Why make homemade jam?
Here are my reasons:
We’ve had an awesome blackberry harvest this year!
Even organic jam often lists sugar as its first ingredient and I would rather feed my family a low or no sugar jam.
Homemade stuff often taste better!
Three years ago, I bought two blackberry plants. A Cherokee and an Kiowa plant. They didn’t do much the first year and we may have had a couple handfuls of berries. The second year, we had a few pints worth. This year, we’ve had over 8lbs of berries so far. There are a handful of berries that ripen each day.
I opened my canning cookbook and was shocked that the recipe for blackberry jam called for more sugar than fruit! In my stash of canning supplies I found a can of Pectin. I followed the instructions on the label, it was very simple. My canning experience is not extensive, I’ve only canned tomatoes and pickles. I helped a friend make jalapeno jelly and apple butter. I’m no expert!
For the low sugar recipe, you could add as much as 1/2 cup of sugar. I decided to start with 1/4 cup and the jam is delicious. It tastes like our backyard blackberries in a jar. In each half pint of jam there are 7 parts fruit/water/pectin to one part sugar. I am happy with that ratio and delighted with the flavor.
I should be able to make another batch and would like to try using honey or stevia instead of sugar. I had a rediculous amount of fun making this jam, and I made a huge mess…aprons required for this task!
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