Less Sugar Berry Jam

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There is something to be said about having a delicious, homemade berry jam sitting strawberrieson your pantry shelf!  Often times people say once they have eaten a homemade jam they rarely, if ever, purchase store bought jam again.

Many on the other hand say they would love to make and eat homemade jam but cannot ingest the amount of sugar called for in standard recipes.  By using Canning Gel as a natural thickener we can decrease the sugar content without losing viscosity and the jam’s gelling abilities.  And without losing any flavor!

Canning Gel (aka ClearJel®) is a modified cornstarch derived from corn and is used by home-canners and bakers across the globe! It is approved for home-canning because of its ability to handle high temperatures, its viscosity retention when heating and reheating and its ability to work well with acidic ingredients. The best part is this thickening agent will not impeded the heat transfer throughout the jar’s contents during processing.

Less Sugar Berry Jam

makes approx. 5 half-pint jars

I use this recipe when making all of my jams and preserves. What I love most is you actually can taste the amazing flavors of the berries instead of getting lost in all the sugar when compared to traditional jams/preserves. I have found so many uses for this jam, especially when baking! Because this recipe incorporates Canning Gel/ClearJel, it holds its shape when baking desserts like Blueberry Crumble, Muffins with Raspberry Filling and many more. It is also used when canning pie filling like Traditional Apple Pie Filling.


  • 4 cups crushed berries (strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, blackberries, crushed cherries)
  • ¼ cup lemon juice
  • 7 Tbsp Canning Gel
  • 1 ½ to 2 cups raw sugar, to taste


  1. Using a colander, clean your berries being sure to remove any stems and suspect berries.  In a medium sized bowl, working in batches, use a potato masher and crush the berries.  Measure crushed berries and some of their juice.  Continue this process until a full 4 cups is achieved.
  2. Place crushed berries in a stainless steel stock pot.  Add lemon juice and stir.  Measure ¼ cup of the sugar and stir in all 7 tablespoons of Canning Gel.  Add sugar mixture to the berries.  Bring contents to a boil using medium-high heat and stir constantly.  Add remaining sugar.  Bring back to a boil.  Set timer and boil for 1 minute.  Remove from heat.
  3. Ladle hot jam into hot sterilized jars leaving a ¼” of headspace.  Remove air bubbles and adjust headspace as necessary.  Using a warm washcloth dipped in vinegar, wipe jar rims and screw bands.  Place sterilized lids and rings atop each jar and hand tighten.
  4. Place jars in rack inside the water bather being sure jars are submerged and covered with an inch of water.  Process jars for 10 minutes.  Remember, processing time doesn’t begin until water is at a full rolling boil.

Happy Canning~
Diane, The Canning Diva®

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