The blackberries are ready for picking! I love picking berries. There is something thrilling about finding that perfect spot for picking, watching the mound of berries grow in your bucket, sampling a bite or two along the way, and finally enjoying the harvest. I’ve been looking forward to making jam with this year’s blackberries since probably the end of last year’s season!
The boys and I headed up to Rumford last week to pick berries on the land near my parents’ house. My mother was kind enough to be our guide for our adventure. It’s awfully nice to have someone to look after the children while picking and canning berries.
Once we reached the berry patch, we all got down to business. Some berries actually made it into our picking buckets.
Berry picking can be serious business.
I managed to fill a whole bucket with blackberries (thanks to my mom who kept the children entertained). The berries were just beginning to ripen, so there will be many more to pick in the days to come.
Back in the kitchen, it was time to make some blackberry jam! Last year I made a great discovery in jam making: Pomona’s Universal Pectin. Unlike traditional pectin, this type does not require massive amounts of sugar to gel and that allows you to use far less sugar in your jam. You can even use fruit juice concentrate to sweeten your jam, although my experiments with this last year were not as delicious as I had hoped. This year I’ve been making all my jam with only 1¼ cups of sugar per batch. This is significantly less than the several cups of sugar that recipes with traditional pectin require. The jam is perfectly sweet and captures the essence of berry without being overly sugary.
Click here for the recipe for Blackberry Jam.