3-Minute Microwave Jam

microwave jam in a jar with spoon and berries

3-Minute Microwave Jam is an amazingly fresh and vibrant jam is made in just minutes in the microwave, without any of the muss and fuss associated with traditional jam making ~ score!

microwave jam in a small jar with spoon

can you really make jam in the microwave?

I was noodling around in the kitchen the other day with berries and the microwave. I was trying to develop a microwave berry crisp when I accidentally discovered this amazing jam. I guess technically I didn’t discover it, because when I Googled it, there were plenty of others who got there first. BUT it is new to me, and maybe to you too! I made a little pot of jam, with no sugar at all, from a cup of mixed berries, in the microwave, in 3 minutes. And it’s pure fruit heaven. Because the jam is flash-cooked, it tastes wonderfully fresh. And it’s instant gratification, which is always good.

microwave jam in a small jar with raspberries

what you’ll need

  • small berries like raspberries, black raspberries, blueberries, gooseberries, or small blackberries
  • cornstarch
  • sugar or sugar substitute, optional

yes you can add sugar or your favorite sugar substitute

If a no sugar jam is too tart for your taste, add a tablespoon of sugar.

If you want to make a lower carb jam, use your favorite sugar substitute.

berries and cornstarch in a microwave safe bowl

how to make small batch jam in the microwave

  1. Put berries and cornstarch into a large microwave safe bowl and toss together. Sugar can be added, but is optional.
  2. Cover the bowl with a microwave safe plate that fits securely on top.
  3. Microwave of full power for 3 minutes.
  4. Carefully remove the bowl and stir the jam. If it is very watery, give it another 30 seconds to a minute in the microwave.
  5. Transfer the jam to a jar and let cool before refrigerating. The jam will thicken as it chills.
  6. Enjoy!
making microwave jam in a glass bowl

This easy jam recipe needs no sugar!

The reason there is so much sugar in traditional jams and jellies is that sugar is a preservative, and functions to help the pectin form a gel. But for this kind of quick, small batch jam, there’s no need for it. Your reward is an eye-opening fresh fruit flavor that you will not believe. Of course you can always add it if you like, but it’s nice to know you don’t have to.

raspberries in a jar

Experiment with different types of berries for this microwave jam

This works really well with berries because they break down so quickly, and the nice thing is that you can make this with just a handful. There’s no need for peeling, chopping, or pitting. I used raspberries and blueberries, but any small berry combination will do. This is a perfect use for a handful of wild-picked berries!

do berries have pectin?

With the exception of blackberries and gooseberries, berries tend to be low in pectin, but as long as you cook them down to remove moisture, they can be made into an instant jam like this.

blackberry microwave jam in a jar

tips and troubleshooting for microwave jam

  • Be sure to use a large, microwave safe bowl, and a microwave safe plate that fits securely over the top.
  • Use oven mitts and be careful ~ it gets super hot!
  • This particular technique was developed for berries only. Other types of fruit like apples and stone fruit won’t work in the same way.
  • Small soft berries like raspberries or black raspberries work best.
  • Berries differ in their moisture content. If your jam is very watery after 3 minutes, give it another 30 seconds (or up to 2 minutes) longer. Stir again and remember it will thicken as it chills.
  • When using large berries like blackberries make sure to cut them in half, and mash them down with the back of a spoon after cooking. My blackberry jam took 2 minutes longer to cook, and I mashed them after 3 minutes.
  • Don’t be tempted to do a larger batch. The jam boils up considerably during microwaving and if you use more it can boil over and make a mess.
  • Can you do this in a saucepan on the stove? Yes! In that case you can safely double or triple the amount as long as you use a big enough saucepan, and allow extra time.

how long will microwave jam last?

This will last up to a week, refrigerated. For longer storage, freeze your jam.

bowl with berry juice

The microwave is an amazing tool

caution!

This recipe is not a suitable project for children. The jam, bowl, and plate get very hot in the microwave. Use oven mitts and be careful when removing it from the microwave.

microwave jam in a jar with spoon and berries
Print
3.50 from 222 votes

3-Minute Microwave Jam

3-Minute Microwave Jam is an amazingly fresh and vibrant jam is made in just minutes in the microwave, without any of the muss and fuss associated with traditional jam making ~ score!
Course preserves
Cuisine American
Prep Time 3 minutes
Total Time 3 minutes
Yield 8 servings
Calories 8kcal
Author Sue Moran

Equipment

  • microwave oven, mine is 1000 watt

Ingredients

  • 1 cup small berries raspberries, blueberries, blackberries, or a mix rinsed
  • 1/4 tsp corn starch
  • 1 Tbsp confectioner's sugar, or any sweetener of your choice, optional

Instructions

  • Put the berries in a large glass bowl. If you are using blackberries and they are large, cut them in half. Toss the berries with the cornstarch and sugar if you are using.
  • Cover the bowl with a microwave safe dinner plate, and microwave for 3 minutes. Give it a stir. If your jam is still very runny, pop it back into the microwave for 30 second intervals. Note: Be careful, it will get quite hot so use caution, and oven mitts.
  • Spoon the jam into a clean jar and let cool Store in the refrigerator, the jam will firm up as it cools.
  • Use or freeze the jam within one week.

Cook’s notes

  • You can also use the hot jam, right out of the microwave, as a dessert sauce over cake or ice cream.

Nutrition

Serving: 1Tbsp | Calories: 8kcal | Carbohydrates: 2g | Protein: 0.2g | Fat: 0.1g | Saturated Fat: 0.003g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 0.01g | Sodium: 0.2mg | Potassium: 23mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 5IU | Vitamin C: 4mg | Calcium: 4mg | Iron: 0.1mg
The nutritional information for recipes on this site is provided as a courtesy and although theviewfromgreatisland.com tries to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures are only estimates.
microwave jam pin

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104 Comments

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  • Reply
    Chris
    May 19, 2014 at 1:08 pm

    5 stars
    Who would have thought? What a great idea. I love that there’s no sugar! It looks like it would be great over ice cream or frozen yogurt too.

  • Reply
    cheri
    May 19, 2014 at 11:41 am

    This would be wonderful on toast or ice cream. Very clever Sue, it is much nicer than all the others because there is no sugar, it’s perfect.

  • Reply
    Tricia
    May 19, 2014 at 4:59 am

    5 stars
    I can’t believe how quick this is. I spent 45 minutes on my marmalade this weekend ๐Ÿ™‚ But I hope it’s worth it. You always do such a wonderful job with jams, jellies and spreads. Lovely! Hope you have a magnificent Monday!

    • Reply
      Sue
      May 19, 2014 at 7:48 am

      Thanks Tricia — I KNOW your marmalade will be worth it! , But it is nice to know you can have an instant bit of fresh jam now and then, too.

  • Reply
    Couscous & Consciousness
    May 19, 2014 at 1:04 am

    5 stars
    That just looks like a little pot of heaven to me, and I can’t wait to give this a try. I have several months to wait for berry season though. Do you think it would work with frozen berries in the meantime?

    • Reply
      Sue
      May 19, 2014 at 8:01 am

      That’s what I should have titled the post…’A Little Pot of Heaven’ ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Reply
    Sandra
    May 18, 2014 at 10:56 am

    5 stars
    This was great! I used up some blueberries, blackberries and strawberries that I had and everyone was impressed ! I chopped the blackberries and strawberries and followed the instructions, even my 7 year old granddaughter loved it ! Thanks!

    • Reply
      Sue
      May 18, 2014 at 11:13 am

      Wow, that was a quick turnaround, thanks so much, Sandra!

      • Reply
        Sue
        May 19, 2014 at 8:03 am

        It probably would work with frozen berries, but you might have to adjust the time.

  • Reply
    Carol at Wild Goose Tea
    May 18, 2014 at 9:22 am

    Microwave jam is NEW to me. I think its brilliant. I serve ‘melt’ jam in the microwave to make hot fruit syrups. But I never thought to kind of reverse the action. I love it. Thanx

    • Reply
      Sue
      May 18, 2014 at 10:07 am

      Oh I’m glad I wasn’t the only one out of the loop! I think you’ll love the fresh fruit flavor of this, Carol.

  • Reply
    Cuisinedeprovence
    May 18, 2014 at 8:53 am

    Wow! What a brillant idea – I have to try this and happen to have raspberries in the fridge….

    • Reply
      Sue
      May 18, 2014 at 10:09 am

      That’s what started all this, the berries are finally cheap!

  • Reply
    sippitysup
    May 18, 2014 at 8:41 am

    “Noodling about”. That was one of my mother’s phrases. This easy jam method is “better than a kick in the pants” too. Another one of her phrases. GREG

  • Reply
    Bijouxs
    May 18, 2014 at 9:04 am

    5 stars
    Hi Sue. I have been making jams using the microwave, but never without adding sugar โ€“ brilliant! Lynn at Bijouxs

    • Reply
      Sue
      May 18, 2014 at 10:09 am

      Thanks Lynn — I’m sure there are cases where the fruit would be too tart and would need a little sugar. I would love to try this with rhubarb and strawberry!

  • Reply
    [email protected]'s Recipes
    May 18, 2014 at 8:41 am

    5 stars
    Really? A 3-minute-jam? wow…I definitely would love to enjoy it hot spread all over my bread!

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