You may not be a “jam” person. A year ago, neither was I.
A family friend makes homemade jams and once I used them on my pbj’s, toast, or swirled into yogurt, I was hooked. This isn’t your average fruit-based jelly that you squeeze from a tube.
With any all-natural jam that I buy, I make sure that it’s pure fruit and sugar and no added chemicals and sweetners that you can’t pronounce. And I look to make sure I can SEE the actual fruit in the jam..because the chunkier the jam is with fruit, the better!
MY FAVORITE: Blackberry Jam. There just isn’t much better. You can find the "seedless" varities in the grocery stores. BUT then one day I found one that was made in France, and it was filled with WHOLE blackberries, it was amazing!! I haven’t found a kind with the whole fruit since. Well, I’m done searching for chunky blackberry jam….I am making it myself! And let me tell you, it’s better than any jam you will ever buy.
MAKING JAM: My mom and I took a class on canning jellies and jams and it’s a lot easier than you would think! So I tried it out myself at home. The jam was just three ingredients: Crushed blackberries, sugar and pectin (this powder is what makes the jam thicken and stay together).
Most jam recipes call for around 3-4 cups of the fruit and then 7 or more cups of sugar! Well I like the pure fruit’s sweetness so I buy the “light pectin" that requires less sugar to be used. And you just follow the measurement directions that come on the box.
Once you steralize the jars in the bowling water (in a special canning pot on the stove) You just follow the directions on the pectin box. Here is the recipe for our blackberry jam.
PURE BLACKBERRY JAM
- 4 cups blackberries
- 3 cups sugar
- 1 packaged of powdered pectin (less sugar needed)
-Mash the blackberrys in a bowl. Mix 1/4 cup of the sugar and the pectin packet with the blackberrys. In a large pot, bring to a boil on the stove. Once boiling (and stir ocasionally) you want to let it boil for 1 minute. Then add the rest of the sugar. Remove from heat.
-Pour into the steralized jars. Leave about a ¼ of an inch room from the top of the jar. Wipe the edges of the jar clean. Put the seal lid on and screw the outer lid to hold the top intact. With in a few minutes you should hear a "pop” on the lid (this tells you they are sealed)
-Let rest and don’t bother them for 12-24 hours!
-If your jar doesn’t pop or you just don’t want to worry about sealing the jars, you can just put the jam in the refrigerator to use.
MY SECRET: Don’t strain out ANY of the seeds. Keep the blackberrys mashed and WHOLE. This creates a great jam that is chunky and will seriously please anyone who tries it…because no one has had a jam like it. I’ve looked.
This jam was so good that my family has wanted to try more varieties. My parents grow raspberries in the backyard so when they picked 4 cups, they made jam! Better than any store-bought kind. Using the exact same method as the blackberry jam recipe above, you can use any fruit you would like!