A quick and easy blackberry jam recipe, using up the last bits of summer fruits before we head into autumn baking! This lightly spiced small batch jam is a perfect accompaniment to a scone or a topping for toast!
Using Bay Leaves
So, I have a massive bay tree in my garden. It's absolutely huge! My supply of bay leaves, therefore, knows no bounds. I have a ready supply of fresh and often a good stockpile of home dried. You can use either fresh or dried in this recipe.
Typically there is a subtle difference between fresh and dried bay - the fresh having a more aromatic quality and being a bit stronger, whereas the dry is a little less powerful a flavour. If possible, I would normally recommend using fresh in jam making since it will be able to offer a greater flavour enhancement to your dish.
Making Small Batch Blackberry Jam
Easy Blackberry Jam Ingredients
- Blackberries - fresh are best, but you can also use frozen in this recipe. Defrost first to help ensure you don't have too much excess liquid.
- Pectin - in order to help your jam to set, adding some pectin is essential to this recipe. If you have access to jam sugar (which is sugar with added pectin), you can use this in place of the caster sugar and remove the powdered pectin.
- Sugar - caster or superfine granulated sugar.
- Orange juice - adds a touch of zest and the citrus provides some natural pectin.
- Bay leaves - either fresh or dried.
- Ground Cinnamon - for a touch of spice, use a bit of ground cinnamon or you could substitute with a cinnamon stick.
Method for Small Batch Jam
Essentially, all you need to do is place all of the ingredients in a small, but deep sided saucepan.
Cook this over a medium heat, stirring to help dissolve the sugar and break down the berries.
Once the berries have begun releasing their juices and the sugar has dissolved, bring to a boil. Let this continue to boil, stirring occasionally, until the mixture reaches 220°F (105C) on a sugar thermometer. I use an instant read thermometer.
Reaching the temperature is key to ensuring that the pectin is activated and the jam sets. If you cook the jam longer and to a higher heat, it will set more solidly and may become too thick to spread (more like a candy than a jam).
When the jam reaches temperature, decant this into another container - either a heatproof dish or a jar. The greater the surface area, the quicker the jam will cool. Carefully remove the bay leaves with tongs or a fork.
FAQs for Easy Blackberry Jam
Yes, absolutely - jam is a great use for frozen fruits. If you have frozen blackberries, defrost these first, to help them cook more evenly and to ensure they don't have too much excess liquid.
It is possible to make jam without pectin, especially if the fruit being used is high in natural pectin. Unfortunately, blackberries aren't a naturally high pectin fruit. Using a citrus, such as orange will help to add natural pectin, though it might not be enough for this to set firm.
This blackberry jam can last in the refrigerator for several weeks. If you can it properly, by ensuring the jar is properly sanitised and sealed properly, it can last even longer! You can also freeze jam in a freezer proof container for a few months. Allow the jam to cool and set first prior to freezing and then defrost before use.
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Easy Blackberry Jam
- 2 cups blackberries
- 2 bay leaves can use fresh or dried
- 1 cup caster sugar or superfine granulated
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon pectin
- 1 tablespoon orange juice
- Place all ingredients in a deep sided saucepan and cook over a medium heat, stirring until the berries begin to release their juices and the sugar dissolves.
- Bring the mixture to a boil and allow to continue cooking, stirring occasionally, until it reaches 220°F (105C) on a sugar thermometer.
- Remove from the heat and pour into a shallow heatproof dish or jar to cool. Use tongs or a fork to carefully remove the bay leaves.