Blackberry Jam

blackberries in field

People in the Pacific Northwest take wild blackberries for granted. In fact, they’re something of a nuisance, lining highways and filling empty lots (my dad once had to rent a backhoe in order to clear the brambles from the lower half of our yard). In August, it’s easy to freely pick gallons of blackberries (you may sacrifice a bit of skin in the process – wild blackberries have very sharp thorns) at local parks, nature reserves and backyards. Just make sure to watch where you’re picking, last summer my parents got scolded after accidentally wandering onto someone’s property while picking berries at the very furthest most point of a dead end road.

blackberries in strainer

Out here in the Mid-Atlantic area of the country, blackberries are a little harder to come by. In fact, I’ve yet to find any wild fruit growing here in Philadelphia. However, I’m lucky to have a few good u-pick farms in the area. They’re not free, but they’re pretty cheap (two weekends ago, I paid $1.10 a pound) and when it comes to blackberries, the cultivated patches come with far fewer thorns than the wild ones.

mashing berries

Blackberry jam is one of my mom’s specialties, so this recipe is more hers than mine. She’s the one who taught me to mash the berries through a strainer to remove the seeds before turning them into jam (it’s a necessity with wild berries, as they tend to be seedier than cultivated berries. If you have more civilized berries, the deseeding process is optional). She’s also the one who showed me how wonderful a smear of blackberry jam can be on a slice of peanut butter toast mid-February.

blackberry pulp into pot

And, because I like to share my bounty, I do have a half pint of this luscious jam to give away. It’s a deep, deep purple color, is almost entirely seedless and is particularly amazing on pancakes (I had friends over for brunch the day after I made the batch and we couldn’t believe how perfect it was in place of maple syrup). Leave a comment by Monday, August 31st at 11:59 p.m. eastern time to enter.

So, on to the recipe we go.

Seedless Blackberry Jam

Yield: Approximately 3 Pints

Ingredients

  • 6 cups blackberry pulp (8-9 cups of berries, mashed through a strainer with the back of a wooden spoon)
  • 4 cups sugar
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1 lemon, juiced and zested
  • 1 packet liquid pectin (half the box)

Instructions

  1. Prepare your jars, start your lids to simmering and bring your canning pot to a boil.
  2. In a large, non-reactive pot (stainless steel or enameled cast iron), combine the sugar and fruit pulp and bring to a simmer. Add cinnamon, nutmeg and lemon zest/juice and stir to combine.
  3. Let the mixture reach a boil, stirring frequently to prevent it from boiling over. When the mixture appears to be thickening a bit, add the pectin and bring it back to a roiling boil.
  4. Let it boil vigorously for at least five minutes to activate the pectin. Before removing from the heat, check the set using the plate or spoon test to ensure that the jam will firm up when cool.
  5. Fill your jars with the hot jam, wipe rims, apply lids and rings and process in a boiling water canner for ten minutes.
  6. Remove from canner and allow the jars to completely cool on a dishtowel-lined counter top.
  7. Once the jars are cool, check the seals, label them and eat jam on toast in January.
https://foodinjars.com/recipe/blackberry-jam/

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190 responses to “Blackberry Jam”

  1. The color of this jam looks amazing! I’ve been doing pectin-less jam most of this summer, but I’m actually going to try some with pectin in just a week or so. I want to compare the taste/feel.

  2. marisa-
    there is a wild berry tree on Lombard in front of the health center near broad street. i can’t recall the name of the berry right now, but it is wild fruit that you can eat growing right on the street. i’ve picked them with friends and eaten them before. I will ask Will to remember the name of the tree. it’s not uncommon, i’m just getting old and losing my memory.

  3. I’m from Oregon and I had to let my neighbors’ goats loose on my backyard once (lo-fi backhoe…) to clear the brambles to the point where I could get to the berries. The plants are the most annoying weed on the planet, except for the two weeks in August when the blackberries are perfect.

  4. Ooooh! Thanks for the recipe- I’ll make it this week. I use the powder pectin… use half the pack?

    ps: love watching your twitters πŸ™‚

    Tammy, substituting powdered pectin for liquid is not an exact science. However, in a pinch I’ll sub in about 1/3 of a packet of powdered pectin in place of one envelope of the liquid stuff. I do this because the powdered pectin gives a really hard set and so you need less to achieve a nice, jammy consistency. -Marisa

  5. When I was growing up (in the south of England) my family used to go blackberrying together around this time of year then my parents would make what we called bramble jelly (which I think was blackberry and apple, I should ask for the recipe). In my memory that was _the best_ thing to put on toast. Haven’t seen all that many blackberries in these parts unfortunately, although last year we picked and ate some when we were up in Burlington, VT.

  6. Mmmm. My in-laws go every summer to western Massachusetts where they have blackberries and blueberries and they make blackberry jelly every year. It’s the only fruit my husband will eat, and it’s the only thing he’ll eat on a peanut butter sandwich. And we’re out! They weren’t able to bring much back (to California) this year.

  7. I never used to like blackberries because of all the seeds and I guess the ones we were able to get were really tart. I had some this year and I’m a convert!

  8. Nice! I love blackberries. We mostly find dewberries growing wild down here in Florida, but I have fond memories of picking wild blackberries in the summer in North Carolina with my grandparents. My granny always made cobbler with them, though. I’d love to try your jam!

  9. oooh, your jam looks incredible. the farm i belong to just started inviting us out to pick blackberries and raspberries, so when they increase the season picking limit, i will totally be making some jam!!

  10. Mmmm, looks delicious! We’re getting a nice harvest from our raspberries right now, but I can’t keep them around long enough to can any. My 6 year old makes a trip morning, noon, and night, out to the berries to see if any more are ripe!

  11. Looks great! My grandfather used to grow muscadine and dew berries, and you just can’t beat homemade jam. He still does make orange marmalade and all sorts of other homemade tasties, I love grandparents.

  12. That looks so good! I do hope you allow comments from people not in the US to enter…

    Mary, you are welcome to enter. -Marisa

  13. Blackberries are my favorite berries ever, and this looks amazing. I don’t even like maple syrup, so bring on the pancakes and jam!

    And here’s a question. You say “nonreactive” pot. I haven’t done any canning yet, but I really want to and I’m wondering how important this is. I have really high-quality nonstick pots… How would that do?

    Cat, nonstick pots are also nonreactive. As long as you don’t use an aluminum or plain cast iron pot, you should be fine. You just don’t want to use anything that will react with the acids in the fruit. -Marisa

  14. Ohio’s blackberries were wiped out from the late snow or really cold storm. Peaches took a hit too. Might go raspberry picking this Saturday. Enjoy your blog!

  15. Out in Philadelphia’s western suburbs, I grew up with blackberries in my backyard. They weren’t exactly wild because they were an artifact of the farm on whose land my development was built, but they did have smaller, tighter berries and plenty of thorns. Sadly, we didn’t monitor our tree growth and they disappeared with too much shade.

    It was delightful to go pick this year to recreate that, but even after picking five pounds of blackberries I didn’t make any jam. Aside from a couple shared fruit salads, I managed to eat them all. All of them! With only about 3 berries succumbing to age before I could nom them with a sprinkling of sugar and a splash of cream.

    So having squandered my bounty, I have vague hopes of winning some jam. But also, thank you so much for pointing out the good place for picking them.

  16. I’ve anted to try blackberry jam this summer, but haven’t had a chance to pick my own, and they are very dear at the farmers’ market, so I haven’t indulged. Maybe I’ll win your 1/2 pint. πŸ˜‰ I like the de-seeding tip. Ive had some complaints (from the kids!) about the seeds in my raspberry jam this summer.

  17. Now this post really makes me miss home! I’m from Seattle. I remember going out and picking blackberries until I was purple (more from eating them). Now far, far away I wish I had all those beautiful berries. Would love to win a jar of jam.

  18. There was a “hidden” blackberry bush behind a turn in the creek near my house when I was little. We were sure only the kids knew about it, and our parents never picked from that one. I miss the wild ones! I have never seen anything like it in the midwest.

  19. How lucky you are! Many of our blackberries were wiped out from summer storms. Wish we had enough for jam, but only ended up with a few small handfuls!

  20. I second @SeattleTammy’s question – how do you convert between powdered pectin and liquid pectin when a recipe calls for one but you only have the other? Thanks – and the jam looks fabulous!

    Thanks Marisa! See SeattleTammy’s comment for my pectin reply. -Marisa

  21. We used to pick blackberries as kids at my grandparents’ property outside of town. They had about two acres of vines with trails cut into them. We’d eat half and give her half to make into cobbler. The berries you get in stores are like soulless little orbs of black compared to the gorgeous sun-warmed berries you get straight off the vine.

    Sun-warmed berries are pure bliss! -Marisa

  22. I just adore blackberries, but I hardly ever eat them because I can’t stand to pay for them. My grandparents had blackberry vines that produced more berries than they knew what to do with when I was growing up. Blackberries are supposed to be delicious and free. πŸ™‚

  23. Oooh, cinnamon and nutmeg would be a great addition. I will have to add those in this weekend. I’ve found I like the seeds in my jam, maybe becuase I’ve grown up eating blackberries with lots of seeds? Although I think I will try this out and send some off for those who aren’t as into the seeds as I am.
    Another thought – I don’t add pectin, just let it cook down and it becomes pretty jam-like after a few hours. Is there any reason to add pectin besides saving time?

    End of insanely long comment.

    Chloe, I like to use pectin because it does save some time, gives you a slightly fresher flavor (because you don’t have to cook the jam down for so long) and gives you a dependable outcome. I know that lots of people aren’t fans of pectin, and I totally respect that, but I like it and use (to be clear, I only use liquid pectin. I can’t stand the consistency that powdered pectin gives). -Marisa

  24. So true, so true. Blackberries are the scourge of some people’s yards here in PDX. Heck, I cut them down in my yard. Yet, I’m glad my parents have decided to let them run wild. They trim them back, but I would say they have about 200ft or more of wild blackberry bushes lining the border of their property. So many blackberries you don’t have to reach in and get all cut up in order to fill a couple of bowls. We made jelly a few weeks ago from them.

    Great post!

    Mmm, blackberry jelly. Sounds amazing! -Marisa

  25. I recall picking wild caneberries when I was young from a hedgerow behind my elementary school – nothing like the taste of a wild berry!

  26. Ahh, so that’s the trick to getting rid of the crunchies. I think I might have to try that one soon–we have a pick-your-own place around here that’s so fun!

  27. This is my favorite type of jam! We’ve got a wild patch near our house and have been picking and freezing bags of them for future pies. We’ve never made jam though, so maybe we should give it a try!

  28. The Philadelphia Orchard Project has started a google map with all of the sites where orchards, single fruit trees, and berry bushes are located throughout the city and surrounding areas. I’d imagine the berries go fast, and it wouldn’t be very neighborly-like to pick enough to make your delicious jam, BUT a few fresh picked berries are always a great treat during a nice walk.

    http://maps.google.com/maps/ms?ie=UTF8&hl=en&t=h&msa=0&msid=115435414840831758445.00044844c98e0a15821f2&ll=39.95644,-75.21208&spn=0.19563,0.310648&source=embed

  29. That looks *amazing*! I’m hoping to find some blackberries before they’re done out here.

    I made raspberry last night with the less sugar needed pectin. Do you have an opinion about that kind?

    Still new at it all, but really enjoying it.

    (and seriously.. the blackberry jam looks amazing!)

    Elizabeth, I don’t love the consistency that the low-sugar pectin gives to jam (I’d rather eat less jam than reduce the amount of sugar in mine). However, I know that there are lots of people who need to reduce their sugar intake, and for them, I think that it’s wonderful that this type of jam is out there. -Marisa

  30. What a fun post. We visited our grandparents each year in Seattle and whenever we were there in August I was always so excited to pick blackberries. They were always my favorite and I would ask my grandmother why she didn’t grow them in her garden, and the response was there is just no need!! I’ve never picked cultivated blackberries, but it’s nice to know that they are a bit less prickly!

  31. Aaaahhh! I made 7 half pints of wild blackberry jam with sage and did not strain it. It is delicious (the sage is perfect with blackberry), but definately seedy.
    Next year…

    • Mary – I have some late marionberries and boysenberries and want to try making the seedless jam with sage. Can you tell me how to add the sage to this recipe please? thank you

      • All you need to do is finely mince a few fresh leaves and add it to the cooking fruit. They will break down and merge with the jam. If you’re using dried sage, crumble them in. Start with just a couple of leaves and taste. Add more if necessary.

  32. Blackberry jam is my favorite. This year my poor spindly little vines produced about 2 cups of berries. Maybe next year there will be enough for jam?

  33. OOOOHHHH…this would be perfect. Last summer, our “gourmet” market had a melon month…every type of melon you can think of and many I’d never heard of- we went through at least a melon a day….this year, my boys want to try every berry grown. We are working our way through the berries as fast as they can eat them!!!

  34. we have oodles of wild blackberries in the north east, well, maine at least. they cover the island where i live, and this weekend i am going to go picking if the hurricane stays away!
    thanks for the great site.

  35. Loved picking wild blackberries as a child in N California. Now live in AZ. Too hot to be outside to pick blackberries if there were any.

  36. I don’t need to win a jar – I have lots that I’ve put up already – but I wanted to commend you on your great photography. It’s beautiful.

  37. I managed to fit in a spate of blackberry jamming in the Adirondacks last week. Alas, the berries were from the organic farm — the wild ones are being destroyed by vacation housing developments — but they were gorgeous and delicious. Enough for 9 cups of jam plus a fabulous blackberry pie made by my husband! Just a note about removing the seeds. I have a gadget called a “ricer,” given to me by my mother-in-law. It’s a conical sieve perched on three legs to hold it above a bowl. It comes with a cone-shaped wood “pestle” which is inserted into the sieve and mashes the pulp of the berries out while keeping the seeds in. Very efficient, it’s very sturdy, and disassembles for storage. If you can find one, I highly recommend using it for making berry jam.

  38. My husband purchased and planted some blackberry bushes this spring, and we had just a few on the bushes to try not too long ago. They don’t grow wild up here in ND! Thanks for the recipe, hopefully I’ll be able to use it next fall.

  39. Now I’m jealous, fresh blackberries are so good, so I can just imagine how much better they are freshly picked. And cheap too!

  40. My brother & I just canned 21 jelly jars & one half jelly jar of blackberry jelly this week. A victorio strainer works very well with deseeding blackberries are well. Thanks for the great blog – I am newer to canning (only my 2nd year) & it’s been fun to read about different things I would like to try in the future. This year I added spaghetti sauce, crushed tomatoes, salsa, blueberry jam, zesty peach barbecue sauce & pears to my canning resume! Can’t wait to continue trying more things!

  41. Loved the post on the 26th with links to desserts in jars. As always you bring things to my attention that are inspiring. Thanks bunches!

  42. Yum! The only pick-ur-own we have here in Iowa is blueberries and apples. I haven’t given up on searching out other kinds though. πŸ™‚

  43. We just started making jam this year with PYO berries, but get a crop of wild blackberries from our driveway. Last year we froze most of them, and had berries through about April. This year, we shared a lot with our visiting family this year. Would love to try your recipe, though.
    We are also fortunate to have many PYO places within 20 minutes that are active throughout the summer/fall.

  44. I am so going to have to try this! I have been wanting to do some canning this summer (not that I have EVER before . . . ) and this just looks soooo good!! I am sure I have missed out on most of the blackberries, but I will have to have a look around this weekend and see what I can find!

  45. Looks beautiful, love the de-seeding method, and I tragically don’t like the taste of maple syrup. I *need* a substitute – so thanks for the tip!

  46. Blackberry jam is my favorite! I just found some bushes but they aren’t too active. I’d like to try this jam though.

  47. thanks so much for doing this post. blackberry jam/jelly is right up there with chocolate! I am a visual learner and this really helps. NOW where can I get some blackberries in Mississippi

  48. I just tried making peach jam for the first time….it was fun! My husband and two sons got into the act so it was a family project. Colorado peaches are so yummy on their own but when it became apparent that wouldn’t be able to eat a whole case before they spoiled, we decided to try to make jam. Thansk for the tutorial on blackbery jam….looks delicious!

  49. Lisa Fain directed me to your site as I Twittered in wild desperation to be included in an East coast canning party. This post makes my first jam even more ripe for the making. Do you ever have canning parties?

  50. I came to you via a Pioneer Woman comment- makes me excited to try some canning- my sister gave us some black raspberry jam earlier this summer and it was wonderful!

  51. I would LOVE some jam. I’m in the Northwest and last year I made Marionberry jam. This year I have a newborn, so the time to pick berries is pretty limited.

  52. I used to pick berries with my parents when I was a kid. We’d put on long pants and shirts and brave the thorns and the chiggers. This summer I was at a flea market and came across a chinoise like my mother used to have for jam making. I bought it but I’ve yet to put it to use. I need to find a place to pick berries in my new home.

    My favorite use of blackberry jam: cornbread with milk, sorghum molasses, and blackberry jam. Put the cornbread in a bowl and drizzle with sorghum, dollup some blackberry jam on top and pour cold milk over the top. Eat for breakfast.
    I’d love to win the jam! πŸ˜‰

  53. Here in the Pineywoods of East Texas we have wild dewberries. Look much like your wild blackberries but I believe less seeds and jucier and sweeter. Yummy! to both. I just like any berries! Thanks for a great site and we love to do all kinds of canning here, also! Betty

  54. Please pick me… wild blackberry talking..almost having been blasted, boiled, seeded and jammed into a herm sealed jar with of course the proper amount of pectin , acid and sweetening agent – sugar……. jam is what I is all I ever could be is ..well, JAM.

  55. wow, this looks great! I wish I could get cups and cups of them here, the mass-produced stuff isn’t anything like this tasty. But they’d be so terribly expensive it wouldn’t be worth it. Strawberry is the only kind of jam I’ve made yet, plus canning some homemade applesauce. (I live in China, but if I win the jam and you don’t care to ship it internationally, you could ship it to my dad in Virginia, he loves blackberries even more than I do!)

  56. A friend of mine recently taught me to can and make jam. After putting up peach jam, peach/orange jam and orange marmalade I had hoped to do blackberry. Sadly I missed out on blackberries at the local pick your own farms. I’m putting your recipe aside and hope to try it out in the future. My girls LOVE blackberry jam!

  57. Yum. I have not had much luck with our berries. I may just have to break down and buy some next week, if they are still around. It DOES sound really good on pancakes.

  58. I haven’t had any luck getting enough of a quantity of berries for jams this summer, so I have been making LOTS of pepper jellies instead. I would just love to get my hands on some yummy homemade blackberry jam! :0)

  59. We call them dewberries in Alabama.My mom made dewberry jelly and dewberry pies when I was a child. So good!!! Looks de-lish!!

  60. My sisters and I picked wild blackberries off the side of the road in Vancouver. They were by far the sweetest and tastiest blackberries I’ve ever eaten! I can’t wait to try this recipe πŸ™‚

  61. I don’t know about CC specifically, but at the edges and beyond there is a ton of wild fruit. Temple Ambler has a ton of wild berries- blackberries, raspberries, and more. Also a lot of areas use hawthorn trees for landscaping, and they’re just starting to fruit!

  62. I’ve been making blackberry jam with the recipe on the pectin package, with good results. But yours sounds like it would have more layers of flavor! Too bad our blackberry patch didn’t yield any berries this year. I’ll have to tuck the recipe away for next year. I have a good recipe for blackberry wine if you are interested.

  63. I would love some blackberry jam. I would love to learn how to make jam. We used to have a prolific blackberry bush. Lots of berries. That was before Chloe (who thinks her name is bad dog). She decided to re-landscape our yard. One of the first victims was my blackberry bush…not to mention 2 apple trees and some raspberries. All I can say is good thing we like Chloe.

  64. Just found your site, and love canning. Why don’t you use a steam juicer for blackberries? Do you think you get more juice crushing through a strainer?

  65. Thanks for mentioning the wild Himalayan blackberries that grow like mad on our 5 acres on Vancouver Island. I love blackberry jam but hate the seeds so before processing, I put mine through a food mill. The texture is a spooning jam rather than a spreading jam and I also make a batch with lavender flowers added. It gives a lovely infusion and everyone seems to love it. Love your website/blog…

  66. I made this delicious tasting jam after a marathon blackberry picking session yesterday! I have only just started making jam (without Grandma supervision) and it didn’t set for me… it is the consistency of a thick syrup and although I’m sure it will be delicious on waffles I am wondering where I went wrong! Any thoughts would be much appreciated πŸ™‚

  67. so i’m curious if blending the berries and then straining them makes a difference? instead of mashing them with a wooden spoon? I’m new at this and trying to learn the best way to do things…thanks for your insight! πŸ™‚

  68. Does anyone know how to make blackberry sage jam or how to add sage to a blackberry recipe? I have been yearing for some and can’t find a recipe for it.

  69. Take them for granted! Those blackberries are an invasive species that is taking over the forests in the Pacific Northwest, turning them into nothing but a giant blackberry bramble and killing all of our native plants. The hours I’ve spent pulling them up . . .

    Picking them and eating them helps a lot, too because the seeds are spread further.

  70. I have wild blackberrys growing behind my church in VA. Made some cobbler this weekend and will make my first attempt at canning and jam making this week.

    • The acid in lemon juice will help with the set of the jam and also helps balance the flavor. You should include it.

      • Great, thanks for the tip. These are not things taught in the Sure-Jel recipe booklets (LOL). I am learning a lot from you and I’m sorry for all the posts! Definitely spreading the word on your blog though!

    • i would really like to sample this jam before i try to make it.i bought a jar from a girl at my local farmer’s market but it’s not really all that sweet and it doesn’t have a very strong blackberry flavor. perhaps the berries she used may not have been very sweet.
      however, we had a great discussion about making double batches. please read my comments on the honey lemon marmalade recipe.

  71. Just finished making this jam ~ it totally rocks, in taste, texture, & color. I did change it a bit, but the essence of your recipe is still very much there. My 8 C of wild berries amounted to just 4 C liquid once I put them through my KitchenAid fruit/veg strainer attachment ~ wild berries seem to be smaller & seedier than domestic versions ~ so I poured in 4 C of blueberries also. I followed your recipe, otherwise, maybe cooking it down just a bit longer because I had so much fruit. This was the 1st time I’ve used pectin but I like the consistency of it… & the fact that it IS consistent, more uniform results than relying on what natural pectin lies in the fruit itself. I am now sitting next to 7 – 1/2 pints & 2 very full Bonne Maman jars full of what I’m calling “Black & Blue Jam” ~ after its ingredients & how I feel while I’m picking those blasted blackberries! Life is good ~ & so is this jam!! πŸ™‚ Thanks for sharing your canning exploits, I’m glad I found your recipe for Dilly Beans (which is what brought me here in the 1st place just a few days ago) ~ I’ll be back often!! πŸ™‚

    • Here in Alabama, blackberries are plentiful. I have been a blackberry jam connisour for years. Wh have had severe droughts for the last 3-4 years. Year before last, whene blackberries were scarce, to finish up my last batch of jam, I used 1/2 blackberries and 1/2 blueberries. Let me tell you, that was the best batch of jelly I EVER made! I have been making it that way ever sense!

  72. Hmmm…. I put it in jars and it looks like liquid! I wonder if it will firm up? I boiled vigorously for the 5 minutes and used a packed of liquid pectin…..

    • Maybe I should’ve cooked it more. I literally poured it into the jars. Oh well I guess — live and learn!

      • Celia, you have to use your best judgment to determine whether it’s ready to pour into jars. The time I give isn’t exact, because every batch is different.

        • Yeah, I have a hard time using my judgement even though I kicked myself for not doing so. I just kept thinking to follow your directions exactly… I’m wondering what your experience is in remaking the batch to thicken it? I’ve googled for info but curious what your thoughts are. By the way, my strawberry vanilla jam came out fab.

          • I know it was long ago but, a few diferent times my jams haven’t done the thicken thing so all those jars went back into the pot and came out great the second time so must be ok!

  73. Having a late blackberry season here in the Seattle area this year. I will be making a batch of this tonight, and if I love it enough (which I know I will) it will inspire me to fight the thorns for enough berries for a second batch. I think your in the area Marisa so you may have the opportunity to fill up on the blackberries while your here πŸ™‚

  74. So i just tried this for the first time. I’ve never made jam before in my life. I only had enough berries to make half the recipe that you posted here, and i halved the pectin as well because that seemed like the natural thing to do. My jam didn’t set at all! πŸ™ all my hard work is now liquefied in five little jam jars. Should i have just added the entire package of pectin even though i was only using half of everything else the recipe called for? I used half a large lemon instead of a small one, so could too much lemon juice have been an issue? Not enough lemon juice? I want to try this again, but now i’ve got five jars of blackberry syrup i can’t do anything with (unless i can somehow salvage it by adding another half-packet of pectin..)

    • I made blackberry jam one year and tried it the old fashion way – making sure 1/4 of the blackberries are not quite rip and then add no pectin. Well, didn’t work. I too ended up with syrup. Which, was so well received I make it that way on purpose now every year. We use it on pancakes (usually mixed with regular maple syrup) and in shakes. Love it.

      As far as jam, I always add extra because I like my jam firm. Doesn’t seem to change the end taste.

  75. I have been canning for a couple years, and have so far made simple things, plain strawberry jam and the like…this year I did pickles and relish and your orange creamsicle (hubby’s favorite!) But this….WOW! It came out SO delicious, I can’t even believe I made it! I don’t have liquid pectin so I used a package of powdered which I put in at the beginning, but other than that exactly the same. I have never thought to put spices in my jam (duh!), the cinnamon and nutmeg perfectly zip up the flavors, the bit of heat and woody-ness kind of reminds me of the stickers I dealt with this morning to get my berries! DROOL is pouring down my chin right now in expectation of it cooling…oh heck with it, warm jam on toast NOW!!!

  76. Hi- I live in Skagit County , Wa and we have an abundance of wild blackberries of several varieties. I have experinmented with not using pectin and if there are some slightly under-ripe berries in your pot these will help you firm up your jam. It takes a bit more patience and careful heating but the taste is amazing. I did this because pectin is becoming so expensive. The bland tasting blackberry jam may be from commercial berries which sadly do not have nearly the zip as the wild berries. I have a farmer friend who let me glean his blackberry fieldlast year and I was so disappointed in the lack of flavor or even aroma- guess I’m spoiled with the wild ones. I have several packages in the freezer I’m planning to blend with the wild berries to help them out. And yes you can re-cook the jam if need be but be careful you don’t make blackberry tar or you can use it as ice cream topping or as syrup. My recipe is 8 c pulp/juice to 6 c sugar- heat to 210 degrees; water bath 10 minutes. I test small dabs to see if the jell is right.

  77. I’m not a huge fan of blackberry jam but this recipe made all the difference. A friend gave me several gallons of wild blackberries so I had the luxury of experimenting with several recipes. This recipe was the clear favorite.

    I made a few changes – I did not strain the berries and I increased the amount of freshly grated nutmeg. The flavor is incredible and I plan to make more to give as gifts this year. Thanks to your Mom for sharing this recipe.

  78. I am so excited about trying this recipe! Just one quick question: when you say 6 cups blackberry pulp, should the pulp actually be in there? My strainer has such small holes that none of the pulp is getting through, just pure liquid juice. Is that alright? I hate seeds in jam so don’t want to use pulp full of seeds. Any suggestions? Thanks in advance!

    • Rachel, If you want seed free then use a food mill instead of a strainer, you should be able to pick one up at a box store of a kitchen specialty store. I actually found mine at a garage sale and have used it for applesauce and now for blackberrys. it saves tons of time and you get 10x less seeds…

  79. Marisa, when they are in season raspberries grow wild along River Road just outside of New Hope in Bucks County. You might be taking your life in your hands some days to pick the darned things, but they are there

  80. My husband and I recently took advantage of the wild blackberries here in the Pacific Northwest! We live north of Seattle and found the perfect spot! I made a batch of blackberry pecan scones, but I made sure to have enough berries left to make a batch of jam! This recipe is the best that I’ve tried so far- its so decadent with the spices! It brings the berry flavor out and it just bursts in your mouth! Fantastic! Thank you so much for sharing a family recipe!

  81. Turned out really good!
    This was the first time I’ve ever canned anything, so I’m pretty satisfied πŸ™‚
    However I might not put quite as much sugar in.
    With an abundance of wild black berries on the west coast of British Columbia, this recipe will be a favorite.

  82. I live in Guatemala, to this day I have only found pectin in dry form, like the gelatin, but I just canΒ΄t seem to find anywhere how to use it, do you put it in water first, do you use hot water? every thing I’ve tried has turned the pectin into lumps can any one our there help me? thanks.

  83. So I dropped by the grocery store on my way home yesterday, and blackberries, normally $5.00 a box, were 10 boxes for $10.00!!!
    I got very excited, purchased a bunch of boxes, then decided I could figure out how to make jam on the net. And I stumbled on your site and made this recipe and WOW!! I had to adjust for various factors…..my 11 year old got up in the middle of the night and ate 3 boxes of berries, so had to run down and buy more :). I bought powdered pectin instead of liquid, realized my error, so had to run back down and buy liquid, and I am so glad I had both on hand, because after using only the liqui d pectin, I had very runny blackberry juice. I added almost a half a pack of dry, and that solved the problem. I was worried it was too late in the cooking process to add the dry, but it worked!I also cut back just a bit on the sugar, but only because I only had about 3 2/3 c. left after I made fureur, spicy molasses cookies this morning ;). The jam is outstanding, I feel very proud of myself, and am totally grateful to you, Marisa, for sharing!! Yippee!!

  84. Wowza, I just got a little teary eyed at this post. I’m from Oregon and some of my best memories are stopping off the side of a bike path with my parents, filling my basket and stomach with wild blackberries and continuing on my ride. Now I live in Philadelphia as well, and I find that blackberries, my favorite fruit, are hard to come by. No way do I want to pay $4 per pint of mediocre tart blackberries.
    This is my question: Can you give me the name of a few of the best/affordable U-pick places close to Philly? Obviously not much in season now, but I would love to know for the future season. I would love to introduce my Philly-native friends to the joys of berry picking, and stock up!

    • Sierra,
      Just stumbled on this blog and enjoying the recipes – especially since it is currently snowing outside. There are some great u-pick orchards in Berks County if you want to get on the Turnpike and head west. Weaver’s Family Orchard (north of Morgantown) has strawberries, red raspberries, black raspberries, blackberries, blueberries, peaches, apples, pears and I have probably forgotten some items. Great local family owned orchard.

    • You can also try Solebury Orchards just outside of New Hope in Bucks County. You can pick blueberries, blackberries, and apples depending on the time of year. They also have a flower garden you can cut your own. They have the best cider and apple cider donuts in the fall, too. They have cherries some years, too. They used to have raspberries, but no more. (Wah!)

      Google them or check out their web site.

  85. I have a question I haven’t seen on here. It may be evident and I just don’t see it, but you say bring to let the mixture reach a boil, stirring to keep it from boiling over; then you say when the mixture appears to be thickening a bit, bring it BACK to a rolling boil. Was it a rolling boil before? If yes, then where does it say to reduce heat or otherwise allow it to be less than a rolling boil? I’m confused and want to get it right the first time as blackberries here are expensive.

    • It appears that there was a typo in that recipe that was causing your confusion. It was supposed to say that once you add the pectin, you need to bring it back to a rolling boil. I’ve corrected it, so you should be able to follow the recipe without issue. Thanks so much for pointing out the error.

  86. This looks like a very nice recipe. I am a very lucky person living in Portland Oregon. My friend and i just returned from picking piles of boysenberries and I think i am going to give this a spin. The nutmeg and cinnamon sound like lovely compliments to the berries. I will keep you posted

    I also wanted to add that your “small batch approach has completelg changed my canning life. Thank you for all you do.
    CHEERS!!!!!!

    Ch

  87. Hi! I live in Princeton, NJ and I’m looking for a cheap place to pick blackberries. The farm where I get my produce has ridiculously expensive prices. Where did you find them in Philly for $1.10?

    Thanks so much!
    -Brigid

  88. I’m leaving a comment for you for two reasons. One is that I love this recipe and my jam tastes wonderful. The other reason is that your recipe is so good that I’d love to try your jam also. I hope I get lucky and win your 1/2 pint give a way jam. It’s really good stuff. I live out in the country here in the Shenandoah Valley in Virginia. I have discovered several great places to pick my blackberries for fresh Blackberry Pies and Blackberry Jam. By the way, do you have a favorite recipe for Blackberry Pie ? I have a pretty good pie recipe but if you have one I would definitely give it a try. If it’s anything like your jam recipe I’ll love it. Thanks for the Blackberry Jam Recipe.

  89. Had to make some room in the freezer and found this recipe to use up some good blackberries I picked this year in Virginia. If the dregs at the bottom of the pot are any indication this is a FANTASTIC tasting spread! The spices and the lemon really give it a richer and brighter taste than any blackberry jam I’ve made before. This is a keeper!

  90. Hi there, from across the pond. I live in the UK and this year due to a wonderful summer we have blackberries everywhere. I have been picking three times this week already. Blackberry and apple is a tradition in the UK. I am an old hat at canning and wanted to share some information on jams that do not set . It is perfectly ok to re-batch the cooked syrup by adding another half cup of sugar per quart of syrup and more pectin. We can only get powdered pectin most places over here so sometimes it takes a bit extra to get jams to set. Also for all the seed and pulp many of you throw away it can be boiled in a separate pot along with water and sugar for cordial. Cook down mixture and add lemon juice. Strain and bottle. You can take the strained seeds and pulp left bake in a low oven and eat as a snack or add it to muffins etc. Don,t waste natures bounty. I often take the dried pulp and seeds, whiz it in my grinder and add it to homemade soap for exfoliation. Happy jamming from the UK

  91. I went to mow the lawn yesterday. When I went to weed whack the brambles along the house, I noticed that there were black raspberries (apparently some creature has been eating them before I get to them, so all that’s left are the brambles to be cut). The whacking will wait! So far I have 1/2 cup of tasty berries washed and in the freezer. Will check for more in a couple of days. I will have to get some jars and pectin, but I can’t wait to make the jam, even in a small batch!

  92. Just made spiced blackberry preserves. Changed your recipy a little bit. Did not crush the 8 cups of blackberries. Cut the spices by half and used 2 tablespoons of lemon juice. used a tad less than 3 cups of organic sugar. The thornless Blackberries are from my yard. Delicious. put some on a Ritz and added shredded cheddar on top. Great with a cup of tea.

  93. I just tried your recipe and I must say it turned out fantastic!!! We absolutely loved it and so did our little ones, which is rare for them lol.. My family has lots of land which is covered with blackberries, raspberries, and many fruit trees that we harvest every year.. Any recipes you have for canning/making jams and jellies for peaches, apples, plums, wild cherries, pears, and raspberries would be greatly appreciated!

  94. I bought six pints of southern Md blackberries on the side of the road this weekend … woulda bought a whole flat but the hubby is a little perplexed by my jam obsession. So followed your recipe, reducing berry pulp to 4 cups and sugar proportionately to 2 2/3 cup. Just smooshed em up – I’m ok with seeds. I threw in a star anise and a cinnamon stick, fishing those out at the end. Processed and popped, just letting them cool. Jam spatters on counter look jelled – yeah!! Even with reductions, still got 5 half pints processed and a near-half-pint for the fridge.

    • Oh my goodness! I cracked open a jar last night to mix in with some cottage cheese. What a beautiful jam! Tastes of fruit not sugar! A loose set — but far from runny. I’m so happy I documented it here — I couldn’t remember what spices I used. Thanks again for the inspirations!!

  95. Why can’t you make Jam out of Splenda. I am a diabetic and can’t have all that sugar. I was watching you make Blackberry Jam but you used 1 lb of sugar.

    • You can’t make jam in the traditional way with Splenda, because it doesn’t have the same ability to change physical consistency in the say way that sugar does. If you want to make a Splenda sweetened jam, you will need to use a low or no sugar pectin. Either Pomona’s Pectin or Ball’s no sugar pectin.

  96. I made a double batch yesterday and woke up this morning to find that it did not set. I have a dozen jars of syrup. Could cry, honestly. Is there a way I can save it? Re-cook it? Is there a tutorial or advice on how to get a firm jam? I would love some advice….

  97. I made this recipe last night and it turned out perfect!! I love the addition of cinnamon and nutmeg (I’ve made your blueberry butter many times for the same reason!). Marisa, I’ve been following your blog since 2012 and I honestly don’t use any canning recipes other than yours πŸ™‚ Thanks for all of the wonderful recipes and culinary inspiration!

  98. i’ve tried this recipe twice. Both times it turned out runny. Tastes great on ice cream or pancakes. Looking at the liquid pectin directions I should have used 2 packets. I used the recipe on the liquid pectin box and it worked great. Guess I’ll give it a try again using either dry pectin or more liquid. Thanks for sharing the recipe.

  99. I just finished making three batches of this delicious blackberry jam. It turned out perfect. So yummy with the added lemon juice and zest. Perfect. My husband and I had to immediately have a piece of toast and jam. Thanks for this excellent recipe.

  100. Is the lemon for flavor or for acidity. Because if it’s for acidity, I thought bottled juice is required because you can’t standardize the acidity. Lemons are all different sizes.

    • The lemon is for flavor. Any time you see a recipe call for fresh lemon juice, it is for flavor rather than safety. Just use an average size lemon.

  101. Do wild blackberries set better than tame blackberries? My husband planted blackberries a couple of years ago so we wouldn’t have to go through so many thorns. I canned jelly last year and the blackberry was really thin. I want to try the preserves this year but someone told me I may do better with wild berries. Is this true?

    • I’ve not had the experience of wild berries setting up better than cultivated berries. It could be that cultivated berries are watered more often and so contain more water and so need more time to cook down.

  102. Oh how I miss picking wild blackberries in Washington! I’m going on a fruit buying road trip this weekend for berries and peaches. I would love to taste your jam with the added spices!

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