The Canning Couple: Blackberry Jam

In our recent Getting-Started Guide to Canning post, we introduced Matt and Marsha Wood, our very own “Canning Couple.” In this post, Matt and Marsha take a stab at making and canning their own blackberry jam.


By Matt Wood, Data Network Manager

Blackberry jam is one of our favorite fall and winter treats. We adapted this recipe from the National Center for Home Food Preservation’s recipe, modified for fruit pectin using Ball’s Pectin Calculator.

What You’ll Need

  • Pressure canner
  • 4 cups crushed blackberries (or six 6-oz. containers)
  • 6 tablespoons fruit pectin
  • 1/2 teaspoon butter or margarine (optional)
  • 5 cups granulated sugar
  • 8 half-pint (8 oz.) jars with new lids and bands

Washing_jarsPreparing Your Canning Equipment

  1. To preheat the jars, wash the jars, lids and bands. Set aside the lids and bands.
  2. Insert the bottom spacer into your canner.
  3. Fill the canner with warm tap water, 2 to 3 inches deep.
  4. Place the empty jars onto rack in inner pot.
  5. Close but do not lock the canner lid.
  6. Heat the pressure canner until steam starts to escape from the regulator vent. Jars will be preheated when steam starts escaping the regulator port. Keep the jars in the canner, with the lid closed but not locked, until ready to fill with jam.

Making the JamSmashing_blacberries

  1. Clean the berries by rolling them back and forth in an open towel. If dirt is obvious on the berries, rinse carefully in cool running water and drain thoroughly.
  2. Crush the berries one layer at a time using a potato masher.
  3. Place crushed berries in an 8-quart saucepan. Gradually stir in fruit pectin. Add butter, if using.
  4. Bring mixture to a rolling boil over high heat, stirring constantly.
  5. Add sugar, stirring to dissolve.
  6. Return to rolling boil and boil hard for one minute, stirring constantly.
  7. Remove from heat and skim foam from top of jam if necessary.

Preserving the JamFilling-jars

  1. Open the pressure canner lid and remove one hot jar. Close but do not lock lid to keep remaining jars hot.
  2. Ladle jam using a jar funnel into the hot jar, leaving 1/4-inch headspace.
  3. Wipe away any jam from the rim of the jar and center a lid onto the jar. Twist on a band until fingertip tight.
  4. Return the filled jar to the pressure canner and repeat the preceding steps until all jars are full.
  5. Close and lock the lid with all full jars inside.
  6. Pressure_canner_building_pressureApply heat to the pressure canner. Once steam escapes from the canner for one minute, place the pressure regulator.
  7. Once the pressure canner reaches pressure, start the processing timer. Process for 5 minutes at 15 PSI.
  8. At end of processing time, remove from heat and let the canner cool.
  9. Once pressure reaches 0 and the canner is cool, unlock and open the lid.
  10. Remove the jars from the pressure canner using a jar lifter and place upright on a towel, allowing to cool undisturbed for 12 to 24 hours.

We’d love to see your jam canning successes! Post them in the comments below.

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