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!
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.
what you’ll need
- small berries like raspberries, black raspberries, blueberries, gooseberries, or small blackberries
- 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.
how to make small batch jam in the microwave
- Put berries and cornstarch into a large microwave safe bowl and toss together. Sugar can be added, but is optional.
- Cover the bowl with a microwave safe plate that fits securely on top.
- Microwave of full power for 3 minutes.
- Carefully remove the bowl and stir the jam. If it is very watery, give it another 30 seconds to a minute in the microwave.
- Transfer the jam to a jar and let cool before refrigerating. The jam will thicken as it chills.
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.
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.
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.
The microwave is an amazing tool
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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.
3-Minute Microwave Jam
- microwave oven, mine is 1000 watt
- 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
- 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.
- You can also use the hot jam, right out of the microwave, as a dessert sauce over cake or ice cream.
Questions and Reviews
Apologies if this was asked and answered. Can I use frozen raspberries?
That should work fine, they might be a little more wet than regular raspberries and might need a little longer time. I’d thaw them first.
Will this recipe thichen if heated on the stove?
Yes, absolutely, if you bring it to a boil.
Just made a batch…did about 1 1/2C of raspberries…increased the cornstarch accordingly…over flowed in the microwave but not bad and had the bowl on a paper plate…LOL Came out nicely…was a bit runny like cake batter when it finished but stirred it a few times…as it cooled it thickened. Poured it into an 8oz mason jar and stuck it in the fridge…thickened wonderfully to a grand spread…pure raspberries…mmmmm Will try it again tomorrow with fresh strawberries…thank you!
You said it so well, it tastes like pure berries! So glad you loved this Martha 🙂
I did the berry jelly on the stovetop. It was slightly runny but did get firmer in fridge. Simple and good for using up fruit. Peaches n pears also.
Have you ever tried chia seeds without cornstarch?
I think you can use the chia seeds all by themselves, Sue, and you don’t need to really heat the berries, just puree them. The chia will expand and thicken the jam overnight.
How long will this keep in the refrigerator? I picked (and froze) about 2 gallons of wild raspberries and don’t have time in the near future to make jelly, this seems like a better, healthier alternative!!
It will keep a week or more, Jillian. If you have the berries in the freezer you can make this jam all year long as you need it. Or you could make it and freeze it.
Could you add Mojito mint to your jam?
I don’t see why not, but I think I would finely chop it and add it after cooking.
Could you freeze this?
I don’t see why not Rose, it would be the same as freezing any jam, so I think it would work fine.
I just sent you an email. I was wondering if I could use sweet cherries? I would pit them of course!
Hey Emily ~ cherries aren’t very juicy, so I’m not sure they will work. If you want to experiment, I would mince them really fine and maybe add a little water. The nice thing with this recipe is that you can try it without wasting a ton of fruit. Let me know how it goes!
Does this only work with berries? Will it work with peaches, apricots, etc?
I will take longer with fruit like peaches, etc. and you’d have to cut them in small pieces, Sue, but it should work the same way.