How to Make Juneberry Jam (Serviceberry Jam)

This juneberry jam is a sweet, easy way to preserve serviceberries this spring.

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Backstory: I went foraging.

Ok. Maybe foraging is a stretch. Does plucking berries from a tree across the street count as foraging?

That’s what I did. And came back with a small basket of these juneberries, AKA serviceberries. They look like a maroon-colored blueberry and the darker ones taste a little like them. But unlike blueberries, juneberries have a seed. It’s large in proportion to the fruit but soft. Not sure if you’re supposed to actually eat it. I’ve been eating the seeds since I discovered the berries last year and I seem to be OK.

What are juneberries?

Juneberries, are better known as serviceberres or Saskatoon berries. They are a small maroon to deep purple colored fruit that grows on shrubs or trees. Juneberries are sweet with an edible seed inside. They can be eaten fresh, dried and used like raisins, or cooked into jams or other desserts.

 

How to pick juneberries

You might be walking by these delicious berries each day. Juneberries ripen as early as May here in the South to July in northern areas like Michigan and in the fall in places further north, namely Alaska. To harvest them, simply pick the fruit from the tree when it reaches a dark maroon color. Just like blueberries, select berries that are smooth and plump. Serviceberries will continue to ripen (and sweeten) after being picked so keep that in mind when it comes to timing. But don’t wait too long. Once the berries start to ripen on the trees, the birds swoop in for their fill and most of the berries will be gone in a couple of days.

I found this Saskatoon Berry Institute article on the nutrition benefits of juneberries informative. Because this is a native, wild fruit, nutrition information and recipes are limited.

How to clean and store serviceberries

Treat juneberries just like blueberries. Rinse the berries in cool water. Spread on a clean dish towel and gently roll across to dry the berries completely. Store clean, dry berries in the refrigerator up to 1 week or freeze them right away. To do this, spread the berries in a single layer on a cookie sheet then store in a freezer safe bag or another sealed container.

I have zero patience and upper body strength so I and stopped picking after about 1½ cups… just enough to make jam. That little batch of berries gave me a week’s worth of jam!

How to make juneberry jam

Making juneberry jam is easy. You only need a couple of ingredients – juneberries and sugar. I’m using turbinado sugar but I’m sure any sweetener will work for this refrigerator jam. You’ll also need a tiny bit of water to get things going.

Once the jam is cooked, I encourage you to take the easy route. Let the jam cool and put it away in jars in the refrigerator. If you’re feeling more adventurous, you can follow the procedures provided by the National Center for Home Food Preservation to make the jam shelf stable.

My recipe below is for a refrigerator jam only. I have not tested it for shelf stability. If you go that route, you might need to add lemon juice, extra sugar, or pectin to make it safe.

My peach refrigerator jam has been wildly popular for my little blog. I will be making it along with other jams this summer!

How to use juneberry jam

Put it in jars, close with a lid and refrigerate for a week or so. Try the jam swirled into yogurt or spread on toast, stacked on crackers with cheese, or as a sweet sandwich spread.

This one has a lovely chunky texture so you can really taste and appreciate the berries. Try it out and let me know how it goes! 

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Print Recipe
5 from 5 votes

Easy Juneberry Jam

Cook Time15 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: juneberry jam, serviceberry jam
Servings: 8
Calories: 22kcal
Author: Marisa Moore

Ingredients

  • 1 ½ cups juneberries or serviceberries
  • 2 tbsp cane sugar
  • 1 tbsp water

Instructions

  • Combine the juneberries and sugar in a small saucepan with about a tablespoon of water.
  • Cook uncovered over medium-high heat 15 minutes until the berries pop (break open). Mash a few with the back of a spoon. Continue to cook until the syrup in the jam thickens.
  • Let cool. Pour the jam into two 1/4 cup mason jars. Close the lids and refrigerate for up to a week.

Notes

Once the jam is done, you can following the safe canning method to put it in sterilized jars to seal and to preserve the jam and make the jam shelf stable or If you’re like me and only foraged a few juneberries, take the easy route for this little bit of jam.

Nutrition

Calories: 22kcal | Carbohydrates: 6g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 1mg | Potassium: 14mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 10IU | Vitamin C: 1.8mg | Iron: 0.1mg

17 Comments on How to Make Juneberry Jam (Serviceberry Jam)

  1. Mikayla
    May 15, 2019 at 11:38 PM (6 months ago)
    I've never had the ability to taste a juneberry, but they look so good! I bet this jam would be great for the blueberries I have in my fridge right now!

    5 stars

    Reply
    • Marisa
      May 15, 2019 at 11:51 PM (6 months ago)
      I only discovered juneberries last year but they are fun to look forward to. Blueberries would definitely work here! Reply
  2. Natalie
    May 16, 2019 at 12:47 AM (6 months ago)
    I never heard of juneberry! Looks and sound so delicious! I have to find something similar here ♥

    5 stars

    Reply
    • Marisa
      May 16, 2019 at 7:12 AM (6 months ago)
      That was me last year. And it was so fun to discover them right outside my door! Hope you find something as delicious near you. Reply
  3. Tisha
    May 16, 2019 at 2:23 AM (6 months ago)
    I've never had juneberries before! This looks so yummy!

    5 stars

    Reply
    • Marisa
      May 16, 2019 at 7:13 AM (6 months ago)
      The jam is tasty! And it’s a fun treat this time of year. Reply
  4. Annie @ Annie's Noms
    May 16, 2019 at 3:22 AM (6 months ago)
    I've never heard of a juneberry before!! Although I'm now thinking I've probably seen them and not known it. They're gorgeous and I need to find some and make your delicious jam! Reply
    • Marisa
      May 16, 2019 at 7:14 AM (6 months ago)
      You probably have. I had no idea they were edible until I noticed my neighbors flocking to the trees last year. Now I look forward to the short season to enjoy these unique little gems! Reply
  5. Jacqueline Debono
    May 16, 2019 at 3:26 AM (6 months ago)
    I don't think I've ever eaten juneberries. I must look out for them but they may not grow here in Italy! This jam looks beautiful! Am going to check out your peach jam too as peaches are one of my favourite summer fruits!

    5 stars

    Reply
    • Marisa
      May 16, 2019 at 7:17 AM (6 months ago)
      I’d be curious to know if they grown in Italy too. They are native to North America. Juneberries make a gorgeous jam but I have to say my peach jam is an all time favorite. Reply
  6. Dave B
    June 26, 2019 at 12:48 PM (5 months ago)
    Do you need to seed the berries before making the jam? Don't want any broken teeth! Reply
    • Marisa
      June 26, 2019 at 1:32 PM (5 months ago)
      Everyone's dental situation is different so use your own discretion. You can certainly remove the seeds if you feel more comfortable. An option is to press the cooked jam through a sieve as you might with a raspberry jam. The jam's texture will end up being smoother that way too. Reply
  7. Dave B
    June 27, 2019 at 5:22 PM (5 months ago)
    I picked serviceberries today - virtually had to beat off the birds wih a stick! The seeds were tiny - smaller than raspberry seeds. Sorry for the confusion, I thought they were going to be large seeds, like half the size of the berry, that you would break a tooth on. Set beautifully and is delicious!

    5 stars

    Reply
    • Marisa
      June 28, 2019 at 8:59 AM (5 months ago)
      So glad to hear it worked out, Dave! I now look forward to making this jam every year. And yes. Once the birds discover them, they will pick the tree clean without in a couple days. Ours were done in May! Reply
  8. Sharon Nolan
    July 9, 2019 at 12:47 PM (4 months ago)
    Never heard of Juneberries before but saw them in a farmers market and bought some. Just eating them plain- they were just “ ok” but made your jam and wow— delicious!! The only thing I added was a little fresh lemon juice. This jam thickens up amazingly well. Thank you for this easy recipe Marisa!—- from Sharon Reply
    • Marisa
      July 10, 2019 at 8:40 AM (4 months ago)
      My pleasure, Sharon! I'm so glad it worked out for you. Our juneberries are all done for the year so I have to taste them vicariously through the comments :) Reply

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