Saturday, June 27, 2009

Homemade Blackberry Jam!

As mentioned previously, this is the last weekend of Webb Ranch's U-Pick berry season. Picking your own berries for the season is a great way to get delicious, local, organic fruit for less than you'd pay for regular. It's also a great way to entertain your kids for the afternoon! I swore I was going to get to the ranch on the first weekend of the season, but life got in the way. The price I paid was that there were no more loganberries or raspberries left by the time I made it, so we focused on picking Butte Blackberries. After several hours we had collected about 5 pounds of berries. As his reward for being patient, I promised my son a pony ride (one of several fun kid activities at the ranch). One pony ride late and we were headed back home.

For $15 I got 5 pounds of blackberries. As soon as I got home I washed the berries and froze two pounds for later use in smoothies and such (another great use for frozen berries...a healthy replacement for syrup! simply put a small bowl in the microwave, warm up, stir, add sugar to taste and serve on french toast or pancakes. Yum!). I kept about 1/2 pound of berries out for eating fresh and planned on using the other 2 1/2 pounds to make 7 jars of jam, which will be cover our family's jam needs for the year, as well as gifts to friends.

Here's the recipe:

2 1/2 pounds blackberries, washer (substitute blueberries or raspberries if desired)
2 cups water
4 pounds unrefined sugar (cheaper from the bulk bin)

Simmer fruit and water for 30 minutes. Add sugar and stir until dissolved. Boil rapidly for 15-20 minutes.

Put the jam in sterilized jelly jars, which have the proper lids to seal down. Make sure the tops of the jars are cleaned of any jelly so as not to affect the seal of the jar. Jars can remain un-refrigerated until opened.


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