Saturday, December 8, 2012

Blackberries For Christmas

Blackberry jam that is! With a healthy supply of blackberries frozen from the last two years of harvests I decided to make some into jam for holiday gifts. And besides this is Baby O's favorite jam and what could be better in the center of those holiday Thumbprint Cookies.  

First I defrosted about 7 cups of frozen blackberries. My recipe calls for 5 cups of crushed berries. 

Once thawed I crushed the berries by hand and put about half of the berries through a colander to strain out some of the largest seeds. This just helps your jam to be not quite so seedy. This is purely optional. I know that some people and especially those with dentures do not like the seeds.  

For this jam I am simply going to follow the recipe in the Sure Jell packet for blackberry jam. It is really just 5 cups crushed berries, 7 cups sugar and 1 box Sure Jell to a batch. This made about 8 half pint jars for me.  

First I washed my jars and put them in my boiling water canner to warm up and sterilize.  I then measured out my sugar and set aside. 

Then I put my lids and rings in a pot of warm water and allowed them to warm also.

Next I measured out my 5 cups of prepared berries into a large heavy bottomed pot.  

Then added my box of Sure Jell and brought to a full rolling boil. You can add about 1/2 teaspoon of butter or margarine to reduce foaming. 

A full rolling boil is a boil that cannot be stirred down but rather just continues to boil after or during stirring.

Then I added my 7 cups of sugar and stirred well to dissolve sugar.

Then return to a full boil and allow to boil for 1 minute.

Then I turn off my stove and immediately ladle jam into hot jars leaving about 1/8 inch headspace.  Wipe rims with clean damp cloth to remove any residue.

Now place hot lids and rings on clean jar rims and finger tighten only.

Place hot jars in boiling water canner and make sure water is 1 inch over the top of jars. Cover and bring to full rolling boil for 10 minutes. Remove jars from canner and allow to cool overnight. Jar lids should suck down in the middle when jar is sealed.  

This should make wonderful additions to Christmas baskets for neighbors and such.  And I suppose Baby O will have some for her peanut butter sandwiches for the next couple months. Jams and jellies make great gifts year round and are a great way to get started canning. 

So what's your favorite jam?

Blessings from The Holler

The Canned Quilter


  1. Blackberry jam, yum. Nothing compares to homemade.

  2. My favorite is peach jam but blackberry probably comes in a close 2nd.

  3. I love apricot jam, but my second is lavender jelly.

  4. I find it interesting that you put jars of jam into a water bath; I only ever bring my jam to setting point in the pan and then pot into hot jars.

    1. Mich that was the way both my mother and grandmother did it. The canning powers that be
      ( National Center For Food Preservation/USDA) now recommends that all jams and jellies be boiling water processed for safety. I don't really have a problem with that at all as I don't really think it changes the flavor or texture. I do not like that they recommend doing pickles in a hot water bath. I think it ruins the texture. Don't try this at home folks kind of thing but I skip that step with my pickles. We're not gonna tell though : )

  5. CQ,

    That jam looks delicious, hey can I come over with some homemade bread?

    1. My door is always open especially to guests bearing baked goods : )

  6. Back when I was organized, the girls and I would make Christmas baskets with such goodies as this fine jam.

    I'm sure every one will be thrilled with the labor and the love that has gone into this gift.

  7. mmmm.... apricot,raspberry,plum,peach, blackberry, black raspberry, strawberry, apple butter. So, basically I have discovered that if you slather anything on a slice of bread I will love it!


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