Three Berry Jam
July 6, 2011
My family and I just returned from a delightful escape from reality in the Santa Cruz Mountains. Without the modern distractions of cars, phones, and computers, our days were peacefully filled with banana slug hunts, star gazing, and swimming until we pruned. It was a much needed pause in an otherwise busy life, a centering of sorts. But alas, there are other responsibilities to which we must tend. Some are grudgingly attended- bill paying, laundry folding, car repairing. Other responsibilities are the important rituals of life that help to make meaning and define some of the rhythms of our family life. At the top of the list during this time of year is preserving the glorious bounty of summer.
Berry season is short, so we rely on the craft of jam making to preserve these flavors for the dark days. On our way home, we stopped into Gizdich Ranch and picked up a flat each of raspberries and ollalie berries. I combined these two berries with some strawberries I froze last month to create a mixed berry jam.
Three Berry Jam is everything a berry jam should be. The flavor of each berry comes through along with just enough sweetness to highlight the fruit (this is a low-sugar jam). The color is bright red with specks of black from the chunks of ollalie berries. If you cannot find ollallie berries you can substitute black berries. I have a feeling that 8 cups is not going to be enough of this awesome jam for us this year, I may have to whip up another batch tonight. Sounds better than folding laundry.
Three Berry Jam
makes 8 cups
2 pounds raspberries (about 6 cups whole)
1 pound ollalie berries or black berries (about 3 cups whole)
1/2 pound strawberries (about 1 1/2 cups whole)
3 cups sugar
1 package pectin for low sugar recipes
Sterilize jars and lids.
Remove the stem and hull from strawberries. Pick through all the berries and discard any leaves, stems, or berries with signs of decay. Rinse berries thoroughly.
Place 1/2 of the ollalie berries in a large pot with all of the strawberries. Mash berries.
Mix pectin with 1/2 cup of the sugar. Add to the mashed berries in the pot and stir. Add remaining raspberries and ollalie berries. (If you prefer a smoother jam, you can mash all the berries.)
Heat berry mixture on high, stirring occasionally, until mixture boils. Add remaining 2 1/2 cups of sugar and return to a boil. Cook 2 minutes at a full boil stirring constantly. Turn heat down to low and skim off foam.
Use a ladle to pour hot jam into sterile jars leaving a 1/2 inch headspace. Wipe rims clean and top with a new lid and ring. Process in a boiling water for 10 minutes.
For more details on how to can at home, see Home Canning Basics.
Here is a printer-friendly version of the recipe: Three Berry Jam
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