Summertime in Ohio! It’s one of my favorite times of year, primarily because of all of the fresh food that’s coming in, especially the berries! Way back in the back corner of our property, we have a wonderful black raspberry patch that I pick from every year. Along with freezing a lot of those black raspberries, I love to make jam! Today, I want to show you how to make and preserve black raspberry jam!
Black raspberries differ from red raspberries in many ways, but one of them is the level of antioxidants.
Black raspberries contain higher levels of polyphenols, which are known to have cancer-fighting properties.
I make sure I eat plenty of raw berries while I’m picking here on the property! Actually, I make sure that I eat lots of raw strawberries, blackberries, mulberries and raspberries, every chance I get.
If you’re trying to make a living from your homestead, consider including “Black Raspberry Jam” to the products you offer! It’s uncommon and people love to buy unique products!
Let’s get down to making black raspberry jam!
First off, pop a small plate in your freezer, we’ll talk about this later!
First, sterilize your jars and put your lids in a pan of water on the stove, on low. Do not boil them!
Bring your berries home and give them a quick rinse, then drain.
Make sure you have 8 cups of fresh berries.
You can mash your berries or pulse them in a blender – DO NOT BLEND!
Put your mashed berries (5 cups) in a wide pot and add one package of Sure Jell pectin.
Add 1/2 tsp. of butter, to prevent foaming, as well.
Pre-measure your 6 1/2 cups of sugar and have it nearby in a bowl.
Bring the berry mixture to a full boil that doesn’t stop when stirred.
Boil for one minute.
Add 6 1/2 cups of sugar.
Bring to a boil once again and boil for one full minute.
How to Make Sure Your Jam Sets
We’ve all had those jam batches that didn’t set up, for whatever reason.
Here’s how to make sure your jam sets with the “plate test”.
After you’ve boiled the berry/pectin/sugar mixture for one full minute, we’re going to test your mixture to make sure it will set up.
Pull your pot off the burner.
Take the plate out of the freezer and put a tablespoon of your hot jam mixture on the plate.
Then, turn the plate vertically and see how much it runs.
The picture above shows that the jam is a bit too runny.
This could mean that there’s a chance of the jam not setting up.
When your jam mixture doesn’t set up well on your freezer plate, I suggest that you bring the mixture to a rolling boil once again, for one or two minutes, stirring constantly.
That’s what I did in the above pictures and you can see how much better it set up the second time.
When I turn the plate, the mixture didn’t run near as much as before.
I ran my finger through the mixture and felt good about it’s consistency.
NOW, your jam is ready for the jars!
Line your jars up and using a funnel, ladle the hot jam into the jars, leaving 1/4″ head space.
Processing Your Black Raspberry Jam in a Water-Bath Canner
Water-bath canning is for high-acid foods, which includes mostly fruit (including tomatoes).
Since jams and preserves are usually made from fruit, a water-bath canner will be the appropriate canner to use.
Once your jars have lids and rings, place them in the water-bath canner rack. (This usually comes with the canner).
Then, lower the rack into the water that covers the lids by 1-2″. You may need to add some water to completely cover jars.
Bring the water to a rolling boil.
Once the water boils, start the timer for 10 minutes.
Using your jar lifter, pull the jars from the water and place them on a towel to cool.
- 8 cups fresh black raspberries
- .5 tsp butter
- 1 pkg fruit pectin
- 6.5 cups sugar
- Rinse and drain black raspberries.
- Mash with fork or pulse in blender, but do not blend.
- Put berries, pectin and butter in a wide pot and bring to a boil that doesn't stop when stirred.
- Once boiling, set timer for one minute and stir constantly.
- After one minute, add pre-measured sugar to berry mixture.
- Bring to boil again, stirring constantly and boil for one minute.
- Remove pot from burner and do "frozen plate" test.
- If ready, ladel jam into jars with the use of a funnel.
- Wipe rims with clean, wet cloth.
- Put lids and rings on jars and process in water-bath canner for 10 minutes.