When you just really want a couple of pots of home made jam, this easy mixed berry jam is perfect. Using frozen berries makes it means you can make it at any time of the year. This recipe is perfect for the beginner jam maker.
Mixed Berry Jam
My mixed berry jam, also known as jumble berry jam, is probably one of my favourite jams, richly coloured and packed full of intense rich berry flavours.
This small batch jam is ideal for a last-minute gift as it doesn’t take long to cook, doesn’t need any specialized equipment and, with the frozen berries, doesn’t need a trip to the store to find premium ingredients.
I find that small-batch preserving is perfect for a rainy-day family activity. Children can help with the weighing of ingredients, read the jam thermometer, check the jars are sealed (once they have cooled), and make the labels.
Once made, everyone can tuck into fresh mixed berry jam on toast, crumpets, hot cross buns (we keep some in the freezer after Easter), or scones as a delicious end to a family afternoon in the kitchen.
Be warned that jam making is addictive and once you start you won’t be able to stop at just once batch!
Using Frozen Mixed Berries
The secret to this jam recipe is a packet of frozen mixed berries. We always keep a bag in the freezer – I add them to overnight oats and smoothies, pies and crumbles or make a quick compote from them.
One 600g packet of berries, with sugar and lemon juice will make about 800g of jam, which is three small jars or about 3 cups.
Mixed bags of frozen berries are available year round in the freezer section of the supermarket – for the best results and that intensely fruity flavour, use a mixture that includes red and blackcurrants. These fruits have higher levels of pectin than other berries, making it easier to get the jam to set.
I’ve made this jam with several different berry mixes containing some or all of strawberries, blueberries, raspberries and red and blackcurrants.
Flora Original – now 100% plant based
Enjoy your freshly made jam on homemade bread (we have so many recipes choose from – sourdough to a basic loaf), spread with Flora Original.
Flora Original, which was first made back in 1964, is now 100% plant based. It is therefore suitable for vegans, or those wanting to avoid dairy. With no preservatives, artificial colours or flavours, and also rich in omega-3, it is ideal to spread on toast, or to use in your favourite bakes, cakes and savoury dishes.
I’m going to be working with Flora this year bringing you plant based recipes using the new 100% plant based Flora Original.
How Do I Make Frozen Berry Jam?
Step One – Throw the berries into a saucepan and cut any of the larger strawberries and blackberries in half.
Step Two – Add the sugar and lemon juice. Stir in and allow to defrost.
Step Three – As the berries defrost, the sugar will draw out the juice and you will have a lovely dark purple syrup in the pan. It is best to do this overnight. Alternatively, heat the berry and sugar mixture on the lowest setting. I have a gas hob, so I usually use a diffuser ring.
Step Four – Once the sugar has dissolved, you’re ready turn up the heat to cook and make the jam set. Pop your jars into the oven to warm at this point, and heat the jam on a high heat to boiling point. Once the jam has reached a rolling boil, start testing to see if it has reached the setting point.
3 Ways of Testing Jam Setting Point
The more jams you make, the easier it will be to accurately gauge the setting point. With time, you will know when you are there just by the appearance of the bubbling jam.
- The temperature test. Accurate electronic jam thermometers are readily available, and not expensive. They are much easier to read than traditional jam thermometers. Heat the jam to the setting point (usually 105°C/221°F) and once it’s there, you know it should be ready.
Caution: Use temperature only as a guide. Once the thermometer reads 105°C, I give the jam a good stir to get rid of any hot spots and then test with the wrinkle test.
- The wrinkle test. Place a couple of side plates in the freezer before you add the sugar. Once the jam is boiling, start testing by placing some on the plate. Allow it to cool on the plate. Then push your finger through the jam. If you see it wrinkle up ahead of your finger, it is ready. This technique takes a bit of practice.
- The flake test. Take a spoonful from the pan and turn it vertically to tip out the jam. If the jam runs off, it hasn’t set. If, however, some sticks to the spoon in a sort of wide drip that doesn’t fall, the jam is ready. Again, this works best with some practice.
Step Five – Once you have reached setting point, remove the jam from the heat. Allow to stand for a few minutes, so that the jam thickens just enough to stop the fruit floating to the top. Then use a ladle and jam funnel or a Pyrex jug to fill the jam jars. Seal with the lids.
Hints & Tips
- To fill the jars, put them on a baking tray. That way, if one cracks (this happens very rarely) the hot jam is contained, as are any drips.
- As the jam cools, the lid will pop as the jars seal – one of my favourite noises in the kitchen.
- Allow to cool, check the jars are sealed, stick a label on and enjoy. If you have any excess jam, spoon it into a small bowl and enjoy straight away (once it’s cool).
Make fresh jam at any time of year using a packet of frozen mixed berries. Quick to make with an easy small-batch jam technique.
- 450 g frozen berries
- 450 g sugar
- 2 tbs lemon juice
Put all the ingredients in a large saucepan, and let stand for at least one hour as the fruit defrosts. This can be overnight.
If using the wrinkle test for the setting point, place a couple of side plates in the freezer.
Heat the mixture on a very low heat to allow the sugar to dissolve and the fruit to release its juice. Stir gently occasionally.
Heat jam jars in a low oven to sterilize at 100°C/220°F/Gas Mark 1.
Once all the sugar has dissolved, turn up the hob and heat the jam quickly to a rolling boil. After a couple of minutes, start testing the jam's set using your favourite method.
Temperature: Use a jam thermometer, and check to see that the jam has reached 105°C/221°F.
Wrinkle: Spoon some hot jam onto a chilled plate and see if it wrinkles ahead of your finger when pushed through the jam.
Flake test: Allow the jam to run off a spoon with the bowl held vertically. When a flake of jam remains attached to the lip of the spoon, it has reached the setting point.
Once the jam has reached the setting point, turn off the heat and allow it to cool for about 10 minutes. This allows the jam to thicken slightly, so that the fruit pieces don't all float to the top in the jars.
Spoon the jam into the hot jars and seal the lids. Allow to cool completely. Label and start enjoying fresh, three ingredient frozen mixed berry jam!
- This recipe is 3 Weight Watchers Smart Points
Recipe for mixed frozen berry jam commissioned by Flora Original. All opinions our own.
If you like this jam, then make my Easy Plum Jam too.