This summer I got a jam making kick. I had never done it before but really wanted to try and once I got the hang of it, I made jam for 3 days straight! I feel like that third day was the best batch. I really like whole pieces of fruit in my jam but found out with the first few batches after the fruit was smashed then cooked for so long there were hardly any pieces left. So in this cherry blackberry version I didn’t smash the berries at all and I really liked the consistency. Canning isn’t really hard but it does call for a very precise method of cooking. If the process is done correctly jams can be good for up to a year! I followed Pioneer Womans instructions, I thought they were the most clear of all the jam recipes I saw. I didn’t buy all of the canning tools, just the wide mouth funnel. I used things I had for the rest of the process and things turned out fine for me. Of course, you can get the large pot, the rack, the tongs, but I was ok with regular tongs, my large stockpot and I actually put the jars straight in the pot, not on the rack. Whatever works for you! Try it someday! Having your own jam on hand is great for you and the fam and a great gift whenever you need one!
recipe adapted from thepioneerwoman.com
5 cups blackberries
1 cup bing cherries, pits removed
6 cups sugar
4 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 49g package powdered fruit pectin
1. Place 8 or 9 8-ounce mason jars in a large hot water bath canner (or pot). Cover with water and bring to a simmer.
2. Simmer center lids in separate saucepan full of water.
3. Place blackberries,cherries and lemon juice in a separate pot. Stir in pectin until dissolved. Bring blackberries and cherries to a strong boil.
4. Add sugar (measure beforehand so you can add it all at once), then return mixture to a full (violent) boil that can’t be stirred down. Boil hard for 1 minute 15 seconds.
5. Skim foam off the top.
6. Remove one jar at a time from the simmering water. Pour water back into the pot. Using a wide-mouth funnel, fill each jar with jam, being careful to keep the liquid/fruit ratio consistent. Fill jars so that they have 1/4-inch of space at the top.
7. Run a knife down the side of the jar to get rid of air bubbles.
8. Wipe rim of jar with a wet cloth to remove any residue or stickiness.
9. Remove center lid from simmering water and position it on top.
10. Put screw bands on jars, but do not overtighten!
11. Repeat with all jars, then place jars on canning rack and lower into the water.
12. Place lid on canner, then bring water to a full boil. Boil hard for 10 to 12 minutes.
13. Turn off heat and allow jars to remain in hot water for an addition five minutes.
14. Remove jars from water using a jar lifter, and allow them to sit undisturbed for 24 hours.
15. After 24 hours, remove screw bands and check the seal of the jars. Center lids should have no give whatsoever. If any seals are compromised, store those jars in the fridge.
I know it might look a little intimidating but you can do it!! Here are a few pics of the process…these are from blueberry jam but the process is all the same!