Posts Tagged ‘Jam with No Pectin’

This jam has a wonderfully direct, elegant flavor. It’s a great way to preserve fresh blueberries as the season comes to an end, so you can enjoy them all winter long.

Blueberries are what’s known as a “superfruit,” because they are high in nutrients (Vitamin C, Vitamin K, manganese, Vitamin B6) and in antioxidents. There’s some evidence that eating blueberries can lower cholesterol and blood pressure.

I picked these blueberries at a pick-your-own organic farm called Owl’s Head Blueberry Farm in Richmond, Vermont. I added sugar and lemon juice, then cooked the berries with the lemon rind in the mixture to add more flavor and pectin. No commercial pectin is necessary; the jam will thicken enough with the natural pectin in the berries and lemon.


8 cups blueberries
2 cups sugar
Juice of one lemon

In a large saucepan, combine blueberries and sugar. Crush the blueberries with a potato masher. Add lemon juice and lemon rind. Bring to a boil. Skim any foam that forms from surface.

Cook at a boil until the jam thickens, approximately 30 minutes. Test by dropping some jam on a plate. Put the plate in the freezer for a few minutes. Remove the plate from the freezer. If the jam wrinkles when you push it with your finger, it is done. If not, continue cooking.


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On my recent trip to Vermont, I was thrilled to discover that blackberries were just coming into season. I picked six quarts over two days, fighting thorns, bees and spiders who felt I was invading their territory. The berries are tart and delicious. When making pies and jams with them I always add a bit more sugar than I might with other fruits, to counterbalance the tartness.

Blackberries contain Vitamin C, Vitamin K and folic acid, and are among the highest-ranking fruits in levels of antioxidents. Fun fact: there’s a superstition in the UK that blackberries should not be picked after September 29 (Michaelmas) as after that date the devil has claimed them by urinating on them. This superstition has some basis in scientific fact, as the more wet and cool weather after this date often results in the fruit being contaminated by molds. The molds give the fruit a nasty look and can be toxic.

This jam is a soft-set jam, made without addition of any commercial pectin. The lemon juice enhances the fruit’s flavor. Add the lemon rind into the jam until it boils, which will add further pectin to the jam beyond that which is in the berries themselves.


20 oz. blackberries
1 3/4 cups sugar
Juice of one lemon
Rind of one lemon

Combine blackberries, sugar and lemon juice in a saucepan. Crush blackberries with potato masher. Add lemon rind. Heat to a boil, stirring periodically. Remove lemon rind. Continue boiling until mixture thickens and reaches about 101 degrees Celcius (about 214 degrees Fahrenheit). The jam will continue to thicken as it cools, so don’t worry if the set is still soft when you remove it from the heat.

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