I used to shy away from even attempting to make homemade jams because I thought you needed to buy special ingredients, such as pectin, to make them at home. I also thought you had to go through the whole canning process which uses special containers (which, are kind of expensive).
I gave them a try after reading David Lebovitz’s blog and realizing that not only does he not use commercial pectin, but there is no need to go through the canning process. I buy regular glass containers, with regular twist on/off caps and wash them with hot soapy water before using them. That’s it. Jams will keep for months in the refrigerator without problem.
I have already made a few different types of jam, but hadn’t tried a classic mixed berry jam, and this one would go great with cream cheese and scones. Check out our two recipes for scones, while you’re here!
Mixed Berries Jam
Yields: 5 one cup jars (8 oz jars)
Adapted from David Lebovitz
1 pound strawberries
1 pound blackberries
1 pound raspberries
1 cup blueberries
1 cup water or apple juice
5 1/2 cups sugar
juice of one lemon
pinch of salt
Optional: 1 tablespoon kirsch
- In a large pot, mix the berries, and the water or apple juice. Cook, covered, stirring frequently over moderate heat, until the berries are cooked through and thoroughly tender. It should take about 10 minutes.
- Put a small plate in the freezer.
- Add the sugar, lemon juice, and salt, and cook, uncovered, skimming off and discarding any foam that rises to the surface, until the jam is thick and passes the wrinkle test.
- To do the wrinkle test: place a small spoonful of the jam on the frozen plate. Return it to the freezer and check it a few minutes later; if the jam wrinkles when nudged, it’s done. You can also use a candy thermometer; jam jells at approximately 220F (104C).
- Stir in the kirsch, if using, then ladle the jam into clean jars, cover, and store in the refrigerator.
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