Homemade Berry Jam

Over the past few years we have been making our own jam – and what a blessing it has been. I would never have pictured myself as a mommy who makes her own jam but when you have 7 people scraping a tin clean in no time (and you see all the preservatives added – one becomes something one didn’t expect.)

Raspberry Jam

Many people ask me how I make jam and to be honest it is so simple – once someone has told you how šŸ™‚

Last month we spent a day with some friends who own a campsite in the

Drakensberg and while we were there Knight #1 and I spent some quality time together pickingĀ bramble berries. (I believe that these are known as blackberries elsewhere.)


We picked and picked and picked and came home with one treasured kilogram of berries. This was then made into jam (we managed to squeeze out 3 jars from ourĀ preciousĀ kg.)


Here’s how we made them:

  • Weigh your fruit (we’ve used this recipe with figs, plums, strawberries and
  • Add the same amount of sugar as you have fruit – though I do find this often too sweet so I have on occasion halved it.Ā blackberries)
  • The boil it all up together. (You can also cook the fruit first and then add sugar once it has softened. This sometimes help prevent the sugar burning on the bottom while the fruit cooks.)
  • Keep stirring all the time as it catches and burns easily. Slightly reduce the heat and keep it bubbling away. (Please be careful it doesn’t pop up onto you as it will burn really badly at this heat!)
  • Simultaneously boil a big pot of water filled with the bottles and lids you want to use for the jam. These need to boil for 20 minutes to steralise them.
  • Once the jam is boiling you will want to know when it is ready. The easiest way to do this is to put a tiny drop on a saucer and then tip the saucer. If it runs easily it is not yet ready. Once you tip the saucer and the jam is sluggish or doesn’t really move it is ready.
  • Take the jars out of the water and tip jam into the jars. Fill the jam right up to the top of the jar -so if overflows slightly – and put on the lid. This heat will create a vacuum and will keep the jam fresh for the next year. (We usually do this late at night when all little people, are fast asleep and not busy running under boiling pots!)

Yes, we have had some jams that have gone off and others that have ended up being very runny but overall it has been a great skill to learn and one way that we can keep eating jam daily without worrying about the excessive cost or the preservatives poisoning our bodies.

Yum, Yum bramble berry jam on huge pancakes!

Let us know how your jamming goes.

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One thought on “Homemade Berry Jam

  1. I love homemade jam. My favourite has been cherry and lime, and blueberry and banana.

    Just some comments on how I was taught that differ to your way (neither way is right or wrong, just different):
    – when the jars have been boiled, put them in the oven on low heat to dry them
    – leave a few cms space from where the jam ends to the top of the jar, put the lid on, and turn upside down. Leave for 2 minutes, then turn right way up, which will create a vacuum. You might hear the lid pop when this happens.

    Finally, I find that once opened, storing the jams in the fridge can cause the sugar to solidify. Instead, I store it in my pantry, but turn it upside down, which means there is no air to cause mould.

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