Blackberry Jam

August 27, 2009(updated on August 30, 2021)

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.

5 from 1 vote

Seedless Blackberry Jam

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

  • Prepare your jars, start your lids to simmering and bring your canning pot to a boil.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Fill your jars with the hot jam, wipe rims, apply lids and rings and process in a boiling water canner for ten minutes.
  • Remove from canner and allow the jars to completely cool on a dishtowel-lined counter top.
  • Once the jars are cool, check the seals, label them and eat jam on toast in January.

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190 thoughts on "Blackberry Jam"

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • This is one of those things that only increases my longing to live in the northwest. Blackberries, huckleberries, cool weather… Lovely.

  • 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 🙂

    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

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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!

  • 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!

  • 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!!

  • 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!

  • 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.

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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!

  • 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.

  • 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. 😉 I like the de-seeding tip. Ive had some complaints (from the kids!) about the seeds in my raspberry jam this summer.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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!

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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. 🙂

  • 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

  • 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

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

  • 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!

  • 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!

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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!

  • 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…

    1. 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

      1. 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.

  • 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?

  • 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!!!

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

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

  • 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!

  • 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!

  • 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. 🙂

  • 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.

  • 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!

  • 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!

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

  • 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

  • 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!

  • 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?

  • 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!

  • 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.

  • 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! 😉

  • 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

  • I have some blackberries in the freezer just waiting for a cool day to make into jelly! I would love to taste some of yours though . . .

  • 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.

  • 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!)

  • 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!

  • 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.

  • 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)

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

  • 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 🙂

  • 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!

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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?

  • 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…

  • 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 🙂

  • 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! 🙂

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

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

      1. 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!

    2. 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.

  • 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!! 🙂 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!! 🙂

    1. 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!