Blackberry Jam…

Blackberries are tasty.  However, they’re even better when they’re free.

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One of the great things about being in the Northwest is having free blackberries almost anywhere (at least in western Washington). I spotted a good spot on the way to the golf course one day so I stopped and picked about one gallon of these babies. What would one gallon cost in the store? I don’t know exactly but I’m betting a lot.

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If you have a food mill, great. If not, use a chinois or a coarse strainer to press the juice through. It doesn’t matter that much really because this is jam, so the whole fruit’s going in. But this can help identify a twig or something.

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Bleh! fruity mess.  This will stain your clothes and counters for sure. Should you  make jam in the nude? Eh, maybe not.  Or just don’t give me any jars for Christmas.

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Pectin, what holds it all together, literally. On the right is a popular brand of liquid pectin.  However, that’s for a full sugar recipe.  Jam contains a ton of sugar, don’t kid yourself.  That’s why I like to make my own whenever possible to limit that.  A full recipe (5 cups fruit) requires 5-7 cups sugar according to Certo.  Screw that! What’s the point of having fresh berries only to mask it in sugar?

Of course sugar is a preservative, but if jam is good, it won’t be lying in the pantry for very long.  I chose to use Lite pectin, which can be used with low sugar and no sugar recipes.  I used 2 cups of sweetener, 1 cup sugar and 1/2 cup stevia.  The stevia is twice as sweet as sugar so it’s like having 2 cups sugar.

 

 

Blackberry Jam
(yields 5-6 cups)

5 cups fruit
1 box Home Jell
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup stevia

*Quantities may differ between pectin brands*

Pre-boil your jars and lids for 10 minutes.

Measure sweetener and set aside. Mash up your berries and strain seeds if you prefer. These seeds are tiny so I didn’t.

Add fruit and juice to 6-8 qt saucepan.  Stir in pectin and let it sit 5-10 minutes then bring to a full rolling boil, stirring constantly. Add sugar at a full boil and bring to a boil once more, cook for 1 minute stirring constantly.

Remove from heat, skim off foam if any, and ladle into jars.  Cover jars and place in boiling water (must cover jars by 2 inches) and boil another 5 minutes to seal. Remove and cool.

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