Some folks find making homemade jam a little intimidating and mysterious. But really, it is no more difficult that mixing a good cocktail, and it is SO worth getting in the kitchen, pulling out a pot and making some jam. You cannot beat the intense fruitiness of homemade jam. Not even with Smuckers. Fresh fruit, sugar and a bit of lemon juice are all you need to make a batch of the best jam you’ve ever spread on toast, on your fingers, or on anything else for that matter (try serving a little on a cheese plate). You don’t need to know how to can to make jam. A small batch of jam doesn’t last that long anyway!
This easy recipe only take about 20 minutes. and it makes about four half-pint jars of jam. Because this jam is not processed, it must be refrigerated right away. You can freeze the extra jam–it freezes really well, but I just share it with friends and family. You may substitute any type of berries for the blackberries, or you may combine them (try a combo of strawberries, blackberries and raspberries). Just make sure you keep the ratio of sugar to fruit even. The biggest secret to great jam (besides fresh fruit) is not to overcook it. Overcooked jam is rubbery and too thick, kinda like jello. The jam won’t look thick enough when it is finished cooking. It “sets up” as it is cooling. In my humble opinion, it’s far better for the jam to be a little bit runny than it is for it to be too thick. Once you get the hang of making homemade jam, it is fun to experiment with adding a sprinkling of fresh herbs, grated orange or lemon peel or a splash of liqueur to make the flavor really explode.
Homemade Blackberry Jam
3 cups crushed blackberries (I crush mine on a clean cookie sheet using a potato masher)
3 cups sugar
2-3 teaspoons lemon juice
In a saucepan, combine crushed blackberries, sugar, and lemon juice. Bring to a boil and cook on high heat for 5 minutes. Reduce to medium heat and cook an additional 15 minutes. Skim the foam off and ladle into warm jars. Cover and let cool. The jam will thicken as it cools. Refrigerate once cool.