Low Sugar Blackberry Jam
This recipe for Low Sugar Blackberry Jam is easy and delicious. It tastes of fresh sun-ripened fruit and late summer days.
Jam making was not on my list of to-do's last week but it definitely got the number one spot in my bullet journal when one of my dearest friends called and asked if I'd like some blackberries from her bushes.
The bushes were amazing. They lined the fence in her side-yard and were loaded with beautiful, ripe, black fruit. My friend assured me they were thornless bushes. I was in heaven. (The last time I'd picked blackberries I was in Oak Creek Canyon near Sedona, Arizona.
That day I'd shredded my shirt sleeves on thorns in 105 degree weather to gather blackberries -- I swore never again!) The idea of blackberry bushes without thorns seemed almost magical.
After I'd gathered a little over 3 pounds of berries, we wandered up to the house for lunch. I pondered aloud the idea of making black berry jam and my friend smiled widely. "I have the easiest berry jam recipe I was given at a cooking class in France earlier this summer. Here, I'll text it to you." She tapped it out on her phone as sent it:
The French Jam-making Process:
I couldn't believe how easy this Low Sugar Blackberry Jam Recipe looked. I knew how I'd be spending my afternoon the next day. This jam recipe had a step I'd never seen before, but now I swear by it. You allow the mashed berries to sit in the sugar in the fridge for at least 12 hours. This step allows the sugar to truly dissolve and for the mashed berry mixture to combine and mellow a bit before preserving. A little patience is needed, but then - perfection.
Aside from using a lot less sugar and allowing to marinate for 12 hours the other thing that is different is that you absolutely don't add any more sugar when you add the pectin when you are about to cook the jam. Some pectin packet instructions suggest that you stir sugar into the pectin before you add it to the berries. Don't do it. It can make the jam gritty and it may not 'gel up' nicely.
See how the berry mixture in the picture above has beautifully liquefied overnight?
So the next day I prepped my bottles and seals per the 'Ball jar' site's instructions. (They have a great 'canning 101 section' if you've never tried home canning.) One important note is that you shouldn't boil the new sealing lids. (It can ruin them.) Just get them clean and warm.
Isn't the color amazing? I really want a dress or scarf or shoes this color!!!
After stirring in the pectin and boiling for 5 minutes, I carefully ladled the hot mixture into clean, warm jam jars, made certain there was no spilled jam on the jar-rims and topped them off with the seals and finger-tightened screw-on lids. As you can see, I use an amazingly easy and efficient steam canner for canning. I highly recommend the 'Back to Basics' brand steam canner. It's the one I use.
I popped the lid on the steam canner and turned up the heat and waited to see a small stream of steam blowing through the hole on the side to begin the timer for processing. Ten minutes later I turned off the heat and carefully removed the lid. Now, usually you may have to wait for several hours to hear that amazing little 'ping' the lids make as they seal, but as soon as I set aside the canner top, I heard 'ping, ping, pingity, ping'!
All eight jars sealed before I placed them on the towel to cool. I was so happy, I bragged about it on Instagram. 🙂 Is that wrong? 😛
I'm very pleased with the thickness of the jam and how well the taste of the fresh fruit one through the light sweetness. I'll definitely be using this recipe in the future. Incidentally, it makes a charming little gift. Oh and what could be better than some fantastic 1 hour bread with it? The Low Sugar Blackberry Jam recipe is below. Enjoy! -- Laura
- 3 lbs Fresh Blackberries or other fresh berries (about 10 cups)
- 3 cups Sugar, white
- 3 T. Lemon or Lime Juice
- ⅓ cup low sugar Pectin -or- 1 pkg Sure Jell for low or no sugar jam
- Please Note: Before home preserving always start with thoroughly clean counters and tools.
- Measure or weigh your berries (I used the weight method.)
- Pick out any twigs or leaves and wash berries and pour into a large bowl with lemon juice and sugar.
- Mash the berry mixture well.
- Cover and place in the refrigerator for 12-24 hours.
- Before cooking the jam:
- Prepare 8- 8 ounce canning jars, and lids , rings and waterbath or steam canner according to manufacturer's instructions.
- Place berry mixture in large saucepan and thoroughly stir in the pectin powder. (Do not add additional sugar.)
- Stirring constantly, bring to a boil and continue stirring for 5 minutes.
- After boiling remove from heat and skim any foam from the top into a small bowl. Carefully ladle hot mixture into clean and warm canning jars to within ½" of rim.
- Wipe rims with clean, warm, wet cloth to remove any spillage so the lid seal is cleanly on the glass rim.
- Finger tighten the ring portion of the lids firmly but not overly-tight.
- Place jars in canner and process for 10 minutes according to the canner's manufacturer's directions.
- After processing, remove the jars with jar tongs to rest on a clean towel.
- When the jars have cooled enough to touch, the rings will most likely need to be tighten a bit.
- As the jars cool you may hear the seals 'ping' as the seal creates a vacuum in the jar.
- Allow the jars to rest on the counter up to 24 hours and then test for seal by pressing the center of the lid. (It should be down and not spring back.)
- Place any jars in the refrigerator that didn't seal and use within 3 weeks.