1. Wild Berries
3. Lemon Juice (optional)
Wild Berry Jam is a favorite at Grey Dog Maple Farm. It’s an easy recipe that’s perfect for first time canners as well as seasoned professionals. We’re able to pick berries from our own property. If you have to travel to pick yours, be sure you get permission from the property owner before picking.
We make Jam twice a year. This is because we have two berry seasons on our farm. The first, and what we’re canning today, is a mix of Thimble Berry, Raspberry, and Black Raspberry. In a week or two, the Black Berries will ripen and we’ll make jam with those as well, but they’ll be the only berry in that jam.
Step 1: Wash and then boil down your berries. It’s important to measure how many berries you have. Add them to the pot with a measuring cup. As you can see by the picture below, you’ll want to cook them down quite a bit. This is also something that you don’t want to walk away from. Plan on stirring often to help the berries break down and to prevent them from sticking and burning.
Step 2: While your berries are cooking down, begin boiling your jars and lids in a different pot. We do this to ensure they’re clean and pre warmed for the canning process. You’ll want them in a good boil for at least a few minutes. This is where a Jar lifter comes in handy. Tongs have a tendency to slip, causing hot jars to fall and break.
Step 3: At about the halfway point of your berries cooking down, add the sugar. Some people like their Jam really chunky, while others prefer something smoother. Because this is your Jam, you decide what halfway looks like. Some recipes call for 1 cup of sugar to 1 cup of berries. I’ve found that ¾ of a cup of sugar to 1 cup of berries is a better mix. Wild berries have enough natural pectin that you do not have to add any. You can add lemon juice if you choose. This will help release some of the natural pectin, but it isn’t necessary. If I have lemons, I use them. If not, our Jam is made without lemon juice. Be sure you continue to stir as you add the sugar, otherwise it will clump and cook together.
Step 4: After you’ve stirred in all of your sugar and let the mixture cook down to your desired consistency, you can begin filling your warm jars. I fill ours to the first lid ring on the jar. There should be space between where the lid will be, and the Jam. Wipe off any jam on the rim of the jar. You want to make sure it’s clean and seals well. Place a warm lid on and hand tighten the ring.
Step 5: Once your jars are filled and the lids and rings are on, use your jar lifter to slowly place them back into the boiling water. You do not have to pressure can Wild Berry Jam. Make sure the jars are covered by about 1 inch of water and bring to a boil. After the water returns to a boil, let your jars process for 10 minutes. After ten minutes, carefully remove with your jar lifter and set them some place safe to cool. It may be tempting to tilt or shake your jars to see how thick the Jam is, but don’t do it.
Step 6: After your jars have cooled, we usually give them a day with no movement, it’s a good idea to label them. We process different kinds of Jam so this makes it easier for us to tell the difference between those. While labeling, you should also check for any jars that didn’t properly seal. If you can push the lid down and it “flexes,” your jar is not properly sealed. You can dump that jar out and start the process over at the jar boiling point, or you can just make sure to use that Jam first.
Canning Wild Berry Jam is easy and fun. Properly sealed jars of Jam will last a long time if stored out of the sunlight and in a cool place. We’re still finishing up last years and it tastes delicious. After you open a jar though, the Jam will need to be stored in a refrigerator until gone. We hope you enjoyed this recipe and try it for yourself. Also, don’t forget to sign up for email updates on the Home Page and be sure to share the website with your friends. Thank you.