Ozark Blueberry Jam

Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Makes

    four to five

    ½ pint jars

Appears in

The Glory of Southern Cooking

The Glory of Southern Cooking

By James Villas

Published 2007

  • About

Both wild low-bush blueberries (and strawberries) and wild honey can still be found in the hill country of Arkansas’s Ozarks, and when these two ingredients are simmered together with water and a little lemon juice, the result is one of the most blissful jams ever conceived. (Look for the small jars in the food and tourist shops of both Little Rock and the Ozark resort towns.) The fat, cultivated high-bush blueberries of North Carolina, which are legendary in the South, also make delicious jams, preserves, and chutneys, but the intense Ozark jam is truly like none other you’ll ever taste. The yield in this recipe using cultivated blueberries can vary, depending on the size and ripeness of the berries and how thick you like your jam. The larger and riper berries, the closer you’ll come to replicating the Ozark jam.


  • 6 cups fresh ripe blueberries
  • cups honey
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice


Rinse, pick over, and stem the blueberries, discarding any that are moldy or shriveled, and place in a stainless-steel or enameled saucepan. Add the honey, water, and lemon juice and bring to a boil, stirring. Reduce the heat to low and simmer till the mixture has thickened, 1 to 1¼ hours, stirring often to prevent sticking. Remove the pan from the heat and skim any foam off the surface.

Pack the jam into four or five ½-pint sterilized jars to within ¼ inch of the tops, seal, and store for at least 1 month at room temperature before serving.