This post, featuring Small Batch Mixed Berry Jam is sponsored by Ball® Fresh Preserving Products by Newell Brands.
Nearly every summer since 2012, I’ve been issued a preserving challenge by my friends at Ball®Fresh Preserving Products by Newell Brands. Some years, they’ve asked me to develop a few new canning recipes. Other years, I’ve trekked to New York or Indiana to offer canning demos. This year, I’m really excited because they’ve given me a handful of their most popular recipes and asked me to create new ways to use them (a concept that’s much like my upcoming book!).
So from now until September, once a month I’ll be sharing my process for making the preserve and then unveiling a recipe that transforms it into something new and delicious. For this first month, the preserve was this small batch Mixed Berry Jam (I preserved it in some of the Ball® Smooth Sided Half-Pint Jars pictured above and available for purchase here. These are the best jars for labeling!).
Right off the bat, I was delighted with their pick of recipe. It’s a relatively small batch, with a short, simple ingredient list. I also know berry jams to be really versatile, so I knew I’d be able to make something interesting with it.
You start by washing and mashing enough fruit to yield 4 cups. For me, this wound up being about 1 3/4 pounds fruit (I used single 1 pound package of strawberries, and 1 1/2 clamshells of blueberries).
You want to make sure you have your jars warming and the lids washed before you start cooking the jam, because the cook time is quite short and you do want the jars to be ready for you when you’re ready for them.
Once the berries are well-mashed, they get scraped into a large pan. You add the pectin powder (4 1/2 tablespoons), stir well to combine and bring the fruit to a boil, stirring constantly.
Once the fruit is boiling madly, you stream in the sugar and stir to combine. Bring that to a rapid boil and cook for just a minute longer. Once the time is up, you pull the pot from the stove. As it starts to cool from the boiling point, you should see visible signs of set, both on the spatula and the walls of the pot. The jam will wrinkle a bit on the surface when you stir it and will cling thickly to the sides of the pan.
Then, working one at a time, fill each jar to 1/4 inch headspace, wipe the rim clean with a damp cloth, and apply a new, clean lid and ring. When all jars are full, process them in a boiling water bath canner for ten minutes (adjusting your processing time for altitude, if necessary).
(If you’ve never canned before, make sure to read through my guide to water bath canning before you start.
The finished jam is well-set, brightly flavored, and gorgeously colored. Check in tomorrow to discover what I did with it (hint: It’s something you can make on the weekend and eat for breakfast all week long!).
Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Newell Brands as part of a compensated partnership. All thoughts and opinions are entirely my own.