Appalachian Food

Very Berry Jam

Blueberry jam

Nanette Davidson taught me how to make Very Berry Jam. It’s a super easy jam recipe to make. It’s a flexible recipe in that you can use what ever sort of berry you have on hand-even a mixture of different berries works well. And best of all it’s a yummy recipe!

Very Berry Jam

  • 9 cups raspberries, blackberries, or blueberries or a mixture of any or all
  • 6 cups sugar
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice

Easy blueberry jam recipe

 

Blueberries are what I had on hand when I made Very Berry Jam a few weeks ago-so I added 9 cups of blueberries to a large pot and cooked them over medium low heat for a few minutes. I used a potato masher to slightly crush the berries and release some of their juices.

Add the sugar and lemon juice to the berries stirring well to dissolve the sugar. Bring the mixture up to a boil over medium heat. Lower heat to a simmer and cook mixture until thickened-about 30 minutes.

This is a recipe you have to watch. You really need to stir the jam constantly for the entire 30 minutes-or at least every few minutes to make sure the mixture doesn’t scorch on the bottom. If the mixture seems too hot-turn the heat down a little and continue.

 

Once the mixture has thickened you can skim off any foam that may have risen to the top. Pour jam into prepared jars and seal.

Very berry jam

 

This recipe makes about 6 cups of jam. If you’ve got an abundance of late summer blueberries this is a perfect way to use them up for some winter time goodness.

Tipper

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17 Comments

  • Reply
    Tamela
    August 26, 2014 at 1:05 pm

    I have a friend whose dishwasher has a “sterilize” setting. She puts her jars, lids and rings in there, then, when she’s about half-way through cooking whatever jam/jelly/preserves/syrup she is making, then she turns on the dishwasher so the jars etc get done about the same time the jam… does. She then jars it up without using a water bath and it works fine.
    Has anyone tried the aspirin?
    Does anyone have the tomato butter recipe? Dad grew fields of tomatoes in south Texas. After the canning sheds got their due, we gleaned the fields and spent a day or two canning tomatoes, making tomato preserves, and, in the earlier days when my great grandmother was alive, I remember having tomato butter too. I also remember Mom trying to make it and ending up with that black bitter stuff – – Dad threw such a fit she never tried it again!

  • Reply
    Ed Ammons
    August 26, 2014 at 11:25 am

    Tipper-The neighbors that lived below us growing up “cold packed” all their canned stuff. They would put it in jars, add water up to the neck then put it in a hot water bath. They knew about botulism so they would put an aspirin in every quart of green beans. They never had a pressure cooker as far as I know. The adults lived to a ripe old age and all but the youngest child is still alive. Mommy never cold packed anything and put all her green beans on the pressure cooker.
    Aspirin is acetylsalicylic acid and the worry with beans, corn, squash and such is that they are low acid. You can acidify them with vinegar but then you have pickles. Aspirin would acidify them but I don’t know if one would be enough and how many before your food starts to taste like medicine.

  • Reply
    Tipper
    August 26, 2014 at 6:50 am

    Ed-thank you for the comment! I have never heard of the adding the aspirin! Very interesting-do you think it would work?
    Tipper
    Blind Pig The Acorn
    Celebrating and
    Preserving the
    Culture of Appalachia
    http://www.blindpigandtheacorn.com

  • Reply
    Ed Ammons
    August 25, 2014 at 11:52 pm

    Pamela and Tipper-You have six cups of sugar plus the sugar in the berries. If you have sterilized your jars and lids and you put the jam in the jars right away, the hot water bath only brings the temperature down. If the jam is boiling prior to putting it in the jars it is about 235°. If you sanitize the lids with boiling water, they will be at 210°. If you have your jars in the oven at 300° there ain’t nothing going to be alive in them. If a stray microbe happens to alight on the inside of your lid between the time you take it from the water and put it on the jar and survives the residual heat from the jam and the jar, then he deserves a jar of jam for himself. Make him a pan of biscuits to go with it.
    The jar and lid manufacturers recommend you do the water bath thing to protect themselves. If you are clean and efficient, the extra step is unnecessary when preserving foods that are high in acid or sugar. The extra processing destroys more nutrients in the food and wastes energy.
    If you lollygag around and let everything cool down, then Yes use the hot water bath or better yet let somebody else put it up for you.
    Tipper-Have you ever seen anybody put an aspirin in canned foods to raise the acidity?

  • Reply
    RB
    August 25, 2014 at 11:38 pm

    Both of our Grandmothers and our paternal Great-Grandmother made jams and jellies. Our Great-Grandmother made one of tomatoes that she called Tomato Butter that was very delicate tasting like a combination of apple and peach jelly, and was absolutely luscious (my favorite) on fresh baked bread with butter.
    Our dad tried to make it once, and it’s tricky because if the fire isn’t VERY low, it turns into a thick dark paste that tastes like sorghum and nothing like Grandma’s delicate Tomato Butter. I thought we’d never get rid of that stuff that Dad made. He finally got rid of it in BBQ sauces and baked beans.
    Smucker’s once made Tomato Butter that was so much like Grandma’s but I haven’t seen it even from them in decades.
    God bless.
    RB
    <><

  • Reply
    Tipper
    August 25, 2014 at 8:07 pm

    Pam-thank you for the comment! Canning authorities go back and forth about whether you should water bath jellies and jams. We have never water-bathed either so we continue to do it the old way and feel ok about doing it that way : ) My jellies and jams last for well over a year in most cases-as long as they are kept in a cool dry place.
    Blind Pig The Acorn
    Celebrating and Preserving the
    Culture of Appalachia
    http://www.blindpigandtheacorn.com

  • Reply
    Joyce Heishman
    August 25, 2014 at 6:55 pm

    Thank you Tipper. I am not a great cook. Easy recipes are a joy for me. I don’t think I can mess this one up to bad. Blessings to you, Joyce

  • Reply
    Pamela Danner
    August 25, 2014 at 6:36 pm

    I love making jam! My question is, how long can you keep homemade jam and it be safe to eat that has been processed in a water bath?
    Thanks,
    Pam

  • Reply
    Ken Roper
    August 25, 2014 at 2:52 pm

    Tipper,
    All those mixed berries sounds good to me. Bet it makes it more tart. I ain’t never made any jelly or jam, but I know about canning tomatoes. If you’re not careful and have the eye too hot, they’ll scorch and you’ve got real problems. After I get the tomato skins off from the boiling water, I cut up a huge pot full of tomatoes and turn ’em on medium at the same time…Ken

  • Reply
    dolores
    August 25, 2014 at 12:26 pm

    Yummy! I have to consider trying this. There is nothing more tasty than homemade jam.

  • Reply
    b. Ruth
    August 25, 2014 at 12:16 pm

    Tipper,
    Don’t forget to cook some berries down a bit for you some yummy blueberry syrup for pancakes or waffles. I usually have enough leftover to put a small jar of syrup in the fridge…
    Thanks Tipper

  • Reply
    b. Ruth
    August 25, 2014 at 12:10 pm

    Tipper,
    I love blueberries just about anyway you can fix them. When we pick our own, we eat two and put one in the bucket. When we mentioned that the seller should weight us before going into pick. She laughed and said, “We take that into consideration, because we do the same thing!” Still, we thought the price of her blueberries were cheap, even with picking our own.
    I’m out of blueberries and the berries are about gone here in East Tn. Won’t be long before Scuppernongs and Muscatine’s will be coming in. Yes, I’ve made Scuppernong jam.
    We got our first ones last week when we got our peaches from South Carolina.
    Roy’s vines, I am afraid, have been feeding the mockingbirds…lol
    Thanks for the recipe Tipper,

  • Reply
    Steve in Tn
    August 25, 2014 at 9:52 am

    Hoping to make some crab apple jelly today…hard to beat berries.

  • Reply
    Mrs. K.
    August 25, 2014 at 9:37 am

    I am making peach jam with rum today. Very berry would be a good addition to the jam shelf and the Christmas gifts. Think I’ll go get some berries and give it a try. Thanks Tipper!

  • Reply
    Chris
    August 25, 2014 at 8:15 am

    This sounds like what my Granlinn called “round the yard” jam! It was always different and always good!

  • Reply
    Barb Wright
    August 25, 2014 at 8:07 am

    Great timing on this one! My blueberries are winding down,but still prolific,and the raspberries are just starting.A different idea is always welcome!

  • Reply
    Miss Cindy
    August 25, 2014 at 7:36 am

    Looks wonderful, Tipper. That’s the old timey way to make jam without using sure jell.

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