This year the canes are just covered with berries; I've never seen so many in our ten-plus years here. Granddaughter and I went out picking three times and there are still plenty of red berries ready to change color and end up in my bucket and then in something yummy.
We enjoyed fresh berries for breakfast and for dessert. Then I made a cobbler, and then blackberry jam. This time I seeded half the berries through a sieve to reduce the number of seeds in the jam. Sometimes I make jelly instead of jam for the same reason - the seeds - but I prefer jam to jelly, so this is an experiment of sorts.
I used Sure Jell low-sugar pectin, in the pink box. The instructions inside called for 5 cups of crushed berries and 4 cups of sugar.
Put 1/4 cup of the measured sugar in a small bowl and add the box of pectin, mix well. Add this mixture to the fruit and juice in a large saucepan and stir to combine. If you wish, you can add 1/2 teaspoon of butter to prevent foaming. The blob in the middle of the picture is the butter.
Ladle jam into half-pint jars, wipe the rims with a damp cloth, and put lids on the jars. Screw the band on until it's finger-tight. Put jars in canner using the jar lifter. The water should cover the jars by at least an inch. I insert the handle of a wooden spoon to the top of a jar, then look at the wet portion of the spoon to know how deep the water is. Add more boiling water if needed.
Water bath the jam jars for 10 minutes, adding time if necessary if your altitude requires it. Start timing when the water in the canner begins to boil.
When time is up, remove the canner from the burner. Remember to open the lid away from your face. Remove the jars with the jar lifter and place them upright on a folded towel in a draft-free place. Listen for the lids to start "pinging" - what a beautiful sound.
Leave the jars undisturbed for 24 hours, then check the seal by lightly pressing the lid with your finger. The lid should not move up and down; if it does, the jar did not seal and should be refrigerated and used promptly.
I love these jars full of summer sunshine! There's nothing as good as home-canned blackberry jam on a slice of homemade bread with real butter. Yum!
What is your favorite jam or jelly?
My hope is to inspire you, and to encourage your homesteading plans and your dreams of a