local blackberry jam

IMG_9971A few days ago the boys and I picked five 32 oz. tubs of blackberries. The berries were washed and refrigerated promptly, so they stayed plump and juicy, but realistically it was unlikely we’d manage to eat four more tubs of them before. We’d already made blackberry kolaches, and eaten quite a few already!

I considered my options: we could try and eat four tubs of berries before they went bad, we could try and bake something else with some of them, we could freeze them for later, or we could make jam.

I decided to make jam.

I almost never have enough locally picked blackberries to make any substantial quantity of jam, however, this time I had the necessary nine cups of lightly smashed berries, so I decided to go for it.

IMG_9973Blackberry jam turned out to be fairly straight forward, and other than the vat of molten sugar and berries, it was fairly simple to make.

I used the recipe from Ball Blue Book Guide of Preserving which called for 9 cups of mashed blackberries and 6 cups of sugar, boiled down until it started to gel, scoop the foam off and then into hot jars and a water bath (go find a real direction if you’re going to try this at home).

I had an odd selection of jar sizes available, so I ended up with two  pints, five 1/2 pints, two 1/4 pints, and an awkwardly half-filled pint.

The boys were fascinated by the process, particularly the hot water canning equipment, but they made sure to keep a safe distance back.

The jam turned out quite well. I look forward to slathering it on english muffins, or if I get really inspired, english muffin bread.

IMG_9980My next challenge is going to be finding space in the pantry for all of these jars!

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