Old-Fashioned Blackberry Jam

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Make old fashioned blackberry jam from scratch just like Grandma did with this quick and easy recipe. It doesn’t even need pectin!

(*Recipe post updated July 2021 with new recipe card and additional information.)

I had my first blackberry jam making lesson in my friend Lynn’s sunny kitchen – 20 years ago!  I remember her patiently showing me how to make jam the way her mother-in-law taught her.  This method doesn’t require any pectin – just berries and {lots of!} sugar.  Today was the perfect day for some “jammin’”.  Here’s how we did it…

Old Fashioned Blackberry Jam being poured into jam jars

 

How to Make Old Fashioned Blackberry Jam without Pectin

*Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links, which means if you click on a link and purchase an item, I will receive a small commission at no extra expense to you. Thank you for helping support our little blog business!

Gather Your Recipe and Canning Supplies:

  • up to 4-6 cups mashed fresh blackberries (they must be fresh)
  • up to 4-6 cups sugar (to equal the measurement of the mashed blackberries)

Prepare the jars & lids by sterilizing them.

Jars can be sterilized by running them through the dishwasher and drying in high heat. Or, my method is to wash and rinse them in very hot water and set them on a tea towel to air dry. I avoid handling them with my bare hands (to prevent germs), so I flip them over with my canning tongs.

Place the lids in a saucepan with water covering them.  Put them on to boil while you are doing all the rest.  {Keep an eye on them so they don’t boil dry.}

old fashioned blackberry jam
Prepare for blackberry jam making by getting your jars, lids, and rings ready.

Rinse and mash the fresh blackberries.

Rinse the fresh berries by running them under water in a colander.  {You MUST use fresh berries for this method.}

blackberry jam
Rinse the blackberries under cold water in preparation for making this blackberry jam recipe.

Mash the berries with a vegetable or potato masher until there are no big seeds.

Mashing blackberries with a potato masher in preparation for making blackberry jam
Use a potato masher to squish the blackberries in preparation for making blackberry jam.

Measure out the sugar.

Measure out  an equal part of sugar to match the exact amount of mashed berries.  (**NOTE: Use only between 4-6 cups mashed berries per batch.)

A container of mashed blackberries beside a container with an equal amount of sugar in preparation for making blackberry jam.
This blackberry jam recipe calls for equal parts mashed blackberries and sugar.

Cook the berries.

Pour mashed berries into a large saucepan and put over high heat.  Stir constantly with a large spoon until it boils. Boil for 3 minutes.

A pot of blackberries simmering to make blackberry jam.
Use a large cooking pot and stir constantly while cooking this blackberry jam recipe.

Add sugar to the boiling blackberries.

Once the berries have boiled 3 minutes, slowly add all the sugar while stirring constantly.

Sugar being added into a large pot of simmering blackberries to make blackberry jam
Once the blackberries have boiled for 3 minutes, add in the previously measured sugar.

Cook the berries and sugar together.

Bring the mixture to a boil again, while continuing to stir constantly.  Boil for 3 minutes more.

Bring out the natural pectin by whisking together.

Remove from heat and beat with a whisk for 3 minutes. {The “beating” forces the natural pectin out of the berries.}

A whisk in a pot of cooked blackberry jam
Beating the cooked blackberry jam with a whisk for 3 minutes brings out the natural pectin in the blackberries, so you don’t need to add any pectin in this old fashioned blackberry jam recipe!

Pour into jars and place lids on tightly.

Pour into sterilized jars. {Don’t overfill.  Just pour up to the narrow part of the jar.}

blackberry jam being poured into clean jam jars
I find Tupperware’s plastic mixing bowl with pour spout perfect for pouring blackberry jam into sterilized jars.

Using tongs, place a hot lid on each jar.  Screw the rings on tightly. {Yep, it’s a little hot on your hands!}

blackberry jam in jam jars sitting on a counter
Screw the lids tightly on with the jam jar lids. Let them sit and cool on the counter and let them seal.

Each batch makes approximately 8 jam jars-full.

Close up of a jar of blackberry jam
Canning blackberry jam in the Summer allows you to enjoy it all year long!

Once you are all finished, just leave them sitting on your counter.  One of my favourite sounds is the “pop” of the jar lids sealing…  Once they have all sealed, I store them in a cupboard in the basement.

FAQ: Do you use a hot water bath canning method for this jam recipe?

I have never used the hot water bath canning method for this recipe. However, it is a highly debated topic in my comment section!;) If you feel safer using the hot water method, I’m sure it would work great.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

How do you store this jam when the jars are sealed?

I store canned jam in my basement where it is cool and dark. 

How long does home canned jam last?

It is recommended that canned jam be used up within a year of being canned.

For other jam and berry recipes, you may want to check these out:

To access the whole archive of yummy recipes, click here, or if you’re looking for recipes for large quantity cooking, click here.

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How to Make Old-Fashioned Blackberry Jam

How to Make Old-Fashioned Blackberry Jam

Yield: Approx. 8 jam jars
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Active Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes

Can your own blackberry jam using this old fashioned jam recipe method. Using fresh blackberries, you just mash, cook, beat, and pour into jars!

Materials

  • up to 4-6 cups mashed fresh blackberries (they must be fresh)
  • up to 4-6 cups sugar (to equal the measurement of the mashed blackberries)

Tools

  • 8 oz Ball Mason Jars with lids and rings
  • 2 Quart measuring cup (I used 2)
  • Small Saucepan for boiling lids
  • 6 quart stock pot
  • Masher
  • Large Spoon
  • Whisk
  • Tongs
  • Potholders

Instructions

Prepare the jars & lids by sterilizing them.

Jars can be sterilized by running them through the dishwasher and drying in high heat. Or, my method is to wash and rinse them in very hot water and set them on a tea towel to air dry. I avoid handling them with my bare hands (to prevent germs), so I flip them over with my canning tongs.

Place the lids in a saucepan with water covering them.  Put them on to boil while you are doing all the rest.  {Keep an eye on them so they don’t boil dry.}

Rinse and mash the fresh blackberries.

Rinse the fresh berries by running them under water in a colander.  {You MUST use fresh berries for this method.}

Mash the berries with a vegetable or potato masher until there are no big seeds.

Measure out the sugar.

Measure out  an equal part of sugar to match the exact amount of mashed berries.  (**NOTE: Use only between 4-6 cups mashed berries per batch.)

Cook the berries.

Pour mashed berries into a large saucepan and put over high heat.  Stir constantly with a large spoon until it boils. Boil for 3 minutes.

Add sugar to the boiling blackberries.

Once the berries have boiled 3 minutes, slowly add all the sugar while stirring constantly.

Cook the berries and sugar together.

Bring the mixture to a boil again, while continuing to stir constantly.  Boil for 3 minutes more.

Bring out the natural pectin by whisking together.

Remove from heat and beat with a whisk for 3 minutes. {The “beating” forces the natural pectin out of the berries.}

Pour into jars and place lids on tightly.

Pour into sterilized jars. {Don’t overfill.  Just pour up to the narrow part of the jar.}

Using tongs, place a hot lid on each jar.  Screw the rings on tightly. {Yep, it’s a little hot on your hands!}

Each batch makes approximately 8 jam jars-full.

Did you make this project?

Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Instagram

 

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48 Comments

  1. I am new to making jam and I have been getting very mixed results during my recipe research.

    You do not call to “process” the jam where you put it in a hot water bath. Is there any reason that you do not do this?

    I know that it seems like extra work but I read that if you do not put it in a water bath there is greater chance of improper sealing which could lead to unsafe jam…

    Just wondering if you could shed some light on the situation for me.

    1. Usually you utilize the hot water bath when you cold pack your jars for canning. When you are using hot, sterilized jars and lids, plus adding hot liquid to those jars, you should have plenty of heat to seal the jars properly, as long as you screw the lids on tightly and securely.

      1. The jars will form a slight seal that is correct but it is by no means a safe seal you are wrong if you think you preserved the jam for an extended time. Jams MUST BE PROCESSES IN A HOTBWATER BATH to be shelf stable. !

          1. My Gran and her mother and so and so forth did not use a hot water bath and we have NEVER had an issue with using near boiling hot jam to seal the lids. We just make sure our mixture is extremely hot. Hot water pack just makes the jars and contents hot which you literally just did by pouring scalding liquid in warm sterile jars with hot lids on top.

  2. I tried this recipe to a tee and it just does NOT work! There is something missing in the directions I believe. I ended up with blackberry syrup 🙁 You either need to get it up to a certain temperature for it to gel or ? ALSO only 2 of my jars sealed out of 8. I then decided to process them for 10 minutes and they sealed up after that. It has been 24 hours now and I still have syrup instead of jam.

    1. I cook it longer at the second Time you add sugar. Some berries are just juicier . Cook until it looks like it is thick dropping from your spoon. I make all my jams, peach, strawberry this way. Delish!

    2. So do I. They did not gel. What can I do now. Can I open them all back up and boil them again or add some pectin to it. This is slot of work for it to all be wasted.

  3. I add a box of pectin to mine, along with 1/4 cup lemon juice (bottled is fine)….also ginger or peppermint or cinnamon or vanilla all pair well if you’re looking for a touch of spice to this jam….should work perfectly if you process in a water bath for 10 minutes.

  4. I always mash my berries then measure out for a batch of jam. Then I put them in the freezer for a couple of months. Best jams ever! The jars need to be filled higher than she recommends otherwise they won’t seal. Heat sugar up in oven for 15 minutes at 250 degrees. Warm sugar dissolves better. Boil berries 1 min then add warm sugar. Boil for about 5 minutes or so. Perfect!!!

  5. This recipe is great as both for small batches ( like when you got an awesome deal on blackberries but not enough to make a standard jam recipe) and for wowing friends at an impromptu brunch- makes up in literally minutes… Like while your biscuits are in the oven. Many Thanks for your post. This one’s a keeper!

  6. i followed this recipe exactly and my jam did not thicken, can i maybe waterbath it within the 24hrs to get it to thicken? Or can i maybe readf it to the pot and add pectin? Please help!! Hate for it to go to waste!!

    1. There is not quite enough natural pectin in most berries to thicken on their own, so adding pectin is best. Also, water bath for 10 minutes in boiling water to ensure a good, tight seal to avoid spoilage.

    2. Once in a while mine doesn’t get firm either ( I believe it’s cuz I don’t always get whipped well enough ) but for me that’s okay because I love blackberry syrup on my pancakes or waffles. It never goes to waste. Try using it over ice cream, so good.

  7. Great recipe, I made two batches and followed your recipe exactly how you have it posted. No problems at all. Gelled and sealed with a taste test from the grand daughter. Past her approval. Thanks for sharing.

  8. I’ve made this jam for the past three years. It always turns out great and seals every time. I make a least 24 pints to last thru the winter, and they are all gone by the time the berries come out again.

  9. I made 2 batches the first one turned out great, the second one didn’t seal and still runny, what should I do, the jars are cold it’s been 8 hours, should I start over?

  10. This worked perfectly for me. Great taste and I did decrease the sugar to 3 1/4 cups for 4 cups of berries.
    Will this work for strawberries too?

  11. i did my blackberries yesterday i had 8 cups and i just use 6 cups of sugar and i think i did petty good and put 5 teaspoons lemon juice in with it and turn upside down they sealed good

  12. Current safety precautions in canning instructions recommend processing in hot water bath for 10 minutes after it comes to a boil. This ensures a good seal and kills any organisms that could cause spoilage.
    If you have jars that don’t seal, you can reprocess with new lids, freeze or refrigerate and use.

  13. Tart apples such as Granny Smith have loads of natural pectin. Peel, core and slice several apples and cook in saucepan with a little water until the apple slices are soft and tender. Mash the apples with a potato masher and add to your blackberries. The addition of a couple apples will not affect the taste of the berries and the natural pectin will help the jam gel.
    Try the gel test: set several saucers in your freezer before making the jam. When you think it’s ready for the jars, remove a saucer from the freezer and drop a small smear of jam on the saucer. Return to the freezer for 1-2 minutes. Run your finger through the jam sample. If it has thickened enough to form a “skin” it has gelled. If not, cook a little longer and try again. (That’s why it’s suggested you pre-freeze more than one saucer).

  14. My mom makes homemade fig and blackberry jam, too! Isn’t it fun to make these each year? Thanks for joining us at Tuesday Turn About!

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