No Pectin Mixed Berry Jam for #SundaySupper

It’s time to get your jam on! Insert your favorite jamming song here and let’s dance it out! I’m a big fan of jamming in the shower, alone in my car, or dancing in my slippers in the kitchen while I’m canning. Can you jam and can at the same time? I can! Especially to the tune of a simple No Pectin Mixed Berry Jam!

Triple Berry Sauce

You only need 3 simple things to make fantastic jam: fruit, sugar, and lemon juice. That’s it! There’s no need for pectin or preservatives. A good rule of thumb when making small batch jam, is 1 lb of prepared fruit to approx. 1 cup of sugar. Depending how ripe your fruit is (and what kind of fruit) you may not even need that much sugar. Another key here is “prepared” fruit. One pound of whole strawberries is very different from one pound of hulled and quartered strawberries. Always go with prepared fruit or your jam will end up horribly sweet. If you don’t have one already, invest in a digital scale. Your baking will be better for it and so will your jam!

There are folks who will tell you to skim the foam off the jam as it cooks, or to add butter to keep the foam down. Those steps are entirely up to you! Me, I think they’re completely unnecessary. If you stir your jam mixture continuously, the foam will subside. Yes, it will take a while, but I’ve always thought of making jam as kind of meditative process anyway. It’s easy to get lost in stirring a pot of jam for 20 minutes. You can think and reflect on life. Perhaps plot out the delicious ways you’re going to use your jam when it’s finished! Or you can pretend you’re Dory. Just keep stirring, stirring. Just keep stirring!

Mixed Berry Jam for #SundaySupper

Anyway… this jam is straight-forward, simple and full of fruit flavor. Here’s how you make it:

No Pectin Mixed Berry Jam for #SundaySupper

A simple, fruit-forward mixed berry jam that will have everyone eager to eat around your #SundaySupper table!

  • 3 lbs fresh mixed berries - I used strawberries, blackberries, raspberries and blueberries. (NOTE: Smaller berries can be left whole. Strawberries should be hulled and quartered.)
  • 3 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon bottled lemon juice

In a large glass bowl, place fruit and 1/2 cup sugar. Allow mixture to macerate for at least 2 hours or overnight in the refrigerator.

When you're ready to prepare the jam, place the fruit mixture, the lemon juice and the remainder of the sugar in a large, heavy bottom pot. If you have one, a wide, shallow pan will works best.

Heat over medium heat until sugar dissolves; then increase heat to medium-high.  

While the fruit mixture comes to a boil, start your Hot Water Canning Bath. Place a large canning pot filled with water on the stove. Heat on high until water is boiling. Your jars should be pre-sterilized and ready to go. Keep them warm by submerging them in your canning pot as the water heats.

Meanwhile, bring fruit mixture to a boil. After sugar is dissolved and berries have softened, you can use a potato masher to press berries so they release some of their juices, but keep the texture chunky. Continue to boil mixture, stirring constantly to prevent burning on bottom of pan. Mixture will expand and foam up, then shrink back as it cooks and begins to set. If you are using a lot of strawberries, or making straight strawberry jam, be warned, strawberries like to expand and foam more than other berries, so keep a close eye on your jam so it doesn't bubble over.

Test the jam for gel set after about 15-20 minutes and you see your fruit mixture has visibly thickened. The bubbles will be fat and lazy, like bubbles coming up from a hot spring or molten lava and the mixture coats the back of a spoon but drips off with heavy, pregnant pauses between drops.

When the mixture is ready, remove jars from the canner and set them on a double layer of dish towels on your countertop. Carefully scoop the hot jam into hot  jars leaving 1/4" of headspace. Gently wipe the rims of the jars with a damp paper towel to ensure nothing sticky is around the edges. Place two piece lids on the jars and tighten to just fingertip tight. Using a jar lifter, place the jars in the water canner and return to a boil. Once the pot is boiling again, process the jars for 10 minutes. Turn off heat, and carefully remove from canner and let rest undisturbed on your countertop for 12-24 hours. Store jars in dark, cool place for up to 1 year.

For canning safety:

Follow jar preparation and processing recommended by the USDA; see canning safety guidelines at http://www.freshpreserving.com

Mixed Berry Jam for #SundaySupper

Simple, right? Not only is this recipe easy, check out the other great recipes and ideas from the Sunday Supper Taste Makers! They’ve got all kinds of different ways to use (and save) your Summer Harvest!

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No Pectin Mixed Berry Jam

This Post Has 7 Comments
  1. When I wanted to make jam recently and googled recipes, I realized they were so complicated with pectin and tons of sugar. I love that you made this simple and easy and noted that so much sugar might not be necessary. Sometimes the fruit is sweet enough.

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