Last year we made blackberry jam; Maurizio picked the berries and I did the cooking and canning. Blackberries have so many seeds which we find unpleasant in jams and tarts so I decided to remove them. It’s a laborious, time consuming task and I cursed myself the whole way through making the jam…or at least the seedless variety. I swore I’d never do it again.
Once the jam was done we decided to treat ourselves to toast and jam for dessert. As soon as it hit our palates we looked at each other and Maurizio and I agreed we should immediately make more. As much as we possibly could actually. It’s just about the tastiest thing you can imagine and removing the seeds is essential.
It’s blackberry season again and Maurizio has spent the good part of a week picking berries. And I’ve been seeding them and making jam.
If you want to savor delicious homemade blackberry jam plan to set aside a good lot of time to make the jam. Again, seeding is the long and annoying part of the process. So put on some good music or your favorite podcast and enjoy the process!
Blackberries stain like nothing else. This is a messy job so wear dark clothes that you don’t mind staining. The same goes for your utensils.
Blackberries, 1 kilogram (2.2 pounds)
Water, 60 milliliters (1/4 cup)
Granulated sugar, 300 grams (1 1/2 cups)
Pectin, 50 grams (1.8 ounces). Alternatively, follow the pectin package instructions for the quantity of fruit you are using.
Equipment you’ll need:
Large stainless steel pot
Several dish towels that you don’t mind staining
Jam jars and lids
Long spoons and spatulas
Prepare jam jars and lids:
Jars and lids should be sterile before using. Sterilize them in the dishwasher or in boiling water. To avoid cracking, make sure the jars are warm when you ladle in the jam; keep them filled with warm water until they’re ready for use.
I recycle jars and lids…
Have your dish towels handy: one to hold the jar and drape over your arm as you ladle in the jam. This will avoid any unnecessary burns from dripping hot jam.
The second dish towel should be damp and used to wipe off any spilled jam from the rim of the jar before sealing with the lid.
Rinse the berries well, pick out any bad ones and remove all stems and debris.
Drain, and place in a large stainless steel pot.
Add the water and bring the berries and water to a boil.
Stir frequently until the berries are soft.
Press the berries, a cup or two at a time, through the food mill until you’ve extracted all the juice and pulp from the berries.
Discard the seeds and continue until all the berries have been passed through the food mill.
Return the berry juice and pulp to the stainless steel pot.
Stir in the sugar and pectin until dissolved.
On high, bring the mixture to a boil and cook, stirring regularly for five minutes.
Remove from the heat and stir for another minute to remove any foam.
Ladle the jam into the jars, leaving 1/2 centimeter (1/4 inch) headroom.
Wipe off the rim of the jar and seal with the lid.
Place the jars upside down and allow to cool thoroughly.