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Blackberry Honey Jam Recipe – Pectin Free, White Sugar Free

It is blackberry season and that means it is time to share our Blackberry Honey Jam recipe. An all-natural jam made with just 4 simple ingredients.

Several years ago I shared a recipe for Strawberry Honey Jam which was made without granulated white sugar and was pectin-free. Instead it used honey as the sweetener and apples for the thickener.

And ever since that time we have received a tremendous amount of comments from those who have made the jam and loved the flavor. In fact, it is one of our most popular recipes to this day.

However, over the past several years we began to receive questions on whether or not you could use other fruit to make jam using this method.

And because we just picked several pints of blackberries, I thought it would be the perfect time to expand the original recipe.

blackberry honey jam

Blackberry Honey Jam Recipe

*Complete recipe instructions including specific measurements, cook temperatures and times are located in a printable recipe card at the bottom of this article. However, be sure to keep reading for helpful tips and tricks when making this recipe.


Blackberries – Whenever you get the opportunity, use fresh picked blackberries. They are naturally sweeter than the ones that you purchase at big box grocery stores.

Honey – It is important to remember two things when using honey as the sweetener in this recipe.

  • Honey can contain botulism spores that can cause botulism in kids less than a year of age. Water bath canning will not kill them. Therefore this jam should not be consumed by those under a year of age to be safe.
  • When you boil honey it causes enzymes to break down and lose some of the nutrients that many desire when consuming raw honey. However, in this recipe, we are simply using the honey as a sweetener in place of white sugar and don’t want the strong flavor of raw honey to overpower the blackberry flavor.

Granny Smith Apples – When picking out your apples to be sure to use under-ripe or just-ripe apples. They contain a higher level of natural pectin which will help your blackberry jam thicken.

fresh picked blackberries
If you use fresh picked blackberries, you may be able to reduce the amount of honey required because they are naturally sweeter than store-bought blackberries.

Lemon juice – As with any canning recipe bottled lemon juice is preferred over fresh squeezed lemon juice. This is because the acidity level is predictable and it is considered safe for canning.


The first step in making Blackberry Honey Jam is to prepare the blackberries. Place the blackberries in a large colander and rinse them with cold water.

Remove any bad or soft blackberries. You want to use fresh, just picked berries whenever possible.

Although you can use store bought berries, be sure to make the jam within a day or two of purchasing them.

Once you have rinsed and drained the blackberries add them to a large stock pot.

Next, slice the apples into quarters and remove the seed core. It is important to not peel the apple. That is where the majority of the pectin is located.

Then use a hand grater or food processor to grate the apples into fine shreds. Place the grated apples into the pot with the blackberries.

grated apple

Measure out the honey in a push measuring cup and add it to the pot. Then add the lemon juice.

Stir the ingredients and turn the burner on medium-high heat. Once the mixture comes to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer for 15 minutes.

Once the fruit begins to break down use a potato masher or an Immersion Blender to crush the blackberries. Continue to smash until the blackberry honey jam reaches a smooth consistency that is free of large chunks.

Thicken The Jam

Then reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer for an additional 15-45 minutes or until the desired consistency is reached. There is a wide range of time listed here because the consistency will thicken differently based on the quality of the natural ingredients used.

Although this recipe produces a thinner jam than what you find in the jars at the grocery store, it will continue to thicken as it cools.

Once the jam cools place it in an air tight container and refrigerate. It can be refrigerated for 3-4 weeks.

smashing blackberries

Freezer Storage Instructions

If you want to freeze the Blackberry Honey Jam place the jam in freezer safe jars or containers. However, be sure to allow 1/2 inch headspace at the top to allow for expansion when frozen.

Label the container and keep in the freezer for up to 6 months.

Canning Instructions

Once the jam is still hot, ladle the jam in sterilized half-pint jars, leaving 1/2 inch headspace.

Then wipe the rim of the jars to remove any jam that might be on the surface. Add the lid and twist the band on, just until finger tight.

Lower the jars into a hot water bath, making sure that the water is 1-2 inches above the tops of the jars. Bring the pot to a boil.

Once a rolling boil is achieved, allow the jars to process for 10 minutes (adjusting for altitude as necessary). Then turn off the heat and allow the jars to sit in the water for an additional 5 minutes.

Then carefully use a jar lifter to remove the jars to a thick towel to cool completely. After 24 hours check to see if the jars sealed properly by pushing on the center of the lid.

jars of blackberry honey jam
This recipe will make approximately 8 half-pint jars.

If a lid moves up and down that means the jar didn’t seal properly and the blackberry honey jam needs to be stored in the refrigerator.

However, all the jars that sealed can be stored in a cool, dark place for up to 12 months.


Mary and Jim

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Blackberry Honey Jam Recipe

blackberry honey jam


  • 3 lbs fresh blackberries
  • 1 3/4 cups of honey
  • 2 large Granny Smith apples
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice


  1. Wash the blackberries and place in a large stock pot.
  2. Slice the apple into quarters, removing the core. Grate the apples, leaving the skin attached. Add to pot.
  3. Add honey and lemon juice
  4. Heat on high until the mixture begins to boil, reduce and simmer 15 minutes.
  5. Use a potato masher or an immersion blender to smash your blackberries until you reach a smooth consistency free of chunks.
  6. Reduce to medium-low heat and simmer for an additional 15-45 minutes. You can judge this by the consistency desired. Reminder – it will thicken when it cools.
  7. Place in freezer safe containers, or can using the water bath process for 10 minutes. It will stay good in the freezer for 6 months, and canned for 12 months.


When picking out your apples – try to find the under ripe apples. They hold the most pectin. Definitely do not use over ripened apples in this recipe.

Recipe courtesy of Old World Garden Farms

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