Blackberry Jam 101

Wild Blackberries

When I cook for my Sweetheart I face a huge challenge. He has an intolerance to Tyramine; an amino acid. He eats pretty healthy because he only eats what I cook and buy for him. BUT, he can’t eat all the good probiotics I eat because they are loaded with Tyramine…and that means migraines. I went out yesterday after picking blackberries to find some pectin….well, they of course can’t just sell pectin, it has a bunch of other stuff in it and that’s my worry. So, I researched and read how to make Jams & Jelly’s without pectin or surejell. This is how I did it with only two ingredients; blackberries and white sugar. I can’t give Honey Natural sugar because it will give him a migraine…honey does too…maple syrup no, but I’m not sure how the Jam would have turned out. He doesn’t get many treats because of this worry, and I wanted to make this for him because it’s his favorite Jam.

Before I started I put my canning pot filled with enough water to cover the 1/2 pint jars on to boil. It usually takes a good 1/2 hour or more….plus I cranked down our AC from 77* to 75*…the kitchen really heats up with this big pot on the stove plus the other pots to cook the jam. Make sure you have all your canning gadgets handy and available.

I washed my new jars and lids with soapy water and rinsed well.

I learned this trick from my MIL when I was first married. Put your clean jars in a 200*F oven to sterilize and heat so they won’t crack when you add the HOT jam.

Put your lids in a pot and heat on simmer to sterilize.

I picked 2 Qts of blackberries and added 1:1 sugar. I placed the berries and sugar in my stock pot with a heavy bottom. I read that the process should be quick and on high heat. So I began to cook them until the temp reached 220*F on a candy thermometer. This took only 25-30 min’s…the last 10 degrees took the longest.

The trick with no pectin jams is to also have a couple unripened berries. For the amount I was making I picked a couple handfuls of unripened berries. I continued to cook it and stirred constantly. I also mashed the berries with my potato masher as they softened.

I watched the thermometer carefully since the steam was fogging it up…I remember the Jams I made 26 yrs ago when I first got married….HARD as a ROCK. So, I didn’t want to cook it too long.

Fill your hot jars very carefully. I use tongs to pick up the lids and screw them on by hand as I hold the jar with these jar gadgets.

Leave a 1/2 inch head space…I fill to the screw lines on the jar. And then place them carefully in the boiling canning pot. Remember Carefully.

The canning water should be boiling even as you are putting the jars in. I was able to fit 10 1/2 pint jars in the holder.

Lower the rack into the boiling water and cover. Set your timer for 10 minutes and process.

When done remove the jars with your gadget and place on a kitchen towel to cool. Listen for the canning music to begin….POP, POP, POP!!!! I love that sound…make sure that all the lids have sealed on their own. After they cool, press on each lid to check. If a lid didn’t seal then place it in the frig and use in 6 months or sooner!

I must confess, even though I don’t eat sugar….I had to taste….

OH BOY YUM!!!

I had 1/2 jar that I didn’t can and I popped it in the frig….I just “tested” it to make sure it set….and oh boy it did!!!

Becca just put in a request for Blueberry Jam!

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