So do you remember the berry picking I mentioned a few weeks ago? I finally got around to making one of the many batches of jam we will be making over the next few weeks.
I made a mixed berry using raspberries, blackberries and blueberries. Man is it good! Not one berry overpowers the other in flavor but they meld together perfectly to make a great tasting jam. Which wasn’t true when I tried a strawberry, raspberry and blueberry mixed jam a few years ago. It tasted like straight up raspberry jam. Not this one.
We didn’t want a ton of seeds and between the blackberries and raspberries there were going to be a whole lot of them. So I measured out two cups or so of whole berries and smashed them through a fine sieve which resulted in a nice bunch of liquid. I added smashed whole berries to the juice to get the two cups of prepared berries needed for each of the blackberry and raspberry. The blueberries didn’t need to have seeds removed so they were just mashed and added as is. I think the result was pretty good with just the right amount of seeds. You can make it without seeds too but it’ll take twice as many, if not a bit more, whole berries.
Making jam isn’t as hard or as intimidating as it may seem. Follow the directions exactly your first few times and then go ahead and experiment with flavors. This recipe was based off of one of the standard recipes found in the boxes of pectin. I just used the same one that they have for blackberries and raspberries and adjusted the types of berries. Enjoy!
Mixed Berry Jam
2 cups raspberries crushed
2 cups blackberries crushed
1 cup blueberries crushed
7 cups sugar
1 box powdered pectin
1/2 tsp butter, optional
Make sure you prepare everything before starting to cook the berries.
Start boiling water for the prepared jam in extra large canning pot with rack.
Sterilize lids and jars. To sterilize, simmer in boiling water for at least 10 minutes. Place flat lids in bowl and cover with boiling water.
To prepare fruit pick through and toss away any berries that are moldy or rotten. Carefully rinse berries and place in large bowl and crush. I use a pastry blender but you can also use a potato masher. If you want less seeds smash about half of them through a fine sieve. You’ll get a bunch of juice and then can add smashed whole berries to the juice. Make sure you always have 2 cups of prepared berries. Pour prepared berries in large stockpot.
Measure the exact amount of sugar listed in to a separate bowl. Do NOT reduce the sugar in the recipe as that will result in the jam not setting properly. There are less sugar pectins available.
Stir the pectin and butter into the prepared fruit in the pot. The butter helps reduce foaming but is not a critical component of the jam. I like letting the pectin soak into the fruit for about 5 minutes before turning on the burner.
Set a timer to 1 minute.
Cook on high heat and bring the mixture to a full rolling boil. This is when bubbles cover the surface and don’t stop bubbling even when stirred. This could take anywhere between 5-10 minutes. Make sure to stir constantly.
Add sugar to the fruit mixture and return to a full rolling boil. Once the jam is at a rolling boil cook for exactly 1 minute. This is why it’s nice to have a timer prepared ahead of time. Once again stir constantly. Don’t be afraid to get aggressive with your stirring after you add the sugar. You need to make sure it doesn’t clump and completely melts. Don’t forget to scrape down the sides periodically.
Remove from heat and skim off any foam with a metal spoon. You do need to work quickly so the jam doesn’t start setting before you get it in the jars.
Ladle the jam into the prepared jars, filling each to within 1/4 inch of the top. This is called the “headspace” and is very important. Make sure to take a clean damp cloth and wipe the tops and the threads of the jar. You don’t want anything interfering with the seal.
Cover with the flat lid and screw on lids. Make sure to securely hand tighten the lids before placing on the rack in the canning pot. Lower the rack and ensure the jars are covered with at least 1-2 inches of water. Add boiling water if necessary. Cover and bring to boil. Boil for 10 minutes.
Remove jars from water bath and place on a towel or cooling rack to cool completely. This is when you should start hearing “pops” as the jars seal. After the jam is completely cooled run your finger over the top of the jar lids and if you feel any that pop out instead of being slightly indented that means it’s not sealed properly. If this happens simply store that jar in the refrigerator instead of the pantry cupboard.
I’ve had some of my jam for up to two years and it’s still good. After that, well, you had better just make new stuff.
Makes 8-9 8 oz jars of jam.