Blackberry season is in full harvest mode around here right now. The plants are loaded and we are racing with the birds and other critters that like the ripe juicy berries as much as we do to harvest as many as possible.
Tarts, pies, cobblers, barbecue sauce, or just by the bowl full, there are no shortage of ways to enjoy fresh blackberries. But what can you do to savor that fresh flavor on a year-round basis?
Easy Blackberry Freezer Jam is a great way to preserve that fresh flavor. Freezer jam requires no canning equipment and no cooking, so it is a great way to put up extra fruit when you have more than you need. Kids love it, so get them involved in the entire process, from picking the berries to making the jam.
Serve the jam on a piping hot biscuit or spoon it over ice cream. If you cut the recommended amount of sugar in the recipe by half, you will have a dandy syrup-like consistency that goes great over pancakes or waffles.
6 cups fresh blackberries
5 1/4 cups sugar
1.75 ounce box Sure Jell fruit pectin
Rinse the berries to remove any debris or insects that might still be hanging on. In a large bowl, smash the berries with a potato masher. If you prefer seedless jam, strain the pulp through a sieve.
In a small saucepan, add the box of pectin to 3/4 cup water and bring to a boil. Stir for one minute.
To the bowl with the fruit pulp, pour in the sugar and pectin syrup. Stir the mixture for three to four minutes until the sugar has dissolved.
Ladle the mixture into freezer-proof containers with tight-fitting lids or into glass jars. Leave 1/2 inch of space at the top of the container to allow for expansion. Let the sealed containers sit on the counter at room temperature for 24 hours to allow the fruit pectin to set. After that, store the jam in a freezer for up to a year. Keep a container in the refrigerator for the next time you have a pan of hot biscuits fresh from the oven.
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