Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Smooth and Sweet Black Raspberry Jam (Updated with Better Photos!)

It's black raspberry season, my favorite harvest of the year. 

 A few years ago when we were visiting a friend in Ohio, she served the smoothest, most flavorful pie made from black raspberries. It was love at first bite. On that same trip I also found a delicious black raspberry jam, silky and seedless, a rarity in that type of jam. I started growing our own soon after that, but was never able to find good instructions on how to make a jam like the one I remember from a few years ago. Most of the recipes I found were either jellies, or they had instructions but no actual measurements. I read about a dozen recipes and created this one. If you have access to these delicious berries, this is a great way to stretch and preserve them so you can still enjoy them after the season is over.

This jam is equally delicious on breads or stirred into plain yogurt. It makes my morning!

There is one thing you can do to make this an even easier project: Cook the berries the night before, strain out the seeds by pressing the berries into a mesh strainer over a bowl with the back of a spoon, and let it the strainer continue to drip into the bowl overnight. The next day, you'll have your juice for jam making and can either freeze it for another day, or go ahead and cook your jam.

You will need 3 liquid cups of berry juice, which equals about 6 pints of berries. I simmer the berries in a stock pot with a small amount of water until they soften. Using a ladle, I scoop about two cups of the warm berries into a strainer positioned over a glass bowl. Using a wooden spoon, I push the juice and pulp through a metal strainer until only a seedy clump is left in the strainer and the juice is in the bowl. I repeat with the rest of the berries using about two cups at a time and disposing of the leftover seeds in the strainer between straining. These are the tools I use for that process:

2 quart glass bowl, metal strainer, wooden spoon. 

1/4 cup lemon juice
1/2 tsp. butter
5 cups sugar
1/4 cup plus 1/2 Tablespoon pectin

Combine berry juice, lemon juice, and sugar in a stockpot. Add 1/2 tsp. butter to reduce foaming. Bring mixture to a full rolling boil over high heat that cannot be stirred down, while stirring frequently. Add pectin. Continue hard boil for one minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Skim foam if needed.

Ladle into hot half pint jars leaving 1/4 inch headspace. Process in water bath canner for ten minutes.

Makes 6-7 half pints.


  1. Thank you for the recipe. I'm going to try this. We have lots of wild berries on the property that haven't been mowed down (yet). They have blossomed, but no berries quite yet. I'll need to share these with Mr. D who does not eat sugar and LOVES blackberry pancakes... of course with no syrup. Looking forward to berry season, yum!

    1. Mrs, Doug, let me know if you try it. I love berry season too, and we're hoping to get some blackberries for the first time this year.

  2. This looks amazing - especially with that little bit of butter in it!

    1. BAT Mom, I think the butter just reduces the foaming. It really works!

    2. Yeah! That's it! Butter reduces foaming! I'm kidding - I have no idea because our berries never make it to jam or jelly~~ They get as far as the freezer so we can put them into pancakes during the winter! But IF my berry bushes thrive, I may have enough to actually preserve next summer :-) We planted them this year and one has 5 berries on it right now; another that I didn't plant but showed up in my flower bed had 6 berries but Officer Bill ate them right up; and one more bush that showed up in the middle of one of our Fraser Fir Christmas trees we sold last winter (those bushes hurt in the winter just as much as the summer) is producing lots of berries and now we wonder how long it has been growing inside the branches of that Fraser Fir! Makes me want climb through the branches of all the others to check for more! (wearing armor, or course!)

  3. Hi, I am so glad I found your recipe, God blessed us with 2 buckets of black raspberries and it took me a couple of Hours to get all of the juice out of the Berry, but I have them processing in a hot water bath now and it turned out t So Beautiful, Dark purple and smooth and delicious! My kids can't wait to taste it!

    1. Thank you for sharing that! I hope your family loves this as much as mine does. It's our favorite!

  4. Beautiful tasty recipe. Came out perfect, thank you!

  5. I have made this recipe two years in a row. Perfect both times. I had some red raspberries and blackberries mixed in because that’s how I picked and froze them. Super delicious! Just the right balance of sweet and tart.


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