Rustic Blackberry Jam

Blackberry

This blackberry jam is a hybrid between jam and jelly. Jellies are clear, sparkling creations that have had the pulp, seeds and skins removed. You must strain the mashed berries slowly so none of the fruit particles remain to cloud the final product. True jellies are refined. This jam is not. Why? Because I can’t bear to part with all the goodness that comes in our summer blackberries.  I’m okay with some cloudiness and imperfection if it means more blackberry flavor. So this recipe is a fun, full-of-itself cousin to true jelly. A little rough around the edges, but still a lot of fun. Think of it as that rogue cousin who shows up at a family funeral with a six pack of beer instead of a pound cake. You know exactly who I’m talking about, don’t you? Well, okay, maybe it’s just me…

While this jelly won’t earn any ribbons for beauty at the State Fair, it is delicious, full of flavor and would be good on a biscuit or on a pork tenderloin. The reason it isn’t crystal clear and sparkling, is because I use a food mill instead of cheesecloth to extract the seeds. This leaves in some of the fruit pulp that makes the jelly opaque instead of clear. I don’t care. When I have blackberries, I’m using every little bit of them I can!

Rustic Blackberry Jam

  • 8 cups of fresh blackberries
  • 3 tsp. calcium water (this comes with the Pomona Pectin)
  • 3 cups pure cane sugar
  • 3 tsp. Pomona’s Pectin
  • 1/4 cup water
  1. Rinse the berries and put in a nonreactive stock pot. Add the water. Mash the berries with a potato masher and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for about 10 minutes. Let cool about 5 minutes.
  2. Put a food mill with a fine blade over a large bowl. Fill the food mill half way with the cooled blackberry mixture. Process until there are just seeds remaining and dump the seeds into a container for composting. Continue until you have processed all the berries.
  3. Pour 3 cups of the processed blackberries into the pot and bring to a boil (NOTE: if you have more than 3 cups of processed blackberries, adjust the amounts of the remaining ingredients accordingly).
  4. Add the calcium water and bring to a boil again. Mix the pectin and sugar in a bowl. Add to the boiling blackberries and stir until sugar is dissolved.
  5. Remove from heat and cool for 5 minutes. Scrape off any foam.
  6. Either refrigerate the jelly or ladle into clean, hot half-pint jars and process in a hot water bath for 10 minutes. Turn off the heat and allow jars to rest in the hot water for 5 minutes. Remove from the canner and set aside. Check seals after 24 hours and if seals are good, store for up to 1 year.
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Mango Cardamom Jam

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I love homemade jam on my Ezekiel Bread for breakfast, but I also love to bake, grill and roast with jam or just dump it all over a hunk of cream cheese and eat it with crackers. YUM. All our jams are low-sugar (not sugar substitute) and they have lovely, intense flavors that pair well with meat, fish, cakes, muffins, etc. I’m even experimenting with using them in popsicles!

This Mango Cardamom Jam is really, really special. It is simultaneously sweet, tart and savory, if you can believe it. I used the basic “build your own jam” guidelines from THIS website from Pomona’s Universal Pectin and added fragrant ground cardamom to the mango jam (kind of like our Mango Lassi Ice Pops). It is delicious and would be great spooned over vanilla ice cream. Highlighting it’s savory characteristics, we are planning to use it on a grilled pork tenderloin this next week. Or, maybe I’ll just buy some goat cheese…or glaze some vegetables…or…

Mango Cardamom Jam (makes about 6 half pint jars)

  • 8 cups peeled, pitted and cubed fresh (or frozen) organic mango
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice**
  • 1 1/2 cups organic sugar
  • 6 teaspoons Pomona’s Universal Pectin
  • 8 teaspoons calcium water (comes with the pectin)
  • 1 teaspoon ground cardamom
  1. Fill a canning pot with water, insert the rack and add 6 half pint canning jars. Heat over high to boiling, then turn off heat and let sit until you are ready.
  2. In a bowl, combine the sugar and pectin. Set aside.
  3. Make the calcium water, if you aren’t using some that is already prepared. Set aside.
  4. Put peeled, pitted and chopped mango into a non-reactive stock pot along with a splash or two of water. Heat over medium, stirring often to prevent sticking.
  5. When mango has cooked about 3-4 minutes, use a potato masher to mash the mango (I also use a stick blender to really get all the larger pieces mashed).
  6. Add the calcium water, lemon juice and cardamom to the pot. Stir well.
  7. Add the sugar/pectin mixture slowly to the pot. Stir well until sugar is dissolved. Bring mixture to a low boil.
  8. Stir pot and pull pot off the heat. Let mixture sit for 5 minutes.
  9. Remove jars from the canning pot (carefully!) and set them on a clean tea towel. Put the jar lids into a bowl and pour some of the hot water over them to cover.
  10. Carefully ladle jam into the hot jars, leaving 1/4″ of headspace. Add lids and bands, just tighten bands to finger tightness.
  11. Return the filled jars to the canning pot, cover pot, and heat over high to boiling. Boil for 10 minutes. Turn off heat, remove cover, and let sit for 5 minutes.
  12. Remove jars from the hot water bath and let sit undisturbed for 24 hours. Check seals and store in a cool, dry place for up to 1 year.

**You can use fresh lemon juice, but because bottled juice is more consistent in its acid content, the bottled stuff may be more reliable.

Strawberry Rhubarb Jam

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Ahhhh, strawberries!!! Always a welcome sign of spring. We are sadly coming to the end of our short, but sweet, strawberry season, but we have plenty of berries put up for later (yay!). I had never made strawberry rhubarb jam, but I love that combination, so I gave it a shot. I’m not sure I’ll ever make regular strawberry jam again!!! I like it so much! The tartness of the rhubarb is terrific in brightening up the sweet jam.

This recipe is adapted from the Pomona’s Universal Pectin website.

Strawberry Rhubarb Jam (makes 6-7 half pints)

  • 4 cups trimmed chopped organic or pesticide-free strawberries
  • 4 cups washed and chopped rhubarb
  • 1 tablespoon organic, unsalted butter
  • 4 tablespoons bottled lemon juice**
  • 2 cups organic cane sugar
  • 1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon calcium water
  • 5 teaspoons Pomona’s Universal Pectin
  1. Fill a canning pot with water, insert the rack and add 4 half pint canning jars. Heat over high heat to boiling, the. Turn off heat and let sit until you are ready.
  2. Add chopped rhubarb to a stock pot with a little water and heat over medium, stirring frequently. Cook until soft.
  3. Add chopped strawberries and cook 1-2 minutes. Add butter. Mash berries with a potato masher and continue cooking.
  4. Add lemon juice and calcium water and stir.
  5. In a small bowl, combine the sugar and pectin. Slowly stir the sugar into the berry mixture. Bring to a boil.
    Turn off heat and let berry mixture sit for 5 minutes.
  6. Remove jars from the canning pot (carefully!) and set them on a clean tea towel. Put the jar lids into a bowl and pour some of the hot water over them to cover.
  7. Carefully ladle jam into the hot jars, leaving 1/4″ of headspace. Add lids and bands, just tighten bands to finger tightness.
    Return the filled jars to the canning pot, cover pot, and heat over high to boiling. Boil for 10 minutes. Turn off heat, remove cover, and let sit for 5 minutes.
  8. Remove jars from the hot water bath and let sit undisturbed for 24 hours. Check seals and store in a cool, dry place for up to 1 year.

**You can use fresh lemon juice, but because bottled juice is more consistent in its acid content, the bottled stuff may be more reliable.

Bluebarb Jam

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Doesn’t the word “bluebarb” make you smile? Say it out loud. You’re grinning, aren’t you? Your smile will be even bigger if you make this wonderful blueberry rhubarb jam.

Rhubarb is one of those odd fruits that I don’t use much. It’s hard to find here and it looks like some strange, mutant variety of red of celery. By itself, it is too tart to eat, but combined with other fruits, it gives a very pleasant, fresh tartness that cuts through the sweetness of ripe berries. Strawberry-rhubarb is a more common combination, but I had some fresh blueberries from a late week run to the farmer’s market, so I thought, why not??? Blueberries are pretty sweet on their own, which is why I love them paired with lemon. So why not rhubarb?

This jam is sweet and a bit tart, and the rhubarb seems to really bring out a nice flavor to the blueberries. I will definitely do this again! This recipe is from Pomona’s Universal Pectin.

Bluebarb Jam (makes 4 half pints)

  • 2 cups, washed and chopped rhubarb
  • 2 cups fresh, organic or pesticide-free blueberries
  • 1/4 cup bottled lemon juice**
  • 1 cup organic cane sugar or local honey (if you use honey, use 3/4 cup)
  • 2 teaspoons calcium water (comes with the pectin)
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons Pomona’s Universal Pectin
  1. Fill a canning pot with water, insert the rack and add 4 half pint canning jars. Heat over high heat to boiling, then turn off heat and let sit until you are ready.
  2. Add chopped rhubarb to a stock pot with a little water and heat over medium, stirring frequently. Cook until soft.
  3. Add blueberries and cook 1-2 minutes. Mash berries with a potato masher and continue cooking.
  4. Add lemon juice and calcium water and stir.
  5. In a small bowl, combine the sugar and pectin. Slowly stir the sugar into the berry mixture. Bring to a boil. Turn off heat and let berry mixture sit for 5 minutes.
  6. Remove jars from the canning pot (carefully!) and set them on a clean tea towel. Put the jar lids into a bowl and pour some of the hot water over them to cover.
  7. Carefully ladle jam into the hot jars, leaving 1/4″ of headspace. Add lids and bands, just tighten bands to finger tightness.
    Return the filled jars to the canning pot, cover pot, and heat over high to boiling. Boil for 10 minutes. Turn off heat, remove cover And let sit for 5 minutes.
  8. Remove jars from the hot water bath and let sit  undisturbed for 24 hours. Check seals and store in a cool, dry place for up to 1 year.

**You can use fresh lemon juice, but because bottled juice is more consistent in its acid content, the bottled stuff may be more reliable.

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