Traditional Saskatoon Berry Jam

The Atco Saskatoon jam recipe is simple, quick and tasty!
close up of Saskatoon Berry Jam on top of toast in a white plate and on a jar beside it
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A stack of toast with traditional saskatoon berry jam on top in a white plate. A jar of saskatoon berry jam in a jar on the background.

Nothing is more traditional on the prairies than a jam recipe from the Atco Blue Flame Kitchen. For decades now and indeed, for generations of home cooks, Atco recipes have been the go to for many a prairie cook.

The Saskatoon jam recipe is no exception. It’s basic, it’s easy and it works.

The jam wasn’t my original recipe for today but since I don’t have one on my website yet, I decided I most certainly was going to publish it as well. The jam recipe makes for a two for one recipe deal, later tonight I am making a dessert using Saskatoon jam. I may or may not get the post up today, but that means that tomorrow or Saturday there is going to be an extra recipe for everyone!

close up of Saskatoon Berry Jam on top of toast in a white plate and on a jar beside it

Again today we are going to head out and see what joys we can find in the Edmonton river valley, do some geocaching and try to not get rained on. The rain is so bad this week that we get in our outdoor time about 1 1/2 hours at a time. We quickly did two geocaches yesterday near our house and then barely missed getting drenched in the rain that seemed to come out of nowhere.

I hope everyone is having a fabulous week and is getting out between the rain drops somehow!


I’d Really Like Some Sun This Summer Magpie

Traditional Saskatoon Berry Jam

The Atco Saskatoon jam recipe is simple, quick and tasty!
5 from 42 votes
close up of Saskatoon Berry Jam on top of toast in a white plate and on a jar beside it
Prep Time
25 minutes
Cook Time
20 minutes
Total Time
43 minutes
3 cups
Karlynn Johnston


  • 4 cups saskatoons 1 L
  • 3 cups sugar 750 mL
  • 1/4 cup water 50 mL
  • Juice and grated peel of 1/2 lemon


  • Crush the saskatoons in a Dutch oven or a large heavy sauce pan. I like to leave some closer to whole than completely crushed to give the jam a little bit of chewy texture. Heat the berries on a medium heat until the juice starts to seep from them.
  • Add in the sugar and the water and bring to a boil making sure to stir constantly. Once you have brought it to a boil, add in the lemon juice and the lemon peel. Bring to a boil again and cook, stirring frequently until thick, about 15 minutes.
  • Pour into hot sterilized jars, leaving 1/4 inch (6 mm) headspace. Wipe jar rims thoroughly. Seal and process in a boiling water bath for 10 minutes. Makes about 3 cups (750 mL).

Nutrition Information

Calories: 891kcal, Carbohydrates: 230g, Protein: 1g, Sodium: 5mg, Potassium: 176mg, Fiber: 5g, Sugar: 219g, Vitamin A: 105IU, Vitamin C: 28.7mg, Calcium: 16mg, Iron: 0.8mg

All calories and info are based on a third party calculator and are only an estimate. Actual nutritional info will vary with brands used, your measuring methods, portion sizes and more.

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Karlynn Johnston

I’m a busy mom of two, wife & cookbook author who loves creating fast, fresh meals for my little family on the Canadian prairies. Karlynn Facts: I'm allergic to broccoli. I've never met a cocktail that I didn't like. I would rather burn down my house than clean it. Most of all, I love helping YOU get dinner ready because there's nothing more important than connecting with our loved ones around the dinner table!

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Site Index Jam Saskatoon berry

Reader Interactions

Comments & Recipe Tips Share a tip or comment!

  1. Melissa says

    I made the recipe as written but was not precise in measuring the sugar, I was under a cup for each cup and didn’t level. The consistency was between a sticky jam and a spread. I prefer that consistency to a blob of sticky jam. I also used my own wild saskatoons that grow on my acreage. I didn’t find it too sweet. I preferred this consistency. The flavor is incredible. Love this recipe and will make it again and again. I also live on the prairies 😁5 stars

  2. Patie Jaress says

    To 4 1/2 cups of saskatoons I add a little less than half a cup sugar, a tablespoon or 2 of chia seeds, lemon juice…and some chopped rhubarb. I may add a bit more sugar…according to taste. I find that 3 c sugar is way too much for 4 c berries.

    • Annie James says

      I wish I would have read this before making mine just now.. sickly sweet. I had to pretty much start over with just berries and add the sweet jam to it until it was edible. I will follow your recipe for the future, thanks girl

    • AT says

      I haven’t made this jam, but I’m also someone who doesn’t care for super sweet jam. I thought I’d provide some general tips for jam making in case anyone is new to it and might be thinking of messing around with ingredients (I’m not a professional, so take what I say with a grain of salt – err, pinch of sugar):
      1. In order to water bath can, you must be canning something acidic (i.e. pH must be below 4.6). As saskatoons are naturally acidic (between 3.65 and 4.18), you don’t need to worry about canning these as they are. Therefore, that lemon addition is purely for flavour. **You must be careful about adding non-acidic ingredients as they could tip the pH to unsafe limits and thus, botulism becomes a potential problem.**
      2. Saskatoons do not have a lot of natural pectin and thus, if you simply crushed these up and canned them, you’d end up with the consistency of, well, watery, mashed berries. This is one reason there is such a high volume of white sugar added: it will allow for you to actually have a set of sorts.
      3. While the berries are acidic enough to can as is, white sugar does help preserve the berries in terms of colour and shelf-life. I’ve canned straight sour cherries in water before and they turned brown faster than the ones in a syrup (purely aesthetic, they were fine). They also won’t last in the fridge as long and it’s recommended you eat them off the shelf earlier than if the same fruit were canned with sugar.
      Those are my two cents. Essentially, if you want a hard set, you’d need to keep the white sugar as it is or add some additional pectin* if you reduce the white sugar (and only to an extent – you can’t get rid of all the white sugar and replace with some pectin and expect it to set). If you’re happy with a looser set, by all means, try reducing the sugar. It might be better to experiment on a small batch you don’t can so you don’t end up disappointed.
      *Pectin is a sugar, so I tried to make things clear by using the terms “pectin” and “white sugar”, though technically white sugar could also be brown sugar, honey, etc. Hopefully it isn’t too confusing!

  3. Ann says

    Jam did not set 🙁 I’ll have to cook it again and add pectin.

  4. Blaine Kehl says

    Love this recipe! Have used it many, many times to make excellent Saskatoon jam! Thanks!

  5. Andy says

    This recipe for Saskatoon berry jam was waaaaaay too sweet. Sickly!!
    I wish there was information on cutting down on the mega amount of sugar. I followed the recipe because deviating from it, I thought, might ruine it.
    Very disappointed 👎😡

  6. Mary Ellen Harte says

    Has anyone made this jam without the lemon peel or other spices — just the berries [ Amelanchier alnifolia, the saskatoon berry]? Am wondering if it has the same marzipan fragrance that you get when you make the jam with east coast juneberries [Amelanchier lamarckii], or if there is a unique fragrance — and if so, what is it like? We have A. alnifolia up here in the Colorado Rockies…

    • Alisa says

      Mary Ellen, I haven’t tried this recipe or tried the variety from out East, but Saskatoon berries do indeed have a subtle almond flavour. I use a touch of lemon in my Saskatoon pie and the almond flavour definitely still comes through 🙂

      Happy to find a recipe here with instructions using Pomona’s pectin! Thanks Karlynn!

    • Blaine Kehl says

      I make it without the lemon peel all the time and it turns out great.

  7. Diane says

    Worked out well for my first jam making in decades. The 15 minutes of cooking is just a guideline – you want to see the thickening starting and the berries clumping together as you stir. Thanks – everyone loves it who have been gifted with it – and if it is a little less jelled – it is amazing on icecream and pancakes and saskatoon berry shortcake….5 stars

  8. Janice says

    I’m in Minneapolis, MN, USA. My mother gave me a tiny shoot of a Juneberry bush many years ago. It has grown into a very productive bush, had a huge crop this year. I’m going to try this recipe tonight. since I don’t have lemons on hand, I’m hoping an orange with some cinnamon will work.

  9. Service Berry says

    Way too much sugar. Cut it in half or more. The water helps boil down the fruit. Keep the water in the recipe.5 stars

  10. Jojo says

    I am all set to start making this Saskatoon berry jam but could you please give me directions for a “boiling water bath”

  11. D says

    If the jam does not set as thick as I would like can I re-cook it?

    • Kelly Becker says

      Turns out more like a syrup not jam or spread – very disappointing. Next time I will ensure I find and use a recipe with gelatin.

      • Maria says

        Can I double this recipe and end up with the right consistency? I have about 10 cups of berries I would like to jame in one large batch. Should I increase the cooking time?

  12. Trish says

    I made this a couple of days ago. I let it cook longer, but didn’t ever seem to get to the jelling stage, so I just gave up & canned it. It did jel in the jars, but It’s a bit loose. Still delicious. If I make this again, I might use commercial pectin.5 stars

    • Ronni says

      if the jelly is a bit loose I would be using it for pancake syrup…would be delicious

    • FiddlersThree says

      I find it doesn’t need the 1/4 cup water.5 stars

    • Ledise says

      What do you think proportions might be for Saskatoon apple ginger jam. Any idea

  13. Catie says

    If you use Pomona’s pectin you don’t need all that sugar, only 1/2 cup. 3 cups is a waaay too much.

    • Cheryl says

      How much Pomona powder and calcium water for 3 cups of fruit? I just started using this with moderate+ success. Appreciate your time.

  14. Demetrius Marsh says

    Going to make sooooo much of this recipe this summer! Great recipe! Quick and easy.5 stars

  15. Chef Steve says

    Hi i am Chef Steve of Idaho, I have been making Saskatoon jam & jelly for some time now. We have to pick are’s wild out here. And yes this is a lost art of jam. It is hard to find a good grove of trees each year depending on the weather each year. But anyway when we do find a good picking year,o happy day.I use the Sure jell recipe for jam’s and jelly’s that work out fine,and of course you can fine tune it the way you want. I like your recipe it so very good, of course you do not want to over cook it. It is so nice to see there is still a interest in making the old Indian recipes of the (service berry) or Saskatoon berry out there, it was one of the first syrups served to the blue coat out west.Back in the 1800’ ha.

    So keep Jam & jelly en.Chef Steve.Thank you.

    5 stars

  16. Joy says

    I tried making Saskatoon jam.  I overcooked it and it became very hard in the jars.  It’s like candy that you have on apples.  Is there a way for me to get it out of the jars or do I just have to toss them.

  17. ACanadianFoodie says

    Hey, Kari

    My recipe is older than that – early 1900’s – but, this is a standard recipe formula.


  18. KariEvasiuk says

    It’s nice to see that some people are still canning and making jams.  I often fear this will soon become a lost skill.  Pass it on to your children.  I have the following jams in my pantry:  Strawberry Rhubarb, Cherry Peach (my favourite with fruits from the Okanagan … running short and must go next August), Saskatoon and Carrot jam (tastes just like carrot cake and is great on pancakes … add some cream cheese).  So keep on canning!  I like your website.

    5 stars

  19. ACanadianFoodie says

    Good lovely Saskatoon Berry Morning!

    If this is the Atco recipe, they found it on my website. When I published my recipe a little over a year ago, there was none anywhere close to it on the internet, and it was passed down from my great grandma. All other recipes, including Atco’s, had far too much sugar.

    You know I am ALL ABOUT sharing… but, Atco could have given me ingredient credit and certainly didn’t have this recipe on line at the time – no one did. Oh, rats, I am not a sour grapes person, buttThis is one of my own family recipes that I have been so proud of. Of course, someone else may have had it, too… but, there is google search, and mine has been the first one people find when searching for Saskatoon berry jam. Atco would have seen it. C’est la vie.

    You will love it. I can guarantee that, but I am disappointed in Atco. Recipes are recipes, but I give credit where credit is due, and it is possible that they would have developed a recipe like this, but as mine is fine tuned for the Thermomix, there is not much I can say. Some recipes are near an deart to one’s heart. I am sure you understand this. That is where my Saskatoon berry recipes are for me…. Anyway, my Summer pie is up. Hope you take a gander.

    Yum Yum



    • KariEvasiuk says

      ACanadianFoodie I worked at Atco for years and that Saskatoon Jam recipe was in the Atco magazine way back when (1990’s).  Sorry!!!  It’s theirs and not yours!

  20. sbendall says

    Saskatoon jam is always one of my favorites. They pack so much flavour in such a tiny package. A little nutmeg or cinnamon is a great addition or if you want to get adventurous, try adding plums.

    5 stars

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