Mixed Berry Jam Recipe
I've been eating so much of this jam lately that my store of mixed berry jam was getting low. Thank goodness that this time of year, all of the berries are going on sale at the grocery store, and I can stock up (because this jam recipe takes a whole lot of berries for not very much jam—but I think that's the nature of cooking with berries).
One of my favorite things about this jam—besides the amazing burst of flavor in your mouth from the blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, and strawberries all cooked together—is its incredible deep-purple color. I tried capturing it for you in a multitude of pictures in different lighting, but I just can't do it justice. I wish I could show you in person. Just spreading this jam thickly on my homemade bread and eating it for breakfast makes me feel like I'm rich and eating something decadent; it provokes various emotions in me.
I know that must sound silly, but berries are never something I was able to eat a great deal of when I was younger. I always remember them being really expensive and going bad quickly. You never really find blackberry or blueberry jam in the grocery store except in the really expensive brands, so I never got to experience those flavors as a child or even a young adult. It wasn't until I found my first Cracker Barrel, and they gave me little packets of blueberry and blackberry, that I saw the light. Oh my gosh, they were so delicious!
It was then, even more years later, that I finally mastered my own way of making jam at home, even better, without all of the crazy chemicals and preservatives in the store-bought stuff. Ever since, this has been one of my favorites, and I eat it like it's going out of style. If you have found yourself in the same boat I was in and think berries are simply too expensive, wait until they go on sale for $1 a pack or find a little Mexican grocery store that sells produce for ridiculously low prices, and you can get them for an even better price.
Then, when you get home, dump them all into storage bags and pop them in the freezer. Blueberries, blackberries, and even raspberries keep really well in the freezer, and you can eat them like that—fresh and cold. We make popsicles, breads, muffins, pies, and even jam from them. Yum!
There truly is nothing like homemade, and now that I can finally enjoy some of these elusive berries at home, I can enjoy them like they were truly meant to be enjoyed. Let me show you how I made my jam!
|Cook time||Ready in||Yields|
7 pints of mixed berry jam
- 1 gallon storage bag frozen blueberries
- 1/2 gallon storage bag frozen blackberries
- 1 1/2 cups frozen raspberries
- 5–8 frozen strawberries
- 1/4 cup honey
- Dump all of your berries into a large crockpot.
- Cook covered on high for about 4 hours or until wilted.
- Add in your 1/4 cup honey and stir really well, making sure to scrape the sides and bottom of the crockpot.
- If you have an immersion blender, this will be the easiest and least messy option for blending up your jam, but you can always do batches in the blender. Just return it all to the crockpot.
- Leave lid off and heat on high and continue cooking until a lot of the liquid evaporates. You want your jam a little thicker, right? Stir periodically.
- When you feel like your jam is ready, set up your canning station with a water bath canner, canning tool kit, 7 pint canning jars with lids and rings, a towel, and a ladle.
- Pull your crockpot out and set it on a towel or pot holder next to your jars, and use your canning funnel to fill your jars to the neck with jam.
- If you don't have enough jam for them all, distribute it evenly amongst the jars and make up the little difference in the jars with water. If you have too much, bust out the bread!
- Wipe the rims of all of your jars with a damp washcloth.
- Add lids to each jar and then rings. Only twist the rings until you feel the slightest resistance.
- Use your jar lifter to add the all to the canner. I'm assuming you have a jar rack in the bottom of your pot. If not, you'll want to place a small towel in the bottom because you don't want your jars to touch each other or the pot while processing.
- Fill your canner with water to a couple of inches over your jars.
- Cover your pot and crank the heat to high.
- When your pot starts boiling over, tilt the lid to release a little steam, set your timer to 20 minutes, and turn the heat down a notch or two, but make sure you have a rolling boil all the way through processing.
- At the end of your time, remove your jars and place them on a towel to cool for 24 hours.
- When cool, your jar lids should have popped and will ping when you tap on them. Remove the rings because they can trap bacteria that will compromise your food.
- Label your jars with the product and date, and store them in a cool, dry place for up to a year (if they last that long).
- If you have 1 or 2 that didn't seal, place them in the refrigerator and use them by the end of the week. (This jam is great on bread, biscuits, ice cream, in smoothies, in desserts, etc.)
- If you have 3 or more that didn't seal, remove the lids and rings, clean the rims of the jars and all lids and rings and start over. Replace the lids and rings, place them back in the water, and process again.
Tips for Mixed Berry Jam Success
I always look forward to all of the yummy jams that come with summertime and the holidays as different fruits come into season. I can't wait to share my vanilla spiced pear jam, and my apple harvest jam with you come fall. But right now, it's berries! I definitely think my mixed berry jam is my all-time favorite.
Now that I make it all in the crockpot, it's easier than ever to keep delicious jams and preserves in my pantry to enjoy all year round. All of the traditional recipes you find will likely tell you that you need to cook it all on the stove and patiently stir in tons of refined sugar and processed pectin for hours at a time. I simply don't have that kind of patience, so mine kept getting burned; I also didn't want all of those crazy ingredients in mine.
The honey is needed in order to react with the natural pectin in fruit to thicken it up, but just a little. This is perfect for me because we use a lot of organic honey in our household, and I would prefer my jam to be mostly fruit. You'll have to try it for yourself. It's delicious.
© 2018 Victoria Van Ness