Looking for an easy jam that requires no canning and stands out from the crowd? This easy Refrigerator Blueberry Earl Grey Jam is infused with the floral essence of earl grey tea. The result is a sweet, fruity and sophisticated jam that is the perfect companion to your favorite breakfast treat.
I can't get enough of blueberries. They are my favorite fruit to experiment with. Since blueberries are high in pectin (a naturally occurring starch present in ripe fruits), they can easily be made into a jam without the hassle of traditional jam setting ingredients.
This is similar to my strawberry rhubarb jam in that it calls for gently simmering fruit, sugar and lemon until the fruit begins to set. The addition of earl grey tea adds a lovely floral note, while enhancing the natural flavor of the blueberries.
What is refrigerator jam?
Refrigerator jam is simply jam that requires no canning or preservation. It is ideal for those that wish to make a quick batch of jam or are scared to try their hand at canning. Refrigerator jam, when stored correctly, can last up to a month.
The stars of the show here are blueberries and earl grey tea. See below for some helpful notes.
- Blueberries- Fresh is best. The riper the fruit, the more pectin. If you are blueberry picking, then this jam is calling your name!
- Earl grey tea- Use your favorite brand of earl grey tea. Tea bags are ideal since they act as the perfect sachet to infuse your jam. The tea bags will be discarded after they have been infused into the jam.
- Sugar- White granulated sugar for sweetening.
- Lemon juice- Freshly squeezed lemon juice enhances the taste of the blueberries and helps the jam set.
- Vanilla- Pure vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste.
See recipe card for quantities.
How to make blueberry earl grey jam
Since blueberries vary in ripeness, water content, and pectin, the total time to set will vary. Keep this in mind when making the jam. You will want to start testing it at around the 15-minute mark. When the jam is ready, it will not look like jam quite yet! It will continue to set as it cools. Use the visual below or try the plate test to make sure your jam is set.
In a medium pot, combine all the ingredients, (except the tea bags). Smash the blueberries a little to have them mix with the sugar.
Add the tea bags and stir. Cover and bring to a boil. Once boiling, remove the cover, reduce the heat to low, and simmer for 15 minutes.
After 15 minutes, discard the tea bags. At this point, you can begin by checking the jam for thickening. If it's still watery, continue to cook for another 5-10 minutes, stirring and checking every 3-5 minutes.
Test the jam by moving a spatula down the center. If it doesn't immediately fall back on itself, it's ready! You can also try the plate test (below).
Plate test: Another way to test your jam is by placing a few small plates in the freezer at the beginning of cooking. When you think the jam is beginning to thicken, take 1 plate out and place a dollop of jam on the frozen plate and then tilt it. If the jam runs quickly, it's not quite ready. It should run slowly. You can also move your finger through the jam. If the jam is set, it will leave an indent where your finger is.
We think this jam is pretty special just the way it is. However you can mix it up to your taste.
- Blackberries- This would work equally well with blackberries.
- Tea varieties- If you don't like earl grey tea, feel free to experiment with other herbal teas. Lavender, orange tea, or even chai would be delicious. You can also omit the tea altogether and simply make a blueberry jam.
- Sugar- You can adjust the sweetness to your liking. Increase or decrease the amount of sugar as needed. This will depend on the sweetness of your fruit.
To make the jam, you will need a non-reactive pot such as stainless steel, ceramic, glass, or any metal cookware with an enamel coating. Reactive pans such as aluminum will interact with the jam.
In addition, have ready a few small plates (if using for the freezer test), a spatula, a glass jar, and tongs to remove the tea bags.
This jam was made for storage! It's refrigerator jam after all. After the jam has cooled, cover and store it in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 weeks (if it lasts that long).
Make sure to check your jam's readiness when it begins to thicken. Remember your jam will continue to thicken as it cools, and it will not set as hard as most commercial jams. An overcooked jam will yield a leathery, dry exterior.
Earl grey is a type of black tea infused with oil from the rind of bergamot orange. The resulting taste is bold, floral, and citrusy.
Want more blueberry recipes?
These recipes are loaded with juicy blueberries!
Refrigerator Blueberry Earl Grey Jam
- 1 medium saucepan non-reactive
- 3 cups fresh blueberries washed and picked over for stems
- ½ cup white granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon water
- ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 4 earl grey tea bags strings removed,
- In a medium pot, place the blueberries, sugar, lemon juice, vanilla, and water. Smash lightly with a fork to break up some of the blueberries. (If using the plate test, put a few small plates in the freezer).3 cups fresh blueberries, ½ cup white granulated sugar, 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice, 1 tablespoon water, ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
- Add the tea bags to the blueberry mixture and stir. Cover, and bring to a boil. Boil for 2-3 minutes covered, then remove the cover and reduce the heat to low, stirring occasionally.4 earl grey tea bags
- After 15 minutes, remove the tea bags (use tongs), and discard them. Stir and check for consistency. If it is starting to thicken, test the jam by removing a plate from the freezer. Place a small amount of jam on the plate. Tilt the plate. If it runs quickly, continue to cook for another 5 minutes. Test jam every 3-5 minutes for consistency (see post).
- When the jam is done, remove from the heat and let it cool. Place in a glass container or jar and store in the refrigerator for up to 1 month.