This small batch huckleberry jam can be made without pectin. It is a delicious fresh huckleberry recipe made with only a few natural ingredients. This jam is delicious and can last up to a month in the refrigerator or can be canned to last much longer! It’s great to spread on freshly baked sourdough bread, shortcake biscuits, pancakes or waffles, or as a filling for huckleberry shortcake.
I love cooking through the seasons. Before this, I was busy finding ways to use up our rhubarb, foraged wild blueberries, and wild raspberries. I made some small batch wild black raspberry jam, rhubarb crisp, rhubarb wine, strawberry rhubarb jam, and I froze some rhubarb for future use. I also treated my family to the best blueberry shortcake we’ve ever had! If you have access to any of these summer fruits, you’ll definitely want to check these out. I digress…back to the wild huckleberry harvest!
Wild black huckleberry jam is an easy way to preserve this delicious summer fruit. This recipe for small batch huckleberry jam is one of my favorite recipe and uses only three simple ingredients—no pectin, no starches, or fillers. You’ll just need a few minutes over the stove, and you’ll have an amazing sweet treat.
As a forager who is never guaranteed large quantities of berries at a time, this small batch recipe is the best.
Not sure what a huckleberry even is? Check out this post on identifying and foraging for wild huckleberries: Identifying and Foraging for Wild Huckleberry
What Ingredients Do I Need?
Want to give this small batch recipe a shot? All you need are the following simple ingredients:
2 cups huckleberries (can substitute blueberries)
3/4 cup sugar
1 tbsp lemon juice
How To Make the Jam
1) Take out a medium sauce pan and add your three ingredients (huckleberries, sugar, and lemon juice).
2) Cook the berry mixture on medium-high heat on the stove until it begins to boil, stirring constantly.
3) Reduce heat to medium and continue to cook for about 10 minutes, gently smashing the huckleberries with the back of a spoon.
4) Once the huckleberry mixture has been cooking for about 10 minutes, it will begin to thicken and reach the gel phase. This is the heat point at which the sugar bonds with the natural pectin in the fruit and forms a gel.
- Some people prefer to use a thermometer to check the temperature when determining if their jam is done, while others rely on their senses of sight and touch. If using a thermometer, you will want the jam to reach 220°F, I prefer to do a freezer test.
- To do a freezer test place a small plate in the freezer when you first begin cooking your jam. When you are ready to see if the jam has set, remove the plate from the freezer and put a small amount of boiling jam in the center of it. Put the plate back in the freezer for about a minute. Run your finger through the jam on the plate; if it wrinkles and is jell-like, then your jam is ready. If it fills in where you made your finger line, cook for another few minutes before checking again. During this test, the rest of the jam mixture should be removed from the heat.
5) To eat immediately: Transfer your huckleberry jam to jars and allow to cool to room temperature if planning to eat immediately. Store in the fridge for up to a month.
6) Canning: If canning for long term storage, ladle hot berry mixture into clean and sterilized jars leaving 1/4 inch headroom, screw on lids, and process in water bath canner for 5 minutes. After 5 minutes, turn off the heat and allow jars to stay in the hot water for another 5 minutes. This allows for a better cool-down and prevents the liquid in the jar from being forced out. Remove from water bath and allow to cool completely. Will last at least one year.
Does it Matter if I Use Frozen Huckleberries?
This super-simple small batch jam recipe works just as well with fresh or frozen huckleberries. Frozen berries are picked and frozen at their prime, so they retain much of their natural sweetness. The texture of frozen berries is a bit different, but since you will be cooking them anyway, no worries! If using frozen, you don’t even need to thaw them first! Simply measure out as you would fresh berries.
Wild Huckleberry Jam
- large spoon for stirring and mashing
- 2 cups wild huckleberries stems removed, washed and drained
- 3/4 cup cane sugar
- 1 tablespoon Fresh lemon juice
- Place the washed and rinsed huckleberries in a pot with the sugar and lemon juice.
- Stirring frequently, cook over medium-high heat until huckleberry mixture comes to a rolling boil.
- Reduce heat to medium and continue boiling and stirring for 10 minutes or until your jam reaches the gel stage (see notes below). Use the back of the spoon to gently crush some of the berries as it boils.
- Once the jam reaches gel stage, remove from heat immediately and fill jam jars leaving 1/4 inch headspace.
- If using immediately, you can store it in the refrigerator, or if canning, process in a water bath canner for 5 minutes. After 5 minutes, turn off the heat and leave the jars in the water for an additional 5 minutes before removing to help prevent liquid in the jar from being forced out by improper cool-down procedure.
- Makes a little over 1 cup.