How to Make Seedless Blackberry Jam (No Pectin)

Seedless Blackberry Jam Made Simple | Baking a Moment

Seedless Blackberry Jam, Made Simple

Don’t be Afraid of Canning!  A Few Simple Steps will have you Enjoying Homemade Fruit Preserves, No Pectin or Special Equipment Needed.

I made jam!

Woot!

This was a first for me.  I always thought the idea of canning and preserving seemed so complicated, and scary, and I was too intimidated to make any attempt.  Daunted!

Well, sometimes the most wonderful things have a way of just falling into your lap, and before you know it, you’re knee deep in a water bath, sterilizing jars…

Blackberries

We enjoyed our last summer shore weekend this past, and it was so nice to relax, enjoy a little sun and cool breeze, and catch up with family for a few days.  (And my big boy lost his first tooth!  Please excuse my hollering like a lunatic…)

My brother- and sister-in-law showed up with a mahoosive bucket of blackberries they had picked at a local farm.  (Remember just a couple of weeks ago, I was griping about how expensive blackberries are in Pa?  What a stroke of luck!)  Many of them went straight into our hungry mouths, but by the end of the weekend there were still over two pounds remaining.  Mr. Allie and I bounced a few ideas around for what I could do with them, but I soon realized there were just way too many to simply bake into a recipe.

And what better way to repay my dear in-laws for their blackberry generosity, than to offer them a jar or two of homemade preserves at our next holiday gathering?

Seedless Blackberry Jam Made Simple | Baking a Moment

There’s a lot of info on home canning out there on the interwebs, so I spent a solid morning just familiarizing myself with the process.  I decided to go the non-pectin route.  Just seemed a little more rustic to me.  Plus, I didn’t feel like making a trip to the store.  Truth.

I learned that you can be super specific about it, or you can be more relaxed, and add sugar/flavor enhancers by taste and feel.  Contrary to my uber-perfectionist, Virgo (read: anal) tendencies, I decided to just go with the flow.  Worrying about sterilization and sanitation is enough of a fuss for me, being a first-timer and all.

Before I launch into the nitty-gritty, let me put your mind at ease.  Jam, or preserves, are nothing more than reduced and thickened fruit.  If you can make a sauce, you’ve got jam in the bag.  And if you don’t mind keeping it in the fridge, you don’t even have to bother with the boiling and sterilizing.  I wanted to go ahead and take a proper crack at it, so here’s how it all went down.  

After giving them a cool-water rinse, I macerated the berries in sugar overnight, sweetening them and helping them to give up a lot of juice.

Macerated Blackberries

I didn’t really bother to pick over the berries, removing stems/leaves, etc., because I knew I’d be straining them anyway.  I’m not a fan of seedy jam so I took the extra step.  Any other kind of fruit, and I would have loved big chunks, but I just find those big blackberry seeds to be super-annoying.  No thanks.

Speaking of de-seeding blackberries, I remember receiving a food-mill as a wedding gift, oh, about an eternity or so ago.  This would have been the perfect time to crack it out, but here’s a glimpse into our mad basement organization skillz:

Basement

Um, ya.  Maybe I’ll just use my seive, mmmmkay?

Back to jam.  I let the berries soften up over medium heat, and then I strained them.  It was a tedious process, but don’t let that deter you from jam-making.  If not for this step, the whole business would have been a snap.  And after a little while it became kinda meditative…  Scoop in soft berries, push, push, swirl… push, push, swirl… the ladle worked great for this.

DeSeeding Blackberries

I submerged the jars in boiling water for 10 minutes while all this was going on.  (Keep them warm so they don’t crack when the hot jam goes in!)

Once the blackberries were de-seeded, I just whacked the puree on the stove and (slowly) brought it up to a bubble, stirring.  I also threw the lids into some simmering water to soften up that ring of gummy gunk that makes the seal airtight.

How to Make Blackberry Jam

A squeeze of fresh lime, a quick taste for sweetness and maybe a little more sugar or citrus, and once it looked dark, shiny, and thickened, it was ladled into hot, sterilized jars.

How to Make Blackberry Jam

Wipe around the rim, lids go on, and the jars are placed back in the big pot of water and boiled for 10 minutes.

Once they’ve cooled completely, you can check the seals.  If the “button” pops up and down, then they didn’t seal properly.  It’s ok though.  Those’ll keep in the fridge for a couple weeks.  But if it’s a tight seal, they’ll keep in a cupboard for MONTHS!  Perfect homemade gift!

Seedless Blackberry Jam, Made Simple | Baking a Moment

This wasn’t so hard.  I’d do it again.  As a matter of fact, I’ve got an itch to make a big batch of tomato jam… so keep an eye out for another possible canning post, guys.  ;)

And, I’ve got a scrumptious recipe up my sleeve to utilize these sweet and luscious preserves!  So stay tuned!  I’m totally psyched to get baking again!

Seedless Blackberry Jam Made Simple | Baking a Moment

Blackberry Jam

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Yield: about (3) 8-ounce jars

Blackberry Jam

Don't be Afraid of Canning! A Few Simple Steps will have you Enjoying Homemade Fruit Preserves, No Pectin or Special Equipment Needed.

Ingredients

    For the Jam:
  • 2 1/2 pounds fresh blackberries
  • 1 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • juice of half a lime (or lemon)
  • Additional Equipment:
  • (3) 8-ounce jelly jars with fresh lids

Instructions

  1. Rinse the berries in cool water, and toss in sugar. Allow to macerate, refrigerated, overnight.
  2. In a large saute pan, warm the berries over medium heat, until softened.
  3. Press the mixture through a fine mesh sieve or food mill, to remove the seeds.
  4. Submerge the jars in a large pot of boiling water, for 10 minutes. Keep warm.
  5. Place the puree back in the saute pan, and heat, over medium heat, until thickened.
  6. Place the lids into simmering water to soften the seal.
  7. Taste the jam, and adjust seasoning, if needed. When it has reached the desired consistency, spoon it into the hot jars.
  8. Wipe the edge of each jar with a clean cloth, and place the lid on. Screw on the rings and submerge in boiling water for 10 minutes.
  9. Remove with tongs, and allow to cool.

Notes

Any leftover jam (that does not fill a jar within 1/4" of the rim) can be kept, refrigerated, for 2-3 weeks.

Jam that has been properly processed (the button on the lid should not pop up and down) can keep in a cupboard for several months.

http://bakingamoment.com/how-to-make-seedless-blackberry-jam-no-pectin/

A very handy chart, for your reference: http://pubs.ext.vt.edu/348/348-594/348-594.html

Seedless Blackberry Jam, Made Simple | Baking a Moment

PS- I didn’t buy any special equipment, other than the jars.  A lot of websites/stores will make you think that you need a whole arsenal of task-specific canning equipment, but I just was not interested in making the investment (of time, storage space, or money).  A well-stocked kitchen already includes a stock pot and a pair of tongs, and mine’s no exception.  I’m sure a wide-mouth funnel, pair of canning tongs, magnetized lid-grabber, and jar-lifter-outer-basket would have been nice, but unless you think you’ll be doing a buttload of canning in the future, I think you’ll get by ok without.

Seedless Blackberry Jam Made Simple | Baking a Moment

Have you ever tried canning?  Do you enjoy it?  Are you a pectin-using, recipe following type, or do you just taste and adjust?  Have you ever done any interesting flavor combos?  (I toyed around with the idea of adding a little gin to my blackberry-lime concoction.)  Or are you just completely intimidated by the whole idea?    I have to say, that for me, once I gave it a go I realized it’s not so scary.  Just keep everything warm and boil it well and you’re golden.

How do you like to use fruit preserves in your baking?  Would love to hear your thoughts/ideas; as always, your comments are the bright spot in my day!  ;)

 

 

 

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About Allie {Baking A Moment}

Hi! I'm Allie, and when I find myself with a few free moments, I head straight for my kitchen! I love to bake, and I especially love pastry and desserts.

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Comments

  1. Not sure you mean ‘macerate’ in the instructions section?

    • Great question! “Macerate” is like “marinate,” but for fruit. :P So you just toss the fruit in sugar and let it sit for a while. Makes it super juicy and sweet. Thanks for stopping by! Hope you enjoy…

  2. Blackberry jam is one of my favourites, and this looks fantastic! I’ve always wanted to make mine, but there’s no way to get blackberries where I live. I like making jam, though, but I absolutely LOATHE canning… I’d prefer to eat all the jam in one sitting than to can a single jar, ok, I really hate it.
    This looks like a lovely present, I really like the color and the jars you used c:
    Have a nice weekend! x
    Consuelo @ Honey & Figs recently posted…Peach Galette / Galette de MelocotonesMy Profile

    • Ha ha, I hear ya! I actually had fun with the canning part, it was a learning process and now that I’ve done it once, I think I’d have an even easier time the second time around. It feels good to have conquered it! Thanks, Consuelo! xoxo

  3. I was so stoked the first time I made jam (without pectin) too! Yours look amazing and this post is full of great info!
    Kayle (The Cooking Actress) recently posted…Something Saturdays (8/24/13)My Profile

    • Thank you, Kayle! It was lots of fun figuring it all out, and getting it down on “paper” for future reference and simple instruction… Glad you enjoyed! Thanks for stopping by and for the sweet comment! <3

  4. I love making jam and eating it. Home made jam is so much better than store bought especially when the berries are wild ones. Yum!
    Laura@bakinginpyjamas recently posted…Salted Snicker CookiesMy Profile

  5. This sounds amazing! I love making jams but, unfortunately, I haven’t made any this year. I’ll have to break out my Mason jars real soon!
    Liz recently posted…Coconut Cream PieMy Profile

  6. How many cups is 2 1/2 pounds of berries? I just picked a big bowl of them while camping in Mendocino CA. I want to make the seedless variety of jam.

    • If you have a kitchen scale, I’d suggest weighing (just because it’s more accurate), but if not, I’m guestimating it was around 8-10 cups? It filled two medium sized bowls nearly overflowing. Good luck, Sandy! I hope you enjoy making (& eating!) homemade jam from your handpicked fruit!

  7. Thanks for the recipe! I made black raspberry jam earlier this year and I think I’m addicted! Making this recipe tonight in half pint jars to give as Christmas gifts.

  8. Are you sure the 1 1/2 Cups of sugar is correct? This ratio is way lower than any other non pectin recipe and they was no thickening in site after a LONG time of cooking. . Would love lower sugar but I just don’t think this works by any means at this ratio. Did you mean 1.5 pounds of sugar, that would make more sense. Ended up bringing up the ratio to other recipes to make a jam.

    • Hi Carol! I did use 1 1/2 cups of sugar. It most certainly was not 1.5 pounds. I prefer things a bit less sweet, and I often make it my goal to use as little as I can get away with. I cooked the macerated berries for around 25 minutes, then strained them and cooked the puree again for probably around 45. I used a medium-low heat and gave them a stir every so often, just to make sure they weren’t scorching on the bottom. It was just a matter of simmering out/evaporating the natural moisture from the puree. It was a little time consuming, but I was multitasking so it didn’t feel like a complete waste. ;) That being said, I probably did adjust the sweetness a bit just before putting into jars. I added a squeeze of citrus and maybe another few tablespoons of sugar, just to get the flavor the way I wanted it. If you like it sweeter, there’s no reason why you couldn’t use more sugar. It’s just a matter of personal preference. Mainly I just wanted to document the steps for processing, since that was really what was intimidating to me, as a first-timer. The jam recipe itself I think is open to play around with. Thanks for reading and for the great question! I hope you have lots of fun making jam!

      PS- I should mention that the jam thickens even more as it cools, so what you see in the pan is not necessarily what it’s going to look like in the jar. But still, it will be a soft-set jam, not as tight as a store bought.

      • i am making this now. wish i would have read the comments first. i only heated the berries through before straining them. did not come close to cooking them for 25 minutes! hopefully i’ll still get some yummy jam out of the process! yours looks beautiful. (also i have a HUGE sieve so the straining was such a burden. =)

        • I think it will still work for you, Stephanie! And I know, the straining was the biggest pain in the neck for me too. But it was all worthwhile in the end! I enjoyed that blackberry jam for months afterward, and had lots to give away for gifts too. Thanks so much for reading my blog and trying one of my recipes! Good luck and I hope you enjoy it! :D

  9. I wish I had the patience! It’s so hard to find jams with no added pectin!
    Erika recently posted…Banana crumble for 2My Profile

  10. I made this jam last night with my 4 year old son (we are first time jam makers). It is delicious! Lots of love goes into each step but it is well worth it. Thanks so much for sharing!!

  11. Hi there, loved your descriptions…But unsure about the straining bit. My blackberries are in the strainer, I push and swirl…and ? What I get is a lot of mashed blackberries with seeds in it and less water, not less seeds? So I am puzzled how you actually get the seeds out?

    Obviously I am a bit thick…could you explain what is supposed to happen to the seeds at the straining stage?

    Thanks!

    • Hey, Veronique! It’s the juice that you want, not the seeds and pulp, so be sure to place the strainer over a bowl to catch everything that drips out :) There’s a photo in the post, a little before the halfway point, check it out. What’s left in the strainer gets discarded, and the contents of the bowl are what gets cooked down to jam. Good luck, and thanks for the great question!

  12. Hi, thanks so much for your recipe. I’ve been looking hard for a non pectin recipe. I’m also curious if I can get away with one cup of sugar with 1.5 pounds of strawberries and .5 pounds of raspberries? I am a health nut and curious if other forms of sugar can be a substitute? I made lemon curd the other day and it got me into the canning process and I absolutely love it! Does anyone know if lemon curd can be put back into water for 20 mins to finish the canning process? Since I’m new to this I’m using the basic recipe but would love to adjust to less sugar intake, is that possible with jam? Lol.

    • Hi Holly! I’m so glad you liked the recipe! Isn’t canning fun? I love looking in my cupboard and seeing all those jars…

      I think your sugar to fruit ratio sounds pretty comparable to what I did with my blackberries. I would definitely give it a try! And I can’t imagine why other sweeteners wouldn’t work just as well. The thickening is a result of the low and slow cooking process, and not necessarily the sugar content, so I’d think you could probably get away with not even adding any sugar at all. Although it might taste pretty tart!

      As for your lemon curd, I would try googling around for a definite answer, but off the top of my head, I’m thinking you probably could process your filled jars in boiling water. (I’m sure the ones on the supermarket shelf have been processed, right?) I’m not sure it would need 20 minutes, maybe 5 or 10? Just long enough to create that vacuum seal and pop the button on the lid…

      Thanks for reading my blog, and good luck! :)

      • Hi Allie, what a quick reply! I Haven’t tasted the jam yet, it’s sitting in the fridge still. Every once in a while I stir it. I will finish the process tomorrow at some point. I figured, first batch I should probably go close as possible to a good recipe and I can always tweak it later after I master the whole thing. I’m fascinated with the beer and bacon jam, once I do a couple normal fruit jams that will be my next area! Lol.

        Yeah I was thinking that with strawberries, they naturally have a ton of sugar anyways and not as much sugar should be needed in theory, but I guess it depends on our taste buds lol

        • Good point! I haven’t tried the bacon and beer jam yet, but I do have a great recipe for tomato jam: http://bakingamoment.com/tomato-jam/. It’s kinda sweet/savory and it tastes great on a cheese plate or a cheeseburger. We’ve still got a lot of tomatoes in our garden, and this is a great way to keep them! Good luck and have fun! ;)

          • Thank you for the recipe! My tomatoe garden hasn’t started to fruit yet. One has a single tomatoe on it. My boyfriend wasnt paying attention when he was mowing the grass and didnt realize I had planted some tomatoes, it was my fault, I did plant them too young but I didnt realize that until we had a rain storm, but I was hoping they survive anyways, until he mowed them over…..lol. The other batch he saw at least so it wasn’t entirely a lost cause. I will plant more but honestly I am looking forward to building a raised bed when I get a job to afford it. That way their will be no more accidents with the mower!

          • Aw, what a bummer! Better luck next year, and good luck with the bacon jam too!

          • So I impress my boyfriend with successfully sealing the mason jar with strawberry raspberry jam last night. It perked his curiosity for fresh canned foods made at home and already requested some items lol. The jam smelled wonderful cooking and tasted good. Slightly on the tart side so next time I will do 1.5 cups of sugar to make up the zest I added. I had used one whole lemon juice and 1 tbs of lemon zest. I think the extra sugar will balance out the tartness. Again thank you for the recipe :)

            I did some research and found out that lemon curd can be sealed, it only needs 10 mins or so to process the lid.

            :)

          • Great to know! Thanks so much for keeping me posted all along the way! I’m so glad it all worked out and you were happy with the result :)

  13. Hi! I’ve been making jam for 30 years and this is my favorite ever! Two things; I used a food mill to separate the seeds from the softened berries and I cooked my berries in a crock pot on high,using the sheeting off a spoon test for readiness to can the hot jam. It was so delicious. Next summer I’m going to pick more berries.

    • I love your ideas, Sandy! I wish I had thought to make it in the crockpot… that’s brilliant! And I’m sure a food mill would be a lot easier than the way I did it. I ended up finding my food mill not long after I published this post. Of course! I’m so happy you liked the recipe and thanks so much for the awesome feedback!

  14. Hi well I am making the Blackberry jam, but I would like to know approximately how long to simmer it. 30-40 minutes, its not thickening. does it thicken as it cools please advise. thank you.

    • Hi Linda! It does thicken more as it cools. I cooked mine for around 45, if I remember correctly, but you can really do it for as long as you’d like. It’s personal preference really. The longer it goes the more it will reduce and thicken, but it’s a soft-set jam, so it will never be quite as jelled as what you’d buy from a store. Another reader told me she did hers in the crock pot, which I thought was just brilliant! You might want to take a glance at some of the other comments on the post just to see. Good luck, and thanks so much for reading my blog and trying one of my recipes!

    • Allie Thank you so much for answering as soon as you did. So while I had everything ready after I wrote you, I went on the hunt for my Grandmothers recipe for jams and I found where she had mentioned to let your jam cook till it reaches 220 degrees F so I recooked my jam to that temp and oh my goodness it got really thick just like I wanted. I was so thrilled, I just wanted to share that tip. Thanks again, Looking forward to looking at your other recipes. Linda J.

  15. Love making jam….
    Over the last wk I have made peach jam, strawberry jam, plum jam plus lemon curd & doing a vanilla & pear jam.
    You can make jam from frozen fruits which are easily avail…… so keep that in mind for blackberries etc…… jam is just as beautiful.

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