This recipe is from my childhood memory of visits to the Oregon coast to comb beaches, watch whale migrations, eat clam chowder and seafood caught the same day, and dive into fresh jars of blackberry jam after mornings spent picking them. This jam is incredibly easy, but to turn out right, it needs to be made in a particular order. Exact measurements are based on a consensus of recipes seen online.
- 10 cups blackberries (make sure no red or greens ones are in the bowl, only the berries so ripe they begin to burst when you touch them — and no spoiled ones!)
- 2 cups cane sugar (cane makes for a better flavor)
- 1/8 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice (to preserve color)
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest
- 2 packages fruit pectin
- ½ teaspoon sea salt (for better flavor use pink or gray)
- 2 cups filtered water
1. In a medium saucepan, stir together water, sugar, and salt over medium heat until fully dissolved. Continue stirring for about five minutes to change the chemical composition of the sugar to be sweeter.
2. Measure the berries into a large heat-safe stainless steel bowl.
3. Working quickly, pour pectin into sugar water and whisk until fully dissolved.
4. Quickly pour this over the berries and toss gently.
5. Add lemon juice and zest, tossing berries until fully incorporated. (*At this point, you can spoon the blackberry mixture directly into a pie crust, top it with a second pie crust, seal it, cut a few air slits, and bake for 30 minutes at 350F)
6. Quickly add to waiting jars, leaving about a ¼ inch head space between rim and top of fruit.
7. Use a butter knife to gently jab fruit in the jars to remove all air pockets. (Air pockets can harbor bacteria and grow mold.)
8. Wipe the rim of the jar clean and add lids and rings finger-grip tight.
9. Place jars in canning pots and fill with water to cover jars by one inch.
10. Bring jars to a boil and then boil for 10 minutes.
11. Gently remove jars from pans using jar tongs and place upright on clean towels. Be extremely careful that nothing cold or wet touches the jars until they have fully cooled, to prevent them from exploding. When they have cooled, make sure the bands are tight.
12. Use jam within one year. They last longer is stored in the coldest part of the refrigerator, but not cold enough to freeze and break. From time to time you will find jars with white sugar crystals on the top of the jam, this is normal, just make sure its not mold.