Blue Sunshine Jam

Photo by Mary Lou Sumberg

Photo by Mary Lou Sumberg

Blue Sunshine Jam is an original recipe by Renée Joslyn of Freakin’ Flamingo jams in So. Miami, Florida. It is a low-sugar cooked jam made with Pomona’s Pectin. Pomona’s Pectin contains no sugar or preservatives and jells reliably with low amounts of any sweetener. See below for where to buy.

Yield: about 3 cups

Before You Begin:
1. Prepare calcium water. To do this, combine ½ teaspoon calcium powder (in the small packet in your box of Pomona’s pectin) with ½ cup water in a small, clear jar with a lid. Shake well. Extra calcium water should be stored in the refrigerator for future use.

2. Place 2 or 3 small ceramic or freezer-safe glass plates into the freezer to be ready for the gel test.

Blue Sunshine Jam Ingredients

1 large or 2 smaller lemons
2 ½ cups water
2 Tablespoons bottled lemon juice
2 cups blueberries (about 12 oz by weight)
2 teaspoons calcium water
1 ½ cups sugar, divided
1 teaspoon Pomona’s Pectin powder

Blue Sunshine Jam Directions

1. Wash jars, lids, and bands. Place jars in canner, fill canner 2/3 full with water, bring to a boil and boil for 10 minutes to sterilize. Turn off heat, cover, and keep jars in hot canner water until ready to use. Place lids in water in a small saucepan; cover and heat to a low boil. Turn off heat and keep lids in hot water until ready to use.

2. Wash and dry the lemon(s). Cut off the ends and discard. Remove seeds. Cut the lemon(s) into thick slices, cut the slices in half, and pulse in food processor until finely chopped.

3. Put the chopped lemon, water, and bottled lemon juice into a non-reactive medium saucepot (about 4 quart size). Bring to a boil over high heat, cover, reduce heat to medium-high, and allow to boil for 10 minutes.

4. Add the blueberries, Pomona’s calcium water and 1 ¼ cups of the sugar to the pot, stir well until the sugar is dissolved, bring back to a boil and boil for 10 minutes, uncovered.

5. Mix the remaining ¼ cup sugar with the Pomona’s Pectin powder until thoroughly combined and scatter over the blueberry mixture after it has boiled for the 10 minutes. Stir well until pectin is dissolved. Allow to continue to boil for an additional 2 minutes. Remove from heat while performing the gel test.

6. Take one of the plates out of the freezer, place a small spoonful of the hot jam onto the plate and return to the freezer for 2 minutes. If the jam on the plate doesn’t run and wrinkles when you push it with the tip of a spoon or your fingertip, you’re ready to can.

7. If you don’t get a good gel test (and the product on your frozen plate should not just be thick, but should give you some resistance and visibly wrinkle on the surface when the edge is pushed with the tip of a spoon), return the pot to the heat, add another teaspoon of calcium water to the pot, mix another teaspoon of pectin with just a tablespoon or two of sugar, add to the pot, bring to a hard boil while stirring briskly to dissolve the pectin. Boil for an additional 2 minutes, remove from the heat, and test again.

7. Fill hot jars to ¼” of top. Wipe rims clean. Screw on 2-piece lids, fingertip tight. Put filled jars in boiling water to cover. Boil 10 minutes (add 1 minute more for every 1,000 ft. above sea level). Remove from water. Let jars cool. Listen for the ping! Check seals; lids should be sucked down. Eat within 1 year. Lasts 3 weeks once opened.

Note: Don’t try to reduce the amount of sugar in this recipe or replace with other sweeteners; it won’t jell properly.

For more inspiring recipe ideas, see Preserving with Pomona’s Pectin: The Revolutionary Low-Sugar, High-Flavor Method for Crafting and Canning Jams, Jellies, Conserves, and More by Allison Carroll Duffy and the Pomona’s Partners, published by Fair Winds Press, June 2013, and available in paper or ebook everywhere books are sold.

Pomona’s Pectin is available at your local natural food store, food co-op, and many farm stands. Find it also at Sur La Table and a growing number of more conventional grocery stores with natural food sections (Wegmans, Hy-Vee, Rosauers, Nugget Markets, Coborns, Fairway, and others). If you can’t find a store near you on our store locator, you can order from our website or many other online sellers.

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22 thoughts on “Blue Sunshine Jam

  1. I just made this for the second time, this time with frozen blueberries instead of fresh and it was just as good! Thank you for a terrific recipe. Can I double this recipe to make more at one time? Many thanks!

  2. Just made this and it is a huge success! First time using Pomona Pectin and I followed the directions exactly. Perfect jam! Love small batch canning and was pleased with the Pomona product. Thank you!

  3. Hi, I saw the note on this recipe, not to replace the sugar. Can this recipe be modified to work with splenda/artificial sweetener? I can’t eat sugar.


    • Hello Nicola,

      You are correct, our recipe does suggest that you do not use an alternative sweetener. You are welcome to try it, but it may not set up.

      Happy jamming,

    • Hello Elizabeth,
      Yes, it would be fine to substitute lime for the lemon in this recipe. It will still be safe for water bath canning.

      Thanks for using Pomona’s Pectin — and happy jamming!

  4. I just canned for the first time (last weekend!), and I have to say that Pomona Pectin is hands above the low-sugar pectin I started out using. I made the Blue Sunshine Jam and a Berry/Fruit mixed jam, and they both came out wonderfully, no problems with clumping pectin, no hand-wringing regarding gelling, just easy, clear instructions and spot-on results. Love your product! I’ll definitely be canning more, and I’ve already decided upon two or three recipes for gift-giving! Thanks all!

    • Hello Mishel,
      Thanks so much for your feedback about this recipe and about Pomona’s.

      I’m thinking our November Jam Notes, e-newsletter, will focus on good recipes for gift-giving. I’m curious which recipes you have chosen, if you’re willing to share that information.

      Thanks for trying Pomona’s — and happy jamming!

  5. I made this Blue Sunshine Jam today and I’ll be doubling the recipe and making more tomorrow. Such a wonderful flavor! I have tried quite a few of the recipes on this site, but so far this is my favorite. Thanks so much for such a great recipe and a great product!

    • Hi Lynne,
      Very happy to hear you like this recipe and thanks so much for telling us. I loved it too when I made it. Your comment is inspiring me to make it again! Renee of Freakin’ Flamingo is a true master of flavors!

      Thanks for using Pomona’s — and happy jamming!

    • Thank you, LynneZ! This made me do a happy dance this morning – a real trick before my second cup of coffee! I hope you’ll stop by my blog, Flamingo Musings ( and check out some of my other recipes. I also have a Pinterest board dedicated to things you can do with my jams to add some variety to your menus. You’ll find it at (Yes, I know – shameless self-promotion, but I’m always excited when someone takes the time to share their experience with one of my recipes!).

    • Hello Shannon,
      Yes, the skin is left on the lemons. This jam is a little bit like a blueberry-lemon marmalade. It is very lemony — and delicious! If you can use organic lemons, so much the better. If not, be sure to wash the skins thoroughly.

      I hope this helps. Thanks for using Pomona’s — and happy jamming!

    • Hi Jill,
      The blueberries are whole and not mashed, which is different from many of our other recipes. I made this recipe and it is a softer/looser set than the usual Pomona’s set when using mashed berries. The flavor of the blueberries combined with this much lemon is fantastic. Let us know how it turns out for you and if you like it.

  6. I made this today and all I can say is THANK YOU! I absolutely LOVE the flavors! But, then again, I love lemons and I love blueberries. To put them together – is magnifique! I made two batches at the same time, both batch with the exact amounts above and ended up with 10 half pints. Next to the chocolate cherry preserves, this is probably my favorite jam recipe from this site!

    • Hi Keri-Ann,
      Thanks for the positive feedback for this jam. I am going to pass your comments on to Renee Joslyn, the recipe creator. I made this jam and had the same reaction as you. I think Renee is a master of flavor. Thanks for using Pomona’s and happy jamming!

    • Thanks so much for taking the time to comment, Keri-Ann!

      Now, put a couple of tablespoons of this jam into your next meatloaf (instead of ketchup), and see what happens. Sounds weird, but some folks swear that it’s the best meatloaf they’ve ever made! 🙂

      Jam on!

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