Summer is almost over, have you made any jams yet? I hadn’t yet until tonight, and I’m sure glad I finally got around to it! I went to a local farm stand and got the plumpest blackberries I’ve seen in a while. Maybe an hour later, I’ve got preserves to bring a touch of summer to my winter table.
Come join me on a canning adventure!
- 4 pints Blackberries/5 cups strained or pureed berries
- 7 cups Sugar
- 1 box of fruit pectin, I used SureJell
- 1 tablespoon fresh Lemon Juice
- 1 pat of Butter
This recipe will make about 9 cups of jam. I used 3 pint jars, or you could use 9 1/2 pint jars.
You will want to fill a canning pot with enough water to cover your jars by about an inch. Place your washed and clean jars into the water and bring to a boil. You can keep it at a boil or turn the heat off, but keep the jars in the water to keep them sterile. I opt to keep the water boiling.
In a small sauce pan add some water and your lids (and rings if you like, I think they cool quickly and my husband jokes that I feel no pain), bring to a simmer. Make sure it never goes above a simmer, you don’t want to melt the plastic that seals the lids.
Place your blackberries into a sieve over a bowl and using the back of a broad spoon start to mash your berries. We do this to keep the fibrous bits and seeds out of our jam, a mouth full of seeds is no fun.
Once you’re done mashing the blackberries, add them and your lemon juice to a large sauce pan. Something large enough to accommodate boiling-fruit-sugar-juice. Mix in your package of fruit pectin and stir, stir, stir. Add your pat of butter – this is to help reduce the amount of foam you may get. Stir until things come to a rolling boil.
Once things are at a boil, go ahead and dump in all of your sugar. All at once. Yes, it’s a ton of sugar, but that’s jam, baby. It is what makes it so deliciousss.
Now stir even more! Stir immediately, actually, because the sugar takes a bit of work to melt into your fruit puree. We’re going to bring this back to a boil while, you guessed it, continuing to stir.
Goal: violent, rolling, messy (blackberry polka dots on your counter) boil. Once there, let boil for one minute and then turn off the heat and get your canning things together.
If you have any foam on the top from boiling, simply spoon it off. It doesn’t do any harm, it’s just not pretty. Surprisingly, I had little to no foam today.
Using kitchen tongs, pull a jar out of the water and empty it back into the pot. Have some paper towels handy, a plastic knife or bamboo skewer, ladle, jar lifter, funnel, and magnetic lid lifter ready.
Set your funnel atop your jar and ladle in your blackberry jam, leaving about 1/4 to 1/2 inch room on top.
Use a non-metallic utensil, in my case a bamboo skewer, and run it around the inside of the jar. This is to release any air bubbles, air bubbles inside your finished product can breed bacteria.
Use a clean paper towel to wipe the top of the jar. Use the magnetic lid lifter to lift a lid out of your small sauce pan and center it atop the jar. Seal it all with a ring, but only finger tip tight. You want it to hold the lid on, but you don’t want it to be really snug because it will prevent air from releasing from the jars when we boil them. That will buckle your lids and you will be unable to store a jar with a buckled lid.
Bring your canning pot water to a boil and place your jars inside, making sure they don’t fall over. Boil for 15 minutes.
After 15 minutes you can take your jars out and you should hear a “pop, pop, pop” noise soon after. This means your jars have sealed, and I tell you… it’s one of the best noises in the world! If you don’t hear them right away don’t worry, give them overnight and they should pop eventually.
Don’t tighten your rings yet, try not to touch the jars at all if possible. You don’t want to interfere before you hear the pop.
Describing jam making is a little more involved than I realized it was going to be, but I hope I made the process clear and helped you on your way to making blackberry jam! This is one of the projects I may make a video of in the future. Let me know if that’s something that may interest you!