Sunday, May 20, 2012

Black-and-blue Raspberry Jam

Went berry picking with my Nana this weekend.  Last year we picked peaches, and I still haven't gone through all my jars of peach butter and peach jam.  This year, I wanted a few freezer bags of blueberries for muffins, smoothies, and such.

I'd intended to pick enough raspberries and blackberries to make individual jams, but I succumbed to the sweltering heat before I could get enough. Yet, I still had too many to eat before they went bad.  Some of the blackberries went to PW's black berry cobbler (see pic below), which was absolutely divine!

So what to do with the remaining berries? I started skimming a few cookbooks and ran across a variation of this recipe, tweaking it to my preferences.  Here's how I made my Black-and-blue Raspberry Jam (sorry I forgot the ingredients picture, I get really excited about canning!):

- 3 cups blueberries
- 2 cups blackberries
- 3 cups raspberries
*the exact amounts of each berry don't matter, just make sure you have a total of 8 cups of whatever berries you use
- 2 Tbs. lemon juice
- 2 Tbs. water
- 1 50g-box of fruit pectin
- 5 1/2 cups sugar

Start by boiling your water in your canner pot (mine took about an hour because of how much water the canner holds).  While its coming to a boil, run your jars through dishwasher cycle to sterilize them.  (The recipe mades 3-4 quarts of jam so choose your jar sizes accordingly.) Put another small pot of water on the stove to sterilize your rings and new lids.  Pick through and rinse your berries; pat them dry.

When your canner starts to boil, put your berries, lemon juice, water, and pectin into another large pot.  Give it a gentle stir then bring it to a rapid boil over high heat.  Stir it often.

When the mixture reaches a hard boil (continues to boil even when stirred), add in the sugar.  Stir it constantly.  When the mixture reaches a boil again, cook it for 1 minute.

Begin ladling your mixture into the jars, leaving 1/4 inch of headspace. Keep everything sterile and use good canning technique (if this is new to you, check out the insert in your pectin box or just do a google search).  Put the lids and rings on securely and place all the jars into the boiling water bath.  Submerge for 10 minutes.

Pull the jars out carefully, and set them somewhere to cool.  In a few minutes, you'll hear that beautiful "POP!" that means your jars are sealing.  To protect the seal, try no to move the jars for about 24 hours. Check the seals and place anything not sealed after a few hours into the fridge.  Store the sealed jars for a year or so...if you can keep from eating it that's really yummy!  If you have leftover blackberries, blueberries, and raspberries, I highly recommend this black-and-blue raspberry jam!  Great on toast, biscuits, or a good ole' PB&J.

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