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!
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.)
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!)
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.
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!
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!
Homemade Blackberry Jam
- 16 oz. blackberries ~4 cups
- 1¾ cups granulated sugar
- ½ Tbsp lemon juice
- 2 Tbsp cornstarch
- 2 Tbsp water
- 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.
Looking for more blackberry recipes? Check out these other favorites, too: