Blackberry jam has always been my favorite. But up until now I have always purchased it from the grocery store. Not anymore though, since I prefer to avoid all of that refined sugar in my diet, I make it myself. Homemade jams are easy to make, especially freezer jams — and now that I’ve found Pomona’s Universal Pectin I can make all the “healthy” jams I want. With low to almost no sweetener needed you can really taste the fruit in the jam, not just copious amounts of sugar!
Look for Pomona’s Pectin at your local natural health-food store or purchase from Amazon.com.
- 4 packed cups fresh blackberries
- 1/4 cup lemon juice
- 1 cup water, divided
- 1/2 cup honey
- 3 teaspoons pectin powder
AND 4 to 12 teaspoons calcium water, both from Pomona’s Universal Pectin
To the container of a blender add berries, lemon juice, and 1/4 cup water. Blend on high speed until a smooth puree forms.
Pour puree into a fine-mesh sieve set over a large bowl. Push puree through the sieve using the back of a spoon. Occasionally and carefully scrape the seedless puree from the bottom of sieve using the flat side of a butter knife; this keeps the sieve unclogged and allows the puree to flow freely. Keep pushing puree through until only the seeds and a little pulp remains in the sieve; discard seeds or compost them.
Mix the honey and seedless puree together (if necessary warm honey slightly to allow for better mixing).
Bring 3/4 cup water to a boil. Put boiling water into blender container along with pectin powder and blend, with lid vented, for 1 to 2 minutes until all powder is dissolved.
Add hot liquid pectin to fruit puree and stir until well mixed.
Add 4 teaspoons calcium water to fruit puree, stir well to combine. A jell should form — if not, continue adding 1 teaspoon calcium water (up to 12 tsp.) until mixture jells.
Note: “Raw” jam may be softer than cooked jam. If mixture does not jell to your satisfaction, place in a medium saucepan — bring to a boil, stirring. Remove from heat and allow mixture to cool. Once cooled jam should thicken significantly.
Ladle jam into half-pint jars, screw caps on tightly, label with name and date. Place in freezer immediately.
Freezer jam will safely store in freezer for up to 1 year. To use freezer jam, place jar from freezer in the refrigerator to thaw (which usually takes 24 hours). Thawed freezer jam can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 weeks.
Makes 4 to 6 Half-Pints.