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Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Homemade Blackberry Jam

I went berry picking this past weekend for the first time in maybe 15 years. I went with a friend who had also not been berry picking in ages. I think we had forgotten how many gigantic bugs we would encounter and I'm sure we looked and sounded like the most prissy berry-pickers the farm had ever seen (there were lots of screams, shudders, and backward jumps to avoid certain critters).

Despite the creepy critters, the end result was wonderful and I can't wait to go back again soon. Not only did we come home with pints of delicious blackberries, but we met a rabid horse, and a bear-dog... And a very nice old man that taught us about the chemistry behind how non-sugar-binding pectin works to thicken homemade jam.

4 cups fresh crushed blackberries
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
2 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons non-sugar-binding pectin
4 12ounce glass jars with tops

Mash the berries with a fork or potato masher. Add them to a large pot with the lemon juice and bring to a boil. Add the pectin and bring to a rolling boil again (make sure you also add the appropriate amount of calcium water that will be in the same box as the pectin- I used 2 teaspoons). After 2 or 3 minutes remove from heat. Pour into hot, sterilizing jars and put the tops on. Let sit on the counter for 12-24 hours then refrigerate. These will stay fresh in the fridge for about 3 weeks, or in the freezer for longer. YUM. 

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