Blackberries are finally ripe for the picking in our parts, and I didn't waste time getting to my favorite little berry patch to pick some of those deep purple gems. There were a few raspberries left hanging on the canes as well- right next door to the blackberries- and they just happened to find their way into my
I picked several quarts and headed home with berry stained fingers and my tooth set for some delicious, berry jam! Jam just makes a biscuit smile, and this jam is the easiest ever. It's really more of a method than a recipe, and you can easily adapt it to whatever (and however many) berries you have. No pectin needed- just berries, lemon juice and sugar. You can make a big batch and can it, or if you just want to make a little bit you can store it in your refrigerator for a couple of weeks- if it lasts that long!
Very Easy Very Berry Jam
Berries- I used a mixture of Blackberries and Raspberries
Lemon juice- I used 1 Tablespoon for every cup of berry juice/pulp
sugar- I used 1 cup for each cup of juice/pulp.
To make the jam, I used the guidelines for making jam without pectin from the National Center for Home Food Preservation. If you're planning to can your jam, first prepare your jars.
Wash berries and place in a large saucepan. Mash berries and gently heat over low heat (do not boil) to release juice. I heated mine for about five minutes. If you don't want seeds in your jam, you can strain this mixture through a sieve or through several thicknesses of cheesecloth. I like the pulp and a few seeds in my jam so I ran mine through a Foley food mill to remove most- but not all- of the seeds. Measure the juice/pulp and put it into a large pot. (Don't try to cook more than 5-6 cups of juice/pulp in a batch.) Stir in 1 cup of sugar and 1 Tablespoon of lemon juice for each cup of juice/pulp.
Bring to a boil and boil rapidly, stirring constantly until the mixture thickens. Use one of the following methods to determine when your jam is ready.
- Boil until the mixture reaches 220F on a candy thermometer. (See this chart for altitudes other than sea level.)
- Boil until the mixture falls of the spoon in a "sheet" rather than a stream.
- Drop a spoonful of the mixture on a cold plate and put it in the freezer for a few minutes. Take it out and see whether or not it is thick enough. (The jam will thicken as it cools.)