We are blessed to have an abundance of blackberries this year. I confess, I am hoarding them (sorry, farmbox subscribers!) to make preserves.
I love making preserves and a few years back I kicked the box habit — using any store bought (boxed) pectin for my jam making. Yes, I know, it may come to a surprise to most folks, but you CAN successfully make jam without the use of store bought pectin. Hoping to write a post about pectin-less jam so stay tuned. What I can say is that preserves sans the box pectin is far superior in flavor and consistency – much like grandma used to make!
- 8 cups mashed blackberries
- 6 cups sugar
- 4 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon butter (to prevent foam)
- Crush and measure the berries. Place the berries into a large stainless steel pot. Add the sugar and lemon juice. Bring to boil over medium heat, stirring constantly to dissolve the sugar.
- Boil rapidly, stirring frequently until the soft gel (220degrees) set. Spoon or plate test the gel -- when the jam doesn’t run, the gel is set. For test methods visit http://nchfp.uga.edu/how/can_07/jelly_point.html
- Remove from heat and skim off any foam. Add butter to the gel at this stage to reduce the foam.
- Ladle the jam into hot, sterilized canning jars. Leave 1/4 inch headspace. Remove air bubbles if necessary, wipe the edges clean before putting on lids and rims.
- Process in a boiling-water bath, ensuring the jars are completely covered with water. Bring to a boil and process for 10 minutes.
- Remove the jars and let them sit on the counter for 24 hours to cool and ensure they are sealed correctly (you should hear the lids pop and "dimple should be down" . Place the jars in a cool, dry place for storage for up to a year. If any of the jars do not seal properly, place them in the refrigerator.
- Be creative! Add sage, lemon or mix berries