Homemade Blackberry Jam

Packed with the flavor of ripe summer blackberries, this Homemade Blackberry Jam is a seasonal favorite in our house!

Packed with the flavor of ripe summer blackberries, this Homemade Blackberry Jam is a seasonal favorite in our house!

I’ve spent a lot of time wandering down memory lane. In this case, memory lane has a name. It’s called Horton Lane, and it’s a small alley in Belton, SC. That alley ran next to where my grandparents used to live, and it also happens to have wild blackberries growing all the way down one side. Like more wild blackberries than you can shake a stick at. Buckets and buckets of blackberries.

I’m sure there are photos somewhere of me as a little kid with blackberry juice all over my face. What can I say? Blackberries are my favorite berry, and I had to make sure the berries I was picking tasted good!

Packed with the flavor of ripe summer blackberries, this Homemade Blackberry Jam is a seasonal favorite in our house!

I would go out every afternoon and pick a bucket of blackberries, and then my grandmother would turn those berries into blackberry cobbler. I’m not kidding when I say I think we made a fresh cobbler every night whenever we visited!

Homemade Blackberry Jam

Jams and jellies are another great way to use blackberries, and this Homemade Blackberry Jam absolutely reminds me of summers growing up at my grandparents’ house in upstate South Carolina.

This Homemade Blackberry Jam is surprisingly easy to make. In fact, the recipe only calls for 4 ingredients, and 3 of them are common pantry items. (The blackberries are the exception as you probably don’t keep containers of blackberries in the fridge at all times.)

Blackberries on vine

One of the most unique features of this jam is that it’s actually made with cornstarch instead of pectin. I’ve found that cornstarch works quite well in this recipe, and I’ve always got a box of cornstarch on the baking shelf in the pantry. You can absolutely use pectin if you prefer, though. Just check the side of the box for the correct amount of pectin.

Can you use frozen blackberries?

Absolutely! I almost always have fresh blackberries in the fridge during blackberry season. However, I’ve used frozen berries when I make this Homemade Blackberry Jam during the offseason. Just allow the frozen berries to thaw to room temperature before using them in this recipe.

Seeds or No Seeds?

I actually like blackberry jam with seeds still in it, so I don’t bother removing the seeds. However, if you prefer a smoother, seedless jam, then just process the berries through a food mill after heating and muddling them. (This is the food mill I use, and it works great for everything from jams to smooth sauces to mashed potatoes!)

Packed with the flavor of ripe summer blackberries, this Homemade Blackberry Jam is a seasonal favorite in our house!

How much sugar should you use?

The beauty of making homemade jams is that you can control how sweet you make them. In this case, I’ve used 1¾ cups of sugar, and it produces what I consider a balanced jam. It’s tart, but still plenty sweet enough for me. (I’ve seen some jam recipes call for 7+ cups of sugar for the same amount of berries. That’s too much for me, but again this is a personal preference thing.)

When determining the appropriate amount of sugar, just taste a little bit of the jam mixture while it’s still hot. Remember, you can always add more sugar, but you can’t take it away! Also, you might notice that the desired amount of sugar will change from batch to batch due to the varying sweetness of different batches of blackberries.

Candy thermometer

In addition to the food mill (for making a seedless jam), you will also need a candy thermometer for this recipe. And a cocktail muddler is helpful for mashing up the heated berries, although you could use a wooden spoon in a pinch.

One final note about homemade jam – sometimes the jam is too thick once it’s cooled. It’s happened to me before. I don’t know why it happens some times and not others – it probably has something to do with the amount of juice in the berries or fruit, but that’s just a guess. Either way, it’s an easily solved problem! If your jam is too thick once it’s cooled, then just heat it back up in a saucepan with ¼ cup of apple juice for every 1 cup of jam. Bring the mixture to a boil and stir until the apple juice is fully incorporated. That should fix the problem!

Packed with the flavor of ripe summer blackberries, this Homemade Blackberry Jam is a seasonal favorite in our house!

My favorite way to use this Homemade Blackberry Jam is on a piece of buttered toast. Robbie also loves this jam on his PB&J sandwiches. If you’re looking for an extra special treat, then serve this blackberry jam with a batch of homemade buttermilk biscuits. No matter how you serve it, I hope you enjoy this jam as much as we do!

Did you make a batch of this Homemade Blackberry Jam at home? Leave a comment, or snap a photo and tag me on Instagram (@Spicedblog) – I’d love to see how you served it!

Packed with the flavor of ripe summer blackberries, this Homemade Blackberry Jam is a seasonal favorite in our house!

Homemade Blackberry Jam

Packed with the flavor of ripe summer blackberries, this Homemade Blackberry Jam is a seasonal favorite in our house!
5 from 5 votes
Print Pin Rate
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 32 servings
Calories: 50kcal

Ingredients

  • 16 oz. blackberries ~4 cups
  • cups granulated sugar
  • ½ Tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 Tbsp cornstarch
  • 2 Tbsp water

Instructions

  • Wash berries and place them in a medium saucepan over low heat. Once the berries are warm, muddle them in the saucepan until no large pieces remain. (Optional: Use a food mill at this point to deseed the mixture.)
  • Add the sugar and lemon juice; stir until well combined.
  • Using a separate bowl, mix the cornstarch and water until well combined. Add this mixture to the saucepan; stir until well combined.
  • Increase heat to medium-low, and bring to a boil. Stir frequently to ensure jam doesn’t burn.
  • Once the jam reaches 220°F degrees (~15-20 minutes), remove it from the heat and allow it to cool at room temperature. (If needed, you can skim and discard any foam that may be on top.)
  • Once cool, store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
Packed with the flavor of ripe summer blackberries, this Homemade Blackberry Jam is a seasonal favorite in our house!

Looking for more blackberry recipes? Check out these other favorites, too:

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20 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    There’s nothing I love more than blackberry jam! Yours looks incredible, David! I’ll take a slice with buttered toast!

    1. You and me both, Michelle! I love blackberries in all forms, and I’ve really been enjoying this blackberry jam on toast lately. 🙂

  2. 5 stars
    I have so many great childhood memories of picking blackberries for pies or just to eat on their own. (Also a few memories of ouch! because those thorns can be wicked). Your blackberry jam looks wonderful, David. Such a fun way to enjoy one of the best summer fruits.

    1. You are totally right, Marissa – those thorns can be tricky! We planted some thornless blackberry bushes at the last house, and they grew quite well. Unfortunately, we haven’t had any luck with the blackberry bushes we planted at the new house. Blackberry jam is such a fun way to use blackberries – even if they are store-bought in this case. 🙂

    1. I vaguely recall the blackberries at my grandparents’ place having thorns, too, but I don’t feel like I remember that many of them. Maybe I’m just forgetting the annoying part and remember the good part! 🙂 Either way, it’s hard to beat a good patch of blackberries!

  3. ah this brings back the childhood memories david. Mum used to make jam every summer with the berries my sister and i picked. Good tip about thinning out the too-thick jam!

    1. Fun! There’s something so rewarding about seeing the berries that you pick go straight into a recipe – be it a pie, cobbler or jam. Either way, this jam has been a fantastic way to enjoy my morning toast lately! Thanks, Sherry!

  4. 5 stars
    How beautiful and luscious! We don’t have many containers in the refrigerator, but we have a neighbour who doesn’t collect berries from his few bushes, and last year we got a permission to collect. I think making a blackberry jam would be a good idea as it’s also a nice edible gift (to pay back for the berries.) But that Blackberry cobbler sounds utterly delicious, too. Or blackberry and peaches…or blackberry and lavender….mmm hard to decide haha!

    1. Oh man, I wish we had neighbors who didn’t collect their berries! I mean we do have some wild raspberries across the street but the bushes aren’t that loaded. I definitely recommend a batch of this blackberry jam if your neighbor is willing to share! And actually I kinda like the idea of blackberry + lavender – imagine that! Me. Lavender. Haha!

  5. Fantastic jam, David! It really is something how utterly simple yet delicious a homemade jam can be. And like you, I’m fine with the seeds, I actually like the texture.

    1. I’m with you, Frank – jam is so incredibly simple to make, but it brings me so much joy when I spread it on buttered toast. And unlike the store-bought versions, I can actually leave the seeds in this homemade version. Yum!

  6. 5 stars
    For me its hard to pick my favourite berry as I love them all. Blackberry, Raspberry, Blueberry, Strawberry and even Boysenberries. That’s a great recipe by the way and I bet they would work with any berries I wish to use

    1. I hear ya, Raymund – I do love summer berries, so it’s hard to pick just one. However, for me, I do think blackberries will always edge out the others. And, yes, I suspect you could use any berry you want here. Jam is such an easy and delicious way to enjoy summer berries when they’re at their peak flavor!

  7. I simply love chunky-ish blackberry jam with seeds! This looks amazing, David! We have been buying our blackberry and raspberry jam from Sprouts but might have to change my blackberry jam dealer to YOU!
    Your wild blackberry eating days remind me of when I visited my cousin in Kandy (Sri Lanka) where there were tons of wild blackberry bushes and we used to do what you did- fill our pie holes with blackberries!

    1. I’m with ya, Shashi! I love seeds in my blackberry jam – they add such a fun texture. (Of course, you can take the extra step to remove ’em, but I personally keep them in there.) And I would give anything to go back to those days of picking as many wild blackberries as I could hold! Good times!

  8. Thorns. Snakes. And the worst? Chiggers! But we picked and picked at my grandparents. What is it with grandparents and blackberries?! My grandparents were serious it about, too! My grandfather cut the tops off gallon milk jugs and poked holes in the sides, which he put a thick plastic string through. You hung the jugs around your neck so you could pick with 2 hands! After picking, we hopped straight into the shower to get the chiggers off. Granny put up jars and jars of jam and a freezer full of berries for cobblers year round. And at Christmas time, my other grandmother made her famous Tennessee blackberry jam cake. It was her mother’s recipe, and I’m 61, so it’s an OLD recipe! The directions are terrible, but it’s the best cake ever. I’m happy to share if you are interested.

    1. Oh man. Chiggers. That’s not something we have to deal with up here in New York. Funny enough, I was just telling Laura about chiggers the other day – I hate those things!

      Woah. That milk jug around the neck thing is amazing! What a great idea. We go pick blueberries at a local farm every year, and I’m thinking I need to adapt that idea for next year. 🙂

      And, yes, I would love to take a look at that Tennessee Blackberry Jam Cake! I love blackberries. I love cake. Oh, and I love Tennessee. So that is a promising combination right there! Feel free to shoot me a note at david {at} spicedblog.com. Thanks!

  9. Toast with butter and jam is one of my favorite things in the world. I only relatively recently started making jams. Yours looks awesome. I know a few places where I can find wild blackberries, so I’ll keep this in mind! I’ve never tried cornstarch; interesting. I believe that blackberries have some amount of pectin in them, although it’s low. Nonetheless, it can vary from one bush to another, and even from season to season on the same bush.

    1. I truly could eat toast + jam every morning – even more so when the toast is a good grain bread loaded with seeds and the jam is a good homemade jam! I do agree that the cornstarch is unexpected here, but I promise it works! Now I just need you to reveal the locations of your secret blackberry stashes….

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