This easy recipe for pear and blackberry jam is a simple twist on the more usual blackberry and apple jam recipe. Small batch makes jam making quick as well as delicious! Three ingredient & no pectin.
In a competition between pears and apples, a pear will always be my winner. They are famously only supposed to be at a state of peak ripeness for 20 minutes, but when I do find one at its peak, there’s nothing quite like it: juicy and delicious. Pears can also be enjoyed in many other ways, such as my Blackberry & Pear Traybake or Spiced Pears & Plums in Port, and in this pear and blackberry jam recipe.
We’ve been enjoying getting back onto the preserving horse recently, focusing on making small batch jams and jellies – whipping up a small saucepan, enough to fill a couple of jam jars, rather than a large preserving pan that results in a groaning cupboard.
A couple of jars of three or four different types of jam easily lasts the year for us, and it also means that we’re eating jam that’s fresh and that you can ring the flavour changes, rather than eating the same jam year in and year out until it is old and crystallized.
Blackberry season is short, and whether you’re foraging your own or buying from the supermarket, this jam is perfect – simply freeze the blackberries, and make the jam when you have time and some pears to hand, and want to free up that space in the freezer.
How to I make easy pear and blackberry jam?
First, simmer pears and blackberries until soft in a good sized saucepan.
Second, add the sugar, and continue heat slowly until it’s all dissolved.
Third, to turn the mixture int jam, the pectin found naturally in pears has to be activated. This is done, as with all jam, by heating up the mixture until it reaches the setting point. So turn up the heat until the jam reached a fast rolling boil, and start to test for a set.
3 ways of testing jam setting points
The temperature test. Really 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 and once it’s there, you know it’s ready.
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; when you push your finger through, you’ll see it wrinkle up ahead of your finger. This technique takes a bit of practice.
The flake test. Take a spoonful of jam from the pan and turn it vertically to tip out the jam. If the jam runs off, it hasn’t set. If, however a little remains on the spoon in a sort of wide drip that doesn’t fall, then the jam is ready. Again, this works best with some practice.
Fourth, once the jam has reached the setting point, let it cool for a few minutes.
Finally, spoon the jam into jars that have been sterilized by heating in a low oven. Seal the lid and let the jam cool fully.
Easy blackberry and pear jam – ingredient ratios
Making jams by ratio makes the recipes easy to scale up and down.
- Equal weight of pear and blackberries
- Weight of sugar equals the total weight of the fruit
- 400g total of fruit makes about 600g of jam
Blackberry and pear jam - small batch
- 200 g pears (peeled and cored)
- 200 g blackberries (washed)
- 1 tbsp water
- 400 g sugar
- Peel and core the pears. Check the weight of prepared fruit.
- In a large saucepan, stew the pears and blackberries with the water until soft. The fruit mixture should about quarter fill the saucepan. Mash with a potato masher to help puree the fruit.
- Sterilize jam jars and lids by placing them in an oven set to 120°C/Gas mark 1.
- Add the sugar and heat slowly to dissolve, stirring gently.
- When all the sugar has dissolved, heat quickly over a high heat until the setting point is reached. (See above for how to test for set).
- Allow to stand for about 5 minutes. Spoon into the jam jars - a jam funnel is helpful, to avoid spillages - and seal the lid. As the pots cool, you will hear the lid pop to confirm that the jar is sealed.