Homemade Raspberry or Blackberry Jam is the simplest thing ever to make.
Summer is coming to a close, and the local farmer’s markets are in full swing. Some are more like street fairs and have a lot more to offer than just fresh produce. My neighbor and I decided it was time to visit Lodi, CA., and their farmers market. The farmers market is open in the evening. They shut down the main street to allow the vendors and visitors to enjoy the whole experience. We always have a great time when we go. On this occasion, I had gone for very specific items. I wanted to buy some fresh fruit to make a simple homemade raspberry or blackberry jam.
My very first experience with making this jam was out of necessity. I had a large amount of raspberries that I needed to use or lose. I went in search of a jam recipe but found little that didn’t seem messy and complicated. I found a version in the Sure-Jell Fruit Pectin package of all things. I tweaked to fit what I had on hand and narrowed it down to make it work for my quantity of berries.
I now love to make this quick and easy jam, especially when the fruit is at its peak. Once you’ve tasted your own, it’s hard to buy it at the store off the shelf.
Simple Homemade Raspberry or Blackberry Jam
Ingredients: Makes 3 to 4 4 oz. jars
- 3 cups crushed fresh berries (maintaining the juice from crushing the berries)
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 5 sterilized 4 oz jars with lids
Place a small plate and spoon in the freezer. Sterilize 3 to 4 – 4 oz jars, lids and bands and set aside.
Combine all berries, sugar, lemon zest and juice and bring to a rolling boil. Bring to a boil for 1 minute. Stirring continuously, boil for a 1 minute or two. Reduce the heat to medium-low, stirring occasionally, cook for 10 minutes.
At this point, start testing for doneness. Using the frozen plate and spoon, place a small amount of the fig jam on the chilled plate. Place the dish back in the refrigerator for 1 minute. Then run your finger through the mixture. If it forms a firm line that holds it shape on the sides, it’s done. If not, clean the plate and spoon and place them back in the freezer and repeat this process until you’ve reached a proper level of thickness.
Using a canning funnel, pour the hot mixture into 5 or 6 4 oz. Freezer canning jars. Leave about ½ inch headspace at the top of each jar. Let the filled jar cool on the counter for 30 to 40 minutes. Once cooled, label, date and store in the refrigerator up to a month or freeze for up to 12 months.
Notes: The amount of time it takes to reach the right thickness is not an exact science. It all depends on the amount of moisture or lack thereof in the berries. You can use any type of berries. The recipe will work just the same. If you like your jam a little sweeter add a bit more sugar. If you want a little more tartness, you can add slightly more lemon juice. However, be careful not to add too much of either. I use small, heavy sided jars that can be found on line at many grocery stores and at Cost Plus/World Market.
This is not a complicated recipe, one of the many reasons I love it. You will enjoy the fresh tart taste this homemade raspberry or blackberry jam recipe imparts. I always make small batches and put it into little jars making for an excellent presentation. It’s a splendid addition to breakfast with a good bread, homemade biscuits or scones. I have a friend who will eat it by itself with a spoon. She says it’s that delicious and “who needs toast.”
If you find that you have a significant amount of fruit that needs to used right away, this homemade raspberry or blackberry jam recipe is one you might want to consider. Enjoy.
Time to eat…
P.S. Take a moment to check out some of the tools I used for this “Homemade Raspberry or Blackberry Jam” below