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Quick Blueberry Preserves

Let there be toast.

1 pound (about 2 cups)


About 35 minutes, plus cooling time


Under heat, the lush jellied centers of raw blueberries dissolve into a raft of pulpy skins and seeds adrift in glossy blue juice. With sugar and time, they'll cook easily into jam. But the finished product looks dull and is not particularly pleasing on the tongue. We decided to make preserves (or something akin to preserves) instead, dripping the cooked blueberries through a strainer, simmering their collected juice with sugar, and spooning wilted berries back in at the end. The jelly retains its sheen and the berries a bit of their whole-berry appeal. Delicious.

Cooking Remarks

The recipe turns 6 ounces of cooked, strained berries back into the jelly. We do this for visual interest and texture. Unfortunately, if all the cooked berries were turned back in, the preserves would be too loose. Use the remaining cooked berries in another way or simply toss them.

    • pounds blueberries, rinsed, drained, and sorted
    • Juice of 1 large, juicy lemon
    • 5
      ounces sugar

    Position a fine-mesh strainer over a heavy-bottomed medium saucepan and set aside. In a 4.5-quart Dutch oven, combine the blueberries and lemon juice. Cover, bring to a simmer over medium-low heat, and cook until the berries go limp and are swimming in juice, about 5 minutes, stirring once or twice. Pour the berries into the strainer and let the juices drip into the saucepan for 15 minutes without pushing on the fruit.


    Move the strainer with the berries to rest atop a medium bowl to collect additional drips. Bring the juices in the saucepan to a simmer over medium-high heat, add the sugar, and stir until completely dissolved. Cook uncovered, stirring occasionally to check for sticking and adding newly collected juice from the berries to the pot, until the jelly registers 221 degrees on an instant-read digital thermometer and weighs 9 to 10 ounces when poured into a bowl on a digital scale, about 10 minutes.


    Stir 6 ounces of the strained blueberries into the jelly. Transfer to glass container or jar with a lid. Let cool completely, cover, and refrigerate for up to 5 days or freeze indefinitely.