I made twenty-three jars of blackberry jam last weekend. I am very glad to not be making blackberry jam this weekend.
It’s not that it’s hard… just time-consuming. Well worth it, though, to have homemade jam all winter and lots to give away as well.
I started with one flat of berries on Friday. We had breakfast for dinner that night. Bacon, eggs, and pancakes with fresh blackberry jam. I was quite satisfied.
Saturday, Bob brought me two more flats. He “got a deal”.
I made him help me. Turns out, he’s pretty good with the food mill.
The girls got in on the action. We made them wash their hands a lot.
Sour berry face. Sort of like bitter beer face.
My beautiful child.
from “The Joy of Jams, Jellies and other Sweet Preserves”
makes about 4 pints
4 1/2 lbs blackberries
6 3/4 cups sugar (I use @ 5 1/2 cups)
2 TB lemon juice (I use @ 1/4 cup)
1. In a preserving pan, mash the berries with a potato masher. (If you like fewer seeds in your jam, do as I made Bob do and run the blackberries through a food mill. Add about half the seeds to the blackberry puree and discard the rest of the seeds.)Add the sugar and lemon juice, place the pan over medium heat, and cook, stirring gently, until the sugar is dissolved. Raise the heat to medium-high, and boil the mixture, stirring frequently, until a drop mounds in a chilled dish. (You should be able to draw your finger through the test drop and not have it run. It should be the consistency of JAM when cool!)
(It’s important to use a large, non-reactive pan. Stainless steel, enamel, and glass are all good choices. Aluminum and iron are reactive, don’t use them.)
2. Ladle the jam into pint or half-pint mason jars, add lids and rings, and process the jars in a boiling water bath for 10 minutes.
“Get people back into the kitchen and combat the trend toward processed food and fast food.”