Triple Berry Jam


I’ve decided to celebrate Independence Day this year by breaking free!!!…

…of pectin, that is.

As long as I can remember, I’ve equated summertime with homemade jam.  I’ve also always equated homemade jam with Sure-Jell.  In fact, I felt I could never create the perfect jam without it.

However, after producing a few bland batches last summer, I began to wonder if there was a better recipe out there.  A recipe that would render the bright, rich jam I was striving for.

pectin

So with a little bit of research, I stumbled upon a great blog called Northwest Edible.  Erica’s tutorial on pectin-free jam was so informative and inspiring that I couldn’t wait to round up some fresh fruit and get started.

Since the berries were especially fresh and fragrant (and on sale) this season, I decided my first pectin-free experiment would be a triple berry jam of blueberries, raspberries and strawberries.

The results?

Wow.  Just…wow.  The flavors were deeper, the color richer, the texture more velvety.

But my most favorite part about the recipe was that I didn’t have to stress about how much of this or that I needed to add or at what specific times I needed to add them.

Instead, I was free to taste and tweak as much as I needed in order to transform my bowl of berries into the perfect batch of jam.

So if summertime means homemade jam for you, here’s the recipe in case you want to break free of pectin, too!

Pectin-Free Triple Berry Jam

berryjamclose3

Makes 5 8-ounce jars

You will need:

*2 pounds+ fresh berries (I used 6 lbs of fruit: 2 lbs strawberries, 2 lbs blueberries and 2 lbs raspberries)

*1 gently rounded 1/2 cup of granulated sugar per 2 pounds of fruit

*1 Tablespoon fresh-squeezed lemon juice per 2 pounds fruit

Step #1: “Marinate” the berries

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berrymacerate

Dump fruit into a large, non-reactive bowl (no metal or aluminum).

Toss fruit with sugar until well combined.

Cover bowl tightly with plastic wrap and place in the fridge.  Allow berries to macerate for up to 24 hours.

Step #2: Cook the Jam

First, prepare a water bath by filling a large canning pot halfway with water and allowing it to come to a full boil over high heat while you cook the jam.

Second, sterilize your jars in either the dishwasher steam setting or by placing them in a container of boiling hot water.  Leave jars in water until it is time to process the jam.

To cook the jam, pour the macerated berries into a large saucepan.  For larger batches, divide the fruit between two sauce pans.

berryjampan

Cook berries over medium-high heat until fruit is tender but not falling apart.

At this point, add lemon juice.

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Mash fruit with a potato masher or use an immersion blender depending on how you prefer the texture of your jam.  (I prefer large bites of fruit in mine.)

berrymash

Continue to cook the berries until thickened (about 50 minutes), stirring frequently to prevent burning.

Once the jam starts to thicken, test the jam for readiness by ladling a small amount on a cold plate.

Allow jam to cool a few seconds and then run your finger down the middle of it.

berryfinger

If the jam stays separated and doesn’t run together quickly, it’s soft-spoon ready.  (If you prefer firmer jam, cook for another 10 minutes and test again.)

Step #3: Adjust the Flavors

berryfinger

Take a bite of the jam you just tested.

Does it need more sugar?  Stir in a couple tablespoons of sugar to the batch and taste again.

Is the jam tart to your liking?  Stir in just a teaspoon of lemon juice to the batch and taste again.

*Remember: It’s better to add smaller amounts of sugar and lemon juice than larger ones!*

For more ideas on flavor combinations, follow the Northwest Edible link above.

Step #4: Process the Jam

Keeping jam over a low simmer, fill hot, sterile jars with jams and wipe the rims thoroughly with a clean, damp, lint-free rag.

Place an unused canning lid firmly on top of the jar, and screw on a canning band to finger tightness.

berryrim

Place jars in boiling water, cover the pot and process the jars at a full rolling boil for 10 minutes.

berrybath

Remove jars and allow to cool before storing in a cool, dry place.  Will stay at peak flavor for up to a year.

Store opened jars (or jars that have not sealed all the way) in the refrigerator for 1-3 months.

berryjamscone

Here’s to freedom and the best jam you’ve ever made!

*********************************

celebrate summer_350

To see more Celebrate Summer ideas, check out this fun collection of projects and recipes from my other Blog-Hop buddies!

Patriotic Popcorn & Decor

by Simply Domestic Blog

A Patriotic Star Garland

by A Bright and Beautiful Life

DIY 4th of July Wreath

by Live Like Grace

Canada Day Sweets Buffet

by Red Cottage Chronicles

Red, White and Blue Ribbon Garland

by Create & Babble

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16 thoughts on “Triple Berry Jam

  1. I’ve only ever made jam using Sure-Jell, too. I’m so excited about your recipe and just using the natural pectin in the fruit and minimal amounts of sugar. It is so much healthier so I’ll be able to eat more of it, right??? Thanks for sharing ~ great photos and tutorial, by the way.

    Lori @ A Bright and Beautiful Life
    http://www.abrightandbeautifullife.com

  2. Yes, I too, was suffering angst over pectin… (What is pectin?) I can make jello, pretty well.
    Mmm, I ate one of those jars of prickly pear jam you gave me and it was GOOD; still have one.

    • Pectin is a natural geling agent found naturally in fruit but the factory-produced powdered version is (I’m guessing) a condensed form of the real deal to make the geling happen faster? Glad you are still enjoying the jelly!

  3. You’ve done a really awesome tutorial with brilliant photos too. My hubby is the Jam eater but a jar will last months in our house. I think It’d be a nice looking gift too if you’re invited to a BBQ. I always like to take a little something. I just noticed your picture with the pie up there, cute!

    • If the hubs is a jam-eater, are you more of the butter eater? 🙂 I must have jam. It is how I get through the ups and downs. haha
      On another note, I am trying to adopt your habit more and more of bringing a little gift to any host. I really do feel it is an important gesture and you are sweet to do it. 🙂

      • I actually enjoy sliced tomato on my toast most mornings or sometimes, apple jelly. I’m terrible about eating fruit. Generally I like watermelon and grapes the best. I try to make up with vegetables what I don’t eat in fruit. I did have an awesome pear last week, oh man, I’m a picky picky eater. LOL
        I’m sure your friends appreciate your thoughtfulness and more so, just your bubbly company. Bring on summer, lets get socializing! HA

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