With the local area being full of blackberry bushes (to be honest, they’re a horribly invasive plant here), I make a point to pick as many as I can when they’re in season. And with a freezer full of washed and cleaned berries, there are always opportunities to use them. While blackberry jam or jelly is great, there are amazing combinations of fruit that make delicious jams. In this case, adding the sweetness of pears really helps with the tartness of the fruit.
Step 1: Combine the fruit
Make sure you use very, very ripe pears. If you buy them under ripe, just leave them out on the counter for a few days until they get very soft. Peel and core the pears, and cut them into small cubes. Combine them with the blackberries, and mash them with a potato masher until you have no large chunks.
Step 2: Prepare the Pectin/Sugar
I highly recommend Pomona’s Universal Pectin – it gels perfectly every time, and one package makes up to 6 batches of jam, including low/no sugar recipes, and for any kind of jam/jelly. However, it requires a little prep, so make sure you follow the instructions on the package. Most importantly, make sure you mix the pectin with the sugar well, so you don’t get clumps in your jam.
Step 3: Prepare your Jars
Put the jars and lids in a deep pot, and cover them completely with water. Boil the jars for at least 10 minutes, and remove them immediately before filling them.
Step 4: Make the Jam
Step 5: Pour into Jars
Gentle ladle the jam into your boiling hot jars, and seal immediately with lids. If you spill any jam on the rim of the jar, wipe it off with a clean cloth. Wait for the jars to cool, and the lids to seal. If any jars don’t seal, you can refrigerate them and use them immediately, or boil them for 10 minutes.
Once you get comfortable with making jam, you can change the amount of sugar, or substitute for a sweetener, or even make sugar-free jam, but make sure you use the right amount of pectin for the amount of sugar in your mix. This jam has a really unique flavour, and makes an excellent gift, or you can hoard it and have it on your morning toast.
Loving the city, but longing for the farm, Melissa has made a hobby and a habit out of living sustainably, and DIYing, all while enjoying the perks of living in the big city. From Vancouver BC, she posts about making your own homestead from the smallest condo, and bringing farm living to rapid transit.
Copyright © Josephine 2015. All rights reserved.