Low Sugar, No Added Pectin Jam: Blackberry Preserves
How many of you grumble when you buy pectin and cringe at the ridicules amount of sugar called for in most jam recipes?
Me too! That’s why I make jam without pectin and with much less sugar. It actually is very simple.
The trick is to cook the fruit long enough that you remove enough water that the natural pectin in the fruit makes it gel together, pretty awesome if you ask me!
Also, since this jam has less sugar it’s a whole lot healthier for you.
3 gallons of berries we picked, you can read about our blackberry picking adventure here
7 cups of sugar, 3 brown 4 white is what I use but you can mix it up however you like
Sometimes I add cinnamon and vanilla, sometimes I don’t, whatever you like.
They were previously frozen berries, they had been flash froze using this great method I learned. Since they were flash frozen, the berries were loose and thawed much faster than if they had been all squashed into a solid block while freezing.
With shorter cooked recipes it’s a good idea to remove the foam that forms since it can trap air bubbles that you really don’t want. For long cook methods like this the bubbles break up before it’s finished cooking so you don’t need to worry about skimming the foam off.
You can tell when it’s cooked enough because the fruit starts to look thick and with blackberries you can more clearly see the little fruit lumps, it sort of reminds me of tapioca. This cooks until it’s reduced by between a 1/3 or a 1/2, depending on how watery the berries are.
The juice won’t cook all the way out. When you plate a spoonful you can see that the majority of the fruit holds together pretty firmly, that’s what you are looking for. When it’s all canned you will be able to see some juice but once a jars open the juice isn’t very noticeable or very copious, so try not to worry about it too much.
The ball blue book refers to this as “preserves” and the canning time is 15 minutes in a boiling water bath for all cane berry and blueberry jam done this way. Other fruits may need lemon juice added for safety and have different processing times. We actually love blueberry jam made this way even better than blackberry. It’s amazing, if you like blueberries.
So there you have it, now you can make your very own delicious jam without adding any pectin or very much sugar, enjoy!