Delicious small batch blackberry jam takes no time to make and gives top quality results with a pure, fruit flavour.
This quick and easy recipe makes just two jars. Ideal for the beginner jam maker. Three ingredients and no added pectin. Vegan and naturally gluten free.
Small Batch Blackberry Jam
Plain blackberry jam has a purity of flavour that can’t be beaten, and it doesn’t have the hassle factor of a jelly.
We’re falling in love with the idea and practice of making small batch jams, and this is about as simple as jam gets. Fruit, a splash of water, a little lemon juice and sugar, and that’s it.
I can whip up a couple of pots’ worth this small batch jam on a spare burner while cooking supper: simmer fruit with a splash of water (this stops them catching on the bottom of the pan and burning) until soft and they have released their juice, add the lemon juice and sugar, continue simmering until all the sugar has dissolved then boil quickly until setting point is reached, and voilà, delicious jam.
This jam is a great way of using a glut of blackberries. As it’s not a strained jelly, yes it does have pips in it, but this means that you can come back from a fruitful walk with a tub full of blackberries, and without the need for giant sized preserving pans or other specialized equipment, whip up a quick batch that evening and fill a couple of jam jars. Jelly although pip free is more of a faff!
The best way of getting hold of blackberries is to find some bramble bushes when out on a walk. Away from any busy road and above the level which a large dog can lift their leg to, and with suitable permissions, and you have the main ingredient for this delicious jam, which will taste all the sweeter when made from foraged; and thus free, food.
Blackberries on their own have a low pectin content: pectin is the carbohydrate that makes jam jammy and not runny. Without pectin, the fruit would just flow off your slice of toast, which would be no fun at all.
To increase pectin levels in this jam to ensure a set, I’ve added a tablespoon of lemon juice for each jar, and for me, this results in jam of the right consistency; not too runny, but not spoon reboundingly jelly-like either.
Interestingly wild blackberries have more pectin than the sweeter farmed varieties, in general the more sour the fruit the higher the pectin level. So those berries which are too tart to snack upon will be ideal for making jam – in my bowl above you can see I deliberately picked a few which were under-ripe.
And by using no added pectin the jam just bursts with fruit flavours. However, if you like your jam to have a stiffer consistency, though, then you can use a jam sugar that includes added pectin. That’s one main advantage of making your own home made jam – it can be just as you like it.
I think of jam in terms of ratios, and this jam has the simplest ratio of them all: equal weights of fruit and sugar.
The other aspect of jam that people are sometimes wary of is that of making sure it’s set. For some ideas about this, see our three methods of testing for setting points in our delicious recipe for blackberry and apple jelly. Or you might like our recipe for one pot blackberry jelly!
Small Batch Blackberry Jam – Ingredient Ratios
- Equal weights of fruit and sugar
- 1 tbs lemon juice to every 200 – 220g fruit
How to Make Small Batch Blackberry Jam
First, wash the blackberries, discard any which are damaged or overripe, weigh them, place in a saucepan, stir in the sugar and lemon juice and leave for an hour or two.
Or if you want your jam in a hurry cook the blackberries with a tablespoon of water over a low heat until juicy, gently squash with a potato masher, then add the sugar continuing to cook on a low heat until the sugar is dissolved. Then proceed to step 3.
Second, once the sugar has drawn out the blackberry juice cook on low heat, stirring frequently to dissolve the sugar. Meanwhile place clean jam jars in a low oven to sterilize.
Third, once the sugar is dissolved, it’s time to set the jam. Increase the heat under the saucepan and bring it to a rolling boil. Check the set by one of the three common methods: the flake test, the temperature or the plate test. I go into more detail about setting points in my post for apple jelly with thyme.
Fourth, when the blackberry jam has reached its setting point, allow it to cool for a few minutes so the fruit can settle evenly in the jam, then spoon into the jars and seal the lid.
A jam funnel, ladle and glass jug are really helpful here. Keep the jars in a roasting pan, they very very occasionally crack and the pan will contain the hot sticky mess.
Allow to cool completely – the lids will pop as the vacuum forms in the jar. Enjoy!
Small Batch Blackberry Jam
- 450 g blackberries
- 450 sugar
- 2 tbsp lemon juice ((about a whole lemon))
- Wash the blackberries discarding any which are damaged and place in a saucepan. Add the sugar and lemon juice and stir.
- Leave for an hour to allow the sugar to draw the juice from the fruit. Then heat gently to dissolve the sugar.
- Once all the sugar is dissolved, quickly bring the temperature up to boiling to set the jam. Test with either a thermometer for a setting temperature of 105C, or another method as detailed in this post.
- Spoon into sterlized, heated jam jars, seal with lids and allow to cool.
- This recipe is 3 Weight Watchers Smart Points for one portion
- Use the best quality fruit, discarding any over ripe or damaged berries.
- Wild blackberries have more pectin than farmed. If your berries are especially tart - but still ripe - you can use less lemon juice.
- 450g of blackberries will fill 2 x 250ml jars or will make just over 2 cups.
- 450g of wild blackberries is approximately a litre or a generous 4 cups.