Jam was the very first thing I ever learned how to can. The whole process seemed SO intimidating until I went through it the first time. After doing it once, I was put very at ease and inspired by how easy it actually was!! Now I want to can everything!
Of course I learned a lot that first time, like how important timing is, and NOT to add the pectin right into the pot LOL (it will become a clumpy mess).
I recently found out through testing, that on my list of food intolerances, cane sugar is #1 for me. So I have been on a mission to try and find new recipes that use other natural ingredients as sweeteners instead of sugar. This recipe is sweetened with honey, which is SO much healthier anyway! Because we aren't using sugar, the jam may be a little looser than you are used to, however it will taste delicious and much better for you. Sugar also acts as a preservative in the jam normally, extending its shelf life after the seal has been broken. For this reason, I suggest using small jars in your canning process (4 or 8 oz.) so it can be eaten quickly after its opened (about 1-2 weeks).
I have a video linked below of my process. Hopefully it will help take away the intimidation factor for you if you are feeling nervous, and help you to make some amazing honey sweetened jam for your family!! Enjoy!
Honey Blackberry Jam
Yield: Six 8oz jars
Preparation: Sterilize your mason jars and lids. I like to use smaller jars for this recipe so it gets used fast after the seal is broken. Since this jam is not sweetened with sugar (which acts as a preservative) it needs to be consumed quicker. Use a jar size your family will consume in 1-2 weeks.
Once your jam is ready to put in the jars, you will want the process to move pretty quickly until the jars have been processed. You want you jam hot as the jars go into the boiling water, and your lids need to be hot to create an adequate seal. I suggest having your water for processing boiling by the time you are ready to fill the jars and your lids need to have boiled and must be kept hot until the process is done.
Step 1. Mash blackberries with a potato masher or food processor. You can use the whole berry for a jam that contains all of the seeds, or strain to remove some of the larger pieces. This is purely a personal preference.
Step 2. Place berries in a stainless steel or cast iron pot, and add 1.5 cups of the honey (you will reserve ½ cup to mix with the pectin. Add Calcium water (use small packet provided in Pomona's pectin box, ration of 1/2 tsp to 1/2 cup water) and lemon juice. Heat to a rolling boil and then reduce to medium and simmer till mixture has reduced by about 1/4 .
This will take about 20 min. If you double this recipe it will take much longer. The more you reduce the mixture, the thicker your jam will be. Stir as little as possible, just enough to keep the bottom of the pan from scorching.
During this time mix your pectin with your reserved honey, and make sure your boiling water and lids will be ready.
Step 3. Once your mixture has reduced, add remaining honey and pectin mixture. Mix well and let cook for 2 more minutes or until it thickens a bit more.
Step 4. Remove mixture from heat, and using a jar funnel, fill as many jars as you can fit in your pot of boiling water. Make sure to leave ½ inch head space.
Step 5. Wipe the rims of the jars with a wet cloth or paper towel, making sure to remove any food residue. Place hot lid on jar and screw tightly.
Step 6. Place jars in boiling water for 10 min (set timer)
Step 7. Remove jars from boiling water and let rest for 24 hours. Then they will be ready to be put in your pantry and enjoyed over the next year!