Beautiful Blackberries and Seedless Blackberry Jam

The Blackberries this year are big and juicy and there are loads of them.  I have been picking as many as I can to use.

One thing I do use them for is making jam.

I don’t like the seeds in blackberry jam, (perhaps I’m just getting old, as it never used to bother me), so I made my jam ‘seedless’ this year.

I have worked out, that because I picked my own blackberries, each jar of homemade seedless blackberry jam, cost me just 45 pence per jar (454 gram jar) to make. The cheapest jar of blackberry jam I have managed to find is, ‘Hartley Best Blackberry Jam’ (not seedless), which is £1.49 per 340g jar.

Though I do say so myself, I’m sure mine tastes an awful lot nicer.

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I use a ‘maslin’ pan to make my jam.

Mine was second hand, which I purchased for just £10 from ebay and it was worth every penny.

If you haven’t got a maslin pan, you can use any large pan.  Just remember the jam boils up high.

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Blackberry jam

Blackberries

Granulated sugar

Lemon juice

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Before you start, put some side plates or saucers, in the freezer for a few hours. These will be used to test the ‘setting point’

Wash the blackberries

Weigh the blackberries and put into a large pan (the contents will rise as it boils)

Put the same weight of sugar in the pan with the blackberries

Put the pan on a low heat and stir with a wooden spoon until the sugar has melted and the sugar crystals cannot be seen on the back of your spoon.

As blackberries have a very low pectin level, add 3 tablespoons of lemon juice per 1lb of blackberries.

At this point turn the heat right up and bring to a boil and continue boiling hard. I find the jam burns at the bottom of my pan if I just leave it to boil, so I stir the jam continuously, though other recipes don’t tell you to do this.

When the blackberries are soft, I sieve them into another bowl to remove the seeds, pressing lightly down on the fruit with the back of your spoon. 

Then I return the juice to the pan and continue to boil hard.

After 10-15 minutes, test for the ‘setting point’. To do this, put a small drop of jam on one of the side plates from the freezer. After a few moments, push the jam with your finger and if it wrinkles, it’s ready.

If it doesn’t wrinkle, continue boiling hard.

Keep checking the jam every five minutes until the setting point is reached.

When the setting point is reached, take the pan off the heat and leave it for fifteen minutes. If there is scum on your jam, you can skim it off, but I just stir in a small knob of butter which also reduces the scum.

Sterilise some jam jars (gas mark 4 for 5 minutes)

Pour the jam into the jars and seal with lids. I use the jars that have a sealable lid (i.e. the jars that jam is sold in, at the supermarket). This way you don’t need to worry about wax discs to create a seal. As the jam cools, the lids ‘pop’ down and make you jump.

The jam stores for ages and ages in a cool, dark place, however, once you have opened a jar, keep it refrigerated.

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If it’s your first time making jam, there are some jam making tips here (approx half way down the page) to help you.

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Interesting Blackberry Facts:

  • Blackberries are sometimes referred to as “Brambles” and “black caps”.
  • The Latin name for blackberries is ‘Rubus fructicosus’.
  • Wild Blackberries are commonly seen in British hedgerows, woodlands and waste ground.
  • Blackberries are traditionally used in crumbles, pies, jams and jellies, vinegars and wines.

  • Strong ale was brewed from blackberries in the 18th and 19th century.
  • They are a good food source for thrushes, blackbirds and other animals.
  • Blackberries are full of anthocyanin’s (anthocyanin is generally known as a cancer-fighting antioxidant).
  • One cup of Blackberries (approx… 140grams) is about 140 calories.

  • Unripe blackberries won’t ripen once they are picked.
  • Blackberry tea was once used to cure dysentery.
  • Ancient Greeks believed they cured mouth and throat diseases and were used as a preventative against many ailments including gout.
  • The blackberry leaf was once used as a hair dye.
  • Blackberries go mouldy very quickly and will only store for a couple of days in a fridge, but they freeze really well.
  • Blackberries are known to have health benefits for women due to their high levels of phytoestrogens.  These act like the hormone estrogen which is a hormone necessary for childbearing and is involved with bone and heart health in women.

  • There are around 400 micro-species of wild blackberry growing in the UK.
  • Brambles were used like barbed wire by the ancient Britons.
  • John Gerard was an English herbalist, famous for his herbal garden in the 16th century.  He gave a remedy ‘’for fastening the teeth back in’ using blackberry leaves.
  • The fruit of the bramble is not a true berry, as botanically it is termed an aggregate fruit.

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Blackberries in my freezer

I hope you enjoyed reading my blog today.

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23 thoughts on “Beautiful Blackberries and Seedless Blackberry Jam

  1. Excellent recipe, really simple and easy to do. Followed your lovely clear instructions to make my first batch of blackberry jam today and it’s delicious! Thanks very much for making it completely idiot-proof (and I should know, I am that idiot)!

    • Thank you so much for telling me how you got on, it’s lovely to get feedback (especially when it’s good lol). I try really hard to make my recipes easy to follow as most things like jam aren’t hard to do, it’s just that no one ever explains how to do these things.

      You have made my day. Thank you.

  2. Your recipe is so easy, thank you! So easy in fact that we are off today to pick more blackberries and make our second batch. Our jam on toast this morning was just delicious and I think some friends will hopefully agree when they get to taste some too!

  3. Hiya there – thank you SO much for this recipe. I’ve never been confident enough to make jam and when I stumbled across your blog the other day I found this recipe and now have some jam ready for the kids in the morning, to have in their porridge! This was fool-proof and the taste test was a hit with me 🙂 I shall return to this again and again. I hope you have some more I can follow 🙂

    • Hi Tracy, I love feedback and I seem to have lovely feedback about my jams. Have you read my recipe page?…Just click the word ‘recipe index’ at the top of my blog. I try really hard to write easy ‘no-nonsense’ recipes that people can easily find the ingredients from the shops and make. I couldn’t cook from scratch when I left home and I found it really hard to learn-this is why I make sure I put photo’s in at each step, so people know what recipes should look like at each stage. Comments like yours confirm to me I am doing the right thing. Thank you and keep in touch

  4. Hi there. Question: Do you know which contains more pectin, slightly under ripe or fully ripe blackberries ?
    btw I recently made seedless blackberry jam for the 1st time – was also 1st attempt at making any jam. I didn’t set but tastes great. In summary I decided to add half a cup of water with the berries to prevent bottom of pot burning. I then softened them and mashed them. Only at this point did I add the sugar, slowly in small quantities along with 1/3 juice of a lemon.
    Going to try adding sugar and lemon prior to mashing. Also going to try making a bit with cooking apple again adding them form the start. Will let you know how it turns out.

    • Hi Thomas and thanks for your comment. Slightly under ripe fruit has more pectin in than fully ripe fruit and yes apples are high in pectin as too is lemon juice, which is why I am lemon juice to my jams. I don’t bother with jam sugar, but you can use this if you want as it has added pectin.

      Let me know how you get on.

      • September 3rd — Batches 1-3
        Batch 1
        3lb ripe to going very ripe berries
        2lb standard sugar
        3 and a half tablespoons lemon juice
        Softened by boiling with sugar —> very light and runny consistency
        de-seeded using a blender —> very tick consistency —> Tasted for 1st time. Sweet going very sweet.
        Boiled for approx 10 minutes —> still tick consistency
        Settled well after 1 hour
        Made approx 4 jars.

        Batch 2
        6 cups ripe to going very ripe berries
        2 and a half cups standard sugar
        1 cup of water
        2 and a half cups chopped cooking apple
        Juice of 1 lemon

        Added apple and boiled. De-seeded after which I added sugar and lemon juice which turned consistency very runny.
        boiled for approx 30 minutes. Set fairly well.

        Batch 3
        De-seeded 3lb ripe to going very ripe berries
        weight of seeds 8.2 oz’s
        stewed 1 large cooking apple, skins + pips included. put through sive and added to cold unheated berry pulp.
        Also added juice of half a lemon and juice of half a lime.
        Added 2lb of sugar while heating the above.
        Consistency was too thin after 1 hour boiling. Added half a mug of sugar and boiled for 30 minutes.
        Jam set nearly solid after 30 minutes! Spreadable though so all good!

        September 4th
        Batch 4
        De-seeded 5lb ripe to going very ripe berries in blender
        Weight of seeds 12.8 oz’s
        Also stewed 1 large cooking apple as above and added to cold berry pulp
        Juice of 1 an a half lemons
        3lb sugar

        Put on at 11:55. 12:25 added quarter mug of sugar because consistency very thin.
        Finished cooking at 12:40 because I ran out of patience.
        Left to cool at 13:30 – very runny consistency. Didn’t set but still tasty though. Made 8 jars.

        No where is that bloody dentists telephone number!

  5. Hey there as a first time jam maker I thought this recipe would be fab and easy to follow.
    Everything was going great,until the point of me straining the blackberries through the sieve.it went like hard candy- I thought perhaps this is part of the process,so continued to follow the next step. Smoke started appearing,which I thought was odd,so turned the heat down a little (it was even up full) persevered through with your instructions. Got to the frozen plate test to which again it was rock solid. Now I know there is defo something wrong. Had a look online to see if there was a way of saving it, saw that adding some hot water and bringing back to the boil might help. It did not. The whole thing is ruined, tastes vile and doesn’t resemble jam in the slightest 😦
    It lost its beautiful smell and colour after sieving the blackberries.
    I know it’s only jam, but I’m quite sad about this as I was looking forward to giving my son and hubby some homemade jam from wild blackberries that we managed to find.
    What do you think went wrong?
    Thanks

    • Hi Rina, I would be upset too. I really haven’t got a clue, as I have never heard of jam setting this quick-even when using jams with a high pectin level and jam usually stays runny until it cool anyway. I have racked my brains as to what could have gone wrong, as I have used this recipe many times and it always always works. I wonder if anyone else out there can shed light on this?…as I would love to know. If you live near me I could provide you with new blackberries as I have loads still on my bushes – I am in the Midlands

      • Thank you for your reply. It’s very kind of you to offer me your blackberries, but I live in milton keynes. 🙂
        I too would be interested to know what has happened. I took pics of the process along the way until it looked like candied tar,it was hideous. Yet from the beginning they looked fab just like yours. Very odd lol
        When I was transferring from pot to sieve, the mixture became very sticky and the runny stuff went solid quickly, but right before it, it was fine looked just like your picture :/

  6. Happy new year Mrs T!
    I’m just making my 2nd batch of this jam, decided to have a therapeutic morning’s jam making whilst waiting for the frost to melt at the allotment of his morning! The 1st batch I made from your recipe a couple of months ago was fantastic and was devoured soon after.
    Looking forward to your next blog
    Marise

  7. Thanks for an excellent recipe which was so easy to follow. I used 2.5 pounds of berries and 1 pound of Bramley’s which produced a delicious jelly.

  8. Lovely, easy recipe. I don’t think I put enough sugar in, but everyone seems to love it. Sucessful first time making blackberry jam. Thank you!

  9. I think Rina boiled her jam for too long before sieving , the sugar caramelised turning the jam to toffee. Pectin content will vary with the ripeness of the fruit so I would test after the first 5 minutes and at 5 minute intervals until setting point is reached.

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