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
    Shawna
    July 2, 2018 at 10:22 am

    I doubled the blackberries and the cornstarch and it is way too thick. How can I thin it out?

    • Reply
      Sue
      July 2, 2018 at 10:41 am

      I would try blending in some warm water or fruit juice Shawna.

  • Reply
    Nancy
    May 16, 2018 at 3:01 pm

    Looks wonderful! But, did you find a recipe for a crisp, too? I’ve been looking for one without so much butter!

    • Reply
      Sue
      June 28, 2020 at 10:53 am

      It’s the perfect method for a crisp.

  • Reply
    Beth
    May 16, 2018 at 12:08 pm

    How long does this jam last in the fridge? Thinking about gifting some to a friend and want to be sure she doesn’t keep it too long!

    • Reply
      Sue
      May 16, 2018 at 12:25 pm

      It’s good for about a week or so, probably longer, Beth, but this is purposely a small batch, so it will probably be eaten up faster than that!

      • Reply
        Beth
        May 16, 2018 at 12:56 pm

        Thank you!

  • Reply
    Mary Marentay
    May 16, 2018 at 6:19 am

    I can’t wait to try this. As a diabetic, a no sugar jam is perfect!

    • Reply
      Sue
      May 16, 2018 at 6:28 am

      I think you’ll have fun with this, Mary. You can basically make any jam into a no -sugar recipe, just cook the fruit down until thick on the stove or in the micro. You can flavor it with lemon juice, vanilla bean, cardamom, etc.

  • Reply
    Diane
    May 9, 2018 at 2:04 pm

    5 stars
    Thank you for sharing this. I made a little batch with fresh blackberries and frozen blueberries. Knowing store-bought frozen blueberries produce more liquid, I added extra cornstarch and a small sprinkle of sugar to taste. The wonderful aroma, the beautiful color, and fresh berry taste….outstanding!

    • Reply
      Sue
      May 9, 2018 at 2:46 pm

      Thanks so much Diane, I so happy it worked out so well.

  • Reply
    Hollie
    March 3, 2018 at 10:25 pm

    Does it have to be a glass bowl?

    • Reply
      Diane
      May 9, 2018 at 2:05 pm

      It just needs to be a microwave safe dish. ?

      • Reply
        Sue
        May 9, 2018 at 2:45 pm

        Yes, that’s right.

  • Reply
    Joanna Benson
    March 3, 2018 at 4:54 pm

    This looks delicious. Jam that tastes like it was picked fresh from the garden. Can’t wait to try it.

  • Reply
    Jan Salmon
    December 21, 2017 at 4:58 pm

    Oh gosh – I made this and got a very thin sauce. ISW that one quarter teaspoon measure of cornstarch correct? My family needs a jam which stays up, on the toast or scones … please help!

    • Reply
      Sue
      December 21, 2017 at 5:22 pm

      Just microwave it a little longer, Jan, it should thicken up as it cooks. Your berries could have been extra juicy.

  • Reply
    Catherine A Smith
    April 28, 2017 at 2:19 am

    5 stars
    Thank you so much for this recipe, very much appreciated now I don’t have to buy store bought jam!! This jam is healthier too.

  • Reply
    Janet
    September 15, 2016 at 6:34 am

    This is probably a dumb question, but do you microwave the fruit on High power? Thank you!

    • Reply
      Sue
      September 15, 2016 at 7:12 am

      Yes, Janet, I use high. Good luck!

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