This post may contain affiliate links. Please read our disclosure policy.

Want fresh, homemade jam without complicated ingredients or techniques? This small batch refrigerator jam is your answer! It uses just fruit and sugar, and since it’s pectin-free, it comes together in a flash. Perfect for topping toast, yogurt, or desserts!

Enjoy this delightful small batch jam with various treats. It pairs wonderfully with a slice of freshly-baked French bread, fluffy Butter Swim Biscuits, light and airy Pancakes, or crisp Waffles. Alternatively, you can mix it into creamy yogurt with crunchy Butter Pecan Granola, use it as a sweet drizzle over a moist White Cake, or as a flavorful addition to buttery Thumbprint Cookies.

Why You’ll Love This Jam Recipe

  • Ease: Made with just sugar and fruit, the ingredients list couldn’t be simpler.
  • Versatility: This jam can be used in a variety of ways, such as on toast, pancakes, waffles, and yogurt.
  • Small Batch: Ideal for single servings, minimizing food waste.
  • No Special Equipment: No canning or pectin required.
  • Taste: A naturally sweet and fruit-forward flavor you won’t get from store-bought jams.

Watch How To Make This Jam

RELATED: 20 Breakfast Recipes For One

What Is Refrigerator Jam?

Refrigerator jam is a simplified jam that doesn’t require any canning. It’s designed to be stored in the fridge and consumed within a short period, making it ideal for small households or those new to jam-making.

Ingredients And Yield

If you have any ingredients leftover from this small batch jam recipe, check out our Leftover Ingredients Recipe Finder.

  • Blueberries or Strawberries
  • Sugar

Before you start, it’s crucial to taste your selected fruit—be it blueberries or strawberries—to gauge their natural sweetness. Fruits can differ significantly in their sugar content, and a tart batch may require a touch more sugar than indicated in the recipe.

This small batch recipe produces approximately 3/4 cup of either blueberry or strawberry jam, filling one small jar perfectly.

Recipe Variations

Your small batch refrigerator jam is already a hit, but if you’re feeling a little experimental, here are some fun variations to try out. Each one brings something new to the table!

  • Mixed Berry Jam: Use a combination of blueberries, raspberries, and blackberries for a multi-berry experience.
  • Spiced Jam: Add a pinch of cinnamon, nutmeg, or cloves for a seasonal flair that’s perfect for autumn or winter.
  • Tropical Twist: Incorporate mango or pineapple chunks for a tropical flavor profile.
  • Citrus Zing: Add a teaspoon of lemon or orange zest to give your jam a refreshing citrus kick.
Save This Recipe!
Get this sent to your inbox, plus get weekly recipes from us – all for free.

How To Make Refrigerator Jam

These step-by-step photos and instructions are here to help you visualize how to make a small batch of refrigerator jam. See the recipe box below for ingredient amounts and full recipe instructions.

  1. Place the blueberries and sugar in a medium-sized saucepan and bring to a simmer. Mash the berries slightly with a potato masher or the bottom of a fork.
a pot filled with blueberries and sugar on the stove.
  1. Begin to stir the berries and sugar together as soon as the berries begin to boil.
softened berries in a pot with a spoon on the side showing how to make homemade jam.
  1. Continue to cook and stir occasionally until the jam begins to thicken. The jam cooks quickly and as it cooks, it thickens naturally. You can see exactly what I mean our recipe video below.
blueberry jam thickening up in a small saucepan.
  1. When the mixture reaches a gel consistency, remove the pan from the heat. When the jam has cooled, pour it into a clean glass jar.

Expert Tips For Making Perfect Small Batch Jam

  • Stick to Berries Rich in Pectin: While you can use a variety of fruits, berries like blueberries and strawberries that are naturally rich in pectin yield the best results.
  • Cook Slowly for Thickness: The combination of fruit and sugar needs a solid 20 to 30 minutes of cooking time to thicken properly. Slow cooking helps evaporate the moisture, aiding in the thickening process.
  • Monitor Thickness According to Fruit: Different fruits have varying water content, affecting the time needed to reach the desired thickness. Start assessing your jam’s consistency around the 20-minute mark.
  • Uniform Fruit Size Matters: To ensure even cooking, make sure your fruit pieces are of similar size. Chop the fruit into halves or quarters before cooking.
  • Soft Texture, Big Flavor: Although jam made without pectin tends to be softer than its store-bought counterpart, its fresh and vibrant flavor more than compensates.

RELATED: Apple Recipes For One

Frequently Asked Questions

What types of fruits are best for making refrigerator jam?

You can make refrigerator jams with just about any kind of fruit so feel free to use what you have available and whichever fruits are in season. You might also consider adding a hefty pinch of fresh herbs like rosemary or mint or grating fresh ginger and adding it to the fruit as it cooks on the stove.

How long does refrigerator jam last?

Homemade refrigerator jam lasts about 2-3 weeks in the refrigerator.

Do I need pectin to make refrigerator jam?

No, this jam gets its thickness from the natural pectin in the fruit.

Can I double this jam recipe?

Absolutely, just keep the fruit-to-sugar ratio the same.

Strawberry jam spread on a scone that is on a plate next to a jar of jam, a cup of coffee, and a small bowl of strawberries all on a metal tray.

RELATED: 25 Single Serving Summer Recipes

Ways To Use Leftover Ingredients

If you have any ingredients leftover from this recipe, check out our Leftover Ingredients Recipe Finder or you might like to consider using them in any of these single serving and small batch recipes:

If you would like additional information on the cooking and baking dishes I use in our “recipes for one”, please visit our FAQ page. For examples of the dishes used at One Dish Kitchen, please visit our Store page.

If you’ve tried this easy small batch jam recipe or any recipe on One Dish Kitchen please let me know how you liked it by rating the recipe and telling me about it in the comment section below.

Also, if you take a picture please tag us on Instagram (@onedishkitchen) we’d love to see!


Your Cooking For One Source
Because you’re worth it

Easy Small Batch Refrigerator Jam

4.89 from 26 votes
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 30 minutes
Cooling time: 20 minutes
Total: 1 hour
Servings: 6 servings
Easy small batch refrigerator jam made with just two ingredients. Use blueberries or strawberries and sugar in this quick stovetop recipe.

Ingredients 
 

  • 2 cups blueberries (1 pint) or 2 cups chopped strawberries
  • ¼ cup sugar
Save this Recipe!
Get this recipe sent to your inbox, plus get weekly recipes from us – all for free.

Instructions 

  • Combine the blueberries (or strawberries) and the sugar in a medium saucepan. Mash berries slightly with a potato masher or the bottom of a fork. Bring mixture to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally.
  • As soon as the berries begin to boil, begin to stir.
  • Continue to cook and stir occasionally until jam begins to thicken. During the last few minutes of cook time, stir vigorously so that the mixture doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pan.
    When the mixture reaches a gel consistency, remove pan from the heat. 
  • Pour into a clean glass jar.

Notes

Expert Tips
  • Stick to Berries Rich in Pectin: While you can use a variety of fruits, berries like blueberries and strawberries that are naturally rich in pectin yield the best results.
  • Cook Slowly for Thickness: The combination of fruit and sugar needs a solid 20 to 30 minutes of cooking time to thicken properly. Slow cooking helps evaporate the moisture, aiding in the thickening process.
  • Monitor Thickness According to Fruit: Different fruits have varying water content, affecting the time needed to reach the desired thickness. Start assessing your jam’s consistency around the 20-minute mark.
  • Uniform Fruit Size Matters: To ensure even cooking, make sure your fruit pieces are of similar size. Chop the fruit into halves or quarters before cooking.
  • Soft Texture, Big Flavor: Although jam made without pectin tends to be softer than its store-bought counterpart, its fresh and vibrant flavor more than compensates.

Nutrition

Serving: 1tablespoon, Calories: 40kcal, Carbohydrates: 10g, Potassium: 37mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 10g, Vitamin A: 25IU, Vitamin C: 4.8mg, Calcium: 3mg, Iron: 0.1mg

The information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.

Receive Our Latest Single Serving Recipes!
Sign Up for the weekly One Dish Kitchen Newsletter!!
Red 5-inch square baking dish with One Dish Kitchen branded paper sleeve around it.

Make 80+ Recipes With This Dish!

Ideal for home chefs, this individual square ceramic baking dish is safe for oven, microwave, freezer, and dishwasher. Simple to use & easy to clean!

Welcome!

I’m Joanie and I’m incredibly happy you’re here! Our aim is to inspire individuals with access to single serving recipes, education, and a supportive community that will enable them to enjoy the preparation of a meal that will nourish both body and soul.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating




56 Comments

  1. Sandy P. says:

    Can you make this with Truvia white sugar baking blend? If so, do I need to reduce the amount or use the same amount as in the recipe? My husband is diabetic, so trying to find recipes that works for him that he can enjoy without elevating his sugar levels. Thanks.

    1. Joanie Zisk says:

      I have not tested this recipe with Truvia but others have used alternative sweeteners with success. I do not know how Truvia would work in this recipe, and if you find that Truvia is sweeter than sugar, you may want to use less.

  2. J. Hegyi says:

    Terrific recipe.

  3. Marcia Wallace says:

    Can I use frozen strawberries?

    1. Joanie Zisk says:

      Yes, I find it best to thaw them first.

  4. Peggy H says:

    Made this tonight for tomorrow morning with English muffins. I tasted it tonight though and it is really good. I think I boiled it a little too long as I end up with just under 4 ounces from a pint of blueberries. I think I’ll try strawberries next time. Thank you so much for this recipe.

  5. Marian Miller says:

    Can you freeze this jam.

    1. Joanie Zisk says:

      Yes, refrigerator jams can be frozen for up to 3 months.

  6. Mary says:

    Can you use monk fruit instead of sugar

    1. Joanie Zisk says:

      I haven’t tested making jam with monk fruit.

  7. Lisa Furman says:

    This jam makes the BEST fluff and jam sandwich EVER!

  8. Deanna says:

    Do you turn the heat down after it initially starts to boil? Or is it boiling temp the whole time?

    1. Joanie Zisk says:

      No, do not turn down the heat.

  9. Betty Duncan says:

    I made blueberry jam this morning. It’s quick to make, delicious to eat, and won’t last in the fridge long because there’s too much to eat in a timely manner.

  10. gaylegirves says:

    can you use honey instead of sugar ?

    1. Joanie Zisk says:

      I haven’t tested honey in this jam recipe so I’m not sure how it would work.