Blackberries are tasty. However, they’re even better when they’re free.
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.
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.
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.
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.
(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.
Filed under: my grindz |