Berry Jam

Berries can be preserved by canning or freezing, but I love a good jar of berry jam. Most berries have enough natural pectin in them to make a good jam. Of course you can eliminate guesswork by using pectin and follow the directions inside the box.

Here’s a recipe that doesn’t use pectin. For 6 cups of ripe summer berries like Boysenberries or Olallieberries, place them in a jam pot (any large, heavy bottom, non-reactive pot) and mix in 3 cups of sugar. Let the berries sit for an hour or so until the juice starts coming out.

Have ready 3 8-ounce canning jars and their lids in boiling water, following the manufacturer’s directions. Place a small saucer in the freezer to use later to test the jam

Place the pot over medium-high heat and stir occasionally while they are cooking. Be aware that the mixture will bubble up considerably, so use a big pot. Reduce the heat if there is any sticking. Skim off any light-colored foam.

The foaming jam will eventually subside, forming smaller, thicker bubbles. Start testing the jam by putting a small amount on the chilled saucer. Let it cool and check the consistency. Continue checking until the jam is the consistency you want.

Add a tablespoon of lemon juice and ladle the jam into the hot jars. Clean the rims of the jars, cover with the lids and seal as directed by the manufacturer’s instructions.