tbsp lemon juice + 1 Tbsp zest
Cranberry Jam
  • 2 cups cranberries 200 g, fresh or frozen
  • ½ cup sugar 112 g
  • 2 Tbsp orange juice + 1 Tbsp zest
Raspberry Jam
  • 2 cups raspberries 200 g, fresh or frozen
  • ½ cup sugar 112 g
  • 2 Tbsp orange juice + 1 Tbsp zest

INSTRUCTIONS

  • Cook: Combine berries, sugar, juice, and zest in a medium saucepan. Set over medium heat and cook, uncovered, until berries begin to soften. Use a potato masher or fork to mash the berries a bit, then increase heat to medium/high and let simmer (10 min for cranberries, 20-30 min for strawberries and blueberries).
  • Cool: Remove from heat and allow to cool (mixture will thicken as it cools).

NOTES

  • Store in an airtight container in the fridge for about 1 week.
  • Not tested for long-term canning storage. Be sure to follow best USDA canning practices if canning for long-term storage.
 
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Recipe Rating




  1. Lexie says:

    Hi Sarah, Thanks 4 this recipe. I think U read my mind. I have been looking 4 an easy way to make homemade jam for the past month or so & here you sent this email today & a couple of weeks ago. Well I had the chance to make the strawberry & really was good. Sorry I didn’t email you before that I made it. I also made other recipes U sent.
    I hope your holidays were nice. Happy New Year, hope this year will be a good one 4U5 stars

    1. Sarah says:

      So happy you liked it, Lexie! Isn’t it so easy? 🙂 I’m looking to try some other flavors too, maybe apple? (And happy New Year to you too!)

  2. Faye Casebeer says:

    Raspberry jam without pectin and less sugar!

  3. Daniel Stonecipher says:

    Hi ladies, making Scupernong jelly and Muscadine a d was always curious how it was done before the pectin discovery and advent. Awsome.5 stars

  4. Jeanine says:

    Thank you for this recipe. Since developing an apple allergy I’ve had to completely give up jelly and jam due to the pectin (all commercial pectin has apple). I’ll definitely try this

    1. Sarah says:

      Wow, I had no idea most pectins were from apple. Happy you could find this alternative! You might also consider trying chia seeds, which naturally thicken most liquids: https://www.liveeatlearn.com/cherry-berry-chia-jam/

  5. Susan says:

    Can you water bath this jam to preserve it with this low amount of suga?

    1. Sarah says:

      Hi Susan! You could be able to can safely, even with lower amounts of sugar. Just be sure to follow best practices and keep things clean!

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