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Saskatoon Berry Jam

Saskatoon Berry Jam: The Traditional Recipe

This is my great grandmother's recipe from the late 1800's in Alberta.
Course Preserve
Cuisine Canadian
Keyword Saskatoon Berries
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Author Valerie Lugonja


  • 750 g Saskatoons, washed (see Tips)
  • 50 g water
  • 575 g granulated sugar
  • 30 g fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tsp zest of fresh lemon (approx 1/2 lemon)


  1. Crush Saskatoon berries in a Dutch oven; heat gently until juice starts to flow
  2. Add sugar and water and bring to a boil, stirring constantly
  3. Add lemon juice and peel; bring to a boil and cook, stirring frequently until thick, about 15 minutes
  4. Pour into hot sterilized jars, leaving 1/4 inch (6 mm) headspace; wipe jar rims thoroughly

  5. Seal and process in a boiling water bath for 10 minutes

Instructions for Thermomix:

  1. Place small bowl on mixing bowl lid, weigh water and set aside

  2. Place medium bowl on mixing bowl lid, weigh sugar and set aside

  3. Place a small bowl on mixing bowl lid, weigh lemon juice and set aside

  4. Place Saskatoons in mixing bowl, cover with lid and splash guard and cook for 30 min/V/R-speed 1

  5. Meanwhile, add water and sugar through hole in mixing bowl lid when berries start to boil approximately at the 10 min point (see Tips)

  6. Add lemon juice and peel through hole in mixing bowl lid 10 min later at 20 min point

  7. Pour into hot sterilized jars with wide-mouthed canning funnel, leaving 6 mm or ½ inch headspace and wipe jar rims thoroughly

  8. Store in fridge for up to 3 months

Recipe Notes

Frozen berries are fine to use but check thickness at the 30 min point and increase time by 5 min, if needed. When ready, ingredients will be thick, but still loose. As the jam cools, it will thicken considerably yet this will remain a loose jam.

Blueberries may replace Saskatoon berries in this recipe. The yield will be 750ml with blueberries simply due to the difference in the density of the berries.

Setting a timer for the two 10 min points to add ingredients is helpful.

Prior to serving, adding fresh lemon zest to the jam pot (fully incorporate) enhances the berry flavour and adds a delightful sparkle to the preserve.

Yield: there will be a scant 700 mL so two 250 mL containers and then one to use right away that will not be full

A wide-mouthed canning funnel is very handy for pouring sugar through the hole in the mixing bowl lid as it avoids spillage when the berries start to boil.

Saskatoon is a Cree word for the sweet, fleshy berries that were a primary food source for Aboriginal people and early settlers on the Canadian prairies. These delicious berries grow from western Ontario to British Columbia and the Yukon and are beloved by Canadians where family foraging stories are abundant during Saskatoon berry season. These have become available commercially only in the past 20 years due to their diminishing availability in the wild. Saskatoon berry pies and Saskatoon berry jam have been farmhouse favourites for generations. A jar of Saskatoon berry jam is a coveted tourist purchase, and a homemade jar is gold!

Saskatoon berries do resemble blueberries in size as well as colour but they are discernably different in flavour from one another. The Saskatoon berry has a much more intense flavour and when baked or in a jam may present an almond note. Both are complemented beautifully by lemon. Wild blueberries are accessible commercially coast to coast and Saskatoon berries are much less accessible